Hi everyone! Hope you all are doing well.
Thanks to everyone for the great discussions going on thus far - especially Ernie and Kristin for taking the lead on several topics.
Here's an update with the "formal" plans for the book group.
Kristin and I had a long talk last week about the structure for the group, taking into account everyone's comments. We also thought about the fact that this is an international group with varying schedules - plus this is a time of year when many people take vacations, etc.
Given all of those considerations, we decided it is best to lean heavily on asynchronous discussions for the basic structure. This is so everyone can participate as their schedules permit. Kristin set up a discussion forum for each chapter of the book. So, after you read a chapter, you can reflect on it and post your reflection in that chapter's discussion. Of course, you can also respond to others' posts and so on, or just lurk in the discussions of a certain chapter once in a while if you prefer.
With over 40 of us participating, I can see that this might get very active. (At least we hope so!) If the structure gets too confusing, we can adjust as the club goes on. Comments and suggestions on how we are organizing this are always welcome!
Kristin and I discussed the end of January as a possible time to plan on wrapping up. We might go later (as we still have people joining!), and people may need to finish earlier. Hopefully, there are enough of us to sustain engaging discussions with each other for that period of time.
Aside from the chapter discussions, Kristin started a wiki
- there is a great connections chart there that you can add yourself to. Also, we've added some pages for some "Summative" activities that we hope to work on later in the club. One of the great parts of inquiry that you can see right from the beginning of the book is that it often results in some "work getting done" in the world. We would like to see this book group produce something that does work in the world. Many of us will take the learning that happens here into schools and classrooms, which is great. I am also already getting the feeling that we might be able to put together some ideas for professionals who weren't able to participate in our group, sharing some of what we have done. Check out the wiki for more ideas.
We are going to try to do some synchronous things too - be they google waves, Elluminate sessions, tweet chats, the sky is the limit if it can help us engage and think and create together. Please pitch in your ideas. I think we will try to start synchronous elements in early January. Members have also floated out ideas for voicethreads and other creations - please go ahead and start these, and link them back here. There are enough of us that we should be able to get several people to participate in any ideas you come up with!
I am also trying to get some guests to virtually visit our group - more on this after I nail plans down.
So, what now?
First, whether you have the book yet or not, go to the "Introduce Yourselves!"
discussion and tell us about yourself. You can include anything you'd like in your intro, but I really liked Steph and Smokey's lists of things they personally inquire into at the bottom of p. xiv in the book. So, I encourage you to tell us about your personal inquiries if you'd like. (This reminds me of the http://www.geekthelibrary.org/
campaign, by the way). I'm sure we will get to know each other better along the way, but this might be interesting as a way to kick off.
Begin reading and posting when you can. I'll be posting a reflection on chapter 1 in the next day or two, but there are many people who don't have the book yet, so don't worry if you are not going to be able to jump in right away. Also, Chapter one and other resources are available in pdf format at this website http://www.heinemann.com/products/E01230.aspx
so you can start on chapter 1 if you don't have the book yet.
Looking forward to learning along with all of you! Let me know if there is anything I can help with.