This is my first posting to Flickr. It was January 13, 2009. Winter was harsh and bitter; Crescent Lake froze. The hills, dotted in sage brush, looked like a frosty wonderland.
I needed a place for my school pictures. I thought I could ask students to participate, but that didn’t work out. I was just beginning my journey to integrate technology, and photos held a top priority. Students did take pictures, but I uploaded them to share in wikis or for students to download for their projects. This was before we became a Google Apps school.
I remember struggling to learn the technology that would soon become ubiquitous. I was tentative in my clicking and trying for quite a while until I realized I could undo, delete, or start over. Really, technology helped me become less of a perfectionist: I could try something, edit, redo. I didn’t need to wait for perfection. That in itself reduced stress and freed my mind for more creativity.
Working with students in middle school, I learned early on about student privacy and protections. That’s why they did not upload to Flickr. I couldn’t see how to to let that happen. I really needed a partner to learn with, but that didn’t happen either. My colleagues didn’t see the value. I struggled on my own — until I found Steve Hargadon‘s Live Classroom 2.0. and Live Classroom Ning. I wrote on the ning:
Every Saturday morning I look forward to the wonderful sharing that occurs in Classroom 20 Live. That one hour of my week energizes me for the next week! Thanks to Lorna, Kim, Tammy, Peggy, and Steve! That’s why I’m here. This is the best place to network, share, connect, and learn!
What an awesome crew and guests! They shared the how-to for integrating technology to engage and empower students. I learned about Diigo, Copyright and Creative Commons, Animoto, Moodle, Wikis, VoiceThread, and so much more. During the hour long sessions each Saturday morning at 9:00 am Pacific, I could ask questions of and connect with the presenters and the participants to help understand how and why to apply the tools in my classroom. These were my heroes. These were my partners. This was my professional development.
I could not have become so technologically literate without the people involved in Classroom Live 2.0 — the producers, presenters, and participants. They were the slice of my life that inspired my leap to 21st century teaching and learning: critical thinking, collaboration, communication, creativity, curation, and community!
You can still view the archives and attend the sessions on Saturdays. If you’re just beginning with technology, I encourage you to attend or to choose from the archives [categories in right column — so much to choose!].
So, for all you have shared to help everyone learn:
Images by Sheri