If I could be a professional student, I would do it in a heartbeat. Today was one of those days filled with great conversation, meeting new people, and lots of learning.
It started innocently enough. A few weeks ago, Cathy shared a link about Dr. Bill Kist's class on New Literacies being held at Kent State University this week. I sent an email, he replied with a gracious invitation to visit class one day, and we responded with a very grateful, "YES!"
I've been looking forward to this day for so many reasons...hanging out with Cathy is always good for stretching my thinking and making me laugh, I knew about Dr. Kist's work and I'm always wanting to learn more about using technology in authentic ways in my reading and writing workshop, and finally, Kent State is my alma mater. I was going to enjoy going back as a student, even if it was for only a day.
The day started out with a Twitter backchannel that led to some sharing of great ideas...
which then led to the purchase of two new books (and a few more added to my cart). I can't wait to get started with Using Technology to Enhance Reading and Using Technology to Enhance Writing.
Most exciting was the validation for what I believe...
- Choice is key. Learners need to own their learning.
- All learners bring experience and knowledge to the table. Honor that.
- Young children are capable of making intentional decisions when composing digital texts.
- It's important to study craft moves in multimodal pieces, just as we do in print. The conversations we have with kids around those moves will help them be purposeful in their own digital compositions.
- It's not about the tools. Technology affords us more choices in tools.
- Literacy is a social construct. Connections are important. Growing connections is even more important. (I was able to follow a lot more people from class)
- PD does not have to be face to face. One student joined the class from Saudi Arabia.
- Visual literacy is an important piece of comprehending multimodal pieces.
The day ended far too quickly. I left feeling energized and excited to do more thinking about embedding technology into the classroom in such a way that it becomes just one more way to read and write at school. My wheels are spinning for both my coaching work and my teaching.
Thank you to Dr. Kist, all of his students, and Cathy for making this a wonderful day!