Posted by: shineonali | February 20, 2010

First Coetail Post

What am I hoping to get out of this course?

My biggest goal for myself is to become more confident, competent and cognizant of the the tools of technology.  I’m already a believer in the importance of technology in education.  Now I want to use technology in better and smarter ways.  I work with a wonderful group of colleagues who frequently share great finds–web tools, project ideas, videos…but it’s not always easy to find the time to assimilate it all, to incorporate it into my daily life and teaching.

I think that simultaneously I’ll end up benefiting enormously from the discussions (through the members of the class and the readings) about educational technology and informational literacy.  There are so many questions that I don’t think have easy answers.  One that we touched on the first day related to the idea that the content of what we teach is becoming less important than teaching students to evaluate information.  But the primary way I evaluate information is to compare it to what I already know.  We learn by connecting or hanging new information on what we’ve already learned.  So the challenge is to find a balance between information management strategies and building background knowledge.

Before the class even started, I began on my first goal.  Knowing that we’d be expected to have a blog, I set up an “online notebook”.  We were beginning a “slice of life challenge” on the class blog, to encourage the students to post more frequently on theirs.  They publish a post on their blog, and then link to it in a comment on the class blog.  I wanted to include myself in the challenge, but normally my posts are actually on the class blog.  I didn’t want my “independent work” cluttering up the class blog, so I began my own blog as an online writer’s notebook.  I’ll use this same blog as my online notebook for this course.  I feel as though this makes me step outside of the practicality of the class blog to try new things.  I follow a few blogs regularly, but I never feel like I would have anything interesting or entertaining to offer.  But I realize, it’s just like the way we tell students that they can become better writers by writing.  Or that writing is like playing the piano–you have to practice simple pieces before you can expect to play sonatas.  So through blogging for my students as writers, and for this course, I’m being forced to put myself out on the web.  And since I have 21 students doing the exact same thing this year, it seems only fair that I’m willing to do it myself.



  1. I’m looking forward to your thoughts as we go through this course. I’m liking your approach an look forward to reading your “Slice of Life” postings as well on this blog.

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