I had the honor of spending Pie Day at G-Town working with Physical Education teachers on the tools of the Web 2.0. It was one of their superintendent conference days and although I normally take that day as vacation, my tremendous respect for Kim Mortiz and her leadership got me to say “yes!”
What a great day we had!! While I had the day mapped out – as usually, technology and enthusiasm for learning took over. Once the teachers discovered YouTube and the physical education opportunities there, they were hooked!! I saw more wrestling moves, basketball drills and football plays to last me a lifetime!! I had never really thought of YouTube in that manner before (I personally use it more for fun) but this group really opened my eyes! Check out how Amy integrated video into a blog she created for an upcoming fundraiser.
Many of the teachers were excited by the prospect of videotaping their own kids doing drills or parts of games/practices to put online and reference for the kids (think of saving papers from previous students to show them your expectations.) We had a healthy conversation about parental permission forms, what to tape and not tape, and how the world is changing when we need to do these types of things to keep our kids safe.
We ran into some technical glitches along the way with blogs and wikis, but I think the group has a firm idea of where they would like to go. (And thanks Fritz for fielding our phone calls!) We worked out way through Technorati and Bloglines trying to find PE sites that would inspire them and I threw out the challenge that G-Town should become the first and best PE blog out there!! (I had already done some searching and didn’t find much out there beyond information pages.) There was a great deal of commitment to the profession in that room and I was duly impressed!!
It will be interesting to watch the development of their wiki over time so see what they are able to put into practice. We didn’t have much time to work on wikis at the end of the day and I suggested they think about what they might like to include, get it into some sort of electronic format and we might be able to meet again to put the pieces together. Each teacher will have their own page and we discussed posting current health articles for kids to read along with the written response guidelines, posting coaching and other permission forms, and other information for parents. Some teachers discussed creating a wiki with proper weight lifting techniques and sample exercises (No Rob, I will not be trying that ab move you demonstrated for us!!)
These teachers inspired me in my fight to show that blogs and wikis are more than educational phenomena – I can’t tell you how many times they referenced the fact that their students or children had referenced many of the sites we visited and now they knew what they were talking about. They might be “digital immigrants” (as noted by Coach Footy when he lamented not having typing in high school) but they were brave enough to start the journey…..are the rest of you?