Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Blending Learning and Technology

Wesley Fryer, an educator and agent for the combination of learning and technology in schools spoke at the Ohio eTech Educational Technology Conference. As the author of the blog, Moving at the Speed of Creativity, Fryer frequently posts about applying innovative techniques in the classroom. His presentation is available here.

Attending a conference, most people hope to bring home one or two ideas that will help improve on what they are doing. Listening to Mr. Fryer, it quickly became obvious that his message during the keynote address to open the conference had numerous thoughts and ideas for educators.

The need for integrating Web 2.0 into the daily lives of students was mentioned throughout the speech. Collaboration and connectivity were main themes. Fryer modeled this using videos, personal stories, and time for sharing with peers.

As we move through the second half of the school year, following his lead and thinking, students will have numerous opportunities for exploration and growth. Currently students are working on writing posts for the blog, and commenting on online journals. This is a great start, but only the beginning.

As we follow the ideas set forth by Wesley Fryer, students will have numerous opportunities to use technology to increase their learning. He commented frequently about blending technology and learning. This is what makes Reading Workshop engaging for the students and the teacher.

Before the end of the year, students will have chances to incorporate research, with music and videos while building a digital portfolio, including guest posts on this blog, of their writing that will travel with them as they move on towards Jr. and Sr. High School.



Wesley Fryer said...

Sounds like the students in your classroom are blessed to have you leading their in-class literacy development, Jim! My own 5th grader is finishing up his 2nd at home writing prompt in advance of the state writing test at the end of the month, and my wife just mentioned tonight how much she wishes they were using a reading/writing workshop model where all writing is not taken to a final draft form. I taught with a reading/writing workshop model as a 4th grade teacher, and that was my favorite time of each day.

Thanks also for the feedback from eTechOhio. Yours is actually the first blog post including some responses that I've read to date. I hope you enjoyed the rest of the conference as well. You all are very fortunate in Ohio to have such strong financial support from your legislature for educational technology and professional development opportunities like the eTechOhio conference focused on 21st century skill development.

Mr. McGuire said...

Thank you for the comment. The eTech Conference provides many great ideas each year. Luckily, at Laurelville we have had strong support from the leadership in providing us with support and equipment. That allows the students to benefit from a learning atmosphere with technology ingrained into the daily routine.