Expanding the Web


Photo by Tom Burke

I’m about to start in a Powerful Learning Practice cohort with 5 members of my school community, and many more in our local independent school area.

I’m excited for many reasons.  First of all, it’s so wonderful to have school support behind us in doing the work of bringing collaborative media and blended learning to the school.  We are actually being given time to explore a lot of new things!  It’s going to be great to share this experience with a group of people from my own school community, while also connecting with a larger community, and even look to the global community of educators. 

A few queries I have in mind as I begin:

1.  How can I make collaborative media a part of my daily life?  I tend to do the things that fit in most with my lifestyle.  For example, I spend 2 hours per day in the car commuting.  So searching for and listening to podcasts fits right in.  I use Google every day – so my iGoogle home page has Reader – so those great blog posts can catch my eye.

2.  How can I help address and ease the fears of teachers who feel completely overwhelmed by online learning?  From those who are uncomfortable with technology, or collaboration, or change in general.

3.  How might I use these practices to improve the information literacy program?  To extend the Library beyond the “bricks and mortar” parts – to use virtual spaces, to get students motivated, and to facilitate collaboration among students and teachers?

4.  How do I respond to this information and learning environment as a Quaker educator?  How do we help students achieve balance and simplicity in a complex, but exciting world?  How do we help people see the potentials of a collaborative, democratic, environment for creating opportunities for peace (kiva.org is an example)?  How do we help students engage in collaborative media with integrity?  How do we use technology to enhance our sense community?  How does this type of information environment put us on equal (some say “flattened”) ground?  How can we be good stewards in our collaborative relationships and as creators of information?


About Paula Montrie

I am a Middle School Librarian at Friends School of Baltimore. I have been a librarian for 11 years, serving 6 years with the Howard County Public School System before arriving at my current school. I teach two classes: SpeechCraft (a combination of information literacy, public speaking and theater), and Media Literacy at the middle school level. I also collaboratively co-teach with a number of teachers at the school, including Music, Geography, and U.S. History. I love it! My professional interests are: information literacy, multiple intelligences and learning styles, teaching through movement, curriculum-writing, technology integration, and bridging the gap between digital natives and digital immigrants. My personal interests are: dancing, singing, knitting, sewing, art, living history, writing and of course - reading!
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