Monday, June 21, 2010

The "Last Post"

This week is my last week working with Collegiate Renewal, but I am hoping there is no Last Post playing mournfully to accompany the death of this blog. I'm being followed up as the Collegiate Renewal Educational Technologist by Scott St. Pierre, who has posted on it before and hopefully will again. I'll also post in partially in new curricular role when I attend ISTE next week.

I think the value of sharing what we learn with others in a digital manner is tremendous, especially because conversations with diverse thinkers really help your own thinking be richer.

Using RSS feeds has been my best way to deepen my own thinking and conversation this year, and it is a great accompaniment to conversations I have in the division. For example, in the last 5 days I have has 6 different conversations about the use of interactive white boards, like SmartBoards. It wasn't a topic I was specifically thinking about, as it was something I did extensive research on about 6 months ago. However, as it resurfaced in the division, I had a variety of ways to think about the conversation. Here is who I got to talk to:

  • Judy, who publishes about technology in the Online Learning Center here in Saskatoon Public
  • Jay, who bridges communication between our IS department and the learning side, and informs himself via his Twitter network of  Educational Technologists
  • Ruth, just returning from an education leave after studying educational technology. Ruth also learns via a Twitter network and will be an elementary teacher librarian in two schools next year.
Digital conversations via blogs
All of these people were talking about whether or not whiteboards could be used for transformational teaching. I thought I'd like to extend the conversation more, and searched my Google Reader for references to whiteboards in past blog posts and found 103 references. 25 of them were about directly about the role of interactive whiteboards in teaching style. Each of the blog posts I read or people I talked had a whole series of research, conversation and teaching experience behind their thinking.

Why all this matters:

Pamoram, a marketing source,  has a number of great info graphics about social media and this one illustrates what is happening in different age groups.
Teachers have always shared resources with each other by giving their "binders", folders of handouts and plans they developed. In the last 3 years, I learned so much about engaged learning that my "binder" was always changing and I didn't really have a form I could share. My RSS feed replaced the binder, and it means I will never make a binder again. I am learning so much and changing so much thanks to the influence of research, other teachers writing and conversations that my professional learning resists being neatly packaged because it doesn't end. Like the conversation about interactive whiteboards, I have ongoing dialogue with students, teachers, and researchers about each topic I think about. No Last Post for me - and hopefully not for the conversation around technology and Collegiate Renewal.

I began this blog with a promise to stop lurking and put myself out there. I was the Spectator that 41% of Americans in my age group are. Thanks to my ability to become a Creator, Critic and Collector, I also have a community I can use to engage in my learning each day. Thanks for being a part of my community this school year.



  1. Like that graphic. Good luck next year. I have a feeling we will manage to stay in touch.

  2. Wendy,

    you have been one of many inspirations for me, I hope you will continue to write blog posts. It is such a blast being part of this community. You did a great job in your past position and will no doubt fourish in your new one.

    great graphic, I will refer to it often

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  4. Hi Wendy,

    Thanks for your increadible leadership, demonstrating over and over again how to seamlessly (and discretely) integrate technology in ways that support learning, and for always being available to provide excellent advice. While they are big shoes, I will endeavour to fill them, but I am sure to wander down the hall to ask you a question or two over the next two years.

    As you always make excellent suggestions, I will follow through with the continuation of this blog. Readers may notice a shift, with my propensity for visual communication and (as my grad profs have coined it) "folksy" style of writing. They may also notice my excessive use of commas.

    I will second Tim's comment and hope that you continue posting, as well. Maybe we can recruit more posters from the CR team?

    Enjoy the conference in Denver. I look forward to reading about the adventures of Barry, Judy and yourself!

  5. Thanks Scott and Tim - it is great to have a group of teachers who want to be a part of a community thinkign about professional practice around technology.