I couldn't help but think of collaboration and connecting when I was asked this morning for some summary thoughts about the use technology in elementary classrooms- I've been doing a series of a guest speaking talks via Skype in a course for future teachers at the U of Minnesota (we're only blocks apart but without Skype I wouldn't make it back to my classroom in time to meet my elementary students in the morning.) I've also been fortunate to be involved recently in several discussions between educators about sharing, connecting and collaborating. In her recent post, Pam Moran, Superintendent of the Ablermarle County Public Schools, beautifully juxtaposed collaboration-a butterfly with a pendulum-the machine that is the public school system. With my words to the future teachers in the class this morning, I echoed Pam's exhortation to make creating the freedom of the butterfly in our classroom our necessary job. I told them it's our job to bring whatever tools we can to our students; that we needed to teach our students what they needed for their lives, not we we were taught to use for our lives.
In our district, there's an initiative underway headed up by Todd Pierson @tpierson to create MPS specific Moodle courses for both instruction and staff development. Elsewhere, around the world and here in Minnesota, Tomaz Lasic has created a venue for sharing Moodle lessons; Joe Thibault is creating a place to archive every Moodle course ever created; Carl Anderson has just created a site for sharing Minnesota Moodle courses; the Minnesota Moodle users group is growing daily; Nellie Deutsch and friends are sharing ideas and tools vibrantly all over the planet.
All of these teachers know it's their job to connect, to share, to be the butterfly of creation in classrooms. It's what teachers do.
Thanks for sharing, really !