This week's assigned reading, the texts and resources I located in my own research, and reading initial blog posts by my colleagues in the course created a new excitement to accompany the beginning of a new school school year. There is so much to be learned as we look closely at what is happening in our classrooms...especially as it relates to the impact of technology. As I walk the halls of our schools in the CRSD this fall, I realize that technology isn't just a cool oddity anymore; it is everywhere. Promethean boards in every classroom, document cameras all over the place, 1:1 with either iPads or laptops (or both, in some cases!), digital curriculum, online resources used by teachers in myriad ways, a new Blackboard license, and lots of enthusiasm for our Digital Teaching Initiative grant project. So, what's the problem? Figuring out where to focus my inquiry! That is truly where I'm struggling right now: When there is a question presenting itself at every turn, which one should become the focus?
As I read my colleagues' blog posts this week, I was reminded what it feels like to again be part of a brand new group where we don't all know each other. I intentionally focused my comments in response to colleagues I don't know from previous courses. I hope that my comments/responses to the blog posts by Sunshine, Bobbie Ann, and Lindsey G. were helpful. There was definitely a theme in their posts, and in what I shared: Classroom research results in greater learning for both the educator and the students...which is why it can be so powerful for all involved.
Again this semester, I am struck by how different it is getting to know people in an online environment where one doesn't have the benefit of classmate's gestures, facial expressions, tone of voice, etc., to help tell the story of who that person is. I appreciated being able to watch the recorded Hangout and to see Sunshine, Thomas, Scott, and to hear the voices of Lindsey and a couple of others I haven't met before. Thomas and I were in a class together last semester, but I don't think I ever actually saw him "live" on a single Hangout...so it was fun to put a face to the name! I look forward to getting to know these folks more over the course of the coming semester, and I can only imagine how powerful the learning will be...for all of us.