Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Light Goes On

I had a friend come over yesterday. She teaches eighth grade English. She kindly sat through a presentation that I'm scheduled to give in January. It is about Integrating Technology and is aimed at teachers in an alternate route program.

I learned a lot. I've immersed myself in the Web 2.0 technology over the summer. My goal is to have the teachers discuss what should be "old" technologies and show them what's new. I am using Karl Fisch's Did You Know 2.0 as an opener and plan on having a Think-Pair-Share. It was interesting to watch her watch the video. She couldn't stop talking as the slides went on.

Then I introduced her to a wiki that I created to integrate all my planned discussions. I learned, right off, that I need to show the CommonCraft video before I even get into the wiki as background. Once she saw that, she was ready to learn how to edit. I also learned that I should explain to the teachers that right now we were just going to use it as a tool and that a little later on I would show them how teachers are using it in the classroom. We're going to create a living document on the best uses of "old" technology through a modified carousel brainstorming activity.

Next, I plan to lead the teachers through an overview of wikis, social networks, blogs, rss feeders, TeacherTube/ YouTube, podcasts and social bookmarks. I was going to make it a jigsaw activity, but I now believe it will be better to talk through each tool, then have everyone break into groups and try tools (as a jigsaw), then have everyone share what they saw that interests them.

I'll end with the Pay Attention video which is a recap plus of Did You Know 2.0.

She really wanted a handout. I'm planning on pointing the teachers to my del.icio.us account and she seemed ok with that, but she so wanted paper. It's funny.

All in all, I feel like I'm aiming in the right direction. I'll have about 3 hours in January and I think it will work out. The last thing I now plan on doing is setting up a ning for the teachers who are in this program. My friend's excited. She went from "why would you ever read a blog" to seeing its value. To reading an entry all the way through for her own sake. She went from "networks, where would I ever find the time" to hoping to find a ning for English Lit teachers - especially if they teach in eighth grade and really, really if they have to pass the NJ state tests. I'll look forward to seeing what questions she has and where her interests take her.

Image Citation:
Jansson, Stefan. “Lightbulb Sunset....” Steffe's Photostream. 17 Apr 2005. 28 Aug 2007.

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