Oh boy, where should I start...I got a lot out of this presentation by Neil Stephenson from an inquiry and professional development stand point.
Online book club -How wonderful to be able to read books that pertain to your professional development with a group of like-minded people that have chosen to read that book as well. I know that a lot of teachers in divisions will decide to all read the same book, however some people are more on board than others. I think I will join this book club as I'm really interested in that book.
Twitter -I've been avoiding the addition of yet another social networking tool but it seems I haven't given Twitter a fair chance. I will, at some point, jump on this bandwagon now that I can see its potential for global professional development opportunities. It's great to know that I can start at Stephenson's webpage to find interesting people to follow.
Technology -Needless to say, I loved the phrase about technology not swimming itself (had to be there). One question that Neil posed really resonated with me: How is the technology helping students think differently? I don't think I can answer that right now and perhaps it's more of a contextual thing. However, I will try to approach future tasks involving technology with this in the back of my mind. Of course the demonstration using the Google Docs was great to see and it was nice to have some answers to questions that I had from our last presentation, i.e. how can you get access for students to google docs without having to set up gmail accounts for all of them?
Inquiry -Loved the resources provided (What did you do in school today?(2009), Liberating Constraints, Sumara, Knowledge Building Communities article) and the idea of creating a learning situation where students need what other students know. Once again, the notion of reflective practice was emphasized...hence this blog as well :) Another great reminder was the role of the experts and how powerful it can be to connect your students to experts.
Favourite -I really loved how the big inquiry project example related to ECE in that teaching is storytelling. Stories are engaging for people of all ages and I loved seeing how this can play out in a higher grade. Can Twilight play a role in high school curriculums? Can all learning be seen through a storytelling lens?
Take-home message -Teaching is the art of asking the right questions.
Need more info -Participatory learning/teaching