A Well Connected Day

Whew! Sitting down for a few minutes before heading to the in-laws for dinner and prior to the Carolina-Duke basketball war tonight. This has been one of those days where the connections have just flown all over the world…Thought I’d share a bit.

It started by reading Jeff Utecht’s The Beginning of the End cont. over at The Thinking stick. If you have not read this post, do yourself a favor and go there now. This is where we need to be taking learning for our students, and afterward you will see my feeble attempts to get there.

Arriving at school, I checked my mail box and found that the Acer Aspire One from their Seed Program had arrived. For those that haven’t heard, Acer is letting schools try out one of their netbooks for 30 days, with the option of purchasing it at a reduced price or sending it back at the end of the trial period. I’m planning on putting this little fella through it’s paces over the next 30 days to see how one holds up in full time classroom use.

After booting up the Aspire One to let it install the necessary drivers, I went and checked my Twitter account.  Yesterday I posted a link to an article from CNN.com called “Seeing Color in Sounds has Genetic Link“.  I have been fascinated by synesthesia since having a math professor in college who was a synesthete and explained his difficulties in school related to the condition.  One of my fellow science teachers on Twitter out in Utah, @gardenglen sent me a tweet informing me he has a co-worker who is synesthetic.  Through some back and forth discussion we are now planning to set up a Skype session where my students will be able to ask her some questions about the condition and how it has affected her life.

In class today, my students were working on article summaries for the wiki we’re creating. The article they read yesterday was called “Texting on the Move“. Three of my students during the day commented about hearing a news story related to this concept earlier this morning.  Throughout the day students were relating the articles they were reading to events in their own life.  They were also learning a ton of technology stuff:

  • We discussed the benefit of hyperlinking to the original article and I got most of my kids to the point where they were comfortable doing it.
  • Several students learned the keyboard shortcuts for cut, copy and paste.
  • We discussed constructive commenting…while some started to get it, others are still really working on this one…
  • About half way through each class I sabotaged the main page of the wiki and put on an Academy Award Nominated performance of being angry and disappointed that someone would have looked at my list of usernames and logged in to an unused account and messed with the main page of our wiki.  When no one fessed up I raised my hand in recognition that it was actually I who had done the deed. I then showed how quickly we could revert back to an old version, and pointed out how useless it would be to sabotage a page.

Finally, after completing the wiki work, students went on a “Glog Walk” checking out some of the glogs made with Glogster.com/edu by Chad Brannon’s 7th graders in Alabama. The goal over the next several days is to have my students create their own glogs. At this point I’m waiting on their passwords to arrive from the EDU version of Glogster.

Overall, I’ve felt like the past couple of days have been very “connected” for me.  My PLN is becoming a bigger part of who I am as an educator.  This despite the fact that my number of Tweets over the past few days has actually decreased.  It’s an amazing thing this networking.  If only all teachers realized the potential for making connections beyond the classroom, county, state, region, time zone, or country…I’ve certainly been won over, and will continue to work to win over other teachers.

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3 Responses

  1. I enjoyed looking at your class wiki, particularly the user agreement. Do you have your students complete one of these every time you introduce a new web 2.0 tool? Do you also have a general internet acceptable use policy?

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Laura,
      That user agreement was one I set up specifically for the wiki. Being the first teacher in the building to use one I thought I better have as many bases covered as possible. Since I teach 7th grade, I’m somewhat limited with some Web 2.0 tools due to most of my students still being 12. I have to pick and choose what we can use and go from there. If I’m using a tool that seems to need some additional teeth apart from the county AUP, then I try and at least talk that up. The County Tech Plan is available in #10 on the Wiki User Agreement. Hope that helps!

  2. My glogster student account usernames and passwords have also not arrived…I am bitter at them right now.

    I am interested to look into the Acer program you mentioned….

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