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Why Do You Ask?

From asking questions that require an answer To asking questions that require a conversation.

Friday, February 22, 2008

International Edublogger Directory

What a great idea...an International Edublogger Directory. Thanks Patricia Donaghy for starting this. If you haven't added yourself, do it now.

Since I'm on "vacation" this week (still had to grade finals for my UoP classes) I invested some time looking through the directory. Many current friends have already added their profile to the directory. A new someone from whom I want to learn more is Liz Kolb. Liz is a doctoral candidate (I think) and an adjunct professor at Madonna University. That's okay :-) ...but what is really valuable about Liz's site is that she is providing valuable information about the use of cell phones in learning. Her blog is From Toy to Tools: Cell Phones in Learning. Very good insights. Take a look if you don't know her.

I like her work because of the filtering issues and excuses we all face in the current paradigm of school-provided-censored networks. Cell phones will likely be a bigger hurdle to overcome than filtering, but I think the possibilities of anywhere learning will make the cell phone/pocket computer (iPhone, iPod Touch, etc.) are the future I want to see and encourage in my next classroom. [Please be next year] BTW, a high school iI know confiscates cell phones when they see a student with one, and then charges them $10 to get it back. [No, I'm not making this up]

Now for the other things I have noticed in the first 140 members in the directory. Some stats:
  • 62 people are from the USA (1 student - go Arthus).
  • 19 of the 62 are still in the classroom (at some level)
  • 78 are people from outside the USA.
  • 30 of the 78 are still in the classroom (at some level)
  • 49 of the 140 are classroom teachers at some level.
I'm not sure what this means, but here are some thoughts and questions:
  • Just because someone is out of the classroom does not mean they do not teach. But it is more of a para-school setting than a classroom. I admire this and question it at the same time.
  • I did not count Media Specialists (of which I am one) because the setting is different in the eyes of the students. A LMS is a break from the teacher in the eyes of the students I know (what about you Arthus, what are your thoughts?).
  • 35% of the edubloggers in the directory are able to give first-hand practical information on the interactions with students.
  • 65% of the edubloggers I would consider to be theorists or dreamers (both of which are important).
So, some questions:
  • Is the process of blogging too much for the classroom teacher to handle on a consistent basis?
  • Are those of us who blog the ones with time, or are we the ones with ideas?
  • Nearly all of the first 140 used to be classroom teachers, but have moved to something different. Why? Was it a better pay scale, a way out of the classroom, an opportunity to be a teacher of teachers, or what?
  • How can we bridge the the theory edubloggers bring to the practice of the teacher in the classroom most effectively, so students benefit from the opportunities technology brings?
I'm sure I'll have more questions. What are some of yours?

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At 2:08 PM, Blogger Liz Kolb said...

Hi Ric
Thanks for the compliment and nod to my blog site :)...I know my topic is a bit controversial (Okay, very controversial). But I was a technology coordinator for many years and got frustrated with the lack of funding, so I resorted to using tools that students already owned...hence my interest in the cell phone.

I am excited about the Edubloggers Directory, it seems like it is finally starting to "take off"!

I look forward to spending some time surfing your site.

Liz Kolb


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