This is my first Slice of Life post! I've been hearing a lot about this Tuesday writing challenge and have read quite a few slices, so I thought it was time to join all the slicers out there! I hope I capture the essence of what it is supposed to be - let me know if I'm on the right track! If you'd like to participate, too, head on over to Two Writing Teachers!
About ten days ago, I participated in NerdcampBC, an amazing gathering of book nerds who flocked to Battle Creek, Michigan to be part of an Edcamp - like experience. And what an experience it was! Head on over to Katherine Sokolowski's blog to read everyone's recap. On the way home, I took a picture of windmills because they were just so stunningly beautiful, and they're not something I see every day.
I mentioned in my nErDcamp blog post that I started to think about those windmills as metaphors for the friendships and learning that happened there. I also just finished up an online tech literacy course with Choice Literacy, led by Franki Sibberson that continued some of my thinking about websites and apps to use in my classroom that started at nErDcamp. Last night, I participated in part of a Twitter #virtualbookclub discussing Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff, and I thought about the windmills again. How do windmill turbines work and how do they relate to these learning communities? I started to explore online. I found this YouTube video:
Wonderopolis (a website we talked about in the Choice Literacy course) has a tour of a windmill turbine and a Wonder of the Day dedicated to wind farms. Click on a "Still Wondering" link and National Geographic has an interesting article on windmills called "Wild Winds." I learned a lot! Windmills are fascinating.
The learning/teaching communities found on Twitter, Goodreads, Nerdy Book Club, various blogs, and our schools work like these modern wonders. These communities are like the air, taking the form of wind. Wind particles move. This motion means kinetic energy and can be captured. The wind pushes on the rotor blades, transferring some of its own energy of motion to the blade. Turbine blades are like learners, capturing new ideas from other teachers. When those learners capture the kinetic energy, they pass that learning on to others, much like the turbine blades spin a shaft that leads from the hub of the rotor to a generator. The generator turns that rotational energy into electricity. We turn our learning and thinking into ENERGY in the classroom and beyond. Did you know that wind power all starts with the sun? The sun is knowledge! I love the idea that all this energy is renewable and extensive. It just needs to keep moving and be captured. We discussed student experts in the Choice Literacy Class and how they can teach others. This teaching and learning can become seamless, all part of an impressive machine. Our students can be part of this energy. We are not the sun in our classrooms - everything doesn't have to come from us. We are just fluid air. Keep it heated up (keep learning), and we become the wind. Can you see all of us and our students on that wind farm? It's beautiful!