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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Online Ed Tech sites

I took some time to check out online educational discussion sites this week.  I can see where they can be of great benefit to educators in that there is a variety of information that can be offered and discussed in the online forums.  I admit that sharing the opinions and experiences of others can be a great way to expand your viewpoints on handling different aspects of being a teacher.  That being said, however, I think there might be other ways to achieve that goal.  I found the sites to be chaotic.  There were so many comments and opinions being offered simultaneously that I was overwhelmed.  The conversations, while being beneficial, were often tangential and those involved assumed that everyone shared similar insights about those being mentioned.  It is necessary to be able to pick through those conversations and determine what would be useful in my own classroom.  I am not sure that this would be a venue in which I would be comfortable gathering my insights.

Specially I reviewed http://www.edtechtalk.com/node/4899, which was a conversation regarding teachable moments.  In fact that was the name of the conversation -- Conversation 89:  Teachable Moments.  This was not a live talk because I, unfortunately, could not make it at the time it was live.  I began my review by reading the transcript, which was very confusing since all comments appeared as they were entered and the conversation moved from topic to topic without clear transitions.  After completing the transcript I went back and listened to the audio.  Combing both made more sense and I garnered much more from this approach.  There were so many great insights about teachable moments and it reminded me about how often they happen and how easily they can slip by causing us to miss the opportunities to teach students about real-life issues.  I am not sure that I could have participated in this conversation and gleaned as much from it if I had done so live. 

To be sure that I was not judging such venues too quickly, I also reviewed Kicking It Up A Notch - Intersections by Darren Kuropatwa.  Much of what he discussed made a lot of sense.  The concepts I grasp and give much credance to.  There are lots of intersections in what and how we teach and being able to recognize those and utilize them to better in our instruction is a greal goal.  He gave great examples of these intersections but, again, the overall discussion seemed tangential to me.   View for yourself...here is the link. 
http://k12onlineconference.org/?p=723

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