Monday, January 21, 2008

Another class is over and I just hope my students are better prepared for their future. This semester was filled with web 2.0 activities. I think I have podcasting figured out as a classroom activity. My students produced some pretty good podcasts. They will be posted to the web soon.

I used the classroom wiki as the center of my class. Each student was given space and they posted projects and used the wiki for communications. I hope to improve the use of this space by encouraging the use of the forum and more classroom interaction. Comments from the outside world would be a big boost.

We have a new district website content management system. Each teacher is mandated to maintain a web page. We use a product called SchoolFusion. The classroom web pages have several of the web 2.0 tools built in. I am hopeful to take full advantage of these tools. It has a section for the teacher to make available files for students, (my class is paperless), a place for announcements, a calendar, a forum, and even a chat section. You can incorporate pictures and video. The best part about it is it's ease of use. I may even switch from my media wiki to the classroom web page.

I'm still not sure about our classroom blog and how to incorporate it yet. So far I have used it twice for a final exam. That seems to work very well. I am getting much more thought and writing out of my students. I am definitely getting more interaction between them. Now for some outside participation. Check it out. I think I'll try to assign a topic for each student to blog about and have them include multiple media types throughout the course. Any suggestions?

We have used some other tools along the way such as blabberize, youtube, flickr, bubbleshare, and several other video services. They seem to keep the students attention. As always, technical glitches abound. I think the best thing to realize is that it will happen and be prepared for a backup plan. Be flexible and understanding. I have found that my students appreciate it when I can be flexible when technical difficulties pop up. One of my goals is to teach them to trouble shoot and problem solve as we go.

So one journey ends and another begins soon. Hope to see you somewhere on the road to becoming Teacher 2.0 and beyond.

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