I know the concept of these Web 2.0 resources are for collaboration but our school and teachers are very poor at the whole collaboration thing. And I don’t trust our technology to start any collaboration with outside schools, especially globally. My students are not all that “tech savvy” and are only interested in playing computer games. So these resources I chose are ones I am planning to teach on an introduction basis. Maybe somewhere down the road if I ever get to teach an advanced class and don’t have freshman then I can began collaborating. So as you read, just know I have a dream of one day using these lessons in a collaborative setting. 🙂
I was first introduced to Wikis in a Technology Conference about seven years ago after my first year of teaching. I thought it would be a great tool to start my teacher web page. Sometimes these PD sessions are very rushed for time and don’t allow for much practice and individualized instruction from the session leaders. So when school started, things got crazy, and I had forgotten most of what I learned and never started it.
The reemergence of Wikis came in my 505 class to build a student portfolio and upload assignments. In the beginning I was excited and loved them once again, until I started having pesky editing quirks that drove me crazy! And then I became not a fan.
Lesson Plan for Wikis
Student Portfolios is currently in the works for next year in my classroom. This seems to be the best use of Wikis for my class setting. Since portfolios are a great presentation source for employers, I think it would be a useful tool to get them started. I can’t decide if i want to introduce them at the beginning of the semester and let them add as they go or have students create them near the end and use them as a final project for semester exam credit.
Other Wiki Usage
Department Resource Page: I was planning to create a Wiki for our department to store lesson plans, writing resources, and tutorials. Something similar to the Course Document section used in Blackboard. This way, the other computer apps teachers could use the resources for their classes as well. Since I was introduced to Wix, I seem to like it better and feel it would work better than Wikis.
Google Apps for Education
Google is the greatest thing EVER! However, the enormous amounts of these great resources leaves me feeling with that overwhelming feeling of where do I start….and so far I haven’t started! 🙂 I honestly feel I could teach an entire course on Google Apps for Education.
The resources I feel my students would gain the most immediate use from and use as collaboration tools are the following:
- Google Mail
My students really have no formal email expertise. Honestly, they have no concept of remembering a log in and password! But we are working on that! 🙂 So all my students are required to create a Gmail account. For my email lesson I plan on teaching how to set up a contact list, distribution list, send an attachment, and proper email structure and etiquette. Each student will be required to enter their classmates email into a contact list, set up at least 5 students for the distribution list. Students will construct an introduction letter about themselves and send the letter as an attachment to all the students in the class. Instead of standing up and introducing themselves verbally, they will do it through email. All students will be required to reply to the email and comments about the introduction. Also in the lesson I will teach how to use email professionally, the difference between the “reply” and “reply to all” feature, and how people can get fired by misuse of email.
- Google Forms
Google forms can be a great collaboration tool to use for class surveys and collection of data. Students will need to know how to construct surveys and questionnaires for research projects and in careers so I think it would be a useful tool to teach.
- Google Drive
Not a day goes by where someone is not talking about “The Cloud”! So I think it is essential that I start incorporating this into my lessons. Some of my students don’t have the opportunity to purchase flash drives so Google Drive is the next best thing…..and it’s FREE! My idea for collaboration would be to assign a topic that had multiple sections and then have students access the documents through the drive and add their part of the assignment.
Microsoft has included a Sky Drive version in the 2013 software. I found a book that has some great introduction activities to use. One of our labs just got upgraded to 2013 and since I’m a floating teacher I would only get to teach it to one of my four classes.
All these activities could one be used as a collaborative tool with other Computer Apps classes and eventually others schools, and globally.
I did look into the Pals website. It’s looks interesting but most of the projects I saw were for younger groups or were for other subject areas. Many are looking for ESL activities or writing and game projects. I saved it to my delicious account and hope to look into it further. Maybe I will find a group to interact with one day.
Skype in the Classroom
I’ve always wanted to download Skype and teach my class one day from home and see how that went. The classroom I used the most is due to get upgraded next year so I may give that a try!