Sunday, December 21, 2008

Tagged for a Meme

Thanks, Janine, for tagging me for a meme! First I had to find out what that meant! Then I had to think about the meme and my thoughts about what I believe about all students. I got a good explanation of what a meme and tag is here:
The second task of sharing three things that I believe about all students wasn't as simple. First of all I want to say that Janine Lim took all the best answers. I also feel I would like to relate this to videoconferencing. So, I will try my best at adding to the already great answers and putting on my own videoconferencing spin.
1. Students learn best when they have can have a first hand or hands-on experience. Videoconferencing gives students the opportunity to experience things in a way that traditional classroom learning does not offer. If they can't go on a real field trip a videoconference is the next best thing. Speaking with authors and experts make for lasting experiences.
2. Most students like all people are social animals. They like to interact with each other. They like to work in pairs or groups. Videoconferencing offers an opportunity for this interactivity. When students get to share with students from other places they are very excited and motivated.
3. Students like to be rewarded for their effort. These rewards can be extrinsic or intrinsic. When the presenter or expert during a videoconference says "great question" or "terrific answer" students react with pride and self confidence.

Happy Holidays to All!

Here’s who I’m tagging for this meme. You’re it!

Roxanne, Amy and Paul H.

Your mission is to:

Read Martha’s original post from the Opening Digital Doors blog.

Share three things that you believe about all students.
Reflect on your thoughts in your blog.
Be sure to link to this post and to where you were first tagged.
Tag your response with AllStudentsMeme
Invite others to join the conversation by tagging them to be a part of the meme.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Empire State Conference

Today for the second time I presented our Poetry Slam program to several school districts that are part of BOCES Greater Southern Tier. The Greater Southern Tier (GST) is a large region in New York State. The Empire State Conference was organized by the GST Distance Learning Service. Their mission is to provide their districts with the support and training required to locate appropriate educational video conferencing opportunities, plan implementation strategies, and support integration of distance learning across the curriculum. I truly enjoy sharing my knowledge and experience with Poetry Slam. I think it is one of the most exciting and rewarding uses of videoconferencing. In our Queens district this program has impacted hundreds of student and as part of the Globalwrites network the numbers now are well into the thousands. I have blogged about poetry slam many times and hope to continue to blog about it in the future. Today was about sharing with other educators. I invited 5 members of one of last years poetry slam teams. They are part of a three year NYS Learning Technology Grant. As 6th graders they began a poetry residency that they continued last year as 7th graders and again this year as 8th gaders. There are 7 classes in all. The grant will evaluate how these students improved in their ELA scores compared to other similiar classes that did not participate in poetry slam. Today the students shared their poems and then fielded questions from the educators at the different sites. They were asked questions like: Do they think poetry has improved their writing in other areas? Will they continue to write poems after the program is over? Are the poetry slam competitions fierce or friendly? What is makes them more nervous performing a poem in front of their classmates or over a videoconference? They answered these questions and more with honesty and thoughtfulness that the adult audience recognized and complimented them on their maturity. Mostly the answers to these four questions were yes, maybe, friendly and videoconferencing. At the end of the conference I think we might have gained some new competition for future slams.