Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Sad & Suddden Ending

It was a very emotional day last Thursday for all of us! There were tears and hugs and smiles and cheers all at once, but mostly tears. In the 5E classroom we have had such a monumental year full of learning, exploring, and discovering new things about ourselves and the world around us. We were all excited to spend the last week together celebrating our successes and saying "have a fun summer" to our friends. For the few students who are leaving the CDNIS community is was especially difficult to have had our time together cut short. Teachers are at school today and will be at school during regular school hours for all of this week.

It has been announced that students are welcome to come to school on Wednesday for a brief period to pick up their belongings, receive their report cards and yearbooks and say goodbye to their teachers one last time. These visits must remain brief in order to comply with the government's decision to close schools. Class gatherings are absolutely not permitted at school and teachers are not allowed to attend class parties (off campus) during school hours.

This was a message that I sent out to parents last week explaining the details of what happened when the government of Hong Kong decided to shut down all schools due to increased spreading of swine flu among school-aged children. It was a sad and seemingly unfair way for the Explorers to end their amazing year. Since Thursday our class conference on the school network has seen more than 200 messages passed (all by the Explorers themselves), 4 students have been blogging their reactions and responses to this sudden change, and students have found each other to keep in touch by using Skype. We actually managed, to some extent, to have more closure and opportunities to say real goodbyes through our digital tech saaviness. Pretty cool for 10 and 11-year olds, if I do say so myself.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Problem Solved

So for over 2 weeks now every time I try to access my blog my entire web browser freezes. I have tried EVERYTHING I can think of to solve this kink, which has prevented me from being able to post any new stories for all of you lovely readers out there. I also learned this week that for many viewers, the same irregular freezing was occurring even for people who were simply trying to read my blog remotely. I was just about to give up on the entire thing and start a new blog, when I discovered a possible solution. In the bottom left corner of any internet browser there is a status bar which tells you the viewer when the page you are accessing has completely loaded. We are all used to seeing the 'done' status that tells us a page had finished loading. Well on my 50th attempt to open this blog site, I noticed that the status was flickering wildly trying to connect to YouTube. Ah ha! So tonight I proceeded to remove as many YouTube videos as I could remember from my past posts and viola! Problem seems to be solved. Either that or all my efforts simply coincided with Blogger fixing one of its own bugs at the same time (quite possible actually).

Now that I am back in, I am ready to wrap this baby up. Over the next 1.5 weeks until school finishes I plan to post frequently with some reflections on the year, but then close the lid and seal it with a bow. Next year I will try to maintain a new blog (year 2) as well as a brand new EduBlog which will be a professional reflection on my own teaching practice specifically. It will also be a place where I can begin to compile a professional digital portfolio, list projects and achievements and share my successes with fellow teachers. The EduBlogs that I have had the pleasure of perusing this year have been endlessly inspiring, and I think I am ready for this challenge :)

Click here to see one of my favorites.