This year’s CIC finalists have been announced and I read down the list. These teachers are doing great things with technology. When you look carefully though, I think you will see that they are doing even greater things with people.
Sometimes it is the connection with people that technology offers that skeptics miss. For example, regarding the “people” connection: I have an online Virtual Classroom linked from my district’s website that gives a virtual space for all of my on-ground traditional high school classes. I upload the handouts for projects, put links in for sites that are resources for literature and grammar, and have a class discussion and “post office” in there. Students post finished group projects they can show family and friends. They are connected at home through “our space” in ways that really benefit today’s overworked, overwhelmed students.
After school, sports, work and chores, they are mentally far away from where they were during class. The dimensions of an online classroom can orient them back to the discussions that sent them off to the night’s assignment.
I will share more about this cyber dimension to teaching. For now, congratulations to the CIC finalists. I am glad I do not have to pick a winner!