Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Welcome to EDC921 !!!

Welcome to EDC921 - USING BLOGS AND WIKIS TO FOSTER LITERACY

This is our class blog. It will serve as our discussion forum, connection to each other, and the main webpage you will be accessing. If this is your first visit, then please first read the entry below this (titled, 'Practice Session') and follow the instructions there then return to this one.

Early this semester I will give you a detailed lesson on blogs and their use in the classroom, but for now you only need to know a few things.

This forum can be viewed by anyone, but will only allow the participants of edc921 to interact with it. When you would like to respond to someone or comment upon a session, just click on the 'comment' link below each of my postings and choose the 'anonymous' button under 'choose an identity'; and

In the left-hand margin you will see links to individual lessons (accessible every Tuesday).



If you need to contact me then please email me at DaveFontaine1@gmail.com.

This blog, in addition to its use as an interactive communication tool, will also be where you can access and download your weekly sessions. The presentation links to the left will be accessible on a week-to-week basis (Tuesdays). When attempting to download always choose 'save' rather than 'open.' The syllabus is also linked there. Google has a free service that allows you to just upload any Word document and with one additional click it gets published online with its own URL. The course syllabus is an example, and we'll practice with this tool before the semester is over.

One more aspect that will be unique about this course is that I support a completely collaborative teaching philosophy. Following that mindset, I will keep your assignments, comments, and reflections viewable and accessible to future participants of this course. The 'goal' is for future participants to gain from the collective knowledge of your experiences, use what you have done, and incorporate new ideas into their classroom.

The bonus for you, of course, is that this information will also always be accessible for you. This way, in the future, many semesters from now, you may revisit this site and benefit from the ideas of all participants. In this way---YOU will gain from all the 'learning speedbumps' of those that have come before you--even though they are not currently enrolled in this course. You may also read last semester's participants' profiles here and older ones here.

Before we go any further I would like each of you to practice using this forum and introduce yourself. We will be spending the semester together, so it is important to learn as much about each other as possible. Click on the 'comment' link below this posting, then you may click the 'anonymous' button and write a few paragraphs about yourself. (If you are feeling bold you may sign up for a Blogger account now and use the 'user name' that you create when you 'comment' rather than choosing 'anonymous.')

Please include:
-your name
-email address (so that you may contact each other directly if needed),
-your educational background,
-teaching history,
-current teaching position with location, and lastly
-what you hope to come away with when this semester is over, along with any additional information about you that you wish to share.

After you have finished posting this profile, come back to this page and click on the 'Session 1' link (in the left-hand margin), download it, and view it. When you are finished with the session please click on the 'comment' link again and add any comments, insights, or reflections you have for Session 1.

Sometimes it takes a little while to get the hang of using this forum. I have taken this into consideration by reducing the workload of the first session. Its primary goal is to make sure everyone is on the same page and skill level before we sink our teeth into the meat of this course. Everything here is protected by Creative Commons. This means that you have complete authority to download, save, share, and use all of the lessons in your classroom, but are prohibited from any commercial uses.

You will notice that each slide of the PowerPoint presentation has the narration transcribed in the 'notes section' of each slide. This is because we have teachers from around the world (China, Alaska, California...) taking this course. (And they may need help understanding my "Ro-diland" accent) but more importantly, it allows you to take these slides and use them in your own classroom.

Good luck this semester! I look forward to working and collaborating with you.

Dave Fontaine

PS-If you are running into trouble viewing our first session you may also access it here.

34 comments:

vivrelelivre said...

My name is Bridget Sitler and the email I will be using is bsitler@bufsd.org.
I have a BA in English and a MA in Library Science...no I don't have a background in education but if you ever saw me in action when I was still corporate, I did A LOT of teaching.
I have been a Media Specialist for 5 years, 2 years in HS and 3 in elementary. I also taught Information Literacy for one semester at a local college. This is my second year at Loretta Park Elem. in Brentwood, NY.
I did 23 Things last year (I'm using the blog I created for that class now...I guess you could call it a form of recycling) and I had a lot of fun (most of the time) and I loved the idea of blogs and wikis being used as teaching/ learning tools. Unfortunately, my co-workers weren't as sold. So, I am hoping to further develop my understanding of both (never went too far into wikis) as well as better ways to try and tie them into what/how I am teaching (and hopefully get others to start using them).

Abbe said...

My name is Abbe Waldron. My email address is waldrona@gmail.com. I am currently a 7-12 Library Media Specialist at Wamogo Regional High School, located in Litchfield,CT. Previously I was a Special Education teacher for 11 years. I have a Masters in Educational Technology. I've learned bits and pieces about blogs and wikis but I haven't used them in school. I've started "practice" pages but haven't gotten any further. A lot of teachers are interested in having their own and have asked for some direction. I do the school website as well, so I thought it would be great to finally put all of the pieces together and find out more.

Mrs. K said...

My name is Stacy Kennefick and my email address is kenneficks@warwickschools.org

I have a BS in Biology and elementary education. I have been teaching in Warwick, RI for the past 7 years. I am currently teaching 6th grade and focusing primarily on mathematics. (We have three 6th grades and we switch between us to try to get them ready for Junior High.I teach math to all three of the classes.) I also teach reading, health, and spelling to my homeroom class.

I took EDC920 last semester and learned so much. I am still using the classroom blog that I set up. I am looking forward to learning more tools that I can incorporate into my classroom. My students are excited that I am learning new things that they get to try out in the classroom. They think its great. They enjoy being the Guinea Pigs!

Anonymous said...

Hello, My name is Patricia Colonnese. This is my second attempt leaving a comment because I went back to read what I was suppose to write and couldn't get back to my original. If it posted already, sorry. My email is jpcolon@optonline.net I have been a Library Media Specialist for three years, the last two at a K-5 elementary in Ridgefield, CT. I became certified in school media in 2006 after getting my Masters in Ed Tech.I spent many years in corporate in my prior life.
I started a blog last year for book reviews by the students. I had a hard time managing it because I couldn't edit their work I would like to learn some new ways to use blogs and wiki's in the library. This is my first online course, so......I don't know what to expect but I am open for learning new things, not bold enough to create a blog tonight.

Anonymous said...

My name is Derri Green and my email is Chester915@netzero.net. I have been a Special Education teacher for 11 years. I am currently a 6th grade inclusion teacher in Providence, RI. Prior to teaching in Providence, I taught in Hawaii for 3 years. I have my Master's in Special Education. I really don't have much experience with blogs and (I'm a bit embarrassed to admit this)I don't know what a wiki is. I know I have a lot to learn, but I'm excited to see how I can use all this with my students.

jim said...

My name is Jim Kaczynski and the email I will be using is jimkaczynski@gmail.org. I'm having a hard time typing because I broke three fingers in my snow blower Monday,so excuse my errors for a few weeks.I am a science teacher in Jamestown, RI. and have taught for 13yrs. I have a blog but am not sure how I want to include it in my teaching. I have several ideas but hope this course will help clarify them. My kids call me Mr. K but I'm not related to Mrs, K from Warwick. Abby, I have second cousins that live in Litchfield. Have you ever had an Andrulis?

Suzanne said...

My name is Sue Krause and my email address is sdkra@chariho.us. I have a BS in Elementary Education from the University of Hartford. I am a fourth grade teacher at Charlestown Elementary School. Prior to this I spent three years as a building substitute at Hope Valley School. Our principal has a blog that she updates once a week so I am familiar with blogs, however, I do not know how to start my own. I also want to know the best way to use these tools in fostering literacy.

Charlotte Lesser said...

Hello! I’m Charlotte Lesser clesser@mrsd.org and I live in Keene NH with my husband and teenage son. I have a Masters in Library Science from Rutgers Univ. and have been working in libraries, both public and school, for 32 years. I currently work for the Monadnock Regional School District, located in rural southwestern NH, and am Director of Elementary Library Services for the district. In plain English that means that I am the only certified school librarian (media specialist) for six elementary schools! I supervise 5 paraprofessionals who provide library instruction following an information literacy curriculum www.mrsd.org/library/infolit.htm that I created for the district. I also teach library skills for grades K-6 in two tiny schools. In my spare time I serve on the district tech team and am the “web mistress” for the SAU and district level web pages as well as maintaining extensive web pages for my staff. WHEW!! ;-) Web 2.0 fascinates me! I have been involved with the web since pre “www” days and just love how it is constantly evolving. After pressuring our IT dept. to allow us to blog for the past year, finally, this year, we have our own blog site! I have a very beginning blog for my staff, and can’t wait to learn more in this class. My goal for the class is to create some kind of blog that I can use with my students, possibly creating something around the state children’s book award which I actively promote. I also want to be as informed as possible so that I can promote the use of blogs & wikis as educational tools in my district and serve as a resource for those willing to take the plunge!

Anonymous said...

Hi! My name is Carol Cappadona and I am an elementary school teacher librarian at the Rockwell School in Bristol, Rhode Island. I teach library skills to grades K through 5 and this is my first year at this school. Prior to that, I taught in Tiverton at all three elementary school libraries (grades 1-4), and before that I taught library in Tyngsborough, Massachusetts (grades K-5) and Westford, Massachusetts (grades 3-5). I have an M.Ed. in Library Media Studies from Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts and a B.A. in Multi-Disciplinary Studies from U. Mass. Dartmouth. My email address is carolcapp@cox.net . I hope to learn more about blogs and wikis and to actually use them. I took Dave’s class on using the Internet and created a blog for my library but never used it after the course ended. I would like to learn some practical ideas for integrating blogs and wikis into my teaching and to be more comfortable using Web 2.0 tools.

Nickal said...

Whats up everybody! My name is Nick Alfred and I the 7th and 8th grade math teacher in Jamestown, RI. I have been teaching in Jamestown for the past 7 years after graduating from RIC with an elementary ed degree with a concentration in middle school mathematics. I am using the email address nalfred@cox.net. I hope to gain some knowledge to make my website more interactive for my students... I try to incorporate as much technology and hands-on learning as I can in my everyday lessons... Good luck everybody!

Maura said...

My name is Maura McGill. My e-mail address is, maura.mcgill@chariho.k12.ri.us
I have a BS in Special Education and Elementary Ed. I am also certified to teach Social Studies and English at the middle school level. I was a resource teacher at the middle and high school level for nine years. Currently, I have been a third grade teacher at Charlestown Elementary in Rhode Island for eighteen years. Our school has begun to use Blogs to communicate with parents and the community. I have no knowledge of how to go about setting up or use a Blog so I am very anxious to learn. I also would like to learn how to use Wikis to improve literacy within my classroom.

Anonymous said...

My name is Jim Tasso and the email that I will be using is jmt247@aol.com. I have been teaching for 12 years at Gaudet Middle School in Middletown RI. I teach
8th grade social studies. I took EDC 920 and learned a lot of information that I have been able to use with my students. I'm hoping to be able to do the same with the information from this class.

NHS Library Staff said...

Hello, I am Denice Fogel and my email address is ddfogel@hotmail.com. I have the usual assortment of degrees: B.S. in Education, M.S. in Biology and a M.S. in Library Science. I taught high school Biology for 29 years before becoming an LMS about 7 years ago. I am the senior Library Media Specialist at Norwalk High School in Norwalk, CT. I am also the school’s Webmaster and I have been running after school workshops for the teachers, for years, regarding Office 95, 2000, 2003 and now 2007. I recently began branching out to assist teachers with the task of “integrating technology” into their instructional design. I am hoping to come away from this course with many resources that will assist in succeeding in this latest endeavor.

jim kaczynski said...

i'm finding that you should not put more than you can manage in your blog. several of the blogs i visited have bad links or changed links. as a teacher, you don't need another thing to have to check all the time so i'm going to keep mine simple.

Abbe said...

I never thought of blogs as a way to motivate/improve writing. I think it’s a great idea. The only problem is that in our district all blogs are blocked. I liked the K12 online conference a lot. I thought it was great that he went through all the stages of getting his class on a blog, including the things that didn’t work. I have some concerns about having student work posted to the “world” although I think it’s valuable for students to get input on their writing from others. I would like to learn more about how you can control what goes on in a blog – to keep kids safe. The more I read, the more I realized that we really need to give kids the access to blogs in school so that we can walk them through what appropriate blogging behavior looks like. I don’t subscribe to blogs but I am interested in finding out what kinds of blogs are out there. I tried the feedster link but it didn’t work. I wonder how we could use RSS feeds in school -(once I get the blogs unblocked!)

Anonymous said...

My name is Katie Wright and my email address is kathleen.wright@chariho.k12.ri.us. I have my masters degree in reading and am a reading consultant at Charlestowm Eleme ntary school in RI. This is my 2nd year there and I have been a reading teacher for 6 years. My first degree was in History and I returned to college when my children were school-age to get my teaching certificate in elmentary ed. before starting my masters. I am originally from Brooklyn, NY and have lived in Penn State, Cape Cod, Ireland for a year, Vermont--my favorite, and in RI for 27 years--which I still can't believe.
My technology skills are limited--maybe developing would be a better way to express it- but I am interested in learning more about assistive technology and using the ccomputer in reading instruction, especially with our lowest students to motivate and increase their confidence. I have two goals for the rest of the school year. One would be a blog for the reading department on the school site that parents and visitors could access. My fear doing it without this class is that it would not look professional. My second goal is to find out if a blog for summer reading for the students and parents would be possible. Eventually I want the students in reading and in all our classses using more technology and this seems like a great way to start.

Mrs. K said...

I have to agree with Jim (Mr. K). I blog with my students about books we are reading and I keep it very simple - I post a question and I have my students answer it or comment on someone else's questions. Some of them are really into it and I bring their questions and comments into the classroom for discussion. I want the whole class to be apart of the blog even if they don't have access to a computer.

Tricia said...

Hello, I am no longer anonymous!! I am quite impressed with the backgrounds of all the students in this class and the years of experience. I am still a newbie with almost three years of teaching under my belt.The readings for session 1 were long but inspiring. I guess it is suppose to get the juices flowing or the brain ticking. I was not aware that blogs can include images and audio ect. and I don't know how to use html tags, although I wrote in script years ago, which I think was similar. I don't know where to begin with writing notes so far, so re-reading is the only option. There is just so much. I found Will Richardson's video very distracting with the audio in the background. This is all a new way of learning for me with online course. I have a question. Do parents need to sign approval forms for their kids to use blogs in school or is this covered in an internet form at the beginning of the year?

Charlotte Lesser said...

OK, so I read/skimmed/surfed/watched and blogged my way through this week’s readings and viewings. A bit overwhelming and after a while redundant. I was a bit disappointed in some of the age of the postings – reading things written in 03 & 04 seem a bit dated, plus as Jim K. said lots of dead links. I did a quick look at lots of links and blogs just to try and expose myself to as much as possible. Then I went out, got myself a RSS aggregator SharpReader which was highly recommended on one of the sites - who can remember which one! ;-) Then I went on SLJ and got feeds to a few of my favorite blogs: Web 2.0, Joyce Valenza’s “Neverending search, Awards and then also a feed to one of my favorite tech gurus Christopher Harris (Informancy). That’s enough for right now, but it is a very easy way to keep up-to-date. I also got accounts at 2 blogging services, Blogger & Edublogs, to try them out. and in my spare time……

General comments:
Blogs are about the writing process, giving students more time to write and teachers and others access to their writing 24/7 Writing is an area where our students need improvement, NECAP scores are low in this area and it is a district wide focus. This could be my “way in” to push the use of blogging!! Blogging is EASY, FREE, and relatively LOW TECH. The major risks seem to be student privacy and inappropriate commenting. The most thought provoking comment to me was Richardson’s comment that requiring blogging means that it then really isn’t blogging, since blogging is supposed to be spontaneous and focused on a passion. That kind of stopped me in my tracks because I’ve always thought that I could reach more students by using Web 2.0 functions. I don’t want to turn kids off – so I guess I’m asking a “I WONDER” QUESTION here – how do the rest of you feel about this comment???
(Downes: Educational Blogging)

Thoughts from my specific readings in no particular order:
I read most of Richardson’s book (1st ed) about 1 ½ years ago when I wrote a grant to fund videocasting in our elementary schools, so not much new to me there.
1) love the comparison of blogs to old fashioned classroom bulletin boards! Teachers post students work and on the rare occasion that a parent visits they can see their child’s work. Also, loved his comment that blogging is “cooperative reading”, students are reading/blogging/reading blogs Stach, “Introduction to blogs & blogging”
2) The U CA Berkeley article ‘03 felt particularly dated – Shankar commented that blogging really was more for media people (journalism I think was his focus) – but maybe that was the general feeling 6 years ago. Shankar “Can blogs help students”
3) Richardson commented in his article dated from ‘04 that “Educators have been slower to adopt Weblogs for a variety of reasons, among them access, privacy, and security issues.” Some things don’t change, even in 5 years! It took me almost 2 years to convince our IT people to not block all blogs and to establish a blogging service in our district. Richardson “Blogging and RSS”
4) My district is really getting into PLCs (Dufours Professional Learning Communities) and the comment here that –“blogs are easily linked and cross-linked to form learning communities. They help small groups communicate in a way that is simpler and easier to follow than email or discussion forums. They promote cohesiveness and group culture.” made me think that the PLC groups might be a perfect target group if I do some professional development around blogging next fall. Edublogs
4) I really like the concept of 3 blogging spaces in an educational setting: classroom news/announcements, student work area, and private 1-1 conversation space between student & teacher.
Downes “Educational blogging”

Whew! now on to next week's readings & viewings

Mrs. Cappadona said...

I have created a new blog for this class because I have hopefully changed my attitude towards blogging. I was of the opinion that blogs were like on-line diary writing and I am not a diary writing person. I like to keep my thoughts and opinions to myself. That being said, since reading all the volumes of information in session 1 (took me hours!) I think I would like to try this with my students. I liked Dave’s suggestion to think of teaching blogging and all that it involves with the idea of “traffic safety.” Teach them the rules and you’ll hopefully have fewer problems. I do think that to get students writing they need a forum that excites them and blogging would probably be it. With push button publishing it makes it easier – providing they know how to type! I have been working with my 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students on keyboarding. Some of the 5th graders are typing using all the wrong fingers and I’m not sure if this handicaps them or not? They never learned the correct keyboarding techniques. Will this make them slower in the future? Should I be concentrating on the basics with them or move on and let them type as they do – hunt and peck? I was fascinated by John Pierce’s workshop on the problems of blogs, wikis and the elementary school. The privacy issues and technology issues almost seemed insurmountable at times while he was getting started. I might have given up if I were him. It was good to hear that he finally got most, if not all, of the issues resolved and the students were enthusiastic bloggers eventually. I really identified with this – I imagined myself attempting to set something up and encountering the same issues. To begin with – and he didn’t even mention this – just getting email accounts for students with permission from parents will be a hurdle. I also liked the idea of a “go read” instead of a “go write” type of assignment. For a student to write about something, he/she needs to read it first, think about it and respond to it. I also noticed that Type Pad was mentioned as being free on one blog and then another blog said it was now a subscription site. Sounds like blogs are a great idea and as the technology person in my building, I see my role as a leader in using this technology to further literacy of my students.

Anonymous said...

My name is Julie Ponn and my e-mail address is ponnjm@pwcs.edu. I have a BA in Education & Sociology, a Masters in Reading and I have a state license through Virginia as a Library Media Specialists K-12. I have been teaching for 11 years. Previously I have taught 1st grade for 5 years and have been the librarian at my k-5 elementary school for the past 6 years. My school was brand new when I became the librarian, so I was able to create the collection as well as be an instrumental person in the purchasing of some of the technology items that are now outdated, just in the last 6 years. My school is located in Haymarket, VA outside of the Washington DC area. We have struggled over the last 3 years with sever overcrowding. Last year we had over 1200 students in our elementary school which was designed for 880. This year we were able to decrease our student body due to a new school opening up nearby. I hope to be able to create and maintain a library blog for the students to use as an interactive way to suggest books and materials for the library as well as post book reviews of titles that the students have recently read and would like to make comment on. I also would like to learn how to create podcasts as a way to communicate to the students and parents in our school community about upcoming events in the library as well as the school.

Nickal said...

After viewing the slide show (I do have to say that I enjoyed letting it talk to me...) and poking around on the links, I have been thinking a lot... I see the purpose of the blog and the benefits, however I will be looking for hints and tricks to make it worthwhile and easy to manage... I am thinking a lot about using it as part of an assessment. Kids can learn a lot from each other, I feel that it might be a good way to teach an alternate way to study (virtual study group). I love the idea of being "paperless" and not having to cart around papers, allowing me to access student work from anywhere. I also like the idea of having an on-line archive of all the work for parents to reference when they don't agree with my grades...

Amy Kalif said...

My name is Amy Kalif (amyk3@cox.net) and I'm a Spanish Teacher at Rogers High School in Newport, RI. I have a Bachelors Degree in Advertising from Boston University, and a Masters in Spanish Education from URI. I used to be technologically savvy--BC(before children). I look forward to updating my skills. I have a wiki: kalifcorner.wikispaces.com. I don't know quite what to do with my wiki yet, but I see the potential.

Suzanne said...

I have to be honest and tell you that my book has not arrived yet, so I was not able to read that particular section in time for these comments. I found some of the readings to be tedious but am happy to finally know what a wiki is. I especially enjoyed viewing some of the blogs that were linked to the other assigmnents. It made me feel like I might actually be able to do this with my class. I agree with Jim - I think I will keep my blog simple as well. Dave, I see that you list blogger.com and edublogs.org as the free blog site. I briefly looked through both. Is there a "comparison chart" to determine which one would suit your needs best or is it a matter of personal choice?

Anonymous said...

I viewed the slide show and was a little overwhelmed by the amount of information and different sites you could click into. Before I knew it, hours had gone by. Now,I feel more familiar with the language surrounding Blogs.
I enjoyed the article, Coming of Age. I liked how it cited the many different ways Blogs could be incorporated into the classroom and some of the positive reasons for using them such as: students become engaged, different stage for displaying work, students can amend each other's work, students can collaborate with one another, student's different learning stlyes are met, easy to view,etc. I can see the value of Blogs in the classroom for older students, but I have questions about how to integrate them into my classroom of third graders where I only have use of two computers and some students'homes are without computers. I guess this is my wonder question...Making the best use of teaching and learning time.
I have teenagers and found the article on "Social Networking Websites and Teens' to be very accurate. This is truly one way they socialize and make new friends. My problem with these sites is that personal information is sometimes revealed in a public setting for all to see.
For week one, there was a lot of information!

Anonymous said...

After doing the various readings here are some of my thoughts. First of all it was a little bit overwhelming with all the different terms and definitions. I know I'll be going back and rechecking the different terms throughout the course. Hopefully by the end of the semester I'll have a better grasp of them.
I also feel like a dinosaur when it comes to computers compared to the students of today. There's a quote in Richardson's book by Dan Gillmor which I feel hits the nail on the head, "The people who'll understand this best are probably just being born". Kids today have no fear of the internet because they have been born in the age of technology and use it constantly, while adults are more cautious and hesitant. I definately fit that mode.
After reading the social networking article, I wish the percentage of students who blocked their profile was higher than
66%. I would have liked to seen it at 100%, because there are a lot of sick individuals out there.
As a social studies teacher, I found interesting the information about the RSS feeds. Any steps and methods that can save time can be beneficial to all educators in our busy lives. It seems like a good opportunity to receive quality resources quickly. Finally some thoughts about blogs. I think they can be a very useful tool for the educator, student, and the parent. However, I do not see how you can have a paperless class, as was mentioned in Will's video. I think students need to learn how to write using proper grammar and spelling. After viewing some of the blog sites, I noticed mistakes in grammar and spelling by the students. Does this ever get corrected? Do the students get feedback? How are they going to get this instruction without feedback on their written work? I don't know, maybe I'm just old fashioned.

Anonymous said...

I created a blog last semester for another class through edublog, which is the only blog not blocked by my district and there it has sat unused. I think that blogs are a great way to teach students how to use the internet safely. In our county we use www.netsmartz.org which is a program that was created in conjunction with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to aide teachers in teaching internet safety to the students. I view this as a parent responsibility, however to make sure that all of our students have the same foundation in internet vocabulary it is a great program that the kids like participating in. I do struggle with the idea of how to use a blog at the elementary level and most of the readings only mentioned elementary schools using blogs beginning in 4th grade or even 5th. I think mainly this is due to the lack of typing skills and writing that the primary students have.

I liked the glossary of terms that were listed in the article by Terry Freedman. With all that we have to do in our daily lives in school, surfing the net for hours on end is not one of them. The library and all the kids, teachers and principal keep me pretty busy, so it was extremely helpful and a list that I will actually share with my staff. I know that many of us work with very computer literate staff members and then there are those who can barely e-mail a parent and we are the people who are looked upon as the giver of knowledge. This list will be useful for all of my staff.

NHS Library Staff said...

Here are my comments regarding the various readings:
Regarding the Coming of Age article:
Alan November’s article regarding blogs presented the voice of most of the teachers with whom I work. They do not want to give the students the power to make comments, even with moderation of the comments. However, one teacher grudgingly allowed her students to make comments on my library blog and was very impressed with their comments. As she stated, “I didn’t know they had it in them. I am definitely raising the bar in that class!”
Regarding Mr. Richardson’s book:
Richardson states safety concerns about “students’ identities are compromised or they will act inappropriately in front of an online audience.” However, he did not present any solutions or recommendations for these problems.
In Chapter 1, he presented a brief history of the development of the web – 1993 with Mosaic Web browser- I remember this format and used it as well as the newsgroup format for sharing ideas. Guess I am showing my age! It was more "read" than "write" unless you knew HTML.
The data that provided regarding the number of people writing to the web in 2004 was amazing.
The section regarding the “digital native” was excellent. Our teaching staff is still struggling with using Microsoft Word to type up tests, worksheets, etc. Meanwhile the students are creating multimedia presentations of the same concepts being taught in the old “chalk and talk” format.

Regarding the additional readings:
• Introduction to Blogs and Blogging by Michael Stach. This article presented lots of tips for viewing blogs regarding specific topics including education. It also provided tips for setting up a blog. Unfortunately, there were many inactive links in his article. This displays one of the biggest “problems” with Internet based products…sites you link to can change their URL or disappear.
• In Rohini Kapur’s article, Can blogs help students? There is an emphasis on the impact of blogging on journalism. However, for educational uses, Kriplani added, "Blogging doesn't require any methodology, it comes down to the students to blog as a means to develop their skills."
• I especially liked the article, Educational Blogging by Stephen Downes. It provides a brief history and lists uses for blogs in education. The article emphasizes the use of up-to-date information that is communicated in real time. I also liked Jeremey Hiebert’s comment in this article, "I’ve seen evidence of this in courses with required e-portfolio or reflective journal elements. . . As soon as these activities are put into the context of school, focused on topics the students are unlikely to care about much, they automatically lose a level of authenticity and engagement." I have noticed that when I have demonstrated the use an application such as a wiki to a teacher and then develop an extensive rubric for the project, the students lose interest. The successful projects are the ones that present very open-ended questions that ask for opinions as well as facts. The students are allowed to “do their thing” with the topic.
• The blog by Sabrina I. Pacifici presented a great use of links and the categorization of the links. The blog presents an update of information regarding a topic and then provides links to related topics.
• The example of the school site of the month, from TechLearning, indicated that a majority of a school’s staff was involved with the production of blogs. It also demonstrated a Web 2.0 application that I have begun using called VoiceThread.

Charlotte Lesser said...

Hello all!
Can I ask a favor please? If you login as Anonymous, can you please type your name at the top of your comments. That way I know who is commenting.
thanks!
Charlotte

Anonymous said...

Hello! My name is Rebecca Gordon. I taught both History and Business courses at Mt. Hope High School in Bristol, RI for the past three school years. Before becoming a teacher I was an accountant. At the present time, I am laid off from work this school year because of the lower enrollment in the Business and History courses. I like to bring anything new and innovative to the classroom and therefore am taking this course in order to do just that. My e-mail address is
tdg93s@cox.net.

Anonymous said...

Sorry I didn't add my name to my comment yesterday. This is Julie from VA who posted the 9:09 pm post lastnight 1/26. Thanks for the reminder:)

Mrs. Colonnese said...

This is a test. I thought I created a blog and I can't access it. I am going to continue to work on an existing blog that I have at school. I am trying to figure out passwords and links to the school blog since it it using blogger.

vivrelelivre said...

Hi again, in reading Julie P's note about being disappointed in the elem. and MS. blogs I have to agree with her...starting with my own blog. I have been canvasing since last year to find students who would be willing to publish their own book reviews. Still trying.... figure sooner or later some one will take me up on my offer. (I really would like to get other people's words on there..I get bored reading my own blah blah)

Sometimes its not lack of will or imagination but lack of outside participants that make the issue. (As I am re-reading this..it's not their lack of participation but rather their lack of interest.... I'm thinking (yet again) that I must start rethinking my approach...part of the reason I am taking this class)

My 21classes blog http://bsitler.21classes.com/ was much more dynamic but it was only part of what I was working on with these two classes and they lost interest as we moved on. (also website wasn't the easiest for them to use...but for the combined efforts of an LD and an ED class I was very happy with what I got)

Anonymous said...

My name is Tom Cauchon and I am a business teacher at South Kingstown High School. I am getting a late start in this course because we just finished exams but I took EDC 920 and enjoyed it. My email address is tpc390@aol.com. I am from RI and went to Providence College and recd my MAT from J&W in 2000. I have taught for 9 years, seven at SKHS.
I twach Computer classes and would like to employ a blog into my class for student participation and feedback.