Thursday, April 10, 2008

new projects and some old ones

I guess I'm just reinvigorated after the technology conference. The juniors are finally posting their final research papers. I'm excited that the wiki allows the entire process of building their paper to still exist through the history tab. We have started using the class blog again as well. Students are reading their own choice novels, reflecting on them on their own blog page, and commenting on others' ideas too. Some of the students have the same novel, so their discussions should be particularly interesting.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

back to blogging

I'm starting a new reading assignment so thought that it was time to get back to using the class blog. I got a bit discouraged when my students were really only using it when I said so and because I said so. I didn't really see the independent learning that I thought I was encouraging them to do. After discussions with my school's tech guru and some time to process and give us all a break with it, I am diving right back in with a new and improved plan for introducing the class blog: back to blogging.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

beyond ppt

If we want students to present in alternate ways and not always rely on the dreaded PPT, then we as teachers need to model other ways of sharing visual information. I made a timeline on mnemograph and projected it during our class discussion. While it's not collaborative, I was able to create a url from the site and email it to my students. The timeline is interactive-they can zoom in on specific areas. It's very easy to use, and I certainly foresee using it with my classes again.

Monday, April 7, 2008

web 2.0 tools

Tools that I have used this year and examples.


Presented with Susan today about using web 2.0 for personal and student learning. My concept is that learning has not changed, but the means of engaging in the learning process is enhanced. By using web 2.0 tools for myself I have practiced and learned ways to use the tools effectively in my classroom. I mainly talked about using wikispaces and blogs. If we think of learning as a process and not a product, then the reasons for using online tools become more self evident. Learning hasn't changed, but the opportunities for varying lessons, collaborating, and reflecting are greatly enhanced. Using this tools makes the learning process more authentic, rewarding, and engaging. I enjoyed sharing my successes and challenges and meeting some new people with whom I can now collaborate. The most important thing that teachers of 21st century students can do is model 21st century learning themselves.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

notes from the conference

Here are my notes and thoughts on the keynote presentation about the flat classroom by David Warlick. I am considering, once again, of joining the Second Life world. There is a education island apparently.
David talked about three converging conditions:
1) preparing our kids for an unpredictable future-the walls of the classroom are disappearing and it is in our best interest to let them disintegrate instead of trying to fight it in order to maintain any traditional authority that we might have as teachers.
2) we have information savvy students-I see my students engage in this in my classroom when they jump online to goggle an idea that comes up during discussion. I have seen myself fight against this (and fail miserably) when I try to monitor their computers during class or come down too hard when they go online during class. It is obvious when they are not engaged as opposed to when they are gathering info that is relevant, though it is not in the room with us.
3) we have a new information landscape-I try to incorporate web 2.0 tools. I want to do a better job at "baking in" instead of "adding on" as described by Gardner Campbell.


I'm leaving today for the VAIS (Viriginia Association of Independent Schools) annual technology conference. Last year Will Richardson was the key note speaker. This year it's David Warlick, and I am co-presenting about using web 2.0 tools in the classroom. I'm excited.