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Remote Ready Biology Learning Activities

Remote Ready Biology Learning Activities has 50 remote-ready activities, which work for either your classroom or remote teaching.


PKAL Networks National Advisory Council Forum


Comments are posted in the order in which they are received, with earlier postings appearing first below on this page. To see the latest postings, click on "Go to last comment" below.

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Welcome
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2002-03-10 14:31:56
Link to this Comment: 1475

NAC colleagues -

Come on in. Glad you're here, hope you'll find the forum comfortable/usable/productive (email me if things aren't clear). And, if you haven't worked this way before, that you'll come to share some of my enthusiasm for this additional way of working. Nope, doesn't replace getting together, but does add to it.

As I mentioned, I use this in courses. If you're curious about that, have a look at Biology 103 and Biology 202. There's a link on the right for the course forum area and forum archive. We've also been exploring the use of on-line forums for other kinds of conversations (cf Mental Health, Gender and Science, 11 September.

Looking forward to seeing what we can ourselves make of this kind of environment.

Paul


Change Forces
Name: Jeanne Nar
Date: 2002-04-04 10:18:14
Link to this Comment: 1715

PKAL Network Friends:

I was alerted to a 1993 book on educational reform that analyzes and clarifies some of the work that we are about: Change Forces: Probing the Depths of Education Reform, by Michael Fullan (University of Toronto). Published by The Falmer Press.

I present here some ideas from that text that seem to undergird our effort to build networks:

...alliances, partnerships, consortia and collaboration all connote joint agreements and action over a period of time in which all parties learn to work differently and achieve qualitatively different results. Cooperation, communication, coordination all have their place, but do not go deeply enough. Schrage' (1990) definition of collaboration captures the idea nicely:

Collaboration is the process of shared creation: two or more individuals with complementary skills interacting to create a shared understanding that non had previously possessed or could have come to on their own.

...'no fault' partnerships among a variety of stakeholders in for the long haul is another essential ingredient for learning individuals and learning organizations. But you have to know what you are doing (and why and how), because new levels of complexity are encountered. In any given collaborative effort, each partner will have to be willing to change its culture, especially in terms of how it relates to other institutions. In our [work], we have drawn the following conclusions:

Schools/school systems and universities need each other to be successful.
They are dissimilar in key aspects of structure, culture and reward systems.
Working together potentially can provide the coherence, coordination, and persistence essential to teacher and school development.
Both parties must work hard at working together- forging new structures, respecting each other's culture, and using shared experiences to problem-solve by incorporating the strengths of each culture.
Strong partnerships will not happen by accident, good will or
establishing 'ad hoc' projects.

Even in working in particular collaboratives, learning organizations continually reach outside the partnerships in question. Successful collaborators 'use outsiders for complementary insights and information;' they solicit outside assistance, and 'are constantly on the lookout for people and information that will help them achieve their mission.'

...systems change when enough kindred spirits coalesce in the same change direction.
...like-minded people, pushing for change, do add up.


Using this forum
Name: Dennis Mar
Date: 2002-04-04 10:40:10
Link to this Comment: 1716

This is a neat electronic forum! Thanks, Paul, for setting it up. And thanks, Jeanne, for emphasizing the importance of collaboration in building networks of like-minded people committed to change. Let me give members of the NAC a chance to log on to this forum and say Hi! Each of you should tell me if you prefer for the NAC to communicate through this forum or whether you prefer round-robin emails.

Thanks,
Dennis


First comment
Name: Rick Moog
Date: 2002-04-04 13:11:55
Link to this Comment: 1720

My first impression is that this has great potential as a commnication tool. Knowing myself, however, I think I may need "prompting" every once in a while via email to remind me to look at the forum and comment.

all for now.

Rick


Forum for the Advisory Council
Name: Bill Rauck
Date: 2002-04-05 10:07:42
Link to this Comment: 1727

This "Forum" is a very useful mechanism that Paul is making available, and I am in favor of our trying it.

Best regards.

Bill


a few thoughts ...
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2002-04-05 11:59:32
Link to this Comment: 1728

Whee! Nice to bump into you all here. But Rick's right, of course. We'll need reminders to drop by, see what's going on, respond to it. So ... Dennis/Jeanne ... the occasional email saying you've had a thought/posted a questions/or the like? We'll need that to get in the swing.


Jeanne's posting helpful along these lines. Made me think about the "like-minded people" part of "like-minded people, pusing for change, do add up". Yes, change does depend on SOME "like-mindedness" ... but I think it also depends on some "NOT-like-mindedness". What was fun (for me at least) about the Atlanta gathering was feeling the differences between us, the ways in which one of us was THIS way and the other THAT way and so forth ... so that together we might be able to do things that none of us could do by ourselves. The other aspect of "NOT-like-mindedness" that seems to me important is the idea that when different people come to similar "like-mindedness" along different paths, from different backgrounds, for different reasons it increases the sense for everyone that there is actually a there there.


So, let's be different as well as like-minded?, both to keep us interested and to get things done? Maybe there's a general principle there for good networking building among ourselves as well as in general?


Finally on board
Name: Karen Oat
Date: 2002-04-14 08:20:25
Link to this Comment: 1806

Paul and others,
I love the "space " created. This seems to make sense for us but like Rick I will need prompting since the daily details of work/life get in the way of being able to think deeply about our work. This is a good forun to experimenst with ideas...I almost feel guilty if I have time for this (UNPROMPTED) chat..... If something is time sensitive, please email me. As the semester closes.... I think I will use the forum more.

My best to you all
Karen


on-board
Name: Cathy Mand
Date: 2002-04-26 19:36:37
Link to this Comment: 1971

Hi-
Greetings and thank you to the forum organizer. It is nice to have a record of the conversation. However, I would greatly prefer to get the comments in my e-mail. I think Dennis said that was an option??

I am very much looking forward to meeting you all in Williamsburg. I am hoping that no ice storms will keep me grounded in May. Jeanne reported an exciting and free wheeling discussion at our first meeting.

By way of introduction, the things I am most interested in thinking about right now are 1) how can web-sites and fora scaffold interactions to guide a group new to a topic to productive interaction and more importantly action and 2) what are the myriad of ways the web can be used to effectively foster faculty professional development--and of this myriad, which ones will faculty actually use and learn from.

Any thoughts?

Cathy


whether or not we view
Name: Tom Levita
Date: 2002-05-11 11:29:21
Link to this Comment: 2074

Although this is a very useful approach, the prior comments about the need to be reminded to look are important.
My prior experience with such listservs is that unless there is a very active discussion or some reason to look, it may fall through the cracks.
Some lists have a feature that sends an e-mail message to subscribers when a new message is posted.
tom


Greetings - First Visit
Name: Norma D
Date: 2002-05-13 13:26:29
Link to this Comment: 2080

Greetings, All! I have finally entered the forum after finding the Keep me posted! e-mail. I totally agree with those of you who have expressed a need for reminders especially as the semester comes to an end.

Sorry I will not be with you in Williamsburg...

Until soon.
Norma


looking forward to seeing you all
Name: Karen Oate
Date: 2002-05-22 18:42:28
Link to this Comment: 2127

and ready to meet again.





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