I, for one, did not even know how to turn
on a modem when I agreed to work with a circle my first semester. Now
I am beginning to feel like I know a little bit about computers.
There have been so many instances where I have been able
to vent frustration over a particular classroom problem then find exciting,
viable solutions offered by teachers from across the country online
within twenty four hours. Then there have been the evenings when I have
forced myself to collect mail in spite of the exhaustion, just to find
a joke, message or information which lifted my spirits and removed all
traces of the tiredness. Several times I have found the "latest news"
in professional publications to be on subjects which we have been bantering
about online for several weeks.
This network offers a diverse group of colleagues
at a variety of levels who are all dedicated enough to education
to offer assistance in all situations. Perhaps we all feel safer
speaking out when we are not looking in anyone's eyes, but whatever
the reasons this network has helped me to grow as a person as
well as teacher.
Pacific View Elementary
Both of us have been very proud of the way that our classes
have worked and learned together. There were times when we were all
very frustrated but we feel good about our finished product and realize
that many hours of good thinking went into summarizing and analyzing
the surveys that were sent to us. Actually, it was a more difficult
task than we had anticipated, but we think the effort was well worth
the results. Our students had to think and ask themselves some good
questions and then work to make their answers clear enough so that others
could understand what they meant.
We are looking forward to our work next year with another
Learning Circle. The children who are in the fourth grade this year
will be our experts and both of us continue to understand things better,
too. Thanks again. It's been great getting to know other people from
all over the country and to realize that there are many, many wonderful
students and teachers everywhere.
Dorothy Harris and Claudia Patton
LAMONI ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
202 North Walnut
Lamoni, Iowa 50140
I've learned that many of the problems I face are shared
by many people around the globe. You have given me great ideas which
I could then modify and use--excellent examples of how to help students
improve their writing skills. You are all wonderful mentors. I really
enjoyed the discussions critiquing different software and hardware.
It is fascinating to read about all the new technology that all of you
are incorporating into your classrooms!
Often a word of praise from my online peers has helped me feel better
after a really tough day. I really enjoy the wit and humor of your messages.
Learning to use new technology helps me as a teacher be more understanding
to kids who might have difficulty learning new concepts. I am able to
be more aware of the need for kind, encouraging words to my students,
because I received so may kind and encouraging words from all of you!
Toms River, NJ
I am very well pleased with having fully accomplished
the objectives which I had set for entering this telecommunication project.
That was to introduce kids to telecommunication and to integrate computers
into existing Language arts curriculum. There were enriching benefits
such as geographic knowledge gained, global understandings expanded
and being motivated to dig a bit deeper for research because it would
be widely read.
Wisconsin Rapids WI