Monday, November 30, 2009

Uncharted Waters....

It has been an interesting couple of weeks. I came across a video on Twitter about what happens when you put an iPod Touch in an 8year old's hand and was immediately moved into action! My brain began racing with ideas of the impact that this tool could have on teaching and learning. After many powerful discussions with my PLN (which I LOVED the push back, by the way...) and a Skype session with Becky Fisher (thank you thank you thank you), we began the process of acquiring iPod Touches for an action research project in 3rd grade.

We approached our Parent Teacher Association at an Executive Board Meeting in regards to purchasing iPod Touches with the money allotted for "Gifts to School". After a fantastic presentation by Megan Stacey (research teacher), the board voted to move forward with this project. I can't tell you how exciting it is to be in a district with parents who are supportive of such a new endeavor. There are not many schools out there who are experimenting with this tool, I'm just thrilled with the forward thinking in this district!

Megan Stacey - Classroom Teacher, Cary Harrod - Instructional Technology Coordinator, Debra Simson - Media Specialist, and I met today to begin the process of planning the implementation of this tool into the classroom after the Winter break. We are trying to begin with the end in mind, yet we have no idea where this could take us. Needless to say it was a little bit of a struggle.

Ideas were definitely flowing, but it's still WAY to nebulous at this point (which we don't want to lose that entirely). A couple of things that I took away from this meeting were that we are attempting to create a learning environment where students are highly motivated and engaged in their learning, able to connect with others, and where knowledge is easily accessible. We also want to promote an atmosphere where students are able to adapt and change their use of the iPod Touch to create new ways of implementing this tool...ways that they can teach us! We want to promote an environment of inquiry and creativity. Finally, we (as action researchers) want to celebrate our mistakes. We don't expect this project to be flawless, but we want to utilize our failures as our greatest opportunities for learning!

Stay tuned as we venture out into uncharted waters...I will be looking to my PLN for an occasional lifesaver!