What a great start to the New Year! I woke up to beautiful snow (something we get only a few times a year here in Placerville, CA) and my morning edition of The nwp Daily, full of thought provoking posts, Tweets, and links for stepping into 2011.
The first link I clicked on took me to Troy Hicks’ Summarizing of Our Reports from Cyberspace. Attending the NWP / NCTE Annual Conference was just not in my budget this year, so I tried to attend virtually, which proved to be a challenge. For example, following the Twitter stream of #nwp10 and #ncte10, proved to be a bad idea. With the 140 character limit, session-goers tended to Tweet what a great session I was missing – something I already realized. And one session I really, really wanted to attend was Troy, Bud Hunt, and Sara Kjader’s Three Reports from Cyberspace workshop.
But thanks to Bud’s video editing and Troy’s post, this morning I was able to click on the YouTube link and virtually attend Sara’s excellent part of the threesome’s workshop – Assessment in the context of digital teaching and learning. There is something about viewing a presentation “live” that is simply more impactful than reading about the session. I’m starting the year with a firm resolution to think more deeply about assessment: assessment of learning; assessment for learning, and, more important, assessment as learning.
Also in The nwp Daily was Paul Allison’s link to a post by one of his 8th graders – Speak with the Heart, an invitation for other students to collaborate on a multimodal piece that will be hosted on the Voices from the Gulf project. I’m imagining this project will fit Sara’s description of a “messy work in progress…making it authentic…making it ‘commentable.'” And “keeping it real,” to quote Paul’s take on teaching and learning in general. And such a good use of cyberspace!
Right up there with my New Year’s resolution to get a better handle on assessment in a digital age is my resolution
to delve more into technology as a tool for English Language Learners. I am fortunate, in my current position as technology integration specialist, to support K-12 teachers with their technology questions, concerns, and visions. Sure, I still visit classrooms that are having “test scrimmage” or “power down days,” but I also, on a very regular basis, witness powerful teaching and learning. Heading into 2011, my reports from cyberspace will include sharing some of the best practices and tools for ELLs…starting with the Stories from the Heart project – with a shout out to Audacity.
Looking forward to a year of sharing, collaboration, learning, and attending some great conferences – in real time and/or virtually;-)