Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Wiki World

For the past week I have had the pleasure of working on a wiki with Jeanne Simpson from Alabama. I have had a blast.

Part of the K12online conference was a presentation by Vicki Davis, The Cool Cat Teacher. She is the queen of the wiki. In her presentation she walked participants through her use of wiki's in her classroom.

Part of her presentation was an invitation to create a wiki. I had dabbled in wikis at PBWiki and needed a refresher on how to create these powerful publishing and educational tools. Her online presentation was the catalyst for a revolution in my 2.0 thinking. Here is a platform that has not (yet) been blocked by the filter police.

Our topic was using Google Video and YouTube Videos in the classroom. Where to start. It took a day or two to figure out the nuances of publishing the wiki. Where the buttons were for creating links, embedding video and adding horizontal rules. All through this procedure Vicky was giving advice and mentoring us. Jeanne and I even Skyped on a regular basis as we were editing the wiki.

A small world story. Darren Kuropatwa first introduced me to the work of Jeanne Simpson a year ago during one of his workshops. Since then she has been a regular in my bloglines account and she ended up being my wiki partner for this project. Luck, fate or happenstance? It doesn't really matter. She was the best partner I could of hoped for and a new internet buddy.

For the week of work that we put on the wiki I seemed to have this constant set of goosebumps all over me. This is fun. Why was it so much fun. My answer is the collaboration with someone (luckily in the same timezone) and the synergy that we were creating. Would this work the same with students? We already are planning some work between our students in the future. Wow K12 rocks!!!!!!!!!

Now that I have finished one topic from K12online now there are a plethora of new presenters waiting for my participation. It is like a new box of chocolates. Which one to eat first the caramel in the corner or the cream filled ones in the middle. Who cares there all chocolates and will taste good. All of K12online is tasty. I'll just have to eat it all up.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

K-12 Online Excitement

Yesterday I listened to and watched David Warlick's keynote address to the K-12 Online Conference. It was great. As I write this blog entry I am listening to it again.

The video followed David around North Carolina and he talked about the ways in which information is reshaping education. David mentioned thatin the past information and curriculum was like a train track which you followed. Now education is more like sidetrips you can take away from the rails. Following the rails still is important but enhancing it with sidetrips makes education more meaningful.

Following the keynote there was a fireside chat in eluminate. Here over people collaberated talking to David and everyone else. This was such a powerfull statement for all of us participating in the K12 Online Conference. The conference will never end if we do not want it to.

We can wiki, use tapped in and blog about all the topics being offered during this conference and continue to communicate and network with each other. By the time the next conference is upon us we could still be learning and enjoying the fruits of the first conference.

Let the fun begin :-)

Friday, October 06, 2006

A heads up!!! The Wiki is coming

I have had this in the works for a while. The Grade 8 Math Guidebook is getting ready to be started. A student created teacher aided guidebook for everything Grade 8 Math at Sargent Park.

Check back for regular updates.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Personal Learning Networks

Once again Remote Access has made me reevaluate how I use blogs. In his latest post, Clarence Fisher Talks about PLN's. I have used and am using blogs to stimulate the student's minds and have them do meaningful assignments. I want this year to start having them see their audience and create a Personal Learning Network. I do not know how this is going start but if they all sign up to Bloglines and find one other school that is blogging about grade 8 math this will be a start.

What if they spontaneously started leaving comments behind and started conversations with other students. Homework help has no boundries. Forget the homework, how about just meeting friends or students going through the same life struggles as them.

I'll start this soon. I still am having loads of problems with Beta Blogger. Need to get all the students signed up first.

Over and out

Update...... I have started the process. Here are the instructions I left the students. Let's see where the story goes. Thanks Remote Access.