I've been seeing the Wordle website being thrown back and forth on Twitter and in blogs recently. Now that it is the end of school, I've decided to check it out with a handout I gave to teachers at a training session this past Friday.I think I stressed what I intended: web connections and moving through Bloom's levels in projects.
Intro to the Read/Write Web
The class was based on the information I provided to some New Jersey teachers who are working toward their teacher certification. The gentleman who runs the alternate route course was very specific in saying that I should assume a certain comfort level with technology from those folks.
The teachers in my school have a different levels of comfort. They all have computers in the class, but our preschool classrooms do not yet have Internet access. The preschool classes also use older, donated machines.
Much as I did back in February, I did manage to have everyone take a survey. Before starting, I showed them the Middle Ages Tech Support video to remind them that all technology was new and scary at some point. Everyone used a wiki to brainstorm ideas for using technology. They took a look at the Wikis in Plain English video as a big picture of why people use wikis.
Again, similar to February, I took the teachers on a tour of the K12 Online Conference. I spoke again about Liz Kolb's Cell Phones as Classroom Tools presentation, Silvia Tolisano's Travel Through Space and Time, and Brian Crosby's Obstacles to Opportunities presentation. I really choked up talking about Brian's presentation. My sister didn't survive leukemia, and would have really loved to have attended class virtually. His story makes my heart full.
I followed this with Darren Draper's Pay Attention video. It appears that no one had seen it before. I asked them to talk with each other about it during the video, if it struck them to do so. I had them do a Think-Pair-Share afterwards. I need to become more adept at getting people talking afterward. No one seemed to want to volunteer comments afterwards.
Moving Up Through Bloom's Taxonomy
This is where I stepped away from February's class pattern. I would have liked to moved on to showing them other new tools, but instead spoke with them about how I use technology in the classroom to move the students up Bloom's Taxonomy.
I spotlighted several projects and tried to demonstrate how I attempted to engage students in reflection, analysis, and creation. I showed them the Monster Project, the Math Discussion Mental Math and Weight Voicethreads, and the Sixth Grade Population Density movie.
When They Left...
They took home a double-sided two-page handout, a del.icio.us account with all the links plus more, and the knowledge that we have agreed to take time after 1/2-day meetings for technology training. I know they felt like they were hit with a tidal wave of information. For those who choose, they are armed with enough information to begin their own exploration of teacher connections online.