It may not look like it because some of the work this week was late, but I’m actually racing to the end of this course so I can get ready for ISTE. My mind is running in all directions — reviewing collections of bookmarks so I can add new tools to my wiki, collecting my thoughts for a presentation about integrating Web 2.0 tools into math instruction, wondering what the audience will be like so I can engage them, and contemplating how to integrate the 5E’s into a session that’s essentially a ‘show and tell’. This is not a conference for math teachers; I suspect the attendees will be quite tools savvy. It’s not hands on; I won’t be able to set them exploring the wiki or a collection of blogs in order to discuss what fits their own classes. As well when I get in front of an audience the traditional teacher comes out and I’m more comfortable sticking to a script.

What I will likely do is cut several new videos to a maximum of 2 minutes each — Dan Meyer, Sugata Mitra, Sal Wozniak (from week 2), and perhaps a bit of Maria Andersen and Derek Sivers. I want to start with I am a Canadian — but I’m not sure if American viewers might be offended by a few of his remarks,  and I just have to work in Tom Lehrer who brings smiles to the faces of  math teachers of a certain age. But those are the spice and the sizzle in the pan (engage)–  what’s the substance (explain)?

I know that I have to address the fears of teachers under tremendous pressure to get those standards met and give them evidence to persuade themselves, their admin, and their colleagues that there’s a better way to get students to learn math than just sticking to the basics and dressing up drill in songs. If it were a math conference, I’d provide some compelling research with which will help substantiate their desire (claims) to incorporate these tools even if at first they seem to be taking time away from what’s important.  I’d want math teachers to walk away from the session giving themselves permission to try something that may feel very foreign (elaborate) and looking forward to going home to try some of the tools out (explore). With this audience I’m not so sure. Are they coming to be persuaded? Are they coming to take information home to the math teachers in their schools? Are they coming to be dazzled with something new? Are they coming?

I think I can use the 5E’s as a guide to develop this session and I may start by trying to make a joke about how they could be rewritten to fit transmission teaching. I can assume that the audience is already curious because they’ve made time for my session when there’s so much competition for their time, but other than that I confess to feeling a little lost and I have this course to blame. 6 weeks ago I’d have just gone ahead and done my usual thing. Now that just doesn’t feel good enough! I have to start with the end in mind and I’m just not sure what that is at this point!

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