I recieved a shocking email a week ago. It was an agency representing the Illinois State Board of Education. They were putting together a training course for Illinois teachers on gifted students. They were requesting the use of my google application video in their curriculum.
When I made the video, I had never put together a video before, at least nothing other than what I could make using Photostory, Powerpoint, or a little with Movie Maker. When I read about the aplication process, I was completely overwhelmed. I really didn’t think I could make anything that would “wow” google enough to include me in their teacher academy. In fact, I wasn’t really even sure how to go about making a video.
I did what any 21st century person would- I googled it! I searched for other application videos and used them as inspiration. I really thought about what being a 21st century learner meant. The ideas came forth quickly and I began working on the project. I had to learn to use pinnacle (the only software our school had, and not an easy program to learn) and worked with students to put it together. The end result was exactly what I had envisioned, and I was pleased.
I had no idea that over 7,00 people would view the video on youtube, nor did I forsee a time when someone would let me know they saw someone present at a conference and my video was shown. Never in a million years did I imagine that anyone would want to use it in their curriculum, but each of those things happened.
To me this truly demonstrates the power of networking, of the internet, of web 2.0. Someone without a “name” for herself can express her views and other people will listen; Other people will share a similar view. The power in that is immense.
How does this translate to the classroom? If every student could see that their opinions, thoughts, and beliefs do matter to someone, think of how truly motivating that would be. Suddenly someone appreciates them in a way they hadn’t yet experienced.
Two weeks ago, I began a new year teaching 5th grade. I plan to incorporate many opportunities for my students to express themselves, and to share their learning, their ideas, and their hopes for the future with someone outside the walls of our school. I hope they find that experience as uplifting and motivating as I have.