It began innocently enough. Tannis, our Technology Learning Leader at the time, spotted an e-mail from Natalie, a Specialist with Innovation and Learning Technology, in early November last year:
Nov 16th and 17th – Tim K., who is on a 1 year
leave from Learning Innovation, with his family, will be hosting video
conferences from Peru. Attached is the documentation for information on the
conferences and also the registration information.
She immediately thought of the Grade Three team and how this might enrich our Social Studies curriculum. Thinking this would be a “nice little experience” to enhance our students’ understanding of customs and culture in Peru, we all agreed to pursue this opportunity. Before we knew it, the Video Conferencing equipment was booked and we had a date with Tim in Peru! In Tannis’ words, “I love it when a plan comes together so quickly!” Little did we know exactly WHERE this one 45 minute Video Conference with Tim would take us! Thinking back on it, now, we are both just so GRATEFUL that everyone was in agreement to participate, and completely taken aback by the serendipitous nature of where this journey has taken us.
So, where did the journey BEGIN, and where are we HEADED? To read a little background information about where LAST year began, and how flexibility, engagement, meaningful inquiry and passion helped to GERMINATE this amazing little “seed”, click here!
As Tannis prepared to take a PIF, (Professional Improvement Fellowship), at the end of last year, to pursue her Master’s Degree in Educational Technology and Design, I truly believed our journey would continue but knew that it could not look the same. After all, I was losing my “partner in crime”! Imagine my DELIGHT when she reaffirmed our journey had been as moving to her, as authentic and “real world”, as it had for me … her Master’s would focus on “flattening the walls” of the classroom, meaningful learner engagement, authentic learning and connections through technology. Her final project would reflect on our Peruvian experiences, connections and continued journey as a focus. Ya HOO!!!
I’ve been BLESSED to lurk in some of her on-line courses since September and have been truly inspired by the openness, expertise and willingness to share within this on-line PLN, (Professional/Personal Learning Network), and … throughout this learning process, my Google Reader has grown from one to TWENTY-THREE incredible blogs I follow! That’s when it hit BOTH of us … a blog would be the PERFECT way for us to continue our Peruvian connection … authentically connected and connecting with others interested in Global Citizenship!
This year, Christmas came EARLY for us!!! HOW, you ask? Well … THIS is the FIRST elementary classroom blog EVER in our system! This will allow us to continue making meaningful and authentic learning connections … in a 21st century way! ALL of this thanks to Tannis’ love for learning, her Master’s program … and her PASSION for piloting new opportunities!
Where will this blog take us? There are SO many avenues now open to us. Continued connections with Mosqoy and their work in Peru will be at the forefront for us. Providing our students with authentic learning tools, meaningful reasons to teach online etiquette and responsible digital citizenship are just SOME of the benefits we anticipate.
- What made you decide to create a classroom blog?
- What were some of the blogging pitfalls of working with Division 1 students and, if so, how did you overcome them?
- What were some of the highlights of blogging with young children?
- As we begin this journey, is there any advice you wished you’d been given right at the start?