March 21st, 2010
This week’s assignment was the second wiki activity that I have participated in this month. In our 510 class, the assignment was to either author a new page or edit an existing page in the 510 educational design wiki. Not understanding the power of collaborative writing, I chose to complete a solo edit of an existing page. In retrospect, I wished I had of work with a group to experience a more collaborative effort in this assignment.
The 565 wiki assignment offered this opportunity; however, I found the interaction and collaborative effort somewhat lacking. Although our group is very active in the discussion forums, this was not the case in wiki discussion area. I am not sure what the final result looked like because I am 9 hours ahead of Vancouver time. When I checked in Sunday night Moroccan time, there were many strategies and challenges but there was little discussion on what our top 5 would be. Maybe, this discussion will occur during the last couple of hours of the wiki assignment?
the next day…
Our wiki did come together! Good job, class! Unfortunately, I missed most of the collaborative work that occurred Sunday afternoon, Vancouver time. Here is the final result!
A Sighting from Sandy (from the class wiki assignment)
The timing was perfect. This morning, I opened an email from the Tech Department entitled, “Join us after school for a session on using Twitter in the Classroom.” Excellent!
We started with a brief overview of Twitter which included how to create an account and the basics on how to use it. The discussion then turned to how Twitter could be used by educators to communicate with other teachers to ask for help, get ideas, follow other professionals, receive conference information and for resource recommendations. It peaked my interest but I wanted to learn how to use it in the classroom with my students. To begin this topic, we watched a youtube video called, Twitter in the Classroom which discussed how teachers at Minneapolis Roosevelt High School were weaving social websites that students use on a daily basis into traditional course content. The teachers discussed that it increased student participation and engagement which lead to increased academic achievement. A slide show on How to Use Twitter in the Classroom was then presented. I listened carefully to the ideas but was still searching for a connection, something that I could use in my science classes. Then a colleague caught my attention by pointing out that my class could use Twitter to send to Tweets about current event topics related to content we were studying in class. This, I thought, could work!
We quickly realized as a group that there were probably over 100 ways to use Twitter in the classroom. The session was coming to an end. I packed up my laptop and headed for the door. On my out, I heard someone ask, “Why are we promoting Twitter but have blocked Facebook?” I grinned and thought to myself, great question. I didn’t wait to hear the answer because I knew their response would be related to the idea that students waste too much time on facebook. As I walked back to my classroom, I decided to send a thank-you email to the tech department in the morning along with some information on how facebook could be used in the classroom as an educational tool as opposed to a waste of time!