The current week, which includes my fall break has been a tremendous rest in the middle of hectic work weeks. Setting off this time of relaxation for me are a couple of panel discussions I was invited to participate in as a result of the “Mastering Technology Skills for Teaching and Learning” class I took this summer.
The first discussion was held last Monday and was titled “The 21st Century Teacher.” Eighth Floor Technology Consortium staff, along with fellow class member and Broken Arrow teacher Leila Williamson, discussed the concept of 21st century teaching. The class was recorded as a Synchronous Online Training webinar for a small group of online audience members. It was an informal production, so this normally shy performer didn’t find it intimidating at all. In fact, it was really fun. There’s nothing more invigorating that interacting with like-minded teachers who have ideas to share. If I had to boil down the 21st Century teaching concept into one word, that word would be collaboration.
Coincidentally, Leila and I are planning to conduct a Skype discussion between her 7th grade Language Arts class and my Junior English class next month over books both classes are reading about the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot. This will be a first for both of us, but I’m eager to see how this type of collaboration enhances learning in both our classrooms.
This coming week, I’ll again be part of a panel discussion in which Leila is a participant, but we’ll be joined by a couple of other teachers from our class this summer. The topic of this SOL Training webinar is “Digital Citizenship.” As the technology coordinator for my one-to-one campus, it’s a topic I’ve spent a good bit of time working on. It’s possible to spend an entire semester devoted to learning what makes a good digital citizen, but I’ve had to cram a lot of material into two one-hour training sessions (Prezi: “Your Digital World” and “Digital Citizenship II”) that my students must pass before they’re allowed to take laptops home. Fortunately, there are some really good resources online, notably Common Sense Media and Net Smartz. I look forward to again sharing ideas with some amazingly gifted teachers this week in cyber-training-land.
In between these two webinar bookends, my husband and I made a wonderfully refreshing weekend trip to Grand Lake of the Cherokees and took in sights in several smaller communities in northeastern Oklahoma. Please forgive my gratuitous placement of photos here. I don’t know if they’ll display correctly on your device either. Sorry if they’re wonky, but look at it this way: No one is being subjected to vacation slideshows!
(L to R) Selfie at Natural Falls State Park; Natural Falls; view of Grand Lake from our balcony; sweet ride at the Route 66 Vintage Iron Museum in Miami, OK