Whew, it's been a long time since my last post. But, I don't think I have that many followers, so I don't think anyone was really missing out.
I've been busy planning away for the start of the school year, now just two weeks away. I've already incorporated so many new (for me) things into my classroom. I've got a classroom wiki (http://msgregson.wikispaces.com/) now with information for students and parents. It is so much easier to use and update than our School Center sites, so I hope it works. I've embedded a Google Calendar in it to post section numbers, homework assignments, quiz/text dates, etc. So, hopefully that will keep me (and my students) more organized. I can update it from MY gmail account, which is easy access for me. I have been creating away Google Docs ... using them in lieu of student information sheets and for a new parent survey (student: http://bit.ly/12JPZh, parent: http://bit.ly/2JsSjQ). I've created weekend assignments (http://bit.ly/15cdZf) and presentations via Google Docs. I'm investigating the power of a Ning in a classroom, but not sold on it for a MATH classroom. (It looks GREAT for English & History discussions.) I'm planning uses for the iPod. We've incorporated a wiki (http://nchsbeta.wikispaces.com/) as a way for our BETA Club students to sign up for service projects. And, I've created a SAT Prep wiki for reference for my SAT Prep class as well as all students at my school. (http://satprepatnchs.wikispaces.com).
I have (just this week) found some amazing math people on Twitter and my world has opened up. I found a guy who created an Algebra II Google Group and an Algebra II box.net folder where people have posted ALL their Algebra II stuff. It excites me greatly to look through what others do in their classroom. I just found a gal who is teaching Honors Algebra II with laptops in the classroom. I've gotten in Twitter discussions about homework, bell ringers, technology - anything, you name it. I am so glad to have found these math people. While I was valuing all the technology talk, I was lacking the math talk ... until now.
I sat in on a Second Life session (via @ejulez and @mohax) at my school and while I didn't learn a whole lot of new stuff myself, it was equally enlightening to watch new teachers become SL newbies and see it's power. I had forgotten about that newbie feeling. It was great to relive that.
I recently posed the thought that I am not motivated to plan because I don't have a planner. The obvious response from my PLN was that I don't need a planner because of google docs and google calendars. I agree and have been using those, but I still love the paper and pencil planner. It can sit on my desk, I can reference it whenever I want too and I don't have to stare at a computer screen to know my agenda for the day.
Also in my research, I am finding so many lessons by teachers that are videos. Powerpoint slides, etc in a video format. And, it got me to thinking ... is technology going to replace teachers eventually? It's a scary thought that already teachers are just showing videos to teach instead of the teacher-student interaction method of teaching. I love my students, I love getting to know them, I love the back and forth in the classroom ... I hope we never lose that. @jimwysocki had a good point: "if people were able to self-motivate regularly, yes. until then, there is no replacing a motivating teacher." @mctownsley came back and said "the answer to that question might depend on whether or not you believe quality education involved not only rigor, but also relationships." and, lastly, @jmiscavish said "somebody will have to run the technology ... but yes, soon enough, i'll be obsolete." I love technology, don't get me wrong. But, I hope that technology will NEVER EVER replace teachers. We are too important. For some kids, we are their only role model, the only positive adult in their life. Students need to learn how to talk to adults and learn from them. Teachers need to be there to motivate, push and show. I sure hope I never live in (or my kids or grandkids or great-grandkids) live in a world where technology has REPLACED teachers. I only hope to live in a world where technology works right along with teachers to enhance learning.
Alright, I think I've vented enough for the day.