Well, the first semester of 2009-2010 is drawing to a close. This was my first semester as a Global Learner, and also my first semester with the district's new, more rigorous pacing, T4S, etc.
I think so far everything is going well. I am finding it difficult to keep up with some of the Global Learner things and also stay on pace with what the district feels I should be doing. I think both expectations were reasonable though, so I'm making due.
Recently, my students collaborated with other science students from the high school and middle school on the ibtoktidbits.blogspot.com blog. My students integrated blog-reponses into a lesson where they used laptops and the internet to research and create electronic products to show what they learned. The blog gave students a chance to share their own opinions and read what their peers said as well.
A few observations - one, it was difficult to get the students to truly collaborate with the other students, very few of my students actually responded to or engaged the students who had already commented. I think a CoverItLive session might be better in the future for this kind of thing (and based on my own experience contributing to Mayville's CiL sessions).
Also, while the amount of incidences were lower than I expected - I've learned that being able to moderate comments is key. A couple of my students decided they were going to post under names like "Mike Rotch", and others that were even less appropriate - making comments that were obscene. Luckily it was only 2-3 kids out of 145 - so not bad, I was also able to figure out who did it an deal with them - but I could see it getting much worse depending on the group of students. You can read all of the appropriate (and hopefully none that are not appropriate) comments at http://ibtoktidbits.blogspot.com.
Overall, I do think that the semester has gone well for me as a Global Learner using technology in my classroom. For sure I've done 10x more with technology this year than last year. My highlight would still be using "clickers" - something I do almost every day now as a warm-up or in-class response tool. (Read my original post abotu clickers here: http://principianteglobal.blogspot.com/2009/09/first-time-using-clickers-as-teacher.html)
Next semester, my goal is to streamline my grading and classroom procedures a bit better - hopefully through more use of technology! Follow all of my reflections at http://www.howatscience.net