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Blending Learning with Powerful Ingredients


These are ideas brainstormed and shared by teachers at Good Shepherd Episopal School in Dallas, Texas, during a skype videoconference on December 12, 2007, with Wesley Fryer.


An archived audio podcast of this presentation and discussion is available.


How is teaching like cooking?


1.    good to try new things

2.    good recpies never change

3.    some people don’t like new things

4.    some like to cook

5.    some don’t like to cook

6.    can put 2 hours of cooking into 10 minutes of eating

7.    different styles of cooking and teaching: interactive, lecture, letting kids teach

8.    if you cook too long, you can burn food: burn out learners

9.    if you don’t cook long enough, kids don’t get enough

10.    if you don’t plan well, you will have to improvise or substitute

11.    sometimes you have to get creative

12.    have to continually rely on your senses to monitor

13.    teacher needs to make the dish palatable incorporating numerous ingredients

14.    in teaching and cooking, helps to have quality ingredients (Susan)



“Ratatouille effect” (anyone can cook / anyone can learn today with access to digital resources and tools)


Other Links



Why is recording everything during a face to face class and sharing it potentially disruptive?

1.    fear of preserving things you said wrong (making mistakes) – accountability is visible

2.    some disciplines don’t lend themselves to verbal recording (a lot can be missed)

3.    George Orwell: big brother watching, not on task, different opinions

4.    strengths and weaknesses visible to all

5.    threat: if kids could get it all online, would they come to school?

6.    tuition money: getting dollars

7.    control the access: napster, does people have free access to all those lecutres?

8.    we have parents who would love to do the work for kids

9.    in grades 4-8: it is a time for kids to make mistakes, and they shouldn’t be publicized for the world, sometimes you have to call a mistake in class, not fair to make that public

10.    intellectual property




Top technology tools: (brainstormed by GSE teachers)

1.    high speed internet connection: see videos at home or school

2.    smartboard: help organize teaching

3.    videoconferncing systems: camera and micrphone, concrete examples of real uses

4.    online textbooks

5.    access to the Internet

6.    free downloads

7.    Audacity

8.    other tools which allow interactivity: wikis and blogs



Wesley’s top 4 recommended digital learning ingredients:

1.   del.icio.us social bookmarks

2.    flickr

3.    voicethread

4.    skype




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