Struggling to Synthesize: What Do I Do in My Classroom?

Posted on July 1, 2008


I can feel myself growing dendrites, and it hurts. I’m seeing connections among several concepts: abandoning template-driven bulleted slideshows, harnessing the power of visuals, teaching kids to craft narrative, integrating digital storytelling. It’s still fuzzy: I can’t quite put it all together yet, but I’m starting to see a new curriculum for my class-one that uses digital tools to teach core skills of reading, writing, thinking-both critical and creative, problem-solving, communicating, collaborating, researching-with digital storytelling at the core.

Actually, this isn’t new. I’ve been dabbling in integrating technology, but I don’t feel like I have it together yet, like I can see the road ahead but a fog keeps me from seeing too far, like a hill rising to conceal the pavement showing only the horizon.

The BIG question: what, exactly, does this look like in my English 11 class? Day to day, what do I do in my classroom? Where do I start?

I don’t want to abandon blogging. It works.

I don’t want to dabble in a ton of tools just because they’re cool. I don’t want to skim the surface and not dig deep, really teaching concepts and skills.

Realization:  I think I must choose. Me-one teacher of one course-can’t teach it all. Could I focus on blogging and digital storytelling? Are these the best avenues to teach the core skills my students need to learn?

I need more dendrites to answer these questions. Maybe I’ll grow more today at NECC 2008. I’m heading over to learn from Kathy Schrock about MUVE. Another new tool? (Scream!)


Posted in: Reflection