In September 2011, I had a wonderful opportunity to spend most of the day with Bob Sprankle at Wells Elementary School in Wells, Maine. The day had an auspicious start at the Maine Diner in Wells. If you ever have a chance to eat there, don’t miss it!
Thanks to David Warlick and the New York Times, Bob was one of the first educators I learned about back in 2005 who was using podcasting and media tools with students to not only improve literacy skills but also empower students to share their voices on “the global stage.”* The Room 208 podcast and blog captivated my imagination and opened my eyes to the possibilities thoughtfully used media could invite in the classroom.
I recorded five and a half minutes of observations in Bob’s computer lab on September 30th this year and shared them on YouTube, but in the craziness which was this past fall I never posted this to my blog… until this evening! If you work in an elementary school, you’ll want to check this out for lots of good ideas related to how computers are setup and utilized at school.
In this shorter video from December 2010, Bob explained how he uses computer covers in his lab and their purpose.
You also should take time to explore weskids.com, the website maintained by Bob for students, parents, and teachers at Wells Elementary. The lab lessons linked from the site (hosted on the district’s Moodle server, but openly shared for anyone to view), the “link of the week” area of the site, the phenomenal “Parent Tech Time” section… all of these resources are exemplary! I hope the administrators, parents and teachers in Wells know how INCREDIBLY lucky they are to have a teacher like Bob working in their school with kids and teachers. Many, many thanks to Bob for sharing so many fantastic resources and providing ‘an open door’ for us all to learn so much from him about helping elementary students develop the digital literacy skills they need for success in our dynamic times!
* “The global stage” is a phrase for the Internet’s world-wide web used by Marco Torres.
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