I’m still contemplating the results of the three quizzes I took and the results about my learning style. I started to think about the ways in which I tend to learn new computer applications or the use of web tools. I rarely read the instructions but tend to go head first into using it then watch a tutorial or ask questions after.
I think this describes how my learning curve has transpired. When I was introduced to my first class blog almost three years ago I was hooked. Thanks to Grant Urban’s presentation at a Middle Years mini-conference for Regina Public Schools I had finally found my niche within my school. I started slowly introducing myself and students to classblogmeister. I found that I liked to learn by finding my way through the blog as opposed to reading information or asking Marnie questions. It was the same when my students experienced difficulties using their blog, we all learned to trouble shoot together until one of us figured out what to do. Each time we tried a new online tool we did the same thing and kept trying until we knew what we were doing. My students and I grew together with none of us being “the” expert but instead everyone became an expert on some application, how to embed videos, post pictures, add widgets and the biggest thrill for us was creating headings for our pages using Rockyou.com. My learning curve was steep but so was the learning curve for my students because we all learned together and expanded our knowledge as we made our way through our blogging year.
The next year half of my class was new to blogging, using Web 2.0 tools and using the computer for anything other than word processing. My students were pumped to be the “experts” and were soon impressing the new students and becoming tech experts for other teachers. That year we added the use of wikispaces and our first collaborative projects including the Iditarod project.
Each year my new students are introduced to blogging within the first few days of school and I slowly add new tools for them to use. I introduce the idea of what we’re doing, show them how to log on then let them explore. I try not to show them everything and instead I want them to discover how to use the sites themselves. I want the students to follow their own learning curve but also want them to learn how to share ideas and learn together. Occasionally, I have students who want more direction because they have different learning styles and fortunately there is always another student willing to walk them through our new learning.
I look forward to learning, exploring and challenging myself to keep climbing my learning curve. I can’t wait to see what my students and I discover this year.