So I’ve been having a boo at all the great work many of you are doing with your students through your digital projects, and it really makes me miss a classroom environment! Fortunately, I recently got a Mac that I get to play with while I work with teachers and students from Lindale School through a pilot project that Dean Shareski organized. I haven’t had much time to dabble just yet, but I’m certainly excited to get engaged with some of the tools available on the Mac. That Garageband alone may steer me to my true dream of becoming a rock star yet!! LOL…

I realized that I haven’t reflected on my digital project at all to this point, and while we will be sharing them shortly, I became acutely aware of the difference between what many of you are doing and what I’m working towards.

For most of you – you’ve had the kids engaged and involved, working with the tools we’ve been learning about in this class – experimenting, becoming frustrated, having some success and experimenting some more no doubt.

My project is very static at this point, and has the potential to remain very static unless my intended audience truly buys into it’s purpose and engages with it. As I listened to D’arcy Norman and Brian Lamb’s discussion of repositories again recently, it occurred to me that I was possibly creating the very same thing – and I’m not sure I really want to!!

Without describing my project in it’s entirety, suffice it to say that my goal is to create the following:

  • first and foremost, a collaborative workspace where our Grade 1 ELA teachers can discuss best practice, assessment and instruction.
  • a place where they take control of their own learning – creating spaces of inquiry where they can work with their colleagues to work towards improved student learning
  • a space to house resources (documents and multi-media) – downloadable and modifiable for teachers
  • a space to house model lessons, exemplary student work and resources that will support student learning

Because some of the documents being housed in this space were created with Sask. Learning and we are not yet sure about copyright issues, I need to keep them private at this time, so I am using our division Forum site. While I am grateful that it will mean the documents remain private – I am concerned about the ease of collaboration. I think a wiki would have likely been a better avenue, but for now this is what I will work with. (The whole privacy issue is also something I’m struggling with, but I’ll save that for another post!)

My greatest fear, though, is that teachers won’t take the initiative to collaborate. And I’m not sure how to deal with that. I’m hoping that if I even get a handful of teachers who buy in, perhaps there will be a snowball effect. Of course I could subscribe to the old adage “You can lead a horse to water…” – but that feels like a bit of a cop out. Having said that, I know that unless I find something useful, I won’t subscribe to it – so this space needs to be user friendly and purposeful.

Time will tell….