The Global Education Wiki: A Companion to the Global Education Conference Main Site

Global Education Conference

The reports are in! During the week of the Global Education Conference, there were 15,028 unique logins, 8,372 hours of presentations attended, and 32,681 web site visits just this week.

It didn’t end there, though. Visit the Global Education Wiki to peruse the open projects, project directory and the archived sessions and keynotes.

You can even nominate them for a 2010 Edublogs Award in the category of “Best Educational Webinar Series”.

With thanks again to Steve Hargadon and  Lucy Gray for organizing this amazing event.

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Online Communities for Students

I’ve been working with a group of high school teachers that have very little technology available to them. They each have a tablet computer and a projector and that’s pretty much it. There are no other computers in the room and there are no wireless laptops or laptop carts available to bring in for the students to use. We’ve built our time together on making the most of the one computer classroom. So, as I blogged about in the beginning of the year we focus on using the tablet PC as a presentation tool, a productivity tool, and a tool for the students to use during small group activities and even during whole group instruction.

The more time we spend together, the more this small group of teachers sees how their students would benefit from using technology on a regular basis. They have begun using web 2.0 applications that the students can access from home so that they are incorporating technology into their curriculum – more – just not really in their physical classroom. So the questions of building virtual learning communities for students has come up. I even Tweeted about the other day. Here are the responses I received:

kyteacher @lthumann Either Ning or Edmodo. We use both, depending on the assignment.

Taml17 @lthumann Depending on what types of comm and how much, I might look at a wiki first.

khokanson @lthumann we are having GREAT success with ning at my school as digital portfolios HOWEVER monitoring is KEY!!!!

MagistraM @lthumann most of my colleagues in FL dept have gone with Ning for flexibility and broad potential.

keisawilliams @lthumann Is it around a project? Or do you want something more Twitter-like?

courosa @lthumann that’s what I’m using.

jepcke @lthumann What age students? What type of communication? Ongoing? Community building? For a project/unit?

kristenswanson @lthumann Depends on the purpose and the size of the group…. ;0 Maybe NING, maybe Edmodo, maybe a plain ‘old wiki… ;0

Dsalvucci @lthumann Edmodo.com does not require email addresses to join, easy to use and very secure.

keisawilliams @lthumann Have you seen Twiducate? I haven’t tried it yet. http://www.twiducate.com/

kyteacher @lthumann Then I would recommend Edmodo.

keisawilliams @lthumann Take a look at Kidblog too http://www.ncs-tech.org/?p=4726

sharnon007 @lthumann u can petition ning to remove ads if used for ed w/kids

amandacdykes @lthumann what about edumodo (sp?) I just know ning is blocked at my school.

beacantor @lthumann have you looked at nicenet.org? A bit rudimentary, but very easy to set up and monitor.

keisawilliams @lthumann Using the SMC technically and pedagogically http://socialmediaclassroom.com/index.php/using-the-smc Have the tchr watch this vid.

kmulford @lthumann: Edmodo, hands down.

lesreilly @lthumann Curious as to what you went w/ as far as student comm. Nigh or basic blog or wiki or maybe google group? What feedback did U get?

nsharoff @lthumann – I would suggest Moodle (FREE) for MS teacher & students

digitalmaverick @lthumann Moodle has an incredibly supportive community – try @iusher for brilliant examples of its use in many schools

kmulford @lthumann: Edmodo is like Facebook for the classroom. The interface is appealing to kids, yet it is “protected” and much safer.

kmulford @lthumann We have “reluctant learners” who don’t do any homework, but WILL spend time on Edmodo talking to classmates and teachers.

urselle @lthumann How about Edmodo, Google Docs, Hotchalk for students to communicate. Ning is very easy, though.

Bear in mind that many of these Tweets are in response to my responses to their questions. You can certainly go back and view my responses at http://twitter.com/lthumann, but the crux of what I was Tweeting was that the teacher wanted the ability to moderate, has no e-mail addresses for his students and I originally was researching for a middle school teacher who I will be seeing next week, but I remembered that I would be seeing a high school teacher who also wanted to pursue building an online community with his students.

Here’s the list of possible community building tools that I was able to put together thanks to my Twitter network:

  • Moodle – “Moodle is a Course Management System (CMS), also known as a Learning Management System (LMS) or a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It is a Free web application that educators can use to create effective online learning sites.”
  • Ning – Ning is an online platform for people to create their own social networks
  • Edmodo – “A private social platform for teachers and students to share ideas, files, events and assignments.”
  • Twiducate – A free resource for educators for teachers and students to continue their learning outside the classroom.
  • Hotchalk – HotChalk provides a free online learning management system, a library of free and premium digital content, and a portal into today’s educational landscape with innovative articles and the latest news
  • Google Docs – Safely store, organize, share and collaborate on documents, spreadsheets and presentations online
  • Blog – “is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog)
  • Wiki – is a website that allows the the editing of any number of web pages via a web browser There are typically multiple editors on a wiki site. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki)
  • Google Group – Groups provides a method for true communication and collaboration with group members
  • Nicenet.org – Nicenet is a volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to providing free services to the Internet community. Nicenet’s primary offering, the Internet Classroom Assistant is designed to address the pedagogical needs and limited resources of teachers and their students.
  • Kidblog – Kidblog.org is designed for elementary and middle school teachers who want to provide each student with their own, unique blog.

When I met with the High School (science) teacher on Tuesday I told him that I had a plethora of ideas for him but that he needed to be clear as to what the objectives of an online community for his students were. This is what he laid out:

  1. A place for the teacher to house resources and documents from class
  2. An alternative way for students to submit assignments. (Currently many of them e-mail them to him.)
  3. A place for students to communicate with each other in a supportive manner with regards to course content.

Well, this was a start. I was happy to demonstrate some tools that would fit these three objectives knowing the teacher was clear as to what he was trying to accomplish. But our last hurdle was going to be the district filter. So immediately we were able to eliminate several of the online applications listed in the Tweets above.

Our ultimate decision was to sign up one of his classes on Edmodo. Edmodo appealed to this teacher and met his objectives. Fortunately, Edmodo was not blocked by the district’s filter (yet…) and the bonus was that it came highly recommended from my PLN.  Edmodo seemed to be our best choice.

It will be interesting to see the objectives from the middle school teacher next week to see if we select the same tool.

Do You Have a Handout for That?

I recently spoke at a conference where the anticipated attendance was 16,000. There were 30 laptops set up with 60 seats and then overflow seating for another 40 people. I gave 5 presentations over 2 days. I didn’t know before I got there how many people I was going to see and now that I’m home, I still don’t know. But I can tell you that at least 10 people asked me if I had a handout I could give them. There were also many attendees that commented about it. I was grateful to see this Tweet from NJ educator Brian McLaughlin.

brian

I think sometimes as educators, we are accustomed to getting everything on paper. But what really happens to it? We stick it in a folder, we throw it away, or it gets lost in a an ever-growing pile of papers collecting on our desk.

Here are some tools that I’ve been using and have seem some other educators use to share information and resources during presentations and professional development sessions:

Google Docs
Click on Share — Publish as Webpage and Google Docs will assign you a unique public URL (link) for your document. You still will be the only one that has rights to edit your Google Doc, unless you invite Collaborators, but you can use this feature to share a digital agenda, list of links, or anything that you would have printed out in the past. Here’s a sample… http://docs.google.com/View?id=ddn2z86w_3dn2hs4fj

http://www.scribd.com/
On Scribd, you can upload a Word or PDF file and they will convert it into a web document. This way your attendees have access to it on their computers. All you have to do is share the URL  with them. Here’s a sample…http://www.scribd.com/doc/17245218/Discovery-Education-Whats-New-2009

Wikis
http://www.wikispaces.com/
http://sites.google.com
http://pbworks.com/
Wikis will allow you to embed more than one type of content on them. Like I did for my presentations at the NJEA Convention, I included links to websites, embedded videos and gadgets to PollEverywhere and Slideshare. These are pieces of information you really can’t print out. Here’s a sample… http://njea-tis-09.wikispaces.com/shoestring-did-you-say-that-was-free

Glogster
Glogster advertises itself as “a creative, dynamic, and innovative digital outlet that captures learner’s excitement for online creations, keeps learners engaged in course content, and makes teaching and learning more fun.” This is great, but to summarize, it allows us to provide our attendees (whether they are students or educators) with a digital resource rather than a printed one. Here’s a sample… http://udltechtoolkit.wikispaces.com/

Wallwisher
Wallwisher defines itself as a “web page where people actually post messages.” The great part about this is that you don’t need an account with Wallwisher in order to post a note on a Wall. So you can have the folks in your session contribute ideas or links to the wall and then save the URL to refer back to. There’s no need to print out anything during the workshop and run and go make copies as they’ll always have access to the information. Here’s a sample… http://wallwisher.com/wall/techforum09

Do you have any tools you are using with your students or in professional development to eliminate unnecessary handouts and to increase productivity? Please share them!

Thanks @tombarrett for the “Interesting Ways To Use” Series

I’ve been meaning to collect these awesome Google Presentations all in one place. I actually was talking about it with the group of teachers I was working with yesterday as I shared the Google Docs presentation with them. Then, this morning, I saw this Tweet from a new follower.

brownswordI new immediately what Miss Brownsword was referring to and went right to Tom Barrett’s blog where he had posted all 12 of his Interesting Ways To Use series. I had contributed to a few of them in their early stages, but I was not aware of some of the newer ones, or how lengthy some of them had gotten.

Though you can visit Tom’s blog to see these fabulous resources, you can Google them, find them in my Delicious and Diigo bookmarks, I’ve also decided to list them here. Take a look. Perhaps even contribute. (Thanks, Tom, for setting up these collaborative resources.)

21 Interesting Ways To Use Google Docs in the Classroom

42 Interesting Ways To Use Your Interactive Whiteboard in the Classroom

24 Interesting Ways To Use Google Earth in the Classroom

40 Interesting Ways To Use Your Pocket Video Camera in the Classroom

40 Interesting Ways To Use Wordle in the Classroom

27 Interesting Ways To Use Twitter in the Classroom

10 Interesting Ways To Use a Wiki in the Classroom

13 Interesting Ways To Use a Visualizer in the Classroom

23 Interesting Ways To Use a Nintendo DS in the Classroom

34 Interesting Ways To Use Search Engines in the Classroom

17 Interesting Ways to Use Voicethread in the Classroom

5 Interesting Ways to Use Prezi in the Classroom

Preparing for the Next Google Teacher Academy

The draft of my presentation is due this Friday for the next Google Teacher Academy. I had fun putting together a Google Presentation on my topic, Google Sites, and deciding how I wanted to go about discussing this particular app with the next cohort of GCTs.

I know decisions are being made sometime this week on the chosen 50 and I’m looking forward to hearing through my PLN who they are. When the last cohort was announced in preparation for June’s Academy, the GCT’s Tweeted out links to their blogs and created wikis for informal pre-GTA gatherings. As my flight arrives in Chicago mid-afternoon the day before the GTA, I’m hoping this upcoming cohort is as socially forward-thinking.

Any-who… One critical component of my presentation on September 24 will be to share examples of how Google Sites is being used in the classroom. Please share with me either by commenting here or sending me an e-mail at lisa.thumann at gmail dot com with a link to your Google Site (here’s mine) and an explanation as to how you are using it with your students or how you use it as a current Google Certified Teacher or professional development provider. I would love to include your information in my list of resources on September 24 at the next GTA.

Thanks in advance.

My Web 2.0 Whirlwind Needs to Pick Up Some Momentum

Back in April I wrote a post the day before I was teaching a small group of educators about Web 2.0 applications. I was undecided as to whether I should completely abandon the eBoard I had been using as a resource in my workshops.  I decided rather than tackling that huge project, I would post the ten tools I was going to be sharing during the workshop that day and asked for your feedback.

During the workshop, I Tweeted out each tool as we went over it. Many of the people in my PLN were so generous as to share their experiences with the tools in their classrooms. I also asked the participants to help create a Google Doc and shared the URL on Twitter so that I could further include my PLN in the day.

Well, it’s time to get some momentum going as I prepare for not only tomorrow’s Web 2.0 workshop,  but as I beef up my Google Site for my sessions at the upcoming Google Teacher Academy on September 24 in Chicago and for one of the sessions I am facilitating on October 14 for NJAET’s Annual Conference titled 21 “Must See” Web 2.0 Websites for Educators.

Here is the Google Doc we will use during the workshop. I’m still working on the wiki pages. It took me longer than I thought it would. There are some blanks in the table and I’d like to add some graphics. (It’s a bit of a sore spot with my husband and my kids right now.) But since everything is always a work in progress, please let me know if you think I missed anything.

Thanks in advance for your help. And BTW – that day in April was the day I first met Christy Tvarok who ran full speed ahead with creating her own blog and bringing her school into the 21st Century – many of you have had the pleasure of meeting Christy F2F or on Twitter. Heather Johnson was also with us.  Heather is one of the Center’s consultants.  She is knowlegeable, energetic, and a National Board Certified Teacher, and this past year she has spent some time with me and her new PLN, learning the tools necessary to take good teaching and learning to the next level. I applaud her thirst for technology literacy! And finally, that same day I met Megan Smith who ultimately joined the Center’s 21st Century Learning Initiative along with 23 other NJ educators. Megan is emmersed in Diigo, Twitter and many other tools gearing up for the 2008-2009 school year.

iTouch the Future…I Teach – Social Studies

ThumannResources - Google Sites
ThumannResources - Google Sites

You don’t have 20 years of teaching experience if you’ve been teaching the same lesson the same way for 20 years. You have to revisit and revise every time you teach a lesson because there is ALWAYS room for improvement.

I’ve decided that one of the things that I can do to improve the professional development that I offer is to move some of my resources from my old eBoards to my new wiki. As I’m doing this I’m adding some of my presentations to SlideShare and of course editing and updating many of them as well.

On August 13, I’ll be teaching my iPods in Education workshop again. This is one of my favorite sessions. I always look forward to sharing all that you can do with the iPod and I have had a great time blogging about all the resource that are available to educators and students that have access to iPod Touches.

There are a few resources I’d like to share for Social Studies, including some for the upcoming Presidential Election. Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment if you’ve found any others.

iCandidate Poll

This is a set of 20 questions that you answer to determine which of our two Presidential Candidates is a better match for your political opnions based on your answers.

iPodia

This site is Wikipedia for the iPhone / iTouch. iPodia does promise a new version is coming out soon, but I did not have a problem with the current version. Everything that you see on Wikipedia on the regular-sized monitor looks very nice and is readable on their mobile site.

Speedymarks.com offers some interactive quizzes for the iTouch. Pictured to the right is the quiz for the location of the United States. The user can select whether they be given 2, 3 or 4 choices to respond to the red highlighted area.

This same website also provides a Country Quiz. The user has a half dozen or so regions to choose from before they have to respond to questions specific to that region.

Once again, I’ve published the Google Doc that I used to gather the Social Studies resources for this post. Don’t forget you can also view my wiki on iPods in Education at http://sites.google.com/site/thumannresources/ or click on the Google Sites button under my picture on the right side of your monitor.