Tuesday, April 1, 2008

921-Session 10-Collective Intelligence

You may have noticed that I have added a cool feature to the blog. You can now double click on any word on the blog and you will be prompted with more details. The possibilities for a tool like this are astronomical when using edublogs in the classroom. Any word used by the 'blog author' or 'comment poster' can be defined w/o a student leaving the page. Give it a try.

I thought I'd take a moment to go over the schedule for the rest of the semester.

  • Session 11 will be posted on 4/8

  • Spring Break--on 4/15

  • Session 12----on 4/22

  • Deliverable #3 should be completed and posted under S12's comments before 4/29 (as well as placed on the wiki)

  • Session 13----will be comprised of your finshed projects due by midnight, Friday, May 2nd.

Please don't wait until the last minute to contact me if you have any questions.

There is a renewed movement underway from schools, businesses, and universities. They are giving 'Collective Intelligence' a closer look. From MIT's new 'Center for Collective Intelligence,' to businesses using wikis within their internal networks, to schools using Collective Intelligence resources and tools in the K-12 setting---we will look at all of these examples, as well as discuss their long term implications during this session.

Keep in mind while you are viewing this session that your Deliverable 3 will be due, and posted, under the comment section of Session 12, as well as posted to the wiki. Additionally, keep in mind that the deadline for your Final Project is fast approaching.

As always, feel free to contact me if you ever have additional questions or comments.



MDavis said...

This session's discussion, although a little heavy on philosophy, did make me laugh at some imaginative ideas. When Dave mentioned Thomas Jefferson, I did get to thinking about what old TJ
would be like today. Would he have dot.com or a blog with the Republican party? Would Hamilton,
Madison, and Jay write their Federalist Papers as a blog, allowing some feedback on federalism? Heck, our Bill of Rights could have been an interesting national wiki if given a few years to mature and receive proofreading! That may seem farfetched, but then who would have thought that NASA and the CIA would solicit uninhibited help or an audience from the general public? For now, I'll settle on Curikki and seem if I can solve the problems of the world with the help of my students, one small step at a time...

Anonymous said...

Session #10 Comments “Collective Intelligence”

John Lalli

“The whole exceeds the sum of the parts.” I have always agreed with that concept. The synergy resulting in groups of informed people inputting to a single idea or activity is almost always more productive and helpful than the results of single individuals. I have said all along that my goal is to develop a blog which will indeed allow members of the North Kingstown High School community to cooperate intellectually and to work together to make the school a safer, more secure and productive place for all of its students. One of the formulae mentioned in session #10, “Information plus knowledge equals power and influence”, sums it up for me. As an assistant principal, I already have “power and influence” over students by virtue of my position in the hierarchy of the school. What I want to expand is my influence (not in an egotistical way) within the larger community. I want to help parents and gain their help in guiding student to reach their potentials as individuals. One way to do this is to protect them from those destructive decisions which can negatively impact their success as students and people.

Parts of this session were a little “heavy” for me. I must admit. However, I was very impressed with the blog from Stanford University. Its menu of sites and activities was interesting, a virtual tour of the school. I imagined a similar site, albeit smaller in scope, for NKHS. This concept would have to be sold to the decision makers at all levels and then would take the collaborative efforts of many to develop and implement. It has me thinking of a long-term project, probably the work of volunteers to get it going. To have a site similar to that of Stanford’s for the community and world at large to see and use would be a really impressive and helpful thing.

Terry Friedman’s pitch on how to sell Web 2.0 was informative and helpful. If I do push on with the idea of developing a school blog, his “Seven Ways to Sell” will be helpful, as would his four areas of concern. I read a detailed article in the “San Francisco Chronicle” last weekend which was entitled “Web can ruin reputation with a stroke of a key”. The gist of this thoughtful and thought provoking article was that it very easy for individuals to post information on blogs which is misleading, deceitful, and slanderous. This information, left unchecked or refuted, can be extremely injurious to others, especially those who “own” the blog or wiki. This is a growing concern throughout industry and academia, as blogs and wikis proliferate. There are even industries that have sprung up to help clients remove damaging information from sites. I mention all of this only because one of my initial concerns with wikis was the fact that input from contributors does not have to be correct or factual, yet it may be taken “as gospel” by uninformed readers. This is a danger in using blogs and calls for the blog owners to ensure that they must screen inputs before they are posted or something seriously wrong could happen with the unscreened information.

In summary, I found this session really informative. It has helped push me more toward the use Web 2.0 at NKHS. I still have the need to become much more proficient in the publishing skills, but this session has made me more conscious to the fact that I can use the collective skills of others to assist in this endeavor.

John Lalli

Robin Shtulman said...

Thoughts after having viewed the first half od session 10:

I saved Freedman's PDF to my desktop for future reference, as the cautionary principles are the same whether we're looking to introduce a new technology tool or any curricular piece.

Speaking of obstacles -- One obstacle I am experiencing involves the difficulties of working in public spaces (libraries, cafes with internet). It sometimes is not possible to watch video or listen to podcasts when you want to, because they annoy other people!

On to the philosophical: I love the concept of collective intelligence. It's a lovely thought that the whole exceeds the sum of its parts. Of course, this assumes that everyone is adding something valuable. That is the best-case scenario. There is also always the caution that contributors may not be knowledgable. As with face-to-face committee work, I think blog and wiki collaborations ahould be created with a leader or leadership team, whose responsibility it will be to keep things in the realm of reality.

I also really liked the equation knowledge + information = power + influence. I think this can be true. However, I am reminded of the motto of my dear alma mater, Hampshire College, "Non Satis Scire." To know is not enough. What we choose to do with our knowledge and information matters.

Anonymous said...

From Joe…

I was going to comment on the info for this session, however John did it far better than
I could….many teachers and administrators feel weak or “lack power” because the kids
Are more knowledgeable about new technology, learning about it keeps us even/ or surpasses them…thus its important to keep up with technology…..

As we started this course, I had a major concern regarding “incorrect” info posted to blogs or anywhere online. As long as articles and teachers alike are aware of the danger,
We should be ok….although it is an extra medium to maintain, the potential for the kids in using these tools for learning out weights; or at least limits those concerns…

msaunders said...

Thank you, Dave, for pointing out the icon for AnswerTips. I was going to ask whether it cost money but first I double clicked on the AnswerTips icon and connected to the fact that it is free and easy. After I put it on my blog, I discovered a typo in one of my posts because it didn't respond when I double-clicked that particular word.
I am looking forward to showing this to several of our special education teachers. Their population of students include those that have the least access to computer technology at home. Every session they spend in the computer lab is a constant challenge because individual help is needed by every student at once. Despite the challenge, usually, computer lab lessons are well received by students who sometimes need something different to spark their interest. Thus these teachers keep trying.
I want to show them the potential of Blogger coupled with AnswerTips to start. Then, perhaps, on to images, podcasting, video...

Amy said...

I think Curikki is a great site.
It has interesting links and tools for teaching, and most importantly it shows us what is going on around the world in education. I truly believe in being connected with other schools and having a sense of what is happening in other districts, it helps you become more involved.

I also wanted to comment on what Robin had to say in her post this week. She said, "that the whole exceeds the sum of its parts. Of course, this assumes that everyone is adding something valuable. That is the best-case scenario. There is also always the caution that contributors may not be knowledgeable." I could not agree with her more. As we have seen throughout this course, there are many sites on the internet that are just there. They have no meaning or connection to a topic. They are created solely for sale of a product or basically just to solicit information. You can't trust everything you read correct? As educators we have all seen and read things that are not factual. Yet we have a hard time teaching our kids how to figure this out for themselves. We all have tools in our possession to utilize and sometimes it just seems to difficult to achieve the goal.

I think that Collective Intelligence is an amazing tool for everyone. It really does take the hard work away from the work. it links us to almost all aspects of life and yet half of the time, NO, most of the time, we don't use it. Wouldn't it be exciting to see that change? If only more people could be exposed to Dave's class and knowledge! (I'm serious!)

Oh, on one other note, I also love the AnswerTips. That is such a cool feature! I too will be adding it to my blog.

Pam B said...

I liked the simple definition of collective intelligence, which says that together we can do more than we can do separately. I don’t think many of us would disagree with that premise. To me, the next logical question in the information age is how can technology (Web 2.0) make collective intelligence easier? MIT has very aptly phrased the question this way,” “How can people and computers be connected so that—collectively—they act more intelligently than any individuals, groups, or computers have ever done before?” At present, wikis certainly promise the ability to do that. When even the CIA and NASA use a customized wiki, it certainly would seem reasonable that education should be able to use the power of the wiki for collective intelligence as well. Stanford University seems to feel wikis are useful and in past sessions we’ve seen other educators who are utilizing wikis to their advantage in the classroom as well.

Yet I seriously wonder if most educators are there yet. I’m taking another online class right now as well, and it just so happens our discussion forum centered on collaboration this past week. Most of the participants talked about the ability to collaborate on a limited basis citing schedules and time as a roadblock to collaboration. They talked about doing much of their collaboration on an informal basis, sharing ideas and collaborating at lunch or during prep time if schedules allowed. Time before and after school is often dedicated to other things. I found it interesting that none of the other participants suggested using technology to bypass the limitations of being able to physically meet. Wouldn’t it work to use wikis when planning a unit or looking for input about a lesson plan or idea? Curriki would seem to suggest that indeed that would be a great use for wikis within a school or district?

I wondered about one other thing as well. How far can educators use wikis to discuss the needs of students? When I was thinking about my deliverable 3 a few weeks ago, I sent a question to a listserv asking teacher librarians for “success stories” connected with the use of wikis and blogs. Again, I didn’t receive much feedback but I attributed much of that to summer. One response I did receive, however, indicated they felt one of the most effective uses of a wiki is one they used to discuss students on academic contracts. The wiki was password protected and I’m guessing/hoping used on their local area network.

I guess I could use some of the ideas Terry Friedman presented to help those educators who are looking for ways to better collaborate and meet the needs of students. For me, I need to remember not to let my own excitement about technology overshadow the ideas of others. I would never want to be seen as what Friedman describes as an evangelizer. So, to present wikis to other educators I need to remember that most teachers really want to do the best thing and be able to show how this technology will make life better and easier for them.

Finally, in whatever we do we need to consider the needs of our students. I wanted to comment on something Dave said in our PowerPoint, “And it is a tool and skill that our students of today will need in order to be successful employees of tomorrow." I had a meeting in Des Moines this past week. I should have written down the quote and the source, but I’ll just need to paraphrase. The comment was made that because of NCLB schools are indeed "educating" students, but what we really need to ask ourselves is, are we preparing them for the 21st century? Perhaps this idea is the hook I can use to convince others of the capability of wikis.

pwestkott said...

I must admit that my best work has been the result of collective intelligence. That fits well with one of the basic philosophies of my upbringing: it doesn't matter who gets credit, but it does count on being responsible for my contribution. Since this course has continued to open up new possibilities for my own practice and learning, I'm motivated.

I, too, found myself impressed with who/what have Wikis. The CIA has 28,000 pages!! And, since collective intelligence is fostered at MIT, administration must accept the senior pranks. (How did they get a VW Bug on top of the dome of the student center without anyone knowing it?)

This week's session is rich with resources. Curriki.org is invaluable, Mark's video and tutorials have been most helpful. Wouldn't it be wonderful to be/have a teacher such as his friend Dave?
( Hope my grandkids will!) His Aristotle experiment and the wiki for summer reading would motivate kids to read Moby Dick this summer. They demonstrated how teachers can effectively design a format for student initiative, creativity and accountability. Dave's thinking illustrates how developing his Wiki fostered planning, multiple drafts evident through the history function, revising after collaborative interactions from others that resulted in their published work. He summed it up with "nothing validates your work more than having someone else examine it." That squarely puts ownership back on the student (or myself).

He (Dave) also remarked how one significant change in his practice was "giving control over to his students." Yes, he has but well within his expectations. Mark's wife echoed the same thing. I believe a strength that Wikis offer is that accountability piece. Everything is traceable back to an IP address - whether our contribution is significant, not relevant or a form of online bullying. That's what I need to be sure students understand.

I had much difficulty staying on task because my mind was racing ahead to the what's next, what if... I found myself framing my proposal in my head for Deliverable #3. Actually I emailed my principal with my idea.

Terry Freedman's video helped launch my thinking off-task. His Seven General Principles are not limited to convincing people about the Web 2.0.
After determining who the intended audience is, these principles are key to implementing a culture of change (or leadership) within any organization.
Whenever I am expected to facilitate, present or whatever, I'll hear Terry's list and the objective analysis he held with his wife. Any one in a leadership position would do well to consider them.

At Narragansett, i find myself in an enviable position of not having to convince administration and many of my colleagues about the value of preparing students for a life we can't anticipate. I will temper my enthusiasm, not wishing to sound like an evangilist, but remembering to accept others opinions and value their questions. Collective Intelligence is built upon the collaboration of people learning and trying their best. These can be powerful tools for building that together.

msaunders said...

I was happy to learn about http://www.curriki.org because I need lesson ideas for the wiki I am building. Am I missing somethin? When I examined the site, it seemed to me that it needs much more input before it would be generally useful. Perhaps the concept is too broad. Moreover, I think they need a librarian or someone to organize things better. Also, I find it ironic that the curriki site under Educational Technology has a lesson example that has students in groups research the Amazon Rain Forest http://www.curriki.org/xwiki/bin/view/Coll_cpenny/WebQuestTemplate and then produce the standard print travel brochure. Too bad, a sample lesson on a wiki site about curriculum doesn’t have the students produce a wiki product.
Several states have wonderful curriculum-related lesson resources. For instance, Illinois standards are searchable. When you reach the standards, those with links go to lessons that have authors and invite comments.
Louisiana has lessons connected to curriculum standards at
http://www.doe.state.la.us/lde/saa/1407.html So, thanks to teachers proudly and freely sharing their lessons on the Internet, I won’t have any difficulty finding what I need for my wiki. Can we call the availability of lessons on the Internet a collective intelligence, educational resource?
In reference to the idea that we are teaching students to be members of the future workforce, I noticed that the American Association of School Librarians will have Daniel H. Pink as keynote speaker. Conference attendees are ask to read his book A Whole New Mind prior to the conference. According to the announcement from the AASL, “A Whole New Mind charts the rise of right brain thinking…The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind—creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers, and mean makers…We are moving from an economy and society built on the logical, linear, computer-like capabilities of the Information Age to an economy and society built on the inventive, empathic, big picture capabilities of what’s rising in its place, the Conceptual Age” (p. 1-2). From what I am learning in this class this summer, I think that educational use of the tools that we are studying could help students prepare for the world Daniel Pink describes.
By the way, online courses such as this one are prime examples of collective intelligence. Dave presents the lesson online connecting us to the ideas and examples from the work of experts. Since the course is online rather than lecture and discussion, we students, who are also professionals with varied experiences, must contribute each week. On the blog and wiki we see each other’s responses to the lesson and sometimes add to the general knowledge with items from our experience or wisdom from our own synthesis of the information presented. If this were a conventional lecture and discussion course, we would only have input from the lecturer and those students who spoke up in the time allow for discussion.

Jennifer said...

I'm not sure I have anything new to contribute this week. I am thinking about deliverable #3 and it is feeling overwhelming and depressing because there is no way the district technology coordinator is going to unblock something just for one teacher. When my husband was technology coordinator at our school, back when we had money for such frippery, the tech coordinator wouldn't even answer my husband's emails about what vendors to use, etc., then scolded him for contacting vendors himself.

The only way I can think to approach getting permission to use Web 2.0 stuff is to explain how it allows us to document collaboration and make it accountable. The district (and maybe even the state?) has mandated that senior portfolios demonstrate some kind of collaboration and/or community involvement--what we've always referred to as the applied learning standards (from the New Standards) in our school. We've always had trouble assessing those standards because it is hard to document collaborative work. However, blogs and wikis would allow the students to demonstrate their accountability to the group/community projects they work on.

When I went to school the other day to see if pb wiki is blocked (it is), I didn't think to check if wikipedia is now blocked. It wasn't, in the past. If it isn't, I'm considering a plan in which students ultimately do some writing for wikipedia. I had never looked at wikipedia "under the hood," but I did today. So many of the things we've talked about doing with kids and Web 2.0 are all there in one package. They include everything from pointers for acceptable use to formatting your entry. I think I could use wikipedia as a specific example of Web 2.0 technology that kids would then be able to transfer to other services once they get somewhere that is more open.

I'm sorry to reiterate, but my world isn't flat. I'm struggling up a mountain right now. It doesn't matter in the least that yes, most of my students do have cell phones, a) because blocking cell phone usage in school is probably even more universal than blocking other technologies, and b) because that technology must not really exist yet, otherwise wouldn't we be learning about it here?

msaunders said...

I can relate to your frustration. Next time you are at school try www.edublog.org. They say they are free but, as I understand it, something has to be downloaded to your school's server. Perhaps your technology coordinator needs to have the control that hosting on your server provides. Show him/her what has been done and what you plan. Would getting an administrator to support the idea help?

Michael Skeldon said...

I'm truly torn. I have ideas for wikis that I would like to see used by our faculty, yet I believe that getting students up and running on their digital portfolios is more pressing. I think I'm going to look at it this way:

As Capstone Project Coordinator, I will have all assignments related to the Capstone Project, complete with deadlines and rubrics ready to go before the start of school.

Once school starts, as Dean I will kick the Capstone Coordinator in the butt to help focus the rest of the faculty on getting a wiki up and running to help facilitate Common Planning Time.

This past academic year, we implemented CPT with some difficulty. The limited size of the faculty does not allow a great degree of flexibility during the school day. The faculty voted to do CPT after school (uncompensated), but many did not stick with it. This year, we have budgeted for some compensation and, if I can make it into a technology learning experience by incorporating wikis, I think we will have better attendance.

Regarding the concept of Collective Intelligence...

The Beacon team has embraced working collaboratively on projects such as the Performance Based Graduation Requirements (PBGRs) and we have already learned that we are greater than the sum of our parts.

I'm wondering if, like the Stanford example, our school community could look at some of the work in a "CPT Wiki" and get the input of parents and students. Our principal often speaks of his desire for transparency in everything (i.e., grade breakdown percentages are the same for EVERY class for EVERY teacher, and they are ALL published on syllabi provided for every class.

Oh, and I thought you all should know... I'm in love! Like many of you, curriki.org is my new favorite place in the universe! Once I start CPT it just may be enough to lure in the rest of Beacon's faculty!!!

At Beacon, we don't have an entrenched administration unwilling to change. The problem we run into more often is that we are implementing so many new changes that it can seem overwhelming. My challenge will be twofold: (1) convince all parties that there is not much extra time needed for working on the wiki and (2) connecting it to all disciplines at the school including the 3 arts majors. Our CPT activities have too often not focused on the courses that have been the main draw for most students in our school.

The concerns raised by Terry Friedman about getting the administration to buy in on blogs and such will not be much of an issue. After all, it was the administration that brought in "Digication" to explore online student portfolios in the first place....

Melissa Horton said...

Great session! Curikki is a great site. I love being introduced to new sites. I will need to spend more time there - great when I need inspiration!

I was also surprized to learn about the CIA and Nasa Wikis! It is hard to imagine such important/secretive organizations have imbraced the Wiki - at least to some extent.

Finally, as I continued to go through this session, I kept hearing the same phrase in my head over and over again - knowlege is good! YIPPEE!

Reading blog said...

I have to admit; as I was going through this session all I could think about was deliverable #3. I’m alittle nervous about it. I’m trying to think about what I can do and what tools I can incorporate.
I did realize that my class blog can not be accessed from school. They don’t allow access. I think it would be a major problem to try and get access. I have to double check about CCRI. One of my students told me she tried to post a comment and was denied access from the library. I’m going to check that out, because I have seen people using myspace from CCRI.
I think it’s great that many of the tools mentioned are free. I liked that the students in one of the videos were telling how they really felt. They did think it was a lot of work. One group said they were have technology difficulties but still liked it. The students seemed interested and invested in what they were doing.
I’m going to have to try the sight, where you can double click on a word and have the meaning appear. That is great.
I’ve also been thinking about using this in the community. It might be a great tool for a Parent –Teacher organization. They are just starting one out at my school. This may be something that might help. Some people may be hesitant to speak in front of a large crowd and offer their opinion. This may be a solution too that, in between monthly meetings.

Anonymous said...

famous99 @ verizon.net

After going through this lesson, I'm more impressed with the DOE... This year they're transferring to a new filtering system and invited librarians into the discussion. They used a (secure) wiki to do this. What a great way to use collective intelligence!

Maria said...

I thought my comment for this session had posted but apparently it became lost in cyberspace. hmmm.

Anyway, as I am trying to remember the few points I wanted to contribute to the discussion, I wanted to tell you that one of my fourth grade classes is studying RI history. I've shown a small group of them how to use a wiki to share what they have learned. They are just so excited to use this technology to do something cool in school. It's a work in progress right now but it's been a great motivator for the children to learn. Talk about a great example of collective intelligence here at work. It can be found at https://carlglauro.wikispaces.com/4th+Graders+History+of+RI
It's just a beginning, so don't expect something as great as the examples we have seen from some classroom teachers.

I think wikis are a great measure of the power of collective intelligence/networking. The MIT site was very impressive, and full of brilliant people and brilliant ideas. Stanford had a great idea to use a wiki as an informative bulletin board for residents of the campus. It'd be a good idea to do something like this at every college or even on the high school/middle school level. I don't think the elementary level would benefit from it too much, except maybe the parents, staff and administration - just my opinion.

Curriki was a neat site. I also like the Global Education Collaborative (globaleducation.ning.com). It is also a great site where educators all around the world can collectively work on projects, share information, lessons, chat, etc.

Terry Freedman's video will certainly help with deliverable #3 and the final project. One of my ideas to pitch to my administration is the focus of my deliverable. I've been working on my pitch.

Somthing that I've been thinking about along the CI lines...web 2.0 and classroom 2.0 concepts as well as all of the amazing tools out there that we are learning about through this course and our own curiosity had to originate somewhere. I think these technologies and concepts are great examples of collective networking and intelligence. The ideas that springboard from a conversation, a blog posting, or by editing a wiki, all contribute to the collective intelligence of our literate society here in the 21st century.

Dave Fontaine said...


FHS Library said...

Kim Crotty
Library 9-12

What I have found interesting in the two classes I have taken this semester is how much collaboration, team work, cooperation, partnership, group effort,joint effort etc., is being stressed. It appears to me that this is the first time working together has been emphasized so dramatically in school and the work force. Its obvious with the tools we've been exposed to this semester all focus on working mutually and connecting globally that as teachers we can longer shut our doors and work alone in our classrooms/buildings. In order to be a successful in our
21st century world our doors must always reamin open and we must always be looking for ways to connect and learn from others no matter where their location is in the world. It truly is an exciting time to be teaching and learning! In 20 yeas I've never seen so much change occur so quickly in education and in how we instruct our students!

Anonymous said...

Susan Tennett Adams

I found Terry Friedman’s presentation extremely helpful. It basically detailed everything one needs to keep in mind when writing a proposal. I especially liked the objection analysis for overcoming obstacles, which prompted me to think about questions my principal might ask when I make my proposal. I made a list of questions then wrote responses to each. The one question I can’t come up with answer is: Where will the money to fund this proposal come from? I know the school department will not buy the equipment I need. The PTO doesn’t have the money either and I surely cannot afford to pay $3,000 for this technology. I wonder: Where will the money come from? (I’ve already begun looking online for funding-donorschoose.org.)

Rosemary Driscoll said...

I agree that Terry Freedman's podcast was very helpful in terms of thinking about an effective proposal for Web 2.0 technology in schools. A pragmatic approach like he offers will help build a case for using these tools. Ithink he covered all of the bases.
Mark Wagner's video was also helpful and inspiring like Dave said. I hadn't thought about the possibility of students' cheating on a class wiki until about two thirds of the way through the video. But, using the history function can help with that potential problem.
I wonder too how do we pay for this. In my district, teachers don't even have working computers in their classrooms. I'm fortunate to have 14 computers in the library at my middle school - bought with grant money - that teachers can sign up and use for classroom activities. I'm hoping to spread the word about wikis (since wikispaces is not blocked yet, don't tell anyone)to the faculty at my school. My colleague Joan, who is also taking this class, and I at are least starting the conversation. An important first step I think.
Good news as of Friday. Blogmeister was supposed to be unblocked in EP as a result of she and I taking this class! We'll see tomorrow.

MrsO'Halloran said...

Joan O'Halloran

MIT and Stanford had very impressive wikis - not unexpectedly. Wouldn't it be great for a middle/high school community to create a smaller scale version? Terry Friedman's podcast and pdf will be a wonderful tool to use as I create the next deliverable. He condensed my myriad and scattered ideas into a checklist - and he thought of a few that I hadn't! Hopefully, the administration won't turn me down.

After seeing so many useful wikis - Curriki is awesome and the Aristotle Project is amazing - I am convinced that integrating wikis into education is necessary. Because I, like most of my students, learn by doing, I will start very small - maybe one class or two groups within a class, after NECAP science testing. I am very interested to see if using this technology would improve the performance of my underachieving students.

Donna said...

Session 10

I agree Rosemary and Susan, that Terry Freedman’s presentation very helpful for supporting Web 2.0. In fact, I think I will be able to use his principles for other ideas and proposals for my library. I also found the Aristotle experiment very useful. I showed it to a teacher that will be teaching the Odyssey in a couple of weeks. He was very interested and hopefully we will be able to work together to create a wiki or a blog for his class. I’m trying to hook 1 teacher at a time.

JPolinick said...

John Polinick
I am glad lesson 10 was posted before the deliverable #3. It was very helpful with creating a starting point, key issues, and excellent facts to back up the importance of Web 2.0. Providence has yet to block all blogs and this allows time to get some of my ideas and reasoning noted. The current school administration was impressed with the classroom blog while on a learning walk. Both the school reading coach and reading consultant saw the classroom blog/wiki as something very positive. I have even been approached to help with staff development. This is a big relief to me because our school is piloting a new reading program and I thought that the administration may have considered what I am doing unacceptable. They usually want uniformity while instituting a new reading program. I think that web 2.0 adds content to what we do each day, rather than detract from our curriculum, and I am glad to see that my principal didn’t need to be convinced of that.
I was impressed with the screen cast “Evolution of Literacy”. As an elementary school teacher we are constantly teaching about text styles and how to read them. All of our previous work was based on genre and what you would expect to see. If students were given a literacy piece, it was something that generally had guidelines. Fictional stories/characters often followed the plot guidelines and if there where pictures, they were to help outline the story or show important events. If the writing was non-fiction, it usually contained texts, and diagrams/pictures. Now with the Web 2.0 evolution, we have multiple text features in all types of textual formants. Along with these new skills, the ability to evaluate the text being used is something that is uncharted territory. We never questioned texts in school and have always just absorbed what was put in front of us. As conscious adults, we have learned that everything we see shouldn’t be believed and perspective plays the ultimate role in what is written. I am sure that the Iraqi citizens have a different opinion of the last 5 years than average Americans. I think that we have to enlighten students regarding the reality, reliability, and usefulness of the web. It is here to stay and as educators, it is the next step in literacy.
A couple of other quick impressions: The quote that really made me think was; “Print is no longer the dominate means of communication. Why do we still act that it always is?”. The fact that surprised me; 53 forms of representations for literacy, and I think there are still many more to come. Technological advancement in the last 20 years has been unparalleled in human history. It is safe to say that as technology continues to grow exponentially, if we as educators are not continually on the cutting edge, we may be as outdated as the VCR.
The Wiki Dave information from lesson 9 added was under the mathematic/Elementary section. While taking a class called Math Matters, my eyes were really opened up to the fact that many mathematical formulas and common algorithms were just given to us without any explanation. The why, we do something was never answered. While teaching math to my students, I always try to explain the why before the how. It often leads to an often scientific/experimental activity. In this activity, children will access information about why we use 3.14 and how it pertains to the area of all circles. Once this type of experiment occurs, I often find children remember and understand the mathematical information given.
Finally, I had added a couple of neat widgets to my blog. Thanks Dave for the answers.com dictionary. I have added it. I have also added, Top blogger, count down (last day of school), Sudoku, on-line chat (through google), and the feeds. If anyone has found any other useful html for blogger, please post.

joannak said...

Joanna Knott
4-6 librarian

I think Terry Freedman just made my life much easier! What a common sense, non-frills approach to tackling such a difficult issue. The idea of approaching administration with such drastic technology is intimidating, especially to me, a young woman in the field. Rather than approaching the issue as the evangelizer that I’ve become, I can see the logic of a systematic and thorough approach. He also brought up many concerns that I’m sure I would have never considered before listening to the podcast. I’ve printed the pdf and plan to share it with fellow evangelists in my building!

I read a comment in “Wide Open Spaces: Wikis, Ready or Not” that truly applies to my Deliverable 3. One of the concerns that so many people have with wikis is the ease that one can be “ruined” by malicious editing. While we’ve read many resources that argue sensibly against that, Brian Lamb’s article created a nice little metaphor:
“This concern is largely misplaced. Think of an open wiki space as a home that leaves its front door unlocked but doesn’t get robbed because the neighbors are all out on their front steps gossiping, keeping a friendly eye on the street, and never missing a thing.”
I think this metaphor will resonate with the small-community administration of our school district.

Maybe if all else fails, a little “wikipressure” will help: if the CIA is doing it…!

joannak said...

Joanna Knott

TO John Polinick:

Great wiki! You've added some very cool tools. I'm sure the kids love the last day of school countdown!

Anonymous said...

Melissa Berenberg
Reading Teacher
Grades 3-5
Session 10

I am a firm believer in Collective Intelligence and incorporating Web 2.0 tools into instructional practices. As a part of my School Improvement Team, we are currently promoting staff development and how to provide more opportunities for teachers to interact with others, share ideas, and assist one another in order to improve our school community. Working together provides a shared learning and opens up many different worlds of knowledge without having to leave the building. Collective Intelligence provides a means for a greater understanding of knowledge and a connection made around the world. I am impressed with MIT and Stanford University in their efforts in the implementation of Wikis among faculty, students, and the community. It is nice to have different examples of how Universities are using these tools. I also enjoyed several elements of www.curriki.org. The Art of Intervention and The Elementary Science Book List were two resources that I found and enjoyed. The Art of Intervention is a project for students to learn about artists that invented new tools. These resources are organized well and provide a summary as well as a download of more information. These resources also revolved around student interest as well as opportunities for higher level thinking skills with a creative twist. The Elementary Science Book List is another great resource that supports literacy and cross-curricular activities.

Terry Freedman’s views on overcoming obstacles were a great model and example for our upcoming assignment. I greatly appreciated the eight general principals to presenting new ideas, four common objectives to blogging as well as solutions. It is important to be prepared for negative views on anything new and have possible solutions. You need to do your research and play devil’s advocate when presenting something new. Proactive strategies for change are important and by analyzing the audience’s views and responses is a great preparation. This information will come in handy for our assignment.

Leilani Coelho said...

I am so happy to have found out about Curriki. I am always online researching topics and looking for new lesson plans to implement in my classroom. This website has great resources and lesson plans that any teacher of any grade/subject could use. I enjoy learning from other teachers and learn best when I can actually see them teach vs. read a lesson plan. Hopefully someday collective intelligence/networking will take it to the next level and take all text lesson plans and replace them with videos of actual teachers implementing these lessons. I truly feel collective networking is up and coming for educators

Jennifer Long said...

Regarding Session 10:
Today, I offer reflections on three different topics: Mark Wagner’s wiki presentation, the CIA wiki, and curriki.org.

It was helpful to review Mark Wagner’s video about wikis (see session 8). This time around, I skipped the interviews and went straight to the wikis referenced in the interviews. Eva Wagner and Dave Conlay offer two wikis differ greatly, both in audience and in purpose. For Eva, the hmtech wiki’s focus on Houghton Mifflin modeled a way to compile resources that many teachers using a common program would need. I can see how this could be used in our district with Math Investigations, KITES (Science), or the Social Studies curricula. Conlay’s approach to high school literature is both refreshing and organized. I particularly enjoyed his challenge to create a reader’s theater version of Moby Dick, in a 5 to 10 minute video summary of the novel. This is an interesting approach to summarizing; I think I could fairly easily adapt the idea for elementary grades.

Regarding the CIA using wikis: Brilliant! I seem to remember the controversy surrounding 9/11, and the government agencies’ lack of communication regarding information about terrorists. Could wikis have assisted in the prevention of such tragedy, or at least helped us sort out information more efficiently after the tragedy?

Finally, the curriki wiki is fabulous. What a great collection of ideas, organized in an easily searchable format. Of interest to me: Ann Marie's Curriki > Elementary Science, located at http://www.curriki.org/xwiki/bin/view/Coll_amgrumm/ElementaryScience?bc=XWiki.amgrumm

The author offers a bibliography of resources for K-2 science students. Recently, one of my principals asked me to purchase alternate texts for the Making Meaning series. This would be an efficient way to share the bibliography with staff.

Anne Howard said...

I didn't have much luck in getting my 8th graders to blog, but they have really taken off with using the class wiki (http:trinityschool.wikispaces.com). They are working in groups to create a script for a film project. This has been wonderful for them but I can't help but think about students in my previous school. I moved from a school where we had students living in hotels and now I'm working in a school where the students lack or want for nothing and probably some things they didn't even know they wanted.

In reading the comments for this lesson, I was struck by the differences in circumstances among us. If I'm understanding what everyone has written, most of us do not suffer from a lack of technology. But not all of us are so lucky. I am more than able to implement in my school any 2.0 technology I wish. I don't have to worry about having students work online at school or home because all my students have computer and internet access at home and most of them have better computers there than at school. I think collaboration/collective intelligence can only improve our students' thinking, but, how long will it take to make this available to every child in this country? We can't ensure every child a bed of their own to sleep in every night, how can we begin to hope to engage them in new technologies? Through collaboration we gain understanding of ourselves and others; we can create a world community but how can we hope to achieve this without the ability to provide this to all our students? It is my hope that the read/write web will level the playing field and provide experiences many children may have never hoped to have.

Mrs. Z. said...

I also enjoyed the Terry Friedman podcast. I'm too am glad we were able to listen to this before our Deliverable #3 is due. He examined many of the ideas and objections I have been thinking about--especially if a certain technology has been banned, like blogs.

I used a wiki with my students for lit circles, and am planning on cooperative projects using the wiki again in a new unit I just started. The first step for students will be creating study guides for each chapter of the book we're reading. While the lit circle experience gave us some practice, I'd like our new unit to be more of what we covered this week, meaning more "cooperative." This unit will also be the basis for my Deliverable #4. With four heterogeneous groups, I have found that the cooperative nature of the wiki is beneficial to those students who tend to struggle as the stronger students provide them with models and using the wiki format seems to be more interesting for them.

The OT at our school was especially excited to see my classes using a wiki. One of my students showed it to her while they were working together. She came to see me to discuss possibilities for those students who need to use assistive technologies and thought that using the wiki was a great tool. She also mentioned the possibility of us working "cooperatively" to present some of what we've been doing to other teachers working with this population of students. This was very exciting!

Something to think about...I just finished re-reading 1984 by George Orwell, and thought the following was worth sharing. At the end of the book Winston is discussing reading "the book" with O'Brien, and Winston asks, "So you have read it?" O'Brien replies, "I wrote it. That is to say, I collaborated in writing it. No book is produced individually, as you know." How appropriate for this session!

Lastly, while I do embrace the collaborative aspect of all of these tools, I still struggle with individual assessment and assessment in general. I also wonder about having the technology needed to accomplish what we set out to do. In EG, we are working without a contract, and I don't think any money will be coming in any time soon for new computers. Luckily, most of our students have what they need at home, but it is difficult to introduce new ideas and teach them how to use the wiki, etc. without having the necessary technology.

bream said...

This session was long an had a lot of great information and new ideas.

I was not familiar with the term "collective intelligence" before. I definitely understand how it works and see the relevance of web 2.0 with collective intelligence. All of the classes I teach are of mixed levels and abilities. I have students with IEP's to GIEP's and everything in between. I like how you can use web 2.0 tools to differentiate instruction to all students and not just the middle of the road kids.

I enjoyed looking at different wikis and how they are used. I looked at curriki.org for a short amount of time. I want to go back and check it out in greater detail when I have more time.

I appreciated the video on wikispaces. I have had limited experience with wikispaces. I want to set up a wiki for one of my classes. We talk a lot about teen issues and the students are required to present an in-depth presentation on a current teen issue. I wanted them to then be able to go to the wiki to discuss things as they popped into their heads, which many times occurs after class. I am excited to set up a wiki now seeing how it seemed to be extremely user friendly.