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A Book I Read: The Element

Just last week I finished reading the book “The Element” by Sir Ken Robinson and this is one of those books that you really need to write what you learned from it, the amount of new ideas you got, the concepts and perceptions that opened a different world and the sentiments that you felt while reading a wonderful text.

 

I first “met” Sir Ken Robinson when I watched his famous video from a TED conference “Schools Kill Creativity” -video below- and I remember I thought if it was possible that a single man was trying to change education paradigms which were around for centuries. As any other youngster I was trying to make my own path and in my field I was expecting to change what I didn’t feel comfortable with or didn’t like but I did not have any idea of how to do it. Now, I do.

I think it is fantastic to read about those great men and women who are trying to change little by little the way education is performed at schools. It is quite interesting to see how these people face problems that many of us would never be able to solve; how, no matter what, they fight with anyone in order to show that we can really change things to make them better. After what I have read I just want to change everything, I know this is impossible but I have found the path to reach it.

The end of the school year is four months away but today I am trying to move the pieces of the puzzle to do something new. Let us wait and see what comes out.

P.S. I am excted, are you?

 

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¿Y ahora qué?

Ante la situación de  “ya cuento con un blog, pero no sé qué escribir” tal vez es necesario un poco de inspiración. Mira afuera de tu ventana, escribe sobre tu niñez, expresa tus ideas y creencias… ¡mira dentro de ti!

Ah, pero qué fácil es escribir todo eso; aún asi es muy difí­cil decidir qué es lo que quieres compartir y sobre todo entender el por qué.

Piensa que ya tienes el primer… bueno, el segundo gran paso en tu vida de blogger: ¡sabes sobre qué vas a escribir! Tienes un blog profesional y por lo tanto compartirás tus momentos como maestro dentro de un aula, o fuera de ella. ¿cómo ves? -para los que no supieron cuál era el primer paso: crear un blog.

Si tú escribes sobre tu vida profesional cuenta con que sabrás entender el entorno en el que te encuentras, y reflexionarás sobre tus prospectos y metas. Lo único que hace falta es que quieras hacerlo.

Te dejo con una pequeña presentación en la que espero puedas ver de una manera general qué puedes hacer en tu blog profesional

 

 Espero que mis compañeros de formula puedan crecer profesionalmente; un saludo para: Alejandra, Iside, Alicia, Elizabeth, Rosario, Cookies&Cream, Karla, Jackie, Ceci, Paco, Janett, Angelica, Genoveva, Norma, Ada, Delia, Susana, Lorena y Rosalinda. Y un abrazo especial a alguien quien parece ha hecho un gran esfuerzo por hacer de su blog un medio de comunicación con los padres. Muchas Felicidades aMary.

El concepto de Red Personal de Aprendizaje fue tomado de Break Down the Walls, Build Up a Community.

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Enthusiasm? Shock? Excitement? None?

Yesterday afternoon, I found out that Sue Waters had published a post where she mentioned our class blog, “Publishing Corner“. It surprised me a lot as it is the first time any of the blogs I have a participation is mentioned anywhere! – nevertheless the blog is 4 months. The major audience “The Edublogger” receives every day has helped us already by increasing the blog’s international visitors.

That afternoon I e-mailed my students so they could see by themselves what a big step they have taken, as they have reached real audiences which also was the main purpose of starting a class blog.

This morning when I was with them in class, we talked about it and I explained how important “The Edublogger” is in the Education on-line community, how this small mention in a list had given us the opportunity to get closer to the rest of the world and that it IS actually true what they say in the “Think Before You Post” security videos; if you are on-line, anyone may see you anywhere.

I could see that for these 11 and 12 year-olds it was like an eye-opening experience, to see light for the first time. Now, they are aware of what monumental responsability it is to be on-line: Facebook, Twitter, Messenger, Hi5 and this time around, blogging.

Without knowing, Sue has helped me a lot when this Friday I present to my students the new approach we’ll be working through the semester for blogging: awards!

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WoW!

Right now, I’m living something so surreal that I never thought it would be possible in junior high school.

I must say that I never thought my students would be like they are when I accepted to work there. And as any teacher would like, it is almost a dream come true. Have you ever wanted to work with teenagers aged 13-15? Being, most of the times, responsible? quiet? participative? respectful? and hard-working? Isn’t that exciting?

It is a great and different experience I want to seize to the maximum, and after getting to know each other I think the time has come to do so. The past week I started to introduce my students to the world of blogging, I was glad to see that most of them were very enthusiastic about this and are trying hard. Our class blog is designed to share the written works we do in class: essays, letters, timelines, biographies, personal experiences and so on. By the way, have I mentioned that they are EFL students? Therefore, it is very invigorating to read such coherent texts like theirs.  Obviously some texts need improvement, hence their works are edited and proofread before they are published.

Another important aspect I want to achieve is sharing among them, as any teacher knows, when students write a text they think it’s for the teacher’s eyes only; and maybe they do care for grammar and spelling because it is part of the grading process. However, they still make some basic sintaxis mistakes, or sometimes the topics they choose are trivial and well, not worthy for a good text. And now I expect they care more about their writing and about the topics they choose; they will keep in mind that their work will be checked by the teacher, and by other teachers, by their classmates, and by students of other classes and grades.

To be this an encouragement instead of the opposite, I’m thinking about giving extra credits or rewards to the most commented post, or perhaps, to the most active writer, to the most read, or to the best rated. Parameters must be done.

Finally, I really hope we can all get through this satisfactorily carrying with us great experiences.

Good writing my padawans!

Class Blogs:  Publishing Corner for first graders, On the Wall for third graders.