Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Promises, promises, promises

I know.... I promised (mostly to myself, but also to my all-of-two followers, that I would make an effort to post more regularly. Well... no more promises. I'll post when I can, or, more accurately, only when I have something to say. Maybe if I have less to live up to, I will manage to do so :-)

Anyway, I am really excited about an experiment on which I am embarking this year with my 10th graders. In my school (Nofei Habsor) we do the Bagrut Research (aka: NBA... but it's not really new any more) Project in the 10th grade. I have done lots of projects in the past, and always get a few kids who lose them by the time we get to the oral bagrut in the 12th grade. Since our school is highly technological, and all of the kids who are in the 10th grade today got laptops when they came into school in the 7th grade, I decided to embark on a paperless-project experiment! Most (but not all) of the work will be done online! I have prepared a template for it in Googlesites, and plan to teach my students to make their own project website. They will be working in pairs, as we always do for the project. Each of their sites will be visible to the others, when they are completed.

Not EVERYTHING will be online. I still want to see drafts and they will still need to write some things by hand. But I am hoping that there will no longer be a problem with misplaced or lost projects! (And, hopefully, they will learn a lot about Google-stuff on the way!)

I will keep you posted here! (Promise? ;0)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Blogging about blogger!

We have just completed the final session in a series of webinars about using Googletools in the classroom. Blogger is a tool that I have been drawn to for a long time (as you can see my sporadic blogging attempts from the past) but have not yet really made "friends" with. I think it might have something to do with "commitment issues" ...I am committed to so many things, that committing to a blog has been scaring me off. But maybe the summer is the perfect time to conquer them.

Most exciting is that I am looking for a tool to use with my students for working on a portfolio for a project - and I believe that blogger might be a good tool for the process part of the portfolio. I will try to work it out, while brainstorming with colleagues - in person as well as on Facebook. Will keep you posted! 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Eureka! I bit the bullet and DID it! We had our second practice HOA today just before the first Webinar, and then.. the Overview. Not that it was without glitches. Like anything else on the computer, one needs to practice a lot... but by the time we get through a few of these sessions, I should feel quite confident! 

Some of the participants were without headsets - which made the feedback from the speakers really annoying - and it wasn't until the end that Howie suggested that whenever someone is not talking, they mute their mikes (and then Mickey pointed out that we can mute each others'!) There is so much going on at once... it's not easy to keep up. I had trouble sharing the slides with everyone, and then in the end, when I asked for feedback, I was unable to get my picture back.. but the feedback was great (despite the glitches) and I have a really good feeling about this project. I believe it is THE way to spread the Google-word and get teachers connected and collaborating - with their students as well as their colleagues. 

If you are a teacher trainer and you want to join, please sign up on the course website homepage. If you want to view the recordings, they will all be on the site. Here is the page with the first Webinar recording, and the While you Wait slide show where anyone interested in participating in the course, and enrolled, is invited to follow instructions and add a slide (please be sure not to delete someone else's work).

Or.... you can just watch the Webinar recording from here!

So, despite the glitches, and despite the background noise, we managed to have some pretty good discussion and sharing! I look forward to more sessions with these great teacher trainers!
After being encouraged to begin a Blog; in fact being told that the only way I can be a true leader in digital pedagogy (even if my following is only a following of one) I started out with a bang.... and sort of peetered out. You know how life gets in the way of blog commitments and assorted other things....

However today I am very happy to say that I am rolling out a pilot of Webinars which, hopefully will be open to the general public of teachers in the coming year. This pilot will begin with teacher trainers, and I will use this blog as a way of logging (uummm..blogging) my process in this endeavor.

So - almost 40 teacher trainers from around the country have signed up. I am accompanied in this endeavor by my excellent Google Ninja colleagues from GTA TLV 2011. People seem really excited about it (not just me :0)

Yesterday we had our first practice Hangout On Air, and today - before the Overview session (Webinar #1) we will have another practice session - just so that people can get into the Hangout stress freely.

Luckily, Ninja Yair was online with me yesterday and fielded the phonecalls from confused prospective participants. I am probably going to be on my own today - which is slightly intimidating but.... I've been through worse challenges and lived to tell the I am optimistic.

I will pace myself by trying to post a new blog after each of the Webinars. So, if you are interested, stay tuned!

Good luck to us all!

First Steps into Bloggerdom

A Blog. Yeah, right. That's ALL I need. NOT!!!

But maybe - yes?

  • Woman
  • Mother
  • American-Israeli
  • Kibbutznick
  • Gaza border dweller
  • Teacher
  • Teacher-Counselor
  • Medical clown

Maybe a blog is what I need to pull all of these things together.

The dominant focus of my Blog would be Digital Pedagogy, since that is how I "got here", when my mentor, Aviv, suggested that blogging would be a the ultimate tool for getting my professional voice out there, as a teacher-counselor on the team of Leaders in Digital Pedagogy in Israel. Although the other aspects which comprise who I am, influence everything else I do in life, and work, in one way or another. I sometimes wonder how I got here.... but I guess that question is not really relevant, considering the fact that I AM here, I AM comfortable here, and I will try to work it into some sort of rhythm. 

Wish me luck!