Wednesday, June 29, 2011

921-Session 9-Collective Intelligence & Deliverable 3

Today we will continue with Collective Intelligence and I will introduce you to my 'living textbook' concept. (Session is in the left-hand margin.) I had the fortune of being hired to write an article on the topic. It was just published in May '08. Check it out.

Also, in this session, you will make your second addition to a wiki.

Good luck and don't forget to post your Deliverable 3 to our wiki: 
as well as a brief description and the link to it, similar to the Summer '10 course participants.
You may also read past participants' D3's there.

Good luck and have fun!


A backup of this week's session can be found on Once there just search for edc921 and view the appropriate session.


Eileen said...


As I watched the PBwiki series, I did take away a few good tips and pieces of information that I found interesting.

During the part 2, I loved hearing how the students don't take long to learn how to move about and edit the wiki and how they ask each other how to do things that they find neat to do. I love when kids teach each other in my classroom; it makes for a much more interesting class for them.

In part 4, I took away some ideas on how I will go through examples of digital citizenship before beginning the actual work on the wiki. I also learned how reflection is at the heart of wiki work and using both the wiki and the blog together will fit in the reflection piece quite nicely.

During this part also, I took away a good piece of advice to mandate the students to use their own names so as to help with the security issues that we may encounter especially at the middle school level.

I also liked learning about Google Documents and although it is similar to the wiki due to the collaboration piece on a particular document, I didn't think it was as extensive of a collaboration tool as the wiki can be.

The series on Wikipedia was very informative and interesting. I keep learning a little more each time I see something on it.

The students at my school tell me that our librarian tell them not to use Wikipedia as a source on any of their research papers so I identified with the author of this series when he spoke about how some librarians and academia feel about it. I ere more on the side of using it as a first piece of information just as we do any encyclopedia and then find other resources to back up that information. That is what I will tell my students. It is too bad though that they have adults in the same school giving them different messages. It is curious to me how these same people don't believe that old style encyclopedias have mistakes in them as well.

I was not aware of the various sister sites that Wikipedia offers such as Wikimedia and LISWIKI. I agree that it seems in some cases that information is being duplicated and someone has to manage all of the duplication as well.

Part of the series was asking if the life cycle of Wikipedia is on the downswing or if it will keep growing as there are always current events and also a new influx of young people using it and I for one believe that although it is huge it is nowhere near being close to coming to the end of its' life cycle.

I wonder what will be the next big technical tool to change our lives in the near future. I have seen some inkling of 3-D television coming in the next 10 years. Will this change computers as well?

Eileen said...


I just posted by deliverable 3 under Daves Wiki & under my name & under my Deliverable 2, but in summary it is as follows:

I decided that I would propose a school-wide communication wiki. This is to try and solve the problem of all groups (adults) in our building feeling like they do not get communicated to timely or at all.

This communication tool will be available to any adult who can use a word processor and has information that needs to be shared to anyone. This way whoever they are sharing it with, everyone else in the whole building will get it as well.

The types of things that I envision being shared at first are things like a school-wide calender that most people use, change, and have a voice in creating. Additionally, things like the faculty handbook which we are all expected to read and give comments to for updating. Things like field trip notifications that effect our teaching schedules. Things like common planning time communications which we are expected to send to administration and if posted others will be able to see the types of planning being done & could possibly piggyback on.

Although I believe there will be objections, I also believe by forming a Wiki Communication Committee upfront, and by introducing it in a computer lab and allowing the teachers to actually create and edit while learning that most of the objections will be disseminated early on.

This wiki will take the place of many various forms of communications that happen today. These include hard-copies, emails, weekly word notices, etc. I believe this wiki will help everyone is our building and not just teachers. It can be used by administration, by office personnel, by para-professionals, by teachers, as well as custodians.

I believe that once we have these teachers set up the wiki into their favorites on their web-browser and also create an RSS feed to automatically notify them of any changes being made that this will become automatic and used frequently by everyone.

I am excited to introduce this and I recently learned that someone in my building has already taken this class with Dave so they would be a perfect member to request to be on the Wiki Communication Team and someone that I can also ask questions of and bounce ideas off of.

Karen said...

S9: " Students need teachers to give them skills to evaluate, organize and apply the information." I think this quote from the PowerPoint sums up exactly why we are all taking this course and what we are trying to do with our students. All of our students are able to type something in to Google and read the answer but it is the high level thinking and processing skills that we, as educators, need to get our students to do with the basic information that they have found.

I absolutely loved the idea of the Flexbooks and I am going to try to put one together to use in my grade 9 ELA class next year. When my school opened last year it was decided that we didn't need an English textbook because the textbooks do not have the best materials in them for what we may be covering. We though that it would be best to pull from multiple sources to enhance the units that were being covered. I think that Flexbook would be the best of both worlds. It would give us teachers the freedom to include what we want but still give students who need a tangible book to hold on to what they need.

Is it possible to create a Flexbook and then post the link for students to access it electronically?

Another though that came to mind when thinking about e-textbooks was wouldn't it be great to have the Answer tips tied to electronic textbooks so students could link to more information on whatever topic they are most interested in or struggling with? I guess this would merge an e-textbook and a wiki...

Barbara Connolly said...

I am trying to be diligent about the reading, powerpoints, videos, and other work for this class. But is anyone else having the experience where someone mentions an article or video or something and you’re like, what? Where was that reading? I am experiencing that right now with Eileen’s post? When I go back to Session 9’s readings, etc. I do not see what you are referring to Eileen. Can you tell me where you found the video(?) on the PBwiki series? I just can’t seem to find it.

Anyway, in the PowerPoint and readings this week there were a lot of familiar points being made that I have used with differing degrees of success over the years such as constructivist learning, project based learning, backwards design from Wiggins and McTighe. I’m wondering if anyone else has the experience with students that happens in my school. I’ve experienced this and teachers are complaining about this all the time. The demographics of my school are solidly middle class, mostly white with a sizable Asian population. You come up with a great PBL lesson or something where a student’s “passion” should drive the activity and the students have no motivation to get work done. And I’m talking about honors classes as well as CP classes. Me: so what are you interested in? student: nothing. Or I don’t know. Me: Do you like music? Student: no. Me: Really??? No??? And so it goes.

I guess what I’m saying is all of this sounds great in theory but then in the classroom, it falls flat. Kids aren’t interested and put in minimal effort. I’m also talking about some really great teachers who can get nothing from their students. One teacher recently told me that her students were fine getting C’s. How does a teacher work against that no matter what methods or technology they use?

In the “UK mulls” article, if the primary schools are changing their curriculum to have students familiar with blogging, podcasting, Wikipedia, and Twitter as sources of information and forms of communication, I thought how instructive some of these can be, especially Twitter. I think the missteps some well known people, athletes, politicans, etc. have been making lately would be particularly instructive about how difficult it is to communicate clearly, succinctly in 140 characters or less. What a great lesson to teach where you take a tweet that raised some controversy because it was misunderstood or unclear and rewrite it.

Mary said...

I've posted my D2 and D3 onto the wiki. They can be viewed here

Mary said...

@Eileen... I used to be one of those librarians that told students not to use Wikipedia, but I've come around in the past year. Wikipedia has improved considerably from when they started. It is monitored and the information is more reliable than in the past. I tell students that its a great place to start so they can get an overview of a topic or ideas for jumping off from. I also tell them that the citations and credits provided in the articles are sometimes worth following and maybe using if they find them appropriate. I am still reluctant to have them add Wikipedia as one of their citation sources however.

As Wikipedia gains acceptance and credibility, I wonder if the academic world will change its view on how credible the information is and begin citing it?

Jennifer Hawkins said...

Just posted deliverable 3 to the wiki. Eileen I agree with you. It's great when you start to see students actually working with each other in class to learn the software and share information with each other.

Karen said...

S9: Here is my summary for deliverable #3.

Dear Administrative Team,

I am writing to you today to propose the idea of implementing a class wiki in our English Language Arts classrooms. A wiki is a collaborative website where students can work together towards a common goal. The great thing about wiki’s are they are entirely web based so students can work on them at school, at home or anywhere they can connect to the Internet.

I hope to create a tool that students can use to interact, ask questions and learn from each other. This took would be a great way for students to collaborate on school projects outside of the classroom reducing the problems that arise when students try to get together for group work outside of school.

As our school is a technology-infused setting, wiki’s would fit right into our school goals for 21st century learning. Our students have been working with technology for their entire school career and will continue to do so weather we provide them a safe environment to use it or not. Students need to be given the skills to use technology effectively; establishing a class-based wiki would do just that. Students would learn proper Internet etiquette, how to write authentic course material, and benefit from collective intelligence learning.

The whole text can be viewed at

Lori said...

S9 – I agree with Eileen about having students show each other how some online tools work. I used Prezi for the first time in my class this year; I created the assignment on a Prezi (so I could learn how to use it) and then showed it to them as I introduced their assignment. Well, my Prezi was the most pathetic looking one by the end of it. I gave my students the general idea of how to use it, and half a block in the computer lab and they took right too it. I used it for a Religion project, so when it came time to them creating an online presentation for their Term 3 Book Projects (they had the choice to use Prezi, Zoho or PPT), a lot of them used Prezi and really took to the idea (especially the zoom in on the important ideas and zoom out for the bigger ideas). The same happened with Glogster and my Grade 7 classes. A lot of my students had used it in Grade 6, so they were good at it and were able to help those who had never seen it before. I think we are going to see a lot more of this as 21st Century Learning really takes hold; class time will not need to be given for students to learn these tools, they will come into our classes knowing how to work the tools and will create amazing projects with them.

Barbara – I hear what you are saying about things falling ‘flat’. I sometimes feel the same way; I try to create engaging, authentic tasks for my student’s that include technology, and there are always some who complain or are so complacent with doing just so-so that they are fine with doing just the minimal. I found it a real treat this year to teach the Pre-Advanced Placement LA class this year: 30 honor students who are outgoing and wanting to be there and succeed; a teachers dream! I’m not sure how to get around the laziness though – it is just that society is ok with this? Does the right attitude need to start at home and then follow through at school?

I used to do the same thing with Wikipedia. A few years ago, I was telling students to stay away from it because it wasn’t credible. Just this year though I had a chat with my class that it is becoming more credible and that I wouldn’t lean on it for all of my research, but if something good was found on it, then to go ahead and use it, and be sure to cite it properly. I think Wikipedia has come a long way from a few years ago, and I would imagine, is going to go a long way still.

On a side note, Eileen, I really like the idea for your wiki! Very useful and the reasons why people would post to it are all everyday occurrences in schools! Good luck!

Dave Fontaine said...

Barabara was asking about where Eileen saw the PB wiki videos. They are in the Session 8 posting on our blog under this session. She also asked about 'student motivation' unfortunately there isn't a solid answer or cure all for that. I also work in a middle class suburb where we get the same answers from the kids about what they like. It seems like each generation has its own ideosyncracies.

Ms. Steele said...

S9 I too really enjoyed learning more about Wikipedia. I think the more I understand its pros and cons the better I can share this with my students.

Barbara - I too appreciate what you are saying about when students don't rise to the occasion. I have had a couple of such recent failures. One project I did with my Forensics students required that they use Google docs to collaborate a slide presentation. They hated it and just wanted to work together emailing the doc back and forth. They sort of fought me the whole way chosing not to see the benefit of this collboration tool. - frustrating. I will try it again, but hopefully with better success and feedback.

Barbara Connolly said...

Deliverable #3 Brief description

Whenever I work with classes doing research on any topic or subject in the curriculum, I am constantly amazed and impressed by the free web sources students find on their own. I will always ask the student where he/she found it, how he/she found it, etc. I propose a school wide wiki where students post web sites they find that may be useful to others. In it they will write a short annotation of the web site and an explanation of the reliability and credibility of the source. Teachers are always concerned about the web sites students choose to include in their research and how much they evaluate the information. This wiki will provide a forum for students to showcase the great sources they find and that they can show how they evaluated the web site for reliability and credibility. It will also allow for learning clear communication skills in writing, collaboration, and assessment by their peers as well as other teachers.

Ms. Steele said...


I posted my Deliverable #3 to the wiki at

In short on the last day of school my Curriculum Coordinator introduced to the department a three ring binder and stated that next year we will all be encouraged (read must do) to contribute resources, lessons and lab ideas to our respective content areas. (Just the thought of this made me shudder.) I decided that I would approach Kathleen and discuss the development of a wiki. She said "a what?" and then after a brief explanation she agreed. The wiki will be a collaborative space for department members to share lessons and ideas and eventually re-align curricula to the new Common Core standards.

I am sure I'll have some colleagues resistant but I think if I can get the project rolling and encourage initially even lurkers that the idea will catch on. I really enjoyed reading some of the knowledge management papers cited by Geoff Sheehy.

Lori said...

My deliverable #3 summary is as follows:

For the Provincial English Language Arts Council executive to accept my proposal of having a blog for the Greater Edmonton Regional English Language Arts Council. It is my vision that this blog will be a place for beginning and experienced teachers to refer to for conference information, PD sessions, lesson ideas and general ELA info as well as discussions on current happenings in the world of teaching.

The full text can be viewed at: