Online Colleagues

From: (Marilyn Kennedy)
Subject: Online Colleagues
Date: Fri, 10 Jan 1997 12:18:48 -0500

Dear Joseph,

I also would like  to echo the sentiments so nicely expressed by Charlotte
Stevens. I think these are thoughts shared by so many of us.

Through this discuss-lfm group, I have been able to share ideas,
information,  and visions with my online colleagues involved in this
project. Through this discussion group, we as teachers have been able to
share our inspirations and our experiences with our fellow teachers,
helping one another learn new technologies and strategies to promote active
learning and enthusiastic interaction. It is through this discussion group,
I have learned to do videoconferencing, digital imaging, and robotics.

Through this discussion group, I have been afforded the unique opportunity
to interact and collaborate among fellow PTK educators and their students,
exchanging ideas, lessons, and experiences, sharing a rich array of local,
national, and global resources and tools that I might otherwise not
discover. Even when questions have been directed towards one specific
person I am  glad that they ARE shared because it gives me another
opportunity to learn. I frequently found that  information shared  was
equally helpful to me, and perhaps answered a question I had not got around
to asking and in many times solved a problem I was encountering myself. And
as various teachers shared their classrom experiences with a particular
activity, my students and I became caught up in the excitement of that
activity and  found ourselves wanting to join in.

So often teachers (especially elementary teachers in self-contained
classrooms like myself) are isolated by our classroom walls, and this
online communication is our main avenue of support and professional
dialogue.  And whenever I have done presentations at various conferences
about PTK, newcomers to the PTK program are reassured by this avenue of
online of support and dialogue.

Establishing a network with other PTK advocates has empowered me and
provided me with the building blocks as I work toward my vision for "real
science with real scientists in real time" through the use of technology
and telecommunications. It has become the springboard by which my students
and I  have become a part of the community of learners poised on the brink
of the 21st century.

Marilyn K. Wall
John Wayland Elementary
Bridgewater, VA