Sunday, January 27, 2008

It's All About the Connections

I have been following what some of the folks who attended Educon 2.0 in Philadelphia are writing about. The Science Leadership Academy sounds like a great school and I would love to visit there someday. Will Richardson in his blog article titled Local Connections and Global Connections mentions that he was struck by the focus on making connections within the local school environment as well as globally. "The culture of sharing and participation that is created within the local community is more important almost than making those connections outside."

This is something I have been thinking about for some time. One complaint I hear from people at times is that technology has made it easier for people to be less connected. I, obviously, take exception to that since I have networks through Twitter and Ning where I can connect with folks that I may never meet. However, I have sought out those technologies that can help me make the connections.

This year I have been working with Moodle to help my class be connected when the class period ends. The students are currently working on group lessons where they will present a concept in grammar in a format that will help the other students remember the information more easily. I had to remind the students that they could meet in Moodle to finish working out any final issues with their lessons. The response from the students was, "Oh, yeah, we could do that, couldn't we?" They hadn't thought about using the chat, messaging and wiki tools in Moodle to help them finish their planning and preparation of the lesson.

Our school has been emphasizing for some time now the connections we make with each other and how important they are. I went to see several of my students play in a basketball game on Saturday. I have never had so many "thank yous" as I received for that one act. When a student of mine 15 years after I've taught them is asked about his/her year with me, I dare say they won't mention the grammar I've taught. I'm thinking they will mention about the connections he/she made with me. It's all about the connections!



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