Users of Blackboard Collaborate
During the past ten years of bilingual (English-Spanish) teaching and Instructional Resource administrating, I have observed a major deficiency in peer groups for the bilingual teaching community. If I'm fortunate enough to be chosen as a winner of your contest, I would use Blackboard Collaborate to establish an online community of resources for bilingual educators and librarians. I feel we are currently isolated from each other in our communities, across the country, and around the world due to time and budget constraints as well as the lack of a forum outside of their own schools to participate in. While earning my masters degree in school leadership, I agreed strongly with the second chapter of Schomoker's Results Now titled Isolation: The Enemy of Improvement. With most schools having a small number of bilingual teachers on their staff, the opportunity to learn from other peer's experiences, knowledge, and abilities is very limited. There is an essential need for an expanded community of bilingual educators outside of their own schools. After attending the Second Annual Alliance for Multilingual and Multicultural Education, I was exposed to the potential of a bilingual community of teachers; however, cultivating it cannot be done through conferences because teachers need to be in the classroom, technology like Blackboard is an ideal vehicle to do this.
I am confident that Blackboard is a tool to do this because of my experiences this past year using Ning and our district website to connect people and house instructional videos. With the help of the Blackboard resource, I could establish and facilitate an extremely successful and helpful online bilingual community that could, among many things: discuss resources, share videos of lessons, compare reading strategies, assessments, and tips on how to help struggling students, along with advice on how to make our bilingual programs as productive and successful for future generations of educators and students.
Knowing how stretched thin school budgets, resources, and teacher's time already is, Blackboard Collaborate would offer the most realistic and efficient way to establish this essential learning community. Thank you for considering my proposal to utilize Blackboard Collaborate, through this contest, to establish an online learning collective of bilingual and dual immersion educators. I am very passionate about this project and would fully utilize such a generous educational opportunity.