“Journey through the Week as I Journey Up (or Down) the Road”
Bud Hunt teaches high school language arts and journalism at Olde Columbine High School in Longmont, Colorado.
(Since this presentation is audio-only, a YouTube version is not available)
While it’s certainly an honor to have been asked to deliver the keynote for the “A Week in the Classroom” portion of the first of what I hope will be many K12 Online Conferences, I have to admit that, after the excitement of being asked to contribute, I was a bit perplexed. Still am. Sure, I’m using this new web in my classroom when I can, and I am fascinated by the blurring of the borders between my classroom and pretty much the entire rest of the world, but I’m not an “expert” when it comes to Web 2.0. None of us are. That’s one of the best parts of exploring these spaces with our students — they and we and us are all traveling together, on a real exploration of a new frontier, a frontier of ideas.
I certainly hope that we don’t tame this frontier too much, and that there are always wide open spaces in some parts, sandy beaches in others, and, not to take this metaphor too far, a few rocky peaks always looming in the distance, transfixing us with both their beauty and the horrific jagged edges that they add to the horizon. Some folks, many of them my teachers, have been living in this space for some time. Lots more folks enter this world every day. Everyone, novice and experienced, teacher and student, brings their ideas and experiences with them, ready to share with the world. As problematic and essential as school, education, teaching, and learning are, there’s plenty of room — and some real, legitimate need — for all of that conversation and learning and juxtaposition and re-mixing of ideas. If you haven’t already, make sure that you know how to contribute to the conversation, David Warlick suggested several tutorials for getting started.
I hope you’re enjoying your exploration of the Read/Write Web. I hope you’re learning. Better still — I hope you’re sharing what you notice as you travel along the road . . . or leaving the (t)rail(s) entirely. Teachers do not traditionally have voices outside of their classrooms. We sit, alone, in little rooms, studying and grading and feeling lonely. It doesn’t, and shouldn’t, have to be that way.
My last hope for you, whoever, wherever, and whenever you are, is that you’re doing good work, with your students, and that you’ve discovered that the work that you are doing is so important, so vital and so necessary that you shouldn’t keep it to yourself. The Internet won’t run out of room anytime soon.
When Robert Fulghum (http://www.robertfulghum.com/) ended Uh-Oh: Some Observations from Both Sides of the Refrigerator Door, he made mention of the fact that Pueblo pottery contains a particular line break in every pattern to represent that, while a particular piece might be completed, the life of the artist is not. “A ritual sign of continual possibility,” he called it (246). To model that same idea, he ended his book not with a period, but a semi-colon. I shall do the same here, but for a slightly different reason. For me, I do so as a reminder that, no matter how many words we write, speak, draw, sing, or otherwise utter, there still remains much to discuss;
Fulghum, Robert. Uh-Oh: Some Observations from Both Sides of the Refrigerator Door. New York: Ballantine Books, 1991.
Links Mentioned (or neglected) in the Podcast
A Conversation about Elgg in the Classroom
My Learning Network
Olde School Space
Teachers Teaching Teachers