Sunday, August 31, 2008

Teach21 Summer Kickoff

Our summer kickoff was held July 15-18, 2008 and much of what we did revolved around Daniel Pink's book, "A Whole new Mind." "A Whole New Mind" is not focused on technology, although it's role in the information age is discussed in-depth. Pink's subtitle is, "Why Right Brainers Will Rule The Future," and his book reviews what he believes it now takes to be competitive in the job market, and excel in the 21st century.
He outlines six essential aptitudes for professional success - design, story, symphony, empathy, play, and meaning. As we read and shared chapters of this book in teams it gave us a specific purpose for what we were to learn.
What we learned over the next three days tools that would allow us and our students to become designers, story tellers, people who can put together the pieces, people who are empathetic and understand others, playfully creative, meaning driven individuals.
The tools we learned, when applied to the educational setting, helps develop Pink's six aptitudes. Over the next three days we learned about a host of Google tools, Web 2.0 tools, Skype, wikis, and digital storytelling. We created classroom blogs, our own avatars, touched on the use of video in the classroom, and learned how to use social bookmarking. With Marlo Gaddis controlling the pace and the direction everyone seemed to be excited about the possibilities.
The reflections we all left on the Teach21@Bolton wiki tell the story of these days best. Here are just a few.

"I am enjoying the training and all of the new info to go along with it. I never new there was so much more to google. I am learning about several different ways to use technology in my classroom. I hope to use voicethread, photostory, and blogs with my students. Last year they were amazed with my overhead projector. I can't wait to see their smiling faces when they are using all of the new technology we are being trained to use."

"I really enjoyed creating my blog yesterday. The collaboration between this team is awesome. We have learned so much from Marlo and we are really helping each other. The more I learn, the more I can't wait to use it in my room. Go Teach21 Bolton!!!!!"

"I can see so much potential for using all of these tools. Specialists using a wiki when are planning special events for the grade levels.... Many windows of opportunity are beginning to open here."

"Wow - Two exciting days! I always enjoy my summer breaks however it is training like this that gets me excited about August and all of the posibilities that are ahead of us! Thanks and I can't wait for more! There are so many possibilities of how we can use this new knowledge that it is mind boggling."

1 comment:

  1. Sam, You are a great leader here at Bolton! I am so happy to be working with you and our teach 21 team!