In 2012, the world we live in is moving in incredible speed. The population is rising, generations are everchanging, and new media technologies spread viral content at an exponentially increasing rate.
From mobile phones and video games to Facebook and YouTube, digital media are changing the way young people play and socialize in the 21st century. Digital technologies are also transforming the way students learn and participate in communities.
Thanks for visiting my blog during 2011. You’re one of 9,100 people who visited this site during the year. The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people, so if this blog were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
The main purpose of today is to set up an easy but powerful online space. This will be the launch pad for everything else we do. Think of it as your digital filing cabinet, your grab bag of Web 2.0 tricks, your online classroom.
Before we start, lets think about what you want to achieve from this session today. To do that we are going to use a Web 2.0 tool called Stixy. You will need to create your own Stixy account. To get started click here.
Once you have created your Stixy account, click here for this sessions activity.
Activity 1: Creating Your Online Space
- Get a WordPress Blog
- Change the theme
- Make a Post
- Embed YouTube (remember &rel=0)
- Try TubeChop.com
- Get Firefox for extensions like the video downloader?
- Embed all kinds of media in WordPress (maps, images, documents or polls?)
- A practice post with embeds
Fine-tuning your Blog
- Comment Settings
- Siderbar widgets
- Various How-to Videos from WordPress
- Add as a link to your Sidebar (video) or Add a link (page)
Pause for Reflection
From the Dashboard or your blog, go to “Pages” and edit the “About” page. Use this to reflection on how you think you might use your blog in a range of ways for yourself, your students and colleagues.
Activity 2: Look to Learn – Learn to Look
- Look to Learn – overview
- Look to Learn Web site
- Look to Learn Sample Prompts
- Thinking Routines overview
- Thinking Routines from the Visible Thinking team at Harvard
- Article on Making Thinking Visible by David Perkins
- Miniature Earth
- VisionShift: Whose Future?
- “I Can”
- Nuclear Giving
- There’s Data in them ther Kids (cartoon)
- The Global Rich List (interactive site)
Activity 3: Some more Web 2.0 tools
The next activity is to explore some more Web 2.0 tools that you can use in the classroom.
Some more web 2.0 tools to try:
- Dropbox: Cloud storage 2gb free
- Diggo: Social bookmarking
- Netvibes: RSS feeds. Create pages for your own classroom
- Wordal: Create online word clouds
- Jot Form: Create online forms
- Will you type with me: Colaborate on the same document
- Mind Meister: Online mind mapping tool
- Slideshare: Share and download PowerPoint presentations
- Poll Everywhere: Online interactive polling
- My Fake Wall: Create fake Facebook pages
- Gap Minder World: World Statistics
- Paper.ly: Turn your Twitter feeds into an online newspaper
- About Me: Creat your own online business card
Please provide some feedback on today’s session using Jot Form.
Teachers participating in our web 2.0 projects have been working together to gain a greater understanding of how digital technologies can positively impact upon both classroom practice and school-wide ICT integration.
We began this process by sending out an invitation for people who might be interested in exploring the use of Web 2.0 technology in the classroom. Nine teachers responded to this email invitation so toward the end of Term 2, 2011 we met together as a small group. Jackson and I led these teachers through the process of how to set up a blog using WordPress.
Since then, this project has grown in scope and depth, with a huge level of interest amongst staff and students. Other teachers have seen what we have been doing and have wanted to join or small group of nine project members. We did not allow other people to join the original group, but instead have used the original group to teach others how to do the same thing
Have a look at some of what we have been doing:
I had been playing with blogging for several years but struggled to understand how to engage students with the content. I used this project to bring together what I had been doing and to develop it further in the classroom. My blog has separate pages for Accounting, Business Management and Commerce as well as Professional Learning. Earlier in the year I continued to just add content either as a summary of a topic or to add value to what we had been doing in class. The blog really began to take off in the middle of the year at exam revision time. I found that students were going back to the content to assist with revision and in the four days leading up to the exam there were over 500 hits on the blog.
Since them I have explored the concept of class portals and set up a portal on Civics and Citizenship for my Year 9 Commerce class. This was the point were I really began to see the benefits of Web 2.0. Students were allocated a topic and worked in pairs to develop content and a learning activity. Students then had to present this information to the class and run a lesson using the material they had developed. This flipped the learning process from teacher focused to student focused and I truly became a facilitator rather than a teacher.
Jackson’s English/IT/Professional Development blog has been a moderate success. Jackson has experimented with all of the techniques that have come up as a result of the workshops, but some have been more successful than others. The biggest challenge has been finding the time and space in an already crowded and quite prescriptive curriculum to implement his ideas. The Look2Learn stuff has worked well, and with a little bit of repetition and consolidation he thinks this will be great for his classes at all levels. The Survival portal has engaged students, but had to be suspended as he took on a student teacher in that class. It showed some promise, though, and he thinks by giving it a higher priority in the curriculum from the outset next year it will really take off.
Mark teaches Year 9 Commerce along side me. He set up a separate blog for his class and then used this as class portal as well for the Civics and Citizenship project.
Our secondary library has rolled out a blog with the aim of someday-incorporating student reviews and posts into the main site. At the moment the site is used for distributing information to students about new acquisitions in the library. The site seeks to get the students more involved in the library, so there have been competitions associated with the site, an online suggestion box and even little take away bookmarks with the library WordPress site emblazoned on it, so they know where to go for the latest information.
At the start of the year our Literature teacher had a conversation with me (Director of teaching and Learning) about how she was struggling to integrate technology into her classroom. She joined the Web 2.0 project and has used her blog to distribute information to her classes and other staff members (she also has a role working with me to facilitate teacher development). She has also included some personal posts about her life outside of school and she has said that this has really helped her to connect with her students. She has also had her students create their own Literature class portals for all of the texts they are studying and she has been impressed with the thoughtfulness her students put into their online work. While some of the class portals have fizzled out a little, she has learnt some good strategies for engaging the classes and is confident to continue using these media in the future.