Thursday, July 15, 2010

A November Newbie

On Tuesday, I had the enormous opportunity to be Joyce Valenza’s presentation “side kick” at the November Learning conference in Boston. Over the course of four hours, we worked in tandem to expose teachers to the “latest and greatest” in the world of Web 2.0.

There were celebrity visitors, such as Andrew Connelly from Glogster, Peggy Sheehy, and Laura D'Elia from Fay School Library in Boston. Joyce set the tone for the session by empowering every member to share their expertise as a valid member of the learning community. Needless to say, it was four hours of fun.

However, the one thing that really impressed me was the sense of welcome and calm that I felt in the session. As a staff developer, I sometimes feel as if I must “entertain” the participants. Oppositely, these folks came ready to engage and share. How did this shift happen?

Well, it happened by putting the creation tools in the hands of the participants. By using a show, tell, and share method, the participants offered useful suggestions and content.

How can we make this shift happen in our classrooms? Easy. Give kids the tools to create. Empower them!

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