eTech Session Notes: Using Blogs and Wikis

MY THOUGHTS ARE IN CAPS.

Going over definitions of blogs and wikis. Did a show of hands to survey who the audience is.

PLC grant (professional Learning Community) gavehen the direction for this.

Going over what is a blog and a wiki.

Noting that blogs and in reversed chronolgical order.  Some pages appear in static, meaning that they don’t change and can be used as portfolios for students.

Watching the camping trip planning video to describe wikis and how they are useful to collaborate.

THE AUDIENCE SEEMS TO LIKE THE VIDEO AND FINDS IT HELPFUL IN UNDERSTANDING WIKIS.

One downside to wikis: only one person can edit at a time.

Showing some examples of wikis.

One presenter is discussing using wikis to make collaborattive lesson plans.  THIS IS AIMED AT THE COLLEGE-LEVEL EDUCATORS, NOT FOR CLASSROOM TEACHERS.

Discussing the email notification features of wikis.

STILL LOOKING FOR IDEAS ON USING WIKIS FOR CLASSROOM LEARNING.

Now talking about disocvrries that they found while trying to incorperate wikis and blogs into teaching. It made students more resonsible, students learned from each other, gave a voice and presence to the introvert (INTERESTING), etc. Presenter describes that this may be because this is the natural language for so many now.

Explaining a few more lessons learned about wikis. Be sure your IT department is strong and in place before you begin. Additionally, warn students about frustrations and explain that this is a “new way to explainld things.”

Looking at graphs of the results to see that a majority of the students felt like the use of wikis and blogs increased interactions between the profs and students. Additionally, the quality of instruction was enhanced.

Audience asked which sites to reccomend. Answers: wiki – PB Works (allows for folder management); blogging – no real preference.

GOOD PRESENTATION. OBVIOUSLY GEARED TOWARD THE COLLEGE LEVEL.  I DIDNT WALK AWAY WITH MANY TOOLS, JUST CONFIRMATION THAT THERE IS ROOM IN EDUCATION FOR WIKIS.

It’s That Time of Year!

In a few hours, I’ll be leaving to head to the big city for the 2010 eTech Ohio Conference at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.  I’m psyched.

This will be my third year attending the conference.  My first two years, I presented a session called, “I Teach, Therefore iWeb,” which discussed my use of a classroom website as a springboard for students to visit en route to other technology sites (Moodle, Online Grades, etc.).

This year, I am assisting in a colleague’s presentation, titled, “YouTube, iTunes, and Social Networking in MY Classroom?”.  We will present information on how we use different technologies in our seventh grade classrooms.  Additionally, we’ll present a Bloom’s Taxonomy Meets Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences matrix for use in a reading, science, and social studies classroom.

Looking ahead at the conference’s online planner, I am, unfortunatly, rather disappointed at the session offerings.  While the prior two years have been filled with “How can I go to all three of these sessions in the next block?”, this year looks like it may be more of, “Now what should I do?”.  Oh well.

As this if my first year attending the conference with a well-working laptop, iPod Touch, a PLN, and a plethora of tools to update everyone on what I’m doing and thinking, I plan to use the entire arsenal to do just that.

Stay tuned for session updates, reflections, and probably most importantly, where I’m having dinner.

Trying out Edublogs

Every now and then I get the urge to waste an evening or four tinkering around with blogging tools.  It usually results in frustrations by the fourth tonight and me clicking the ‘yes’ to “Are you sure you want to delete your entire account?”.

So here’s to another shot.  As I read and follow more bloggers, it becomes quickly more evident that something WordPress-based is the way to go over my loyalties to the the attractiveness of Apple’s iWeb.  Although I’d love to show off my mad Web 2.0 skills by creating a Ning or PBWorks community site, I…uh…don’t quite have the skills yet.  For now, I’ll stick with just participating and contributing to those networks…not hosting.

As with every young blogger, I face the ongoing question, “Um, what do I blog about?”.  A frequent reader of other education-based blogs and my career as a seventh grade social studies teacher gives me nothing short of a large repetoir of material.  I just want my posts to be more than an online diary.  My vision puts my blog as an online collaborative location for reflections on technology, the classroom, education reform, and leadership.