Thursday, December 10, 2009


I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream. Vincent Van Gogh

I love this quote because it reminds me that anything is possible, including re-imagining what our classrooms might look like if learning was authentic, personalized, linked to the outside world and enjoyed. What would happen if our kids actually did want to go to school? I know, I dream big but then again, why not? I use to tell my students, "If you have to come to school, I want you to love coming to this classroom." That's what I'm passionate about...finding a way to create a space where learning is joyful, interesting and...wanted. That's what the two projects I'm working on are all about...I want to amplify what real learning looks like and then I want to share it with the world. I want everyone to dream big.

Here is a glimpse of the beginnings of one of my projects:

iTouches in the Classroom

Third Grade @ Sherwood Elementary

Megan Stacey, third grade teacher extraordinaire will be leading this effort. I first noticed Megan last year when she was part of our T.A.B.L.E.T. initiative. It was her participation in our book study group "Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works" that really made me stand up and notice; Megan is dynamic, focused on learning and loves her students. She, along with Dani Watkins, Assistant Principal; Debra Simson, Media Specialist; and myself will work together to see what happens to the learning when 28 iTouches are placed in the hands of Megan's students. Megan's already laying the foundation with her students by allowing them to choose the name for the project.

I'm really excited about the transparency of our efforts. Megan's created a blog, entitled, Teaching with iTouches. Dani also created a space to share her thoughts about this project: Emergent Lucidity. We're housing all of our planning and resources on our "iTouchintheClassroom" wiki. If you get a chance, check them out. I'll have more to share as we continue to get together to plan for this action research project but I'll leave you with this enduring understanding as our anchor:

Authentic learning occurs when students are given the opportunity to construct their own understandings; are motivated, engaged, connected to others; and when knowledge is highly accessible.

What do you think?


Brian said...

Welcome to the blogosphere! Hope to see more here in the future!!

Cary Harrod said...

Thanks for championing my efforts, Brian. I really look forward to learning with you!

kern said...

Looking forward to reading about how things go.

Lynnette said...

Love your poetic turn of phrase AND the project you describe. Believe technology needs to be invited into the classroom as a door to learning.

Shelly Terrell said...

Really enjoyed the quote & love what you tell the students! I strive to stir passion for lifelong learning with my students! However, there are others who think learning isn't supposed to be fun. I wish this mentality would change.

kunami10 said...

I enjoyed reading your post...very well thought out and put together. I will probably also hop and over to the blog about the iTouches. We've also just started to use iPod Nanos in our classrooms and iTouches in our SPED classroom. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I'll stop back by to see how use of the Touch is going.

Wendy said...

I found this through PLP 2. I also have some iTouches in my classroom (5th grade), but not 1-1. I would love to hear what is working and what you are doing. I have to say I am not using mine well at the moment.