Story Starters

David Warlick in his TechLearning blog has posted some interesting ideas to get the school year started. Warlick points out that this is the time of year where we have an audience, be it our staff, school community or the media. He has 4 statements, kind of like a pre-game pep talk, to kickoff the year. Three of these are:

  • This is why we will be helping students to express what they are learning through blogs, or podcasting, or digital stories,
  • This is why we are emphasizing music and art this year by inviting our local artist as a teacher resource,
  • This is why our librarian will have a flexible schedule so that they can more effective support classroom instruction.

One of the first things I noticed when reading these, is that how many of our schools have pockets of teachers already doing these things. These would serve as a great springboard for staff discussions, and depending on whether you want to speak up or not, ask, “Why aren’t we doing more of this?”

David also has a wiki for story starters that students probably won’t find that shocking, but to some Digital Immigrants, these can be downright disturbing. Because it’s a wiki you’re welcome to contribute to it use the quotes as you see fit, just cite your references. Many of the starters are from some of our best ed-tech writers such as Friedman, Prensky and Richardson. Three great books if you have the time to do some professional reading. This could be the year that technology like podcasts, blogs and wikis cease to be the sole domain of the technology mavens and begin to reach that middle mainstream that makes up the bulk of the educators out there. Why should students have to wait until 4:00 to practice the real literacy of the 21st century?

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