I find it rather ironic that I spend my school year feeling overworked and stressed about the projects I am planning, the committees I am working on, the shows I am hosting, the classes I am teaching, etc. But here it is summer, where I have two months of vacation, and all I can think about is the work I need to do. And, I have no energy to do any of it. And, really, none of it is that important anyway or at least there aren't major deadlines to get any of it done. But I've always known that I am someone who needs to be doing. So, in order to help me break this ennui, I have decided to post my to-do list here. Perhaps putting it into words will help me actually get things accomplished.
1. Work on Collaborative TimeZone Wiki
This was an idea that was conceived at NECC when Jo McLeay (from Australia), Christine Southard, and I started talking about how to work together next year. We were trying to figure out if there would be any time that we could work synchronously. We struggled to figure out the time differences and realized that we needed a resource to help us. We decided to have the students create just such a resource. How wonderful it would be for them to work on this together and how great it would be to have this tool for future use.
What do I need to do? Plan the project. What will the students actually do, beyond adding their actually times to a GMT time chart? What will they research, beyond what timezones are? Is that enough? How will they demonstrate their knowledge? At this point, I have such a small picture of the project that I can't even figure out the questions yet.
What have I done so far? I set up the wiki with the basic chart. I contacted Jo and Christine about the ideas. So much more to do.
2. Set Up a Moodle to Use in Class Next Year
This one is an idea hatched on the plane on the way home from NECC. I was listening to an old podcast with Laurie Kort, author of Moodle Magic. She happened to mention that moodles would be good as online portfolios. I had been dismayed by the idea that our students leave our room with nothing because no other teachers are picking up their blogs, etc. Perhaps I could set up an online portfolio. At least they'd have that. And then I heard Laurie talk about the simplicity of moodles. So this summer, I want to learn how to set up a moodle and have each child use it as a portfolio. Activities could be put in, projects could be assigned, etc. I only have to look into it. I did receive, thanks to ISTE, a free year of Atomic Learning. And there are many moodle tutorials on Atomic Learning. I just have to get moving on this one. I haven't done anything more than think about it.
3. Planning an Online Professional Development Class
This was another plane ride idea. For various reasons, I have been looking into teaching classes outside of my district teacher's center. Next year I am teaching a course for our local BOCES. But I would love to teach an online course. And I would love this course to be open to everyone. So it would be free for those who just want to show up each week. But those who are willing to do more, can receive credit for the class.
The topic? Project Based Learning. The idea? Participants would follow guidelines to take a unit they already teach and turn it into a project based unit, adding appropriate technology as warranted. This five week class would cover the basics of PBL but would require some individualized work, too.
What do I need to do? Plan the class. Find a sponsor - preferably one who would be willing to pay me. Find a venue to hold the class so we could have conversations. I have already contacted Robin Ellis to see if she was interested in joining me. I have left messages with BOCES and a local university. We'll see what happens.
4. Get Moving
I need to get back into healthy eating and exercising. I said that this summer was going to be it. Watch what I eat, mostly eliminating sugar and white flour. And move every day for at least an hour. So far, I have lasted through breakfast each morning and keep blowing it after that. As for moving...I swam a few times, played tennis a few times. That's it. Nothing regular, nothing healthy. What did I do for this? I signed up for Liz Davis' new Motivate Me wiki. I haven't added my page yet but it's a start, right?
So I guess that's it. I was going to add the new EdTechTalk show I was planning with Maria Knee but we actually planned it, scheduled it, created a google doc to work on it, and have our first topic. Come join us on Conversations, Sunday, July 20th at 11:30 EDT to discuss intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in the classroom. Colleen King will be there.
If you have any ideas about how I can get moving on any of these projects, I would love to hear it. I really need the help.
Dog by Jamelah on flickr
Clocks by Leo Reynolds on flickr
Moodle by Scholz on flickr
Computers by Old Shoe Woman on flickr