Tuesday, May 12, 2009

It's Well Worth The Trip

This past weekend, I took my family out for a visit to the snake dens just north of Narcisse, Manitoba. At just an hour's drive from my doorstep, this was an incredible way to spend a beautiful day.

Each year, tens of thousands of garter snakes make their way to the unique geological landscapes that are found in this region. They spend the winter below ground in limestone caves. When they emerge each spring, they engage in a mating frenzy before moving on to their respective homes to spend the remainder of the year. Everywhere you look, garters are slithering through the grass and across your path. If you're lucky enough to come at the right time of the year, you'll even be privy to large 'mating balls', where many of the smaller male garters are writhing around one large female garter in an effort to reproduce. A day at the snake pits is an awe-inspiring experience, and people from around the world are attracted to see these events unfolding first-hand.

Yet, many of the Winnipeger's whom I've spoken to about the Narcisse snake pits over the last couple of days have never made the trip. It's not that they all dislike or are scared of snakes. Rather, they just haven't taken the time to explore the resources that they have so readily available.

I often see the same barriers with the infusion of technology in too many classrooms today:
- with technology, teachers have incredible tools at their fingertips, yet so many of them choose not to use them
- there are literally thousands of tools available for the taking, each of which provides ample opportunities for teaching and learning
- access to many of these tools and resources is free

If you live in Manitoba and haven't taken the time to witness the Narcisse snake dens firsthand, do yourself a favour and go. Millions of people from around the world have beat you to it.

And if you haven't yet explored the use of some of the free and easy onine tools that are available to benefit your teaching and learning, don't wait any longer. Millions of people from around the world have beat you to it. Just get started. And if you're not sure how to begin, Alan Levine's 50 Ways (errr... 67 Ways) to Tell a Story will serve as an excellent starting point to launch you on your way :-)

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