Monday, March 17, 2008

NCCAT Respite

A great group idea that began several months ago is truly underway in the mountains of North Carolina. Our Professional Learning Community of 12 middle school media coordinators determined after one of our meetings in the fall that we really needed more time to inform ourselves on everything about 21st Century Learning. A proposal was submitted to the Teacher Scholar Program at the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching and was accepted. Eight of us arrived Sunday, March 16 and jumped right in to our self-directed study. It's only Monday (well now that it's 12:46 am I have to say it's Tuesday) and my mind is saturated. We've had non-stop discussions on blogs, wikis, avatars, webcams, Skype, RSS feeds, Voice Threads, and I'm trying to digest it all.

After a pretty full day today in front of a computer trying out some of everything we discussed, I was feeling muddled and downright inadequate. I took some time before dinner for a short hike up the mountain behind our "home" here, managed to not fall, and made it back to our lounge for a little socializing before dinner. A lovely and satisfying meal warranted a walk around the pond and then a few phone calls to family. What should have been the end to my day turned into time for me to reflect on why I was feeling that nothing had been accomplished---I didn't have anything to show for my day of work. I decided that I hadn't taken my usual approach to my day of 'study.' The more I encountered online, the more I found that I didn't know. So to get back to my comfort zone I decided to 'read!' ---you know like paper and ink type reading. I brought a number of "postponed" literature selections. I read over the NC SBE Goals Future-Ready Students for the 21st Century, which helped clarify some of the expectations placed upon us. Then I picked up David Warlick's Redefining Literacy for the 21st Century and skimmed through the first couple of chapters. By that time I was ready to get back to some of the websites we had originally looked at months ago. This evening I took the time to really read through them. I'm not sure how much more proficient I am at this point, but I was better able to digest some of all I read.

I wanted to understand the concept of Web 2.0 that I keep encountering, so I read through a very detailed explanation Web 2.0 suggested by Bob Sprankle in the following

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