Thursday, September 18, 2008


I was listening to Nora Young yesterday on 'Spark'. She was talking about what makes a good blog.
I need to define a purpose for this thing. So far I am just playing around and getting my feet wet. That is okay for me.
It is what I encourage my students to do whenever they encounter something new; they should play. We can learn quite a lot through playing.
I write in my journal every day. I write in there for a few reasons. One is I enjoy the physical act of writing. I enjoy the way the pen moves across the page. I like to form letters with my hand. In some ways it is a form of physical/mental therapy. I exercise my hand and wake up my brain.
Much of what I write is really boring, trivial stuff. I make notes of the things I have to do that day or things that happened the day before. Sometimes I record my dreams. They can be incredibly creative.
Why do I write it?
I do it in part for my children. I want them to have a record of their father. They may be disappointed to learn that I was so vacuous and boring but it may inspire them to not be so.
Now I come to 'purpose'. Who will read this? Why would anyone care about my musings on anything? What is the purpose of this blog?
I think I need to look at other people's blogs and see what does and doesn't work for me. Over the next few days I will hopefully develop a more clear purpose. In the meantime, sorry to anyone who stumbles across this and has to put up with my aimless ramblings. If anyone does read this and has any suggestions, I believe there is an option to leave comments.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Blogs, Groups, or Wikis?

I am thinking about this further and playing around with ideas.
I looked at Google Groups and created a group for my students.
I may go back to the Wikispaces site that I created a couple of years ago.
Maybe I will get my students to investigate all of these and see what they like best. I am trying to get them familiar with the Web 2.0 options available to them. By having them look at these options I am doing just that.
Next I will need to determine a way to assess what they have done in terms of Reading, Writing, and Media Literacy expectations from the curriculum.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


I read the first few entries of my students' journals. They seem like a good group of kids. They are all enthusiastic about learning. I hope I can provide them with a stimulating environment so that they develop their creative thinking abilities.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Blogging for Students

I would like my students to create blogs.
However, I read on here that you need to be at least 13 years old. Perhaps I could use another blogging tool or ask for parental permission.
We could use a blog as part of our proposal.
We could post our ideas and images and even video of the process. This would mean that the judges could watch our progress as we develop the idea.

We will track the progress of our ideas here.
So far, I put the idea out there and had the students look carefully at the proposal.
Stage one of the research process is to understand the assignment. So often kids think they know what they are doing and rush off to do....what?
"What are you doing?"
"The Best Buy thing."
"What do you need to do for that?"
"I don't know. Come up with ideas?"
"Yes. What kind of ideas? What is the purpose of this assignment? What exactly are you supposed to do?"

It is necessary to get a good understanding of the purpose of the assignment. We need not only to know the exact requirements but the purpose or meaning driving the assignment. We want to have an authentic learning situation. If the students can develop an understanding of the 'why' it makes the learning so much more significant.
If they can come up with a response to the question "So what?", they are doing well.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

More About Me - This is Fun

Summer Vacation of 2007

I am still playing around here.

This is a favourite moment of the summer of 2007:

One of the best things of the summer.

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

This will be brief as I am just playing around right now.
I am actually avoiding other work I have to do.

One of the most enjoyable and memorable aspects of my summer vacation was spent on the balcony outside the green room above the store in Mississippi Station.
I know all this requires explanation; that will come in time.

It was on the balcony in the morning that I sat and drank coffee and wrote in my journal about the activities of the day before and the anticipated adventures of the new day. 

The balcony faces East. I would awake around dawn and watch the sun peek over the edge of the valley wall. As the sun rose and warmed the earth the mists would rise from the trees across the way. Usually the air was full of the sound of crickets and birds and little else save the wind in the trees. 

The memory of this fills me with an emotion.