Podcasting with Purpose

Bob Sprankle’s latest Bit by Bit podcast is posted, and I’m just getting around to listening to it. It is the audio from his Building Learning Communities keynote, entitled Podcasting with Purpose.

Wow! Well worth a listen! I think his title is slightly off the mark though, because this presentation explores so much more than just podcasting, per se. He used podcasting as a catalyst for change in his classroom–a change that is much deeper than just one tool. How I would love to have had my child in a 4th grade classroom with this much authentic learning, peer teaching/learning, exploration. His is a story of how these changes are about more than the tools–the change is in the focus of the classroom (learning rather than teaching) and authentic work that engages students. Thanks to Bob Sprankle for a great example for the rest of us who are trying to advocate these changes to teachers that may not love the tools…yet.

The presentation slides are below, and you can get the keynote here. Do them together–and then share! Also, I recommend that you subscribe to his podcast feed! It’s really a great one to have in your ipod!

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Teachers as Collaborators

Twice within the last week, I witnessed teachers that I know decline to share good teaching ideas with their colleagues. Once, it was a teacher who did not want to share the link to an activity that she’d found online with another grade level for fear that they would “steal” it from her grade level. The second instance was a fellow librarian who had second thoughts about sharing, with another librarian, an Internet Safety resource she’d created.

Both instances left me feeling uneasy. I spend a good deal of my own professional learning time thinking and reading about flat world concepts, web 2.0 tools, collaboration as a means to enhance student/self learning. This reluctance to share is disconcerting–it just doesn’t fit my idea of what we’re supposed to be doing as educators. AND it does not fit the paradigm of collaborative learning/teaching that our 21st century learners need to use and see being used.

Now, for the really great part of the week though. One of my goals this year is to learn to use podcasting as a way to excite students about the library. Last summer, I discovered a wonderful podcasting resource by Liz Davis, an edtech teacher in Massachusetts. I decided I’d like to adapt it for my students, so I wrote to her for permission. She was nothing but gracious and eager to share! Her email back to me really did bolster my faith in my fellow educator! Thanks so much, Liz! Not only did I find a resource that has helped me to meet one of my goals for our library program, but I’ve also discovered a new teacher to learn from and collaborate with! Check out her blog!

So I’m thankful for the examples that I see all over the online educators’ community. Examples of resource sharing & global collaboration–there is so much out there to learn! A perfect example is coming up, starting tomorrow: K12 Online Conference! I can’t wait to see what we’ll learn!!!

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