Friday, November 30, 2007

Seizing New Opportunities

The Literacy Workshop began this morning as all the other meetings had. An explanation about the intent, an invitation to share and discuss. They began by talking about struggles with literacy instruction – a time to vent, a time to express frustrations and, everyone who needed to say something had their chance. Then came the prompt to think about what successes were being experienced in instruction – now we’re getting somewhere. First, one idea is shared which inspires a connection or comment from someone else, then a new idea is brought up and more connections and comments are there as well. And so on, and so on. Good, inspiring, thoughtful conversations.

The wrap-up: comments all around about the morning’s collaboration, thoughts about the need to get together as a group more often to continue the conversation, someone jokes about having a “group hug.”

Sounds like all the elements of a learning network doesn’t it? Those of us who engage in blogging, sharing Google docs, creating groups in Google, Yahoo or Ning or gathering instant input from Twitter, experience this type of camaraderie, this conversation and professional development on a daily basis. This face to face encounter among these teachers is only the beginning of what it could be. They want more meetings like this but what they haven’t yet realized is that, they need only 5-10 minutes a day using the right technology tools to help them continue these important conversations, to develop their notions of best practices in literacy instruction, share their ideas, gather input from others who are dealing with the same challenges.

They’ve made some positive steps forward today. So, on Monday…comes a new chance, a new opportunity to help them understand new ways of continuing the conversation.

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