Thursday, October 04, 2007

Venturing Online...

[cross posted on "b209", my students' online presence]

Just wanted to put out a short post about what has been happening in the two weeks since I started this online project with my students.

After I gave a lecture on technology, and challenged my students to 1) update our class wikispace daily and 2) find and post links to other schools / resources related to our topics of study in history, they've really taken off. A couple of enterprising / click-happy 7th graders added some great main pages to the wikispace ("What did we do today" and "The Wikipedia"), and the whole wikispace is getting about over a dozen updates a day.

I'm not sure how much longer the novelty of a class webpage will last, so I'll be investigating a way to invigorate the project with something new towards the end of October. Seems like many edublogging teachers give their students their own blogs, or connect their class with someone else on another side of the world, but I think that is a project best saved for the new semester as it would entail lots of time on my end to set up. And after all, this web stuff is really just a supplement to our regularly class activities.

For now, I'm going to let me students know that I'm sending an email to all of their parents so that parents can check up on their children's homework nightly. Think that might reduce some of the edits, as some of them are a bit frivolous, but I also hope it will make the students take the project more seriously as they realize that these pages are posted on the whole web, for everyone to see.


Also, I wanted to share on this post the resources for my technology lecture that I gave last week. Hopefully below the embedded slideshare will work and you can see the slideshow. And I'm also uploading a copy of the handout I gave, and including a copy of the original class slideshow in case it's useful to any other teachers out there. Student Handout

The credit for the ideas comes from the Learning 2.0 conference on technology in education I attended in Shanghai last month. Three sessions stood out to me and greatly contributed to what I shared with my students. First, there was Alan November and his phenomenal lecture on "Teaching Zack To Think". But I was equally impressed with two teachers from South Island School, Ian Williamson and Kieran Ryan, because of their thoughtful models of how to incorporate Web 2.0 technologies into the classroom. And the question that got my presentation going was from Gary Stager, on Ten Things To Do With a Laptop. All the links above go to the discussion pages from these workshops, on the Ning website. The conference was truly interactive, a great experience that will probably and unfortunately set the bar way too high for all my professional development in the future.

Well. Thanks for coming by and reading up on this!