Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Final Projects

Well we've come to the end of the semester. Please post your Final Project below and if you have time also post it to the wiki: this way you will have your original draft locked into our blog and future participants will be able to add to, and improve upon, your project in the wiki. Your Final Projects will perpetually evolve, forever improving, changing, and growing.

It was a pleasure working with all of you.

Good luck, and as always, feel free to contact me if you ever have any questions.

Professionally Yours,

Dave Fontaine

Internet Librarian

National Board Certified Teacher

Educational Consultant

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

921-Session 12-Collective Intelligence & Deliverable 3

Today we will continue with Collective Intelligence and I will introduce you to my 'living textbook' concept. Also, in this session, some of you will also make your first entry into a wiki.

This will be our last lesson for the semester. Session 13 will be spent completing your Final Projects and commenting upon others. (Due by Midnight on May 2nd.)

Good luck and don't forget to post your Deliverable 3 under this entry as well as on our wiki:

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

921-Session 11-Dissecting Wikis

Someone from class asked for more information on how to get the 'double-click on any word and then get its definition' feature, so if you are interested you may visit: for more information.

I thought a lot about how to address this session and decided to stray from the usual presentation format and teach this session entirely from the blog. I believe that it is always easier to 'show' instead of 'tell,' so the bulk of this session will be spent watching videos that will help clarify the nuances and details that make a wiki such a powerful tool--as well as address the topics laid out in the syllabus: new literacies, wiki benefits, and wiki drawbacks.

Now, just be aware that there is some redundancy in these clips, so feel free to fast-forward through parts that you have already seen.

Let's start with a clip from one of the many companies that offer free wikis for you to use. This one is from They claim that making a wiki on their site is as easy as making a peanut butter sandwich. Please keep notes while watching these.

I hope you liked that one. This next video focuses upon how collaboration really works. It is a good transition from our last session on Collective Intelligence.

So naturally, these 'beg the question' about ease of use. Is it really as easy as making a peanut butter sandwich? Well let's take a look at an explanation.

And this one shows you how wikis can help educators educate.

And lastly, we'll address the underlying issue all educators have about using Web 2.0 tools in education----SECURITY.

Now, in the 21st century, it doesn't take long before the major technology giants latch onto any and all good ideas from the small start-ups. So Google has jumped on the 'wiki bandwagon' and created their own variation. They call it 'Google Documents' and the details can be accessed from the link below. Please visit this site and take the online tour. While you are there jot down your ideas and thoughts to aid you in your post-session comments.

You'll immediately notice the similarities between wikis and this new Google tool. Those teachers from the Math and Science areas will find the spreadsheet component particularly interesting.

Google Documents & Spreadsheets

Now, before your head spins off from all the possibilities, I want you to take a break. When you come back we'll take a look at this 4-part online video course, created by the University of Wisconson-Milwaukee. It addresses some of the benefits and drawbacks of wikis. The great thing about it is that it is self-pacing and asynchronous just like this course. Again, I would like to remind you to take notes as you progress through these tutorials, so that you may post quality comments and insights when you have completed everything this week. If you feel part 1 is redundant then please skip forward to 2, 3, & 4.

University of Wisconson-Milwaukee

I hope you enjoyed the variety in this session's presentation and I would like to end this week's posting with a reminder that Deliverable 3 should be posted under Session 12's blog posting (after Spring Break), as well as on the wiki.

Thank you and as always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions.


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.