Tuesday, October 23, 2007


This week I am going to teach a group of teachers about blogs and wikis. I am very excited about this opportunity because right now it is a passion of mine. I know these technologies are not new, but in many ways they are new to me. It wasn't always this way, I always thought, why do I want to do this? I don't need this blog and wiki stuff as a part of my technology tool list.

But, I was wrong. It is hard for many people to admit when they are wrong. It is not particularly easy for me, but I have found that if I don't admit it, I can't put it behind me and move on. I think this is an important idea because I am not that much different from anyone else who has ever asked, why do this new thing? The question should always be, why NOT do this new thing? When I was younger, that type of thinking always got me into trouble. Hopefully, now I can control my questioning techniques to make the, "Why not?" question a positive experience.

I read an article this weekend about finding your passions. I strongly believe that everyone must have a passion. For me, things change rapidly. My family is a constant passion in my life, but I often need other things to make living with me bearable. When I don't have some sort of side project, I literately feel like something is missing.

Recently, I created a King Tut thing for 2nd grade, and a Lorax debate for 3rd. I loved it! I felt like I was contributing something, I was modeling the type of thing I want my teachers to try, and I had a chance to be creative. The only problem is that after these projects are completed, I am looking for another distraction. Something I can be passionate about.

Along comes this blogs and wiki class. I really am excited. I love my blog and think that blogs can have great value for just about any class (maybe not this particular blog, but I see the potentional). I think wikis are a great collaboration tool and I recently did a research activity with all of my fifth grade students using a wiki as a group recording page. While you may not see the best example of student writing ever, you will see a collaborative effort of almost 200 students who were forced to adapt quickly to get anything on the page at all. They had to talk to each other and plan how they were going to do the project, they had to research information, decide who was going to input the info on the the wiki page and they had about 30 minutes to make it happen. There was some seriously valuable learning going on. After the activity, many students came up to me and asked me if they could work on it outside of computer lab time. I was like, "Yes!"- to the question, and to the idea that they wanted to extend learning outside of the normal confines of learning. I was impressed. They did all the work, but I got a chance to be the finger pointing the way.

I think some of the greatest things that human beings have ever created came about as a group of people set to work with one focus in mind. They shared, they collaborated- this is what makes blogs and wikis so wonderful. The chance to be a part of something bigger than anything you alone could achieve.

I believe that you must find the passion in life. It is there waiting for you to discover it. Never question why you should do something, say, "Why not!" Give something new a try. You never know where it will take you. Maybe you will find that piece of something that fills your empty space.

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