Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Honoring Each Other's Stories, and Taking the Time to Share Our Voices

I was inspired today by this article: http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/local/item/36352. It was written by Wendy Harris for WHYY NewsWorks, and it is the first in a five-part series on teaching and tech.

It's about 1) Using technology to enhance teaching; 2) enabling students to learn how to take advantage of the myriad new ways we having of writing, publishing, and connecting with each other;  and 3) teaching kids how to use language properly while also having fun creating something meaningful and lasting that they can share.

There's almost nothing I love better than hearing other people's stories. I am endlessly fascinated by the tales people tell me about their lives, or the ways in which people have created art from life (putting their stories on paper...it's so difficult to do this, and I know, as I am in the final-final edit stages of prepping my memoir for release to the world). 

I meet teachers all the time who want to try this, who want to learn how to teach students to create and publish in new ways. Yes, it takes time to learn some of the tools, but mostly, they are intuitive. Plus, anything worth learning ("worth" as in, it's important to us) should be a joy, not a chore. 

Don't be dissuaded by the learning curve. The thrill of seeing what your class will create will make all of the time spent training seem irrelevant. 

There's nothing more important than hearing or reading other people's stories, either. We all need to have the ability to use language (and now, use technology, too) to do so. What better use of our time could there be than honing and sharing stories?

Blog away. Create iMovies. Animate cartoons. The possibilities are endless.

Have fun creating in the classroom!