Maybe it's me. But just when you think you have this "technology piece" under your educational belt, along comes…SOMETHING ELSE. You definitely have to be "in it." But how much?
Yes, blogs have been around for a few years, but now, podcasts and virtual classrooms? A New York Times writer, Ethan Todras-Whitehill writes in a recent article, New Tools: Blogs, Podcasts, and Virtual Classrooms about the use of blogs by one librarian. "He was introduced to blogging as an educational tool by Patrick Delaney, Galileo's librarian. Mr. Delaney also helped Mindy Chiang, a Mandarin-language teacher at Galileo, set up a blog for her Chinese-American and Chinese immigrant students to write about and post their experiences for the benefit of fifth and sixth graders from schools in Elk Grove and Santa Barbara, Calif., who were studying Chinatowns."
Delaney, whose "education network" and "Li-Blog-ary" is truly remarkable, is quoted in SLJ’s August cover story, "Blogomania." "Blogging from a school library," Delaney explains, "implies multiple blogs in a school, centered around the sort of professional and curriculum development that librarians have the potential for." A library blog that isn’t the "keystone of a school blog community," he insists, "doesn’t make much sense." Now, if that doesn’t raise the bar to intimidating nosebleed heights, I don’t know what does.
How are teachers and librarians to keep up with these classroom 'fads'? My own fear is that too much pushing new technologies will eventually burst the blog bubble or turn very capable educators and librarians away from even attempting to integrate technologies. Or maybe not. But I do remember reading once "slow and steady wins the race."
Here are a few quick additional resources:
-Steve Dembo at Teach 42 blogs extensively on the use of podcasting in education.
-School Library Journal features blogs as their cover story and has a link to their technology survey for educators and administrators.
-This site is helpful if you use Webquests in schools – Bernie Dodge's Webquest forum