March 31, 2011

Linda Hoffman @lphoffman24
How long have you been teaching?
This is my 36th year.

Has your educational philosophy changed since you began teaching?
A major change has been turning over technological authority to my students. I may have a clear idea of what I want them to accomplish, but they have the technological skills to complete the assignment. This change has led to a different kind of respect in my class. I respect their technology know- how and they respect my willingness to ask them for help. Also, with the growth of social media, I now have the added task of teaching students how to use these forums responsibly. As social media use continues to grow rapidly, educators must show that common courtesy is always at play when humans communicate. This is an area where the so-called old values can enhance social media use.

If so, what led to this change? Was it a gradual process or a specific event?
For the last few years, I’ve known that the students were way ahead of me in technology, but a defining moment was when I got the ceiling projector in my room. I first felt uncomfortable with the whole class watching my computer screen as I was trying to be a technological wizard. As I stumbled, I heard them barking directions at me. I finally realized that they were truly trying to be helpful. I had to admit that they knew more than I did. Now I ask them for help before I try anything new! (And I need refresher tips for the old stuff, too.)

Has Twitter played a role in your evolution as a teacher? If so, how?
I use Twitter for my own professional development tool.
I follow several teachers to find out what they are doing in their classes. Also, I have found several links to great Web 2.0 tools. Even if I don’t use the tools each day, I have saved many sites so I can easily access them in the future.
Also, reading anything about Web 2.0 makes me more comfortable with the ideas and the technology. I also keep up with current events, which has always been a priority for me.

What Web 2.0 tools have you implemented in the classroom since KipCamp (#kipcamp or #mindsetdigitalff)?
Students have made wikis for a project on The Crucible. When the class created a project to present their ideas on solving a school problem, they used several Web 2.0 tools to present their ideas. One tool they love is Glogster. My honors class made presentations based on the Pecha Kucha model, which I learned about from a teacher I follow on Twitter. I plan to have a class blog about Huckleberry Finn soon. Two new tools I love are Diigo and Jing.