10 Replies Latest reply on Oct 14, 2009 1:07 PM by sandee

    A "Bottoms-up" approach to instructional change

    Bonnie Feather

      Pardon the pun, I just couldn't resist!

       

      In my office early in the week, several of us were having a discussion of the use of tech as an integrated instructional/ student exhibition tool.  One of us has a daughter in 5th grade, and her teacher (though she is trying to become a tech integrator) seems to have little imagination regarding student use of technology.

       

      I received an email from another out-of-town colleague that same day telling me about xtranormal.com which allows you to make a video very quickly.  I suggested that the child go ahead and make the poster required by the teacher, but go ahead and use some web 2.0 tool to complete the assignment (and others) in another way.

       

      That night my friend's daughter spent about 30 minutes, and in that time (after she created the poster) she created her own wiki and created a video with xtranormal with the main character of Sir Edmund Hillary, British accent and all, placing it on the "science assignments" page of her wiki. As yet, the teacher has not given the child time to show her wiki and video to other students, but I hope this will happen in the coming week.  The student doesn't seem very concerned, as she had so much fun creating the work.

       

      What do others think?  Is this a way to get teachers to learn from our children and see how easy and engaging some of these alternative ways of exhibiting student learning can be?

       

      I hope to hear your thoughts and stories...

       

      Bonnie

        • Re: A "Bottoms-up" approach to instructional change

          Bonnie,

           

          After working with many teachers like that, I have come to realize the issue really comes down to fear. There are still a considerable amount of teachers who have not yet gotten comfortable with web 1.0, which of course means they have very little knowledge about web 2.0. In addition, teachers who are new to technology are unsure about when and how to incorporate such tools during instruction. A good approach for the child might be to show the teacher the video and wiki right after class or at some other time when the other students are not around. This would allow the teacher to ask questions and explore in a non threatening way, which undoubtably would lead to her wanting to know more!

            • A "Bottom-up" approach to instructional change
              Bonnie Feather

              Stephanie,

               

              I'm sure you are exactly right about having the student show the wiki to her teacher privately.  However, in this case the teacher is also a technology peer coach!

               

              Have you found some successful ways to increase the use of web 2.0 tools in the classroom?

                • Re: A "Bottom-up" approach to instructional change

                  One way I have found success with integration of web tools is during a training session use an appropriate tool for a project they will complete. Google docs, Google earth, Google sites, ClassChatter and Wetpaint to name a few are used as a part of the course interaction/project. Share student samples and stress they have the skills already (use those students). In training involving students do the same and have the students share their creation with their parents and teachers. Top down and bottom up strategies are used in hopes of getting the teacher to step it up. So far we have had teachers leave training praising at least one tool they will use in the classroom. Seeing student products can push them up the hill in the right direction.

                • Re: Great little slide show
                  Bonnie Feather

                  Here is a little slide show I found that might be useful to show to teachers/ administrators as we discuss using web 2.0 in the classroom.  Instead of embedding it here, I am giving you the link to the page...

                    • Re: Great little slide show

                      Bonnie,

                      Thanks for passing along the link to the SlideShare presentation. I am always looking for intersting ways to illustrate web 2.0 to teachers and administrators.

                      • Re: Great little slide show
                        NaomiHarm

                        Great slideshare- I had not seen this- appreciate the different perspectives on Web 2.0.

                         

                        Naomi

                        • Re: Great little slide show
                          Bowerman@cox.net

                          This slide show is a great start for me - I am trying to help others to think differently about Web 2.0 opportunities and their value in the classroom. Are you having any luck when you talk with administrators about their use with students? Do you have any strategies that you have found effective in having any of these sites unblocked for teachers and students to use?

                            • Convincing others to join the fun!
                              Bonnie Feather

                              Margaret asks about effective ways to talk with administrators.  I think she means "how can we get administrators to be instructional leaders in the area of web 2.0 use in the classroom?"  I have had good success here in Arizona by showing administrators our IDEAL portal.  For non zonies, that is our educator portal, which has many many resources for educators.  After they see these resources, they are more open to my ideas regarding other online tools in the classroom.

                               

                              The other question is regarding unblocking of sites for teacher and student use.  Well, that's a tough one.  I take cookies to the IT department!  I make sure they know who I am.  I take their responsibility seriously, and let others know to do the same.  Then when they are convinced I respect them, I ask what the procedure is to request having a site unblocked.  If there is no procedure, they come up with one pretty quickly!  Then I submit my request in wirting with a thorough explanation of what's on the site and what I would use it for in the classroom.  I also send a copy of the request to other higher-ups if necessary.  If there is no procedure in place, I ask the higher-ups if I can work with IT to develop such a procedure.

                               

                              Others?  What is working for you?  What's the philosophy in your district if it is pretty open?  I know there are some districts in AZ that allow teacher logins to access just about everything...

                               

                              Bonnie