Just saw a tweet from budtheteacher who had this to say:
I will never cease to be amazed by folks who teach classes about blogs who don’t actually blog. Sheesh.
Maybe we should stop doing PD on how to use 2.0 tools in a classroom. It should all stay focused on teacher’s personal lives. Teach them how they can use these tools to strengthen some aspect of their life, or how to use them to just have fun. Let’s face it, if a teacher has no interest in using them personally, they probably won’t use them in class.
There is another reason, and one that I think is even more important. I tell my student teachers that they should always do any project that they are assigning to the kids for the first time with them. It is the only way to get into the head of the kids as they try to solve the problem posed in the project. With podcasting it is really hard to hear your own voice played back. It is really hard to let loose your deep thoughts with a voice you hate to the entire world. It’s really hard to talk into a mic with no one on the other side giving you all the physical and oral cues that one is accustomed to in a normal conversation. If you have tried it, you will approach podcasting in a whole different way with your kids.
With blogging you are all of a sudden writing to a potential world wide audience. If you are not a wonderful writing, the pressure in incredible. If you are a good writer you have no idea what I am talking about. You can never put yourself in my shoes, or get into the head of a student with a similar problem. At least I get to sit at home alone and write and I don’t have to sit next to Mr. Valedictorian as he writes another great post that will get 32 comments. It has taken me 8 months to become comfortable enough to just sit and spontaneously write a post — this is the first one. I will never grade a blog post. I would stop immediately if someone started to grade mine. I also know how much it sucks to not get comments and go and find those students who don’t have a following and leave a comment to let them know someone was there.
All lessons should start by connecting the concepts of the unit to a personal experience. That is how the brain processes and learns new things. Lets stop telling teachers that 2.0 tools will improve their kids performance, until we have convinced them that they will improves theirs.