Yesterday wrapped up our third evening of parent teacher conferences. Spending three evenings at school followed by a day with students can be very exhausting. Now that I'm out the classroom and working as the Library Media Specialist, my thoughts on conferences are a little different. During the time we have for conferences, I get to get work done that I don't have a chance to do during the day. What a concept - uninterrupted (almost) time to work. Classroom teachers do get a little jealous when I tell them I had a chance to get some work done, but I guess that's just part of the job.

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There's been a lot of blogging about Web 2.0. I'm just starting to catch up with some of the great ideas that are out there and how these technologies can be put to use in the classroom. I've podcasted, use Flickr, GoogleDocs, del.icio.us, Bloglines, etc. and have some experience working with these great tools. I need to learn about wikis, but Andrew's Web 2.0 tutorial for Teachers is one place I'll look. Obviously, I've created more accounts on a variety of sites, thanks Clay, than I thought I would. If I had a classroom I know I could put these to use. However, in my position and Library Media Specialist, I have a little bit of a problem. I've blogged before about the lack of collaboration between classroom teachers and me. Sometimes it's good, most times, it's not. Yes, some of the problem can be contributed to me, but I'm going to put most of the problem on the teachers. Now, I'm not throwing them under the bus. The problem isn't the lack of interest, it's the lack of time and knowledge. It's also the pressure put on them to make sure they have a balanced literacy program, 90 minutes of math, and other crap they have to do to try and get all students to be proficient. I truly believe that if there was time built into our schedule on a weekly basis to meet and plan for upcoming projects, we'd be doing more. We don't have this time and I (we) need to find a solution. There's so much I'd like to do with the kids that can help them become better writers and readers, but since I only have the students in the computer lab for about 30 minutes a week, my time is severely limited. The other huge problem is the lack of knowledge of Web 2.0 tools. I guarantee that if I asked my staff, especially third through sixth grade teachers to tell me what they know about Web 2.0, all 9 would say they knew very little or would say nothing. They may have heard about podcasting and blogging, but as far as how to do these tools or incorporate it into their lessons, they'd be lost.

It's not their fault - or is it? Many teachers keep up to date with new reading strategies, classoom management techniques, and new ideas related to instruction. Should teachers also be on the cutting edge, or at least be up to date with technology? Should the school district put more emphasis on new technology and how to use it? If some can become competent with "what's new" in education, shouldn't everyone? I think these are all good questions that may have different answers. Those of us who have more knowledge about new ideas, such as Web 2.0 tools, need to step up and start teaching the teachers more about this. We need to get the kids excited, we need to get the teachers excited. You know we don't want to leave any educators behind!

2 comments

  1. .mrsdurff // November 20, 2007 at 6:08 PM  

    Thank you for visiting my blog! We do check-out every other week (I'm that person too-with a wonderful assistant who actually does all the work this year-changes every year) so maybe set up a microphone and audacity, have kids pick the book they'll check out and then they get to say one sentence into the mic about the last book they read. They can learn to work audacity recording themselves - red for record, yellow for stop. They would leave it be at the end for you to export as an mp3 to post on a host like podOmatic. Then you could embed on school website for parents to hear too.
    Here are some I did with Kindergarten and 1st grade where they shared books from the local Bookmobile http://www.myteacherpages.com/webpages/LDurff/booktalk2.cfm

  2. .mrsdurff // November 20, 2007 at 6:10 PM  

    http://www.myteacherpages.com/webpages/LDurff/booktalk2.cfm

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