At the 2009 STEM Collaboration Event we received feedback from attendees who want to continue to collaborate with their fellow educators in the region throughout the year. Here are some of the responses we got to the questions as to how to continue the conversations around Lesson Study, PLCs and creating a culture of collaboration:
- Continue to do lesson study-open it to other schools-doing public lesson- and invite others in order to educate and learn from each other
- Link people with similar interests
- Set up monthly meeting times at universities
- I would like to follow up & see how others have moved forward with their PLCs, share successes & barriers, and continue to discuss how to make progress.
- Presenters on the site to answer /input/support
- Identify & celebrate successes
- Opportunity to share more activities & class management ideas
- Create panels of experts from various disciplines in STEM to present or answer question
- Encourage our peers to come in and watch the students and try to find out where their struggles occurred
We at RAC-CEMS would like to honor these requests as best we can. A short-term goal would be to creat an online community for participants to connect with each other. There are three simple ways we can do this.
Since RAC-CEMS is hosted by Nazareth College we have the privilege of using a program called Blackboard, which is a distance-learning tool that enables electronic communication and sharing. RAC-CEMS would register those interested on Blackboard so that they could use this program. Three features that are part of Blackboard are a Discussion Board, a Chat Room and Listserv.
A Discussion Board allows users to create “posts” at any time and have other users answer them. It is similar to a chat room but the users do not need to be present at the same time. A disadvantage is that posts can go unanswered or not receive a reply for quite a while.
A Chat Room allows users to chat in real time with each other. A disadvantage is that in order to carry on a conversation the users must be online at the same time. an advantage is that is is a real-time live conversation and outside guests, such as conference presenters, may join in the chat.
the third option is a ListServ which sends email to all those subscribed. an advantage of this is that you need not log into Blackboard or any other site to participate; just open your email inbox. A disadvantage is that it is difficult to carry on a discussion and if you are not interested in the discussion you will still get the emails.
We would like to know what your preferences for communication would be and if you would be interested in participating in such discussions. Please vote in our poll for the option that you prefer and if you would like, leave a comment.