16 November 2008

Traveling Through The Dark

I have listened to this "Getting Started" session from the K12 Online Conference 2008 several times and watched the video once. Steven Kimmi, the presenter, uses the poem, Traveling Through the Dark by William Stafford as a metaphor to describe his own journey of using technology in his classroom. (Mr. Kimmi doesn't tell the viewers what happens in the poem. I had to find out right away, so if you're like me, read on.)

Traveling Through The Dark by William Stafford

Traveling through the dark I found a deer
dead on the edge of the Wilson River road.
It is usually best to roll them into the canyon:
that road is narrow; to swerve might make more dead.

By glow of the tail-light I stumbled back of the car
and stood by the heap, a doe, a recent killing;
she had stiffened already, almost cold.
I dragged her off; she was large in the belly.

My fingers touching her side brought me the reason--
her side was warm; her fawn lay there waiting,
alive, still, never to be born.
Beside that mountain road I hesitated.

The car aimed ahead its lowered parking lights;
under the hood purred the steady engine.
I stood in the glare of the warm exhaust turning red;
around our group I could hear the wilderness listen.

I thought hard for us all--my only swerving--,
then pushed her over the edge into the river.

You make decisions every day. Do those decisions take you down a new and daring path or the same-old same-old? Mr. Kimmi believes that teachers need to take that new and daring path so that their students can become engaged in their own learning. Flexibility, adaptability, and creativity are skills that students need to develop. I believe that teachers need to act as role models.

Even though I am not a beginner I found his presentation very compelling. I agree that one should understand the technology before introducing it to students, however, sometimes students can also be the teacher and contribute to the learning of their peers and the teacher. The responses to Mr. Kimmi's request for help integrating technology are also helpful.

I think the presentation would be a good resource to help motivate a teacher who is slow to adopt new things.

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