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Monday, September 19, 2011

Reach by Jeff Utecht- Chapters 1 and 2

After reading the first two chapter’s of Reach by “Jeff Utecht”, I find myself reminiscing of the time when I was lucky enough to have Jeff as an instructor and continued mentor (whether he knows it or not). His networking class at Plymouth State University really opened my eyes to the philosophies that surround web 2.0, cooperation and collaboration at its best. Learning communities that create themselves and evolve into meaningful experiences where you meet meaningful people who change or challenge the way you think about teaching, learning and technology in the 21st Century. Jeff does a great job showing us the reality of our ever changing world while providing us with valuable tools and tutorials to help us begin our journey into PLN. I think I love my PLN’s of which I am most collaborative on Classroom 2.0 and Scratch.edu by MIT have truly helped me evolve as an educator, being able to express ideas and read other teaching experiences has been the best professional development I have ever had and the best thing for me is that it is endless. I recently set up two igoogle accounts where my knowledge of feeds, widgets and html have given me a wonderful “tool”, in one look at my home page from anywhere in the world I can view my daily and weekly calendar, my classes, the blogs I follow as well as post and respond to wiki’s and tweets (twitter). My new passion is definitely “threads”. All the information I need or would look for daily is in one place and better yet, up to date, email, tweets, new blog posts, my life on a page. What a way to live. Thanks Jeff, I look forward to the rest of the book.

7 comments:

  1. As I started reading the introduction of 'Reach', I was happy to know that I was familiar with some of the things that Mr. Utect was writing about. I could also really grasp his analogy of the newspaper-as an avid newspaper reader, I was intrigued by the concept of possibly having the ability to read an article and leave a comment for the author.
    Chapter 1, again, gave me some comfort in the areas of Facebook (of which I’m a member) and Twitter (of which I’d like to look into…). I like the thought of “creating” my own community. RSS is new to me, but the idea of sites I frequent being able to display their information on an RSS feed seems like a convenience and a great concept.
    As for building my own network, as chapter 2 talks about, I think I was interesting to think about the fact that the time/effort I put in makes the difference in the success of my personal network. It’s something I need to commit to if I want to learn it, use it for what it offers, and hopefully make it work in my classroom as well. I found the sample pages helpful in exploring RSS (and was excited to learn what “RSS” means on pages I visit)! I appreciated the part of chapter 2 that talked about Mr. Harter’s and Ms. Hellyer’s Twitter experiences-it made me think about some ways that I could use my PLN in order to benefit my students in the classroom.
    Now to attempt these new things I’ve read about… :)

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  2. You will love RSS feeds. They truly help bring the internet to you!

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  3. "Reach"-Chapters 3 and 4

    Chapter three really got me thinking about writing and a keeping a blog updated. As I think about what to blog about, I constantly think of friends who have blogs that I love to read (not only for their “wittiness”, but also the fact that I love to write and I love that a blog gives me a chance to get down what I want to say…even if no one wants to read it but me)! Finding the time to keep and update a blog will be a challenge, but I do feel like I have a lot to share (about teaching, raising a child, about life in general…again, understanding that maybe no one wants to read what I have to say but me, haha).

    Chapter 4 makes me consider having a Twitter account for educational purposes; I can totally see the value in Twitter for my students. Facebook sometimes has a negative connotation in the educational world, so for me, I think that I’d rather try Twitter as an educator. I enjoy Facebook and I’m very comfortable with it; it’s offered me both great ways to keep in touch with people personally s well as connect with people on a professional level. I want to find a way to make it work professionally, and continue to think about it, especially after reading about Jim Fitgerald and his 11th grade English class.
    I learned that for Skype, it doesn’t have to be a “face to face” chat; that it has an IM feature which is nice-I was under that impression that you had to have a chat with myself and the other user where we could both see each other. I’m looking forward to trying it out on Thursday! The low (or no cost) of Skype is certainly appealing too. Professionally, I’d love to have kids connect with other kids about curriculum. Personally, I’d love to Skype with friends across the country; my computer screen seems like a better option to FaceTime on my iPhone.

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  4. CHAPTERS 5 AND 6

    The first line of Chapter 5 summed up my thoughts…I’m overwhelmed and wondering how I can make all of this work…connecting, collaborating, and linking everything I’m learning together to help me as a teacher.
    I am grateful to have an iPhone to try out some of this new technology-Twitter, Facebook, Skype , etc.

    I need to figure out a way to make my PLN work for me, because as of now, it seems so disconnected to me! I’m most excited to start blogging regularly…finding time is key, especially since I have such a high interest level in it.
    I appreciated Jeff’s stages of Adoption. I am very much in Stage 1 right now…just trying things out and becoming more comfortable with them. I think I’m on my way (slllooooowwwwlllly) to evaluating…I’m just not quite there yet! The hands-on approach is vital to my ability to learn and take on something new. I’m really hoping, as I continue this journey, that I can hook in some other teachers to practice with. If we’re all trying it out, I’m hoping that together we can find what works. I am greatful to have been exposed to this book-it was a straightforward way of helping me learn about communities and networks. I’m so much more willing to try these things out now-I feel like Jeff gets what it’s like to start out. This book made me feel supported and empowered! I still have questions, but I look forward to digging deeper to get them answered.

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  5. Hi Sherry,
    Thank you for inviting me to your class blogs and wiki's. I teach 6th and 7th grade technology classes, and have to say like other teachers, I love my job and working with middle schoolers. Teaching with and about the computers is enjoyable to me because the students love it and learn quickly and they teach me as well. We learn new skills together. I just have to introduce the topic and provide the tools and they are off and exploring and learning on their own.

    I will try to use this opportunity to blog and reflect on my classes which I never seem to have time to do. Now that my 3 children are off to college :(, and this is my 3rd year teaching technology, I think I will be able to schedule the time in.

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  6. Hi Sherry,
    Thank you for inviting me to your class blogs and wiki's. I teach 6th and 7th grade technology classes, and have to say like other teachers, I love my job and working with middle schoolers. Teaching with and about the computers is enjoyable to me because the students love it and learn quickly and they teach me as well. We learn new skills together. I just have to introduce the topic and provide the tools and they are off and exploring and learning on their own.

    I will try to use this opportunity to blog and reflect on my classes which I never seem to have time to do. Now that my 3 children are off to college :(, and this is my 3rd year teaching technology, I think I will be able to schedule the time in.
    caliss

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