19 April 2010

Thing 22: Now I'm a Pro

I did Thing 22 a little out of order, and I've been doing it for a while, largely because my excitement about so many of the things has compelled me to share what I've learned with friends of mine who likewise consider themselves sort of techie in the classroom.  The biggest hit by far was the English Companion Ning, but Wordle was a close second.

My pupils were my husband and my best friend, both of whom are upper school English teachers.  (Dave, to be fair, doesn't integrate technology nearly as frequently as Amanda does.)  Both of them were happy to learn about the ning after I raved about a site that had such a strong collection of ideas and documents.  A couple of years ago, Dave and I got a professional development grant to work on an electronic resource that would provide links to articles, images, files and interactive activities that complemented the core texts we were teaching in the upper school English classes.  If we'd known about the EC Ning, it would have gone a lot faster.  I know both Dave and Amanda have found good stuff since joining the ning, and it's a good find.

Wordle also proved fun.  Dave shared it with his English department after I showed him how to, and he actually got to use his wordle in the classroom even before I did.  Amanda, who's a poet in addition to being a fabulous teacher, uploaded her most recent manuscript and we had some good conversations about the words and ideas that appeared large there - it was really a good opportunity for her to look at her own writing through a different lens, and that reiterated to me the potential it has for student writers.

Amanda's also responsible for my introduction to Wordnik, a site that allows users to create individual wordlists that others can comment on.  She's been successful using it in the classroom to supplant the boring vocabulary lists we both loathe.  I'm still not nearly as confident that it's user-friendly enough to facilitate easy classroom integration, but I've created my account and I'm checking it out.  Honestly, I checked it out a year or two ago, and found it a little frustrating, but having gone back to it, I'm more impressed, so I'm giving it another try.

1 comment:

  1. I love when people share what they learn.... It just makes me smile. Good job, pro!