I hope your summer was the most fantastically wonderful family time you can remember, and I'm very excited to be back where I can help your children make some personal sense of the learning tools available through technology. I begin this year by taking the "Technology" out of my official job title. I guess I'll still be designated "Lower School Technology Coordinator" but I'm going to start introducing myself as "Learning Tools Facilitator" (or some version of that) because that is how I am approaching the upcoming school year.
I spent much of the summer planning a one week workshop for 12 of our faculty and staff ("Web 2.0 for Us
"), and in the course of that planning and the workshop's subsequent explorations, I experienced an epiphany. I believe that if we don't take steps to enable our childrens' learning with the amazing collaborative tools now available on the internet, we will be doing them vast disservice. The internet (I am also training myself not to capitalize the "I" since it is such an integral part of our world not that it should not be capitalized, imho) is now a grand discussion, and we do not have to teach every child the same things, and certainly not in the same way
, beyond some very basic foundations. My work is both about the tools to help them master the foundations and about the tools to go beyond, into life-long learning, into the grand discussion.
The other major professsional endeavor this summer, for me, was my annual attendance at ISTE
's NECC 2007
in Atlanta. I blogged thoroughly about that experience, and you can read about it at my personal website
, should you be interested in details. Check out the summer workshop's wiki, too, for a wealth of teacher-created resources about the 'Read/Write Web