I was assigned to read Mr. Scott Elias post, "Narrative Research on a Mac".
Mr. Elias's blog post was about tools that he has found interesting over the semester for
transcribing interviews, coding and reviewing notes, and outlining and diagramming major themes. He describes himself as "a major Apple geek". Scrivener was the first tools that he wrote about. Scrivener was an invaluable tool for transcribing audio files and putting together a final transcript. The second tool he wrote about was iAnnotate. By using iAnnotate he was able to use several colors of highlighter to identify key themes that he identified in a interview. The next tools he wrote about was OmniOutliner. Not only does OmniOutliner save in its own native file format, it also has the capability to export outlines in the standard OPML format that can be read by other applications. OmniGraffle Pro has the ability to read files that have been formatted in OPML and turn them into visual displays.
In summary, I wrote Mr. Elias, I have enjoyed reading his blog about “Narrative Research on a Mac.” As I read his blog, I clicked on the links that he posted and went to each one. I looked around each one to learn a little bit more about each section. I hope to one day have a Mac that I will be able to use in my classroom because there is so much you can do and much more to explore on the Mac. This blog was helpful to me because, like I said, I hope to own or be able to at least use a Mac with my students and I will now know some things that can help me to get started. His blog post will help me in the future to remember important things to be sure and have on the Mac.
I was assigned to read Mr. Elias post, "Engaging Teachers in Instructional Rounds".
Mr. Elias's post was about his personal goal to support teachers in talking to each other about their practice. He wants to improve on high-quality learning and get the teachers involved. By next year he hopes it will expand throughout the whole school, but for now he says he is starting small. Each teacher will open their classroom to the group one time and have the opportunity to observe the other six over the course of the pilot.
In Elmore’s parlance, I have a theory of action that looks something like this:
If we develop and nurture a school culture that supports collaborative inquiry and the sharing of best teaching practices, then classroom instruction will be strengthened and students will learn in deeper, more authentic ways.
The most challenging part is arranging class coverage for the observing teachers so that we can all be together to observe and de-brief the process.
In my post to Mr. Elias, I wrote that I believe that teaching students at a high level is great and very engaging, Some students are being to learn rapidly and educators need to be right there behind them. The Instructional Rounds in Education sounds like a awesome way to reach his goal. I read some things about this book and one of the things I liked was, “Through this process, educators develop a shared practice of observing, discussing, and analyzing learning and teaching.” I felt like this statement had a lot to do with his post and his idea.