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These Days

2013 September 17

I’ve been meaning to write. It has been a while. I know. Did you miss me? I missed you. Missed you terribly. Missed the idea of you sitting there nodding or shaking your head, connected to my thoughts. Each one spilling from my fingers onto your screen into your psyche and daily thoughts. Or maybe, you just skim the words on a phone on a train in the night, soon forgotten. Who am I to know where you and I will meet? What will stick and what will float away. All I can do is write. I’ve been meaning to. It has been a while. I know. I missed you.

The problem is and always has been for most writers, I suppose, that I couldn’t make the time to get it right. A batch of half baked ideas taking up space does not always invite publication or sharing. So we swim with our premature ideas, hoping they will keep us a float long enough to make it a shore of completion.

The problem is that if there are enough of these incomplete thoughts, we may feel we can float forever and never need to actually give our ideas shape or voice or form.  I see clearly now, that enough is enough–  it is nearly October and I have yet to write the year’s first blog post. Here are my random thoughts looking for form:

I am cynical and distrustful of technology these days. It all feels trite and superfluous and outdated and stale. I tried to look for what I still value, really value in the Ed-Tech mold and there is not much. I do howver keep coming back to these ideas from Connected Learning.

Connected Learning
Connected Learning

 

I guess my goal this year is to define the aspects of this graphic that matter to me and really look at where and when technology is helping me accomplish these things in my classroom. I am planning a two-day workshop on the topic, so I best have my thoughts really clear.

But even in my personal life, the technology and even my network feels stale. Perhaps it is because I haven’t blogged in a while and have lost touch with the core of my audience. Perhaps I am in the midst of a necessary reflective period. Maybe I just need a break, or a detox. Not sure, but all I know is that I am not seeing technology like I have in the past. I am hyper-critical, aware and observant about the role of tech in my life.

So what is working? My classroom for sure! I am loving the lessons I learned from #TCRWP. I have fully embraced the workshop model. Complete with writer’s notebooks and mini-lessons. There really needs to be a post about this transition soon, but this post is not it. Let me just say that I love the idea of writers teaching writers how to write, instead of teachers teaching students how to write. I am very enthusiastic and I hope inspirational to the young writers in my room. I have removed the publication (blog) aspect from our writing work up to this point, and I couldn’t be happier. I am approaching blogging, writing and publication with a different outlook.

I have always advocated the openest form of online sharing and writing, but I am reconsidering my philosophy this year, and focusing on helping kids understand the stages of writing: Collecting, Drafting, Revising, Editing and Publishing. We are as a class discussing what it means to move through this process. Discussing along the way what it means to be a writer and the role of audience. It has been nice to write in private notebooks and work on skills and confidence before we share. We are getting ready to introduce blogs soon, but I am working on a new approach and will share our parent letter and explanation as soon as we go public.

What else is there to say? It has been a great opening to the year. We have been working on a new formative assessment procedure and a new reading program. All in all it has been a year of change and growth, but also one of nailing things down and building upwards. I just needed this post to get the wheels greased again.

So please do not forget about me here in your corner of the Internet. I am here and muttering and scribbling and changing and growing. Who know some of these half baked ideas might just be useful to you. Let me know if they are, because who are we kidding, I still need to know you need and want me.

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5 Responses leave one →
  1. avatar
    monika hardy permalink
    September 17, 2013

    need you.
    want you.
    thank you for esp this part: muttering and scribbling and changing and growing.

    i’m just about finished with Clive Thompson’s Smarter Than You Think..
    you might like it Jabiz.

    shalom.

  2. avatar
    September 18, 2013

    Thank you for writing this post. I, too, get bogged down in writing it “exactly right,” which means I write less now. Interesting problem.

    I feel that EdTech too often focuses on the next best tool, the new cool thing, etc. Just the other day, ISTE posted something about technology being a great motivator for kids. So that means what, exactly? If you’re going to give kids the same old boring routine work, it’s more exciting on an iPad? Chromebook? Some new augmented reality tool? No, thank you very much.

    I’ve just come from a very intense 2-day “symposium,” and I’m more excited about getting kids excited to learn and create something meaningful. The technology is just ONE way to help them accomplish what they want to accomplish. The tech gets in the way too often. I want the kids to use it for access, connecting, and creating. If they don’t need tech to do that, then we won’t use the tech sometimes. That’s ok.

    Thank you for sharing this. I’m always happy to see what you tweet and post – the thoughts you choose to share with us. I know I’m better for it. :-)

  3. avatar
    William Chamberlain
    Twitter: wmchamberlain
    permalink
    September 18, 2013

    With little to know technology for my students to really use (we have a lab, make an appointment please) I am not planning a lot of technologically rich lesson. As I had to do last year I find myself doing similar things without that tech. I have spent so much more time working on developing a community in the classroom. Something I used to do with blogging. I really think that the f2f is working better. A good lesson to learn in case I ever get back to 2:1 or 1:1 in the classroom.

  4. avatar
    Tracy Armstrong permalink
    October 13, 2013

    Hi Jabiz, it’s me again, Tracy. I am a student in EDM 310 at The University of South Alabama in Mobile. I just want you to know that I missed you and I need you, especially for this class. You see, you were assigned to me for a blog project. In this project, we are to reach out to educators and post comments about their blog posts and any conversation that we may have had with them. I am glad to know that you have feelings like the rest of us such as writers block and needing a break. I can’t relate to you about the technology stuff because I am brand new to it but I do thank you for the insight you gave about it. I also thank you for introducing me to connected learning. I think that this is something that I will definitely use in my future classroom. You surely will not be forgotten in my corner of the internet.

    Tracy

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