Friday, September 25, 2009

Welcome Guest Blogger Jennifer Roland!

The Best of L&L Giveaway

First, I’d like to thank Wendy for hosting me on my blog tour.
Wendy is one of the authors included in The Best of L&L, which is a collection of the best articles printed in ISTE’s flagship periodical Learning & Leading with Technology from 2003 through 2008. In addition to the articles, I talk a little about why I chose each, and many of the authors provide updates to place their ideas in a current context.

Her piece, “Kids Galore Helping Kids in Darfur,” was an amazing example of student-directed learning that had a huge effect on awareness of the human rights issues in the Darfur region of Sudan.

If you’d like to read her article and get a taste of the types of articles and commentary included in the book, you can read an excerpt on the ISTE website.

What about you. How have you used student interests to guide your learning choices?
Have you allowed students to design their own learning experiences?
How do you manage such an endeavor if students can’t agree on topics or the types of activities?

Answer one of these questions, ask a question of your own, or respond to Wendy’s thoughts to be entered into the random drawing to win a copy of the book.

About Jennifer Roland
Jennifer is a writer living in the Portland, Oregon, area. She holds bachelor's degrees in magazine journalism and political science from the University of Oregon. Her education also focused on history, economics, linguistics, and educational policy and management. Before embarking on her freelance career, she was a staff member at ISTE. Follow Jennifer on her blog tour at; each tour stop includes a chance to win a copy of The Best of L&L.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bringing Service Learning Back into Focus

It's so interesting how certain projects take on a life of their own and events sometimes converge to confirm that you're on the right track. Such is the case with the Kids Galore Helping Kids in Darfur Project. It's been three years since my third graders cooked up this idea and followed through with their vision of how to make a difference. The following group of third graders helped organize the Many Voices for Darfur 48 hour blog project and contributed to the supporting wiki. This year, I find myself in a position to (hopefully) have some influence over new social studies teachers through a course I'm teaching at UF, EME5432 Integrating Technology in Social Studies. I view service learning as the flagship of authentic learning and hope to share this passion with my students through a number of resources including:
Ultimately, I hope the pre-service teachers will embrace service learning and recognize the value it has in their teaching practice.

All these things come back into focus as ISTE's Jennifer Roland stops by my blog on Friday for a guest visit and a chance to win The Best of Learning and Leading with Technology. Welcome Jennifer!