Thursday, August 7, 2008

International Planning

The planning process is really getting on a roll. I really enjoy working with Tim. For someone who has never done project based learning, he is full of great ideas. I have to admit, this is not working out like I thought it. I anticipated some challenges.

I haven't always been a teacher. When I entered the education world, I was amazed at how little collaboration occurred. In all my previous careers, I was always getting assistance and working with team mates. You are pretty much on your own in this arena and people are not always willing to help you or their help is limited. I am glad to be at a schools where I had some teachers who were willing to work together but it has still been limited. I expected Tim to have a lot of reservations. I was so WRONG! HE IS SO AWESOME! I wished we worked together all the time.

We had a great conversation this week. We went through the pbwiki page that we are using to plan the project. I explained that this form is something I got from Buck Institute for Education but am willing to adapt if he knows something else. He was completely flexible with using the form and I guided him through the parts. He had great suggestions from the very beginning and said their is an assessment form the school uses that we may both be able to incorporate into the project. Like probably many teachers, he thought his technology skills were weak and that I am some guru. I quickly assured him that he is better than most people I know as we went through voicethreads together. We had a lot of laughs that night.

Since our conversation, he has made some changes to the wiki that are absolutely fantastic. He also emailed me with great ideas of what to name the ning. We are so glad we are working on planning this so far before the September 15th launch date. I believe the planning time is the fundamental difference between PBL and regular teaching. It requires a lot of planning but the execution is very easy and the learning is rich and lasting. However, regular teaching doesn't require more than a day or week planning but is really tasking when it is executed and students commonly don't remember anything beyond the test.

Next week, I meet with my team mates to discuss goals and structure of the team. I am hoping we can start discussing doing a joint project again. I have one new team mate that I think will want to jump right on board. She is already into doing alternative teaching methods.

Did I say how excited I am? I AM SO EXCITED!


Suzie Boss said...

Hey, Telannia! Great to hear that you're taking the next big step and going international. Should be a wonderful experience, for you and your students.
Wanted to let you know that the Edutopia story I mentioned earlier is now live. It's at
(You'll recognize some familiar names from NECC--your panel was a goldmine of great ideas!)
Best wishes for the new school year--and thanks for keeping your blog going. We can all learn from what you're doing.

Telannia Norfar, Logic CEO said...

Thanks so much. The article is great. I really do hope everyone is benefiting from what I say. My goal is to write at least once a week and build from there.

jacobede said...

HI,I am a teacher from Brazil. Certainly someone is benefiting from your sharing. I really appreciate your taking the time to do this blog. Teachers are so overwhelmed with tasks!!! I know how it is: sleeping late, no weekends, etc... Butit pays to see the results of our dedication and love for our students. We are writing a book on implementing PBL in Public Schools, and the teacher comitee are so afraid of it. Do you have any word for them,(from you or coleagues) that were afraid at first, but then were amazed? I wonder if you could share a bit on this (overcoming the fear of pbl)If you could have some quotes from specialists, it would be nice too. Thanks alot for being there...Keep up the good work and God bless you greatly!!!