- Leisure Time
Learning, as educators know, is often a messy business. Lessons aren't picture perfect. Students don't always listen and behave and achieve perfectly aligned standards. Sometimes they're engaged, sometimes they're not. Sometimes they won't be quiet long enough to get a word in edgewise, and that's OK. It's an ebb and flow, a balance. It's in the struggle that lessons are gained and remembered.
Personally, I like it when students sometimes struggle with technology, when it doesn't always work perfectly, because it teaches them patience and persistence. It teaches them to be problem-solvers and to not get ruffled so easily. Still...it's sometimes messy, and like life, the nitty gritty details are not always fun.
In the end, students succeeded in embedding their Vokis into their Edmodo small groups. We watched the jigsaw handshakes of our partner schools and discussed a few key things we learned about the various locations and looked them up on Google Maps. The more we discussed, the more I realized that some things did get in. I mean, can you find Lesotho on a map? They can.
I don't think the students realize (yet) what an amazing thing it is to connect with other students throughout the world. They take it as a given. When I was in third grade, for example, that was not even a possibility beyond handwritten pen pals. These students will emerge from this project, and others like it, with a greater understanding of our world and of students their own age. They will have practiced using various Web 2.0 tools that will serve them well. They will have examined their own life and how it is the same and different than others'. It's all quite a beautiful thing, even if a bit messy.