It's been awhile since I've last posted. Much has happened. Early March I experienced a fair amount of disillusionment that brought my personal posting to a halt. My efforts to quietly lead the way in Web 2.0 technologies in my little corner of the world seemed pointless early March. Why? I received registration numbers back (for all of next year) and only a handful of students signed up for my Web 2.0 technologies class. It was one of those moments where you stop breathing, stare, re-read the numbers, stare again, then start to breathe again while the stunned daze slowly evaporates.
COMPUTER APPLICATIONS ADVANCED: 030320
Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12
This course will focus on defining Web 2.0 digital literacy in relationship to the most current online technologies available. In order to be contributors to the web, not just mere consumers, students will learn how to use online collaboration tools to create projects, set up aggregators with RSS feeds, use social bookmarking, create blogs, podcasts, multimedia shows, as well as digital stories. Additionally, students may learn about VOIP (voice over Internet protocol), time permitting.
When I saw the registration numbers, then mulled over the reasons the numbers were far below what I had expected, I slowly realized the course name and description were both working against me. While asking "Why.?!?...", one of my colleagues said, "You know, maybe it was the course title and description -- I had a few students ask me what it meant and I wasn't even sure what to tell them." Wow.....very telling. This is a fellow teacher that has had a blog longer than me. How were kids supposed to "get it", let alone be eager to sign up for it?
The title and description need to go. Ironic, isn't it. Though I still believe I'm on the right track, this next go around I get to teach these 21st century skills to only 21 students. I know there may be other factors, but these two are at the top of my list. Any suggestions? I'm all ears.