by Tara Seale
Have you ever asked a student to write a script for a podcast or a video? I have, and most students want to get started now and avoid the actual script writing process... you know... they wing it.
Winging it rarely works, but occasionally, it is best to let 9th graders learn from mistakes. Well, maybe more than occasionally since doing it on their own and creating a mess seems to be what most teens choose to do regardless of directions and advice; of course, the students who see the value in script writing always perform better and receive a higher grade. Usually students who do not spend time creating a worthy script will ask for a re-do after they have viewed better presentations from more prepared groups, and I assure them that they will have a future opportunity in my classroom. I always hope it becomes a learn from mistakes lesson, but sometimes lessons have to be repeated.
Recently, I decided to join a trio that includes myself and two co-workers in a podcast about technology and education. We are still working on our first podcast idea, but I decided to write out a script for what I would contribute. As adults, we realize the value of script writing as opposed to winging it. We are in the process of merging our ideas for our first podcast and creating a podcast name that includes something catchy, hopefully with alliteration.
I thought I would publish my rough script contribution here so that the readers of this blog would see what I consider worthy to contribute to our first podcast. This script is my first attempt. I haven't merged my co-podcasters' ideas with mine yet, so I know I will revise. The final script may not even resemble what I have shared, but I see value in the information below, so I wanted to share it with all of you.
Name: Tara Seale
Employed: Bryant Schools - high school English teacher & part-time tech specialist
Credentials: GCT, NCTE Blogger, wrote an official Google Blog post, & recognized in an edu magazine: NEA Today.
Why am I doing this podcast? To help Tait and Mark because they haven’t published an official Google post or been recognized in any magazines. Ha! Actually, they are the people who keep Bryant technology up and running & I couldn’t do anything cool or 21st Century-isc in my class without their support and expertise. Behind every great teacher is an awesome tech department & Bryant has an awesome tech department, and we just owe it to the world to share our awesomeness.
Why am I excited about web 2.0? I started investigating Web 2.0 to understand the world that my students are a part of, and I guess I am a part of it to. Actually, all educators are a part of the new Web 2.0 world even if they understand it after the fact or never understand it at all... regardless... it is the reality of the 21st Century.
As I realized that the education system as a whole was an after the fact system, I wanted to be a part of the educators who anticipated the latest web 2.0 tools as they happened or even before the app or next web feature was invented, so I knew I needed to connect with educators who were out there finding out the latest information.
I knew I had joined the Web 2.0 Educator Geekdom Society when I tweeted out a great new web find and 20 people re-tweeted my tweet, and I yelled, “Yes!”
So what would I consider the best web tool for a 21st Century teacher? When I searched my brain for the best of the web, I immediately thought of all of the free Google tools available for my students and myself, but if I really wanted to explore how I learned about all of the free Google apps, I would have to say Twitter played a large role. So picking just one tool right now, although it is difficult, I would have to tell teachers, get a Twitter Account.
Why? Twitter is the one connective device that has allowed me to get to know other teachers across the globe. I can even remember the first time someone from another country commented on something I posted. It was an amazing moment for me. An Australian teacher told me that she liked my last tweet and had also read my blog. I had to take a double take and think about it. Was that teacher really from Australia? Since then, I have followed and communicated with many teachers from Australia and other countries. I can remember the first time I responded to something Sue Waters tweeted, who is probably one of the best known Australian educators (she is the Edublogger), and Sue Waters responded back to my Tweet, so cool.
Twitter is an incredible tool, but it is just a partial tool that really requires tweetdeck, seesmic, or another advanced twitter feature in order to operate efficiently. When I talk to a teacher who is new to Twitter and trying to connect and communicate with other teachers on twitter, I realize that Twitter alone is just not enough, but I also know that baby steps are needed. First, an educator needs to understand the basic principals behind Twitter, the Web 2.0 tool before they can venture into adding a twitter app to their iphone and start re-tweeting, shortening URL’s, etc... Probably the best starting point for a teacher on Twitter is to read the Twitter Teacher’s Guide by Donna Cox from Queensland, Australia. I obviously have a fondness for Australian educators.
Teachers tell me all of the time... who has time for that (Twitter)? And, I know they are correct because it took a good month for me to understand and begin to tweet effectively, but once I realized how Twitter worked, I knew I had a gold mine. The secret is not to let it take over everything. I see it as a river of incredible information. I jump in when I have time to swim around, and then I head for the shore and dry off when I need to get back to my husband, kids, and personal life. I know I am missing the great ideas circulating out there in the Twitterverse, but I also know the ideas are endless. They will still be there the next time I jump in.
Who do I follow? If someone follows me, and he or she is a teacher, I follow them back. Occasionally, I am on vacation or busy with school, and I do not have time to shift through the people who are following me, but I do try to follow every educator who follows me. It is impossible to read all of the tweets of the people I follow, so I use twitter lists, groups, and hashtags to shift through all of the tweets coming my way. For educators new to Twitter, I would suggest going to: http://twitter4teachers.pbworks.com/ and following teachers or educators in the area you are most interested in teaching.
My Twitter ID is @tseale
Dan Bruno's Twitter ID (the other NCTE Blogger) is: @Daedalus605
Click here to Follow Carol Jago on Twitter