Space for Reflection: I could easily see my 8th grade students spending a whooooole lot of time selecting photos/customizing their pages. The positive would be that it would most certainly become 'their space.' The negative would be the loss, for lack of a better word, of time spent.

While I certainly appreciate the massive undertaking SCIS has performed, the lack/speed of the internet has been frustrating at times. It would be beneficial to move the conference outside of China.....

I wonder how many of the various tools I have heard about will find their way into my classroom. Again, it goes back to time, I suppose....time for me to explore the tool, play with it, see the possibilities of it.... This morning's speaker-- the student, made some very valid points-- why do YOU use technology? What's the point? Keep the goals of education in mind....on the other hand, there is certainly a valid hidden curriculum involved when utilizing technology in the classroom. The problem solving that will inevitably come about....but then again, if the student is confronted with 4 new tools throughout their day, how much of their time will be used in playing with the new technology and figuring out how to use it? Is it worth having the student do that 4 times a day? Would I want my daughter's education to consist of at least an hour every day figuring out how to make the text just so, or to have the unicorn dance across the page in a certain way?

I have to agree with the idea of how some important aspects of learning are lost due to the (over)reliance on tech. For example, the inductive/deductive reasoning used in solving a riddle may be lost when a student can simply google the answer. Memorization, even handwriting, are skills that may be completely unnecessary to develop.... On the flip side, a new kind of literacy is emerging; writing with hypertext, writing for web sites, etc....are the skill sets for the future,... Unsure of where I stand on this......I guess I keep asking myself, ''What do I want for my daughter? What will she need to know, what will she need to be able to do in order to be successful and happy?"

Ideas and Takeaways: The importance of students having an audience for their writing is important. The size of the audience isn't necessarily a 'deal breaker'. I think the focus or common goal that exists between the writer and the reader is of most importance. Not always easy to get a middle schooler to understand that.

Questions: Any tips/tricks on having students respond to each others' work? I find a focused question helps-- ex. What words strike you as powerful? Why?