Monday, May 6, 2013

Chapter 9 -- What the Future Holds

I need to start this post with a correction. Last week I posted that there were 2 weeks left and 2 chapters left in the book. I'm not sure where my brain had gone because this is the last week of the book group and chapter in the book. Apparently I just wasn't ready for the book to end. I think it's more likely that I couldn't believe it was already May!! So this is the last week of the book group. Please have all of your comments online by Monday, May 13th at 10am Eastern. I will e-mail the winners Monday afternoon. I apologize for the confusion.

So this is the last week and Sheryl and Lani leave us to think about how we are going to change. How are you going to change your teaching and/or your classroom because of what you read in this book and the connections you made? Are you planning on spending some time this summer building your connected learning community?


  1. Wow, a loaded will I change as a result of reading this book and participating in this blog discussion? Flipping through the last chapter and looking at things that I have highlighted and noted on my E-book (wow, that's a change already- I have learned to use my Kindle to download books and electronically mark them up for future use- a new skill for me), here are some things that have struck me- so I'm writing them here as a record that I can refer back to next fall (another new change- blogging).

    1. New ideas are incomprehensible- you either choose to work through it and make sense and own it OR to dismiss it. I want to make each lesson go through the confusion stage to ownership and understanding- and I want to teach this to kids so they can make a choice to NOT dismiss the new ideas!

    2. Love what Piaget (ah, a name I hadn't heard since my teacher ed courses) said about learning as a jumping-off place. I want to be a better teacher next year- take my kids beyond just learning the facts and help them jump-off with them to a new place where they unlearn and relearn and personalize.

    3. So true- schools must change and teachers must change as our students change- or we become irrelevant. Change for the sake of change is wrong- but so is hanging on to what used to work when it no longer works. Each year is a chance to reinvent myself as a teacher as I meet the needs of my new classes of students. And that's OK- for years I have felt like a disorganized teacher for not having a complex file system to pull activities out of the past curriculum- but now it's time to give myself permission to reinvent the wheel if it's time for a new wheel!

    4. I want to make my classroom more collective and less individual. I am great at getting kids to "buy in" to how I teach- but a challenge to me will be to get kids to "buy in" and take responsibility for learning independently. Kids won't do it on their own- I've found that out this year- even if it is technology and interesting. We have to become a community of learners, myself modeling learning with and from them.

    5. Assessment...I struggle with this. I don't like grading projects with rubrics- but I love seeing the creative projects kids come up with. I am forced to give objective MC tests (Acuity, ISTEP) that require factual knowledge- how does teaching those rote facts match up with creativity and embedded assessment and project? RISE evaluations and SLO goals require that I "desconstruct knowledge into bit-sized pieces for students to memorize and regurgitate on tests" but I want them to "construct and validate their own learning" (to quote the chapter). This dichotomy will continue to haunt me- it really resonates right now with ISTEP and Acuity and SLO post-tests looming on the horizon for me.

    FINALLY, what has inspired me- my favorite Gandhi quote "be the change"...great leaders never stop learning (I love to learn!)...choose to be powerful, not pitiful...teaching and learning with passion is a moral issue (your heart has to be in it)...and I love being a Connected Educator- once you start, you'll get "hooked" and never go back to the "old" ways of isolationism! I really have loved's forced me to be reflective about my own learning (and it's something I want to incorporate with the kiddos).

  2. Catanhistory - I love this: you either choose to work through it and make sense and own it OR to dismiss it."

    Because of reading this book, I am going back to some tools I had dismissed - due to lack of time - such as Diigo to relearn how to use them effectively. I always spend a chunk of time in the summer learning new technologies and then apply what I've learned when I lesson plan during the school year. This summer, I will learn Diigo because I am convinced it will make my search life easier.

    I will be taking a summer course and preparing for my final project in the ILead principal preparation program at UIndy. I am sure two things will be instrumental for me when I create the project: Data and technology. I am brainstorming at this point about a couple of avenues to take. I know my Twitter PLN will contribute as I read tweets and participate in online discussions, following some hastag groups I've lately discovered.

    I will say that Communities of Practice seem to be hard to find or join or create. And sustain. I'm still finding my online voice and seeking "my people." My interests are teaching with the Common Core (I'm a fan), using technology to help students create their own new knowledge and understandings in ways they wouldn't without the use of technology (Google Docs, Popplet, Voicethread come to mind), and reading strategies. Oh, and writing. Of course. I'm on Twitter @cattrinkle and this group has been fun. I've gone back to previously published posts to make comments and continue learning from you all. Thank you!

    1. Oh, I forgot! I loved Catanhistory's quote and wanted to add one that inspires me: "Do one thing every day that scares you." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

      This is posted behind my desk and I look at it every day and whenever I wonder, "Should I try that; I've never done that before," which seems to sum up my entire professional career - when I answer "Yes"!

  3. Eleanor THERE was a woman I'd love to have in my PLN! Great quote- I think it's a keeper!

  4. I hope to spend a lot of time this summer building my learning community and learning more about technology. Since we are going 1:1 next year I would really like to incorporate more into the classroom. One idea I would like to really work on is flipping the classroom, and I have read a lot of good ideas on this from other who have already done it. It is going to be an exciting new school year...just hope I am ready.

  5. I would also like to say thank you to everyone who has hung in here with the book club. This is a first for me, and I too read the book as an ebook and like catanhistory, it was also a first for me. I have enjoyed your posts and looked forward to reading what everyone had written. If we had taught in a school together, I would have wanted all of you to be a part of my PLN and a friend. Your reflections and comments were so honest and insightful. @cattrinkle I am so going to follow you on Twitter.

    The book really made move forward, for example to Twitter for professional reasons. That was way out of my comfort zone as I had written in a previous post. I am going to use the information to create an online professional development course for my district and include encouraging others to read the book and to build that PLN. Maybe everyone will start to Tweet!

    I am signed up and ready to attend 3 summer conferences and believe that there are 20 teachers who will be attending the Valpo conference with me. I know that is a face to face but I am also going to work on the online PLN. This was something new for me as well.

    catanhistory try livebinders for searching. You will love all the work others have done and are available to use.

    Maybe we will all meet in another book chat. I hope so!

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  7. Data history, I will contact you about Twitter if you still want to learn. I created a video I can send to you.

  8. Therese, as soon as I see the message that you're following me, I will follow you back. Which 3 summer sessions are you attending?

    Here is a link to my Twitter for Professional Development page: Several different types of info there.

    And I think it is great to meetup in person! Social media let's us continue conversations and learning after the session is over :)

    1. Catherine, I am now following and you sure have a following. I am going to Valparaiso, Warsaw, and Washington Township in Indianapolis. I might add one more though. Which one are you planning on attending?

  9. I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the book and all the wonderful comments that went with it. Thank you to everyone! I am going to try to continue to build upon the knowledge I learned through the book.