Preparing for my monthly class of high powered teachers is always daunting. This month will be no different. I love this class because it pushes me to think and consider what I really believe about technology integration and what I believe about how to teach teacher about integration.
Right now we're working on building WebQuests. I know I'm a snob. So many people build things they call WebQuests that IMHO aren't anything even closely resembling a WebQuest. There isn't any higher level thinking skills, there isn't transformational thinking, there are independent roles for students to undertake and the task could have been done without the web. I don't say anything most of the time....it's not my place....but it really is a shame.
But to my task. I am responsible for guiding these teachers to building the real deal. And I am. So tomorrow night I am helping them build several different kinds of scaffolding structures. We'll build reception scaffolds, then transformation scaffolds and then lastly the production scaffolds. Bernie Dodge just puts so much excellent stuff out there that I don't have to much original work...I just need to research and prepare and then guide my teachers to the mother lode. And be able to guide the discussion and help them see the relevance and the necessity of not shortchanging students with some waterdown version of a WQ.
All this is complicated by my intermingling of the whole process of blogging. My class is experimenting with blogging. These teachers are recording their thoughts and their wonderings on their own blogs. I want them to experiment with their classes on a blog.....maybe even trial run some of their WQ links on a class blog to see if they will work..... That puts a huge strain on them. but I think they're up to it. We've had fit and starts all along the way. One of my librarian students is going to use her blog to run literature circles, so it's paid off big time for her regardless if she ever uses it for WQ. Hurray.
I wish I didn't have a cold. I wish it wasn't in the middle of report card crunch time (the other part of my job is supporting teachers integrating into the new gradebook program). But nothing is ever easy. Life is suppose to be hard and it is for sure. So it goes. And so I go.