"Just shy of twenty-five years and kicked to the curb..." That's what floated through my mind as I walked out of the district headquarters after their doc told me I could choose between going out on disability or facing being fired. My chronic illness, after four years of struggle, had finally made it impossible for me to show up at school on any regular basis. Despite feeling like I still had much to offer my students, my colleagues and my school, I knew that facing up to the fact that I couldn't hold out any longer was going to set me free.
Free at last. 20 plus years of heartbreak, frustration and fighting the good fight had cost me. I knew I would miss the students the most but maybe I could turn the ordeals into something good for them. I wanted to spread the truth about what really goes on in school. Not some whiz-kid Teach for America, Michelle Pfieffer/Hillary Swank feel-good story—but the hard truth that took years to learn. I wanted to hear other veteran teachers' stories and share my own. I wanted at least to add something to the never-ending discussion about "what's wrong with American education". Because I know it's not the kids or the teachers who've created this mess, though they're the easiest to blame.
The fact is that it's the expanding circle of people drinking the deepest at education's trough—administrators, consultants, textbook manufacturers, test designers, theoreticians, politicians. All trying to tell those of us at the front lines what we should be doing. Perpetuating the pendulum swing between holistic teaching and discrete skills—keeping school boards buying new materials on a regular basis and keeping teachers from doing what really needs to be done for the very real people that populate their classrooms.
So I'm heading up what I hope will become a nation of teacher tattle-tales. Anyone is welcome to join the conversation but I especially hope to hear from teachers with 10 years or more under their belts.
To start things off, here's my most innocuous question: What do you love about teaching?
Just a quick introduction. I am a teacher in England and I currently have whole school responsibility for eLearning across the school. We have recently implemented Moodle as are VLE which forms part of our eLearning strategy. A big part of eLearning within the school is to allow more creativity within the curriculum as well as choice with technology facilitating this happening.
Hello All! My name is Aimee Durham and I am the Technology Trainer at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College in North Carolina. I am very interested in learning more about Web 2.0 tools, as my instructors are starting to inquire about training on these tools. I look forward to collaborating with all of you!
Which tools in particular are your teachers clamoring for? We use web 2.0 and I have been dabbling for quite some time. I try to keep up with the latest. I would be happy to share. Please let me know. The best thing to do to get them using the tools is to find out what they hope to achieve with the tool. It is great that your teachers are interested, you need to evaluate their needs and decide if the tool will help to facilitate the learning objective. I have found that if you put the tool before the objective, your outcome may not be as positive.
I'm Paul Donley, an expatriate Californian in Melbourne Australia.
After a long career in programming, I got into commercial web design in 1994-96. After coming to Australia in 2000, the spotty IT field here left me looking for new options. I got certified as a vocational trainer, and -of course- began thinking of putting the training online.
In 2005, I went to the MoodleMoot in Adelaide, and was pretty much hooked.
I've been doing occasional corporate training in a wide variety of software: Authorware, Dreamweaver, and MSOffice. I tend to get called in for the more difficult topics, or higher level training such as financial analysis in Excel or integrating Office apps with VBA.
For example, I trained in VS 2005 last.
Lately I've been revamping websites and doing SEO/SEM. I tend to look to marketing resources like communities and blogs, that are still very new to Australia.
I have a wide variety of skills in programming and internet-related technologies.
My real passion though has been the Internet. I was a programmer before the Net. We used to dream of this stuff. Now its here. I want to see the Web reach its full potential, and much of that potential is to make information available to everyone.
Guided by passion, I put together a business plan for etraining in 2005. Passion, however, could not overcome reality. Broadband access in Australia is still spotty and unreliable, and this is 3 years later. Australia is new to the Internet. There is a resistance to elearning for both consumers and employers.
I read constantly on the topics involved, and am an effective internet researcher.
I'd like to get involved in some projects to learn more about delivery options and ways to keep participants participating.
Feel free to drop me a line, even if its just to say hello.
Hi all, my educational interest is online computer software training, I believe this will continue to grow as we move towards 2020, I am interested in hearing the pros and cons from anyone who may have undertaken any online training, particularly in pc software packages.
Hello everyone! My name is Wesley Fryer, and I can summarize my interest in EduBloggerWorld with the statement, "I'm here for the learning revolution." We all sense that we are living and participating in times of monumental change, when the tools of publication have been radically democratized with outcomes that are anyone's guess. As educators I think we have obligations to help our students cultivate the skills they will need to thrive in the world outside the boundaries of the classroom, and the opportunities we have to collaborate in forums like this provide the best opportunity for ongoing personal and professional growth. I missed EduBloggerCon in Atlanta in 2007 and am really looking forward to the event in San Antonio this summer. My formal educational role is changing this summer but not my focus! (More to come about that later.)
The various websites and web 2.0 communities to which I belong (at least a fairly comprehensive listing) is aggregated now on http://claimid.com/wfryer.
I invited Mary to this site. She's been my mentor in corporate training around Melbourne for a few years now.
Mary is one of the most popular trainers in Australia. I'm the tech guy, and new to training.
I am Cynthia Hyland, I am the Distance Education Facilitator and IT Specialist with an District just outside of Philadelphia, PA. My primary focuses are developing and maintaining our online Cyber Program, as well as working with our teachers to promote appropriate technology use in the classroom. I have been recognized for my innovative use of Wimba software to facilitate a synchronous online learning environment.
I am always seeking out new technologies that lend themselves to the classroom. Currently, I am planning podcast usage as well as exploring the use of "Second Life" as a training tool for teachers. I look forward to collaborationing with others from around the globe.
Hi Cynthia, I belive, like you, that the future of training/instructing is going through a change, from the traditional classroom type environment, to remote, as you pointed out "Second Life" being used as a virtual classroom. I have been exploring the possibility of setting up my own training room there, offering all the software packages I train in, but in this new futurist classroom. Anyway, intrested in your view on this.