Shared WebSite, continued.

Assessment Issues from the shared space.

Human Issues:

What I’m seeing is more variety now among the six, relative to being able to use the site beyond simple things:

Simple – being able to click and drag, placing the cursor efficiently and successfully, loading the right browser, smoothly getting the url entered, signing in, moving around the site.

Moderate Complexity – editing print on a page, adding a link/making a page that’s yours, adding information to a page, cooperative.

Complex – editing someone else’s writing, adding links to external sites, adding links to sites within the wikispace, adding images, collaborative.

Infrastructure Issues:

1. VPN kicks off way too fast. There were probably twenty instances over two and a half hours that the VPN protocol turned off. This is very disruptuve to the momentum of almost any kind of directed instructional experience. You have to stop, wait, or face the choice of leaving someone behind as you go forward.

2. Add to this that some individuals are at the simple level of complexity meanss the momentum slows down even more as they get their sites up and running once again.

3. Batteries begin to die after 2.5 hours.

Helpful knowledge/skills to have.

1. clicking and dragging

2. create multiple tabs so you can click back and forth from a website to the wikispace – especially helpful when you are finding urls to create external links

Observations of how good things have become.

1. most get on the site automatically

2. the computers work fine with the exception of the vpn kicking off.

3. people are finding their way around the site exceptionally well.

4. people use each other quite effectively.

5. people cooperate quite well with each other – the talk that is “in the air” creates conditions of informal support across and around the table

Possible To Dos?

1. have a sheet of paper on the table so every person can reach it. Ask them to place a √mark in a column for every time vpn times out.

2. structure an exercise in which people have to edit each other’s work.

3. ask them what we want / need to keep track of

Moving Into The Read/Write Web

I have the incredible opportunity to be teaching a class of six students right now. Six. I’ve never taught a class of six students. And having just come out of an intense EdPsych Seminar with 18 students, I wanted to try something a little different. I’ve been reading Will Richardson’s Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classroom – or perhaps the better words are “playing with” Will’s book, I’ve been wanting to use a shared website. Never done it before.

I love the idea of sharing the intellectual space with students in such an obvious way, and of forcing them to deal with each other (and me) in this very real tangible letter-by-letter collaboration. So I selected wikispace as the program to use after finding out the the original program I had selected was going to take five days to get approval. Hmmm. Five days would have taken me into the second day of the course. No thank you. I wanted to dive in day one. And dive in I did.

We seven are a varied lot. No one, myself included, super sophisticated in terms of tech expertise. Some still trying to figure out the click-and-drag thing. But we took it slow, everyone had an iBook, we hauled tables into the room from another class so we could sit around a table face to face, and I started to take them through the course using a projector and then had them put themselves into the course by interviewing each other, writing up the interviews, and uploading the text. The last half hour was spent talking about the “current directions” we were going to be interested in and I think we are “off” in terms of finding a topic of interest. Now tomorrow, I’d love to get at least one or two pairs of students to work together on a trend or at least to create one page for two closely associated trends. We’ll see.

What have I learned so far.

1. start simple – demonstrate all, assume nothing.

2. build a way into the first moments of the course for students to get in, write, and publish

3. build a way into the first moments of the course for students to edit someone else’s work (in this case, someone else’s writing of an interview with you)

4. be aware of students who have limited access and have paper backup

5. constantly monitor if the technology is driving or serving the daily outcomes – my goal is to serve, not drive

6. I don’t have to know it all. Hmm, where have I heard this before.

What I need to get better at.

1. putting myself out there in terms of being one of the content providers

2. provoking discussion

3. immediate feedback to students

Complex Instruction PodCast / KWL from Class

My Seniors are getting ready to implement a complicated Complex Instruction cooperative learning rotation in their classrooms. Part of our preparation was to focus their panic in a KWL we did in class last week. I offer this podcast as one way of responding to their questions. It’s corny, but perhaps informative.

These are most of the “What I want to know about what I’m about to do with CI” questions I responded to in the Cast:

W – “What I want to know about what I’m about to do with CI.”

1. If a group of students just aren’t working well together, is it okay to switch them?

2. For resource card, can I use a non-fiction book?

3. For the pre/post test should we measure knowledge of content or multiple abilities?

4. What do you do with the activities/projects that are finished each day? Do the kids present them during the closing meeting?

5. Can I give a first grader two roes?

6. Will four different activities on food from around the world be too narrow?

7. How do I describe the role of facilitator to very young students so they do not find it unfair that this person is a type of leader? Perhaps they won’t have a problem with it.

8. I want to know more about getting slower processors and lower academic students involved.

9. How can I encourage students to work as a team so everyone is as engaged as possible?

10. Are there ever and groups of students that do not benefit from ci?

11. How often would it be beneficial to do CI? If it occurs once a week, do the benefits not become as strong because it is done so often?

12. I want to know how to create an effective pre/post test for ci.

13. How should I organize the groups? What roles?

14. How much time for sharing?

15. How is sharing structured?

16. How much preparation with roles and norms? How far in advance?

17. How do I incorporate and deal with team teaching?

18. How do I fix / prevent behavioral problems curing CI stations?

19. Many students don’t get along, groups are made as friendly as possible yet issues will arise. Pre/post tests?

PodCast CIDownload file

Skin Again by bell hooks

A colleague loaned me the book,

I cherish the poem… .

The skin I’m in

is just a covering.

It cannot tell my story.

The skin I’m in

is just a covering.

If you want to know who I am

you have got to come inside

and open your heart way wide.

The skin I’m in looks good to me.

It will let you know one small way to trace my identity.

But then again,

the skin I’m in will always be just a covering.

it cannot tell my story.

If you want to know who I am

you have got to come inside.

Be with me inside the me of me,

all made up of stories present, past, future

some true to life

and others all fun and fantasy,

all the way I imagine me.

You can find all about me – coming close and letting go

of who you might think I am

before you come inside and let me be real

and you become real to me.

All real then.

In that place where

skin again is one small way to see me

but not real enough to be all

the me of me or the you of you.

For we are all inside

made up of real history, real dreams,

and the stuff of all we hope for

when we can be all real

together on the inside.

Thanks be to bell.

ISBN 0-77868-0825-X