Archive for the 'collaboration' Category

Moving Toward Collective Intelligence from Collective Stupidity Part 1

A critical aspect of Web 2.0  is the concept that when people are connected, they create  a collective intelligence.  I would like to offer another view.  Science shows us that water will move to the lowest point , it seeks the lowest point in a river stream to flow.  If there is a break in the bank that is lower than the stream, than the stream flows in that direction.   Likewise, a chain breaks at its weakest link. In a class room, one  student can destroy a small group or even a class discussion.

In addition, a extreme amount of water becomes a flood which destroys the river bank and other objects.  Too many tall trees kill the smaller trees in a forest.  A mob operates at a very basic level,  not at the highest level of thinking.

The act of merely being connected does not provide “collective intelligence”.  We educators have to create the structure for changing from possible “collective stupidity” to “collective intelligence”.

My  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment

My book,  Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Reponding to Your Students

Wiki- Collaborative Notes Instead of Individual Ones

My classes use a wiki.  If the classes are sections of the same course, they share the same wiki. For example, my 8, 9 and 12:30 classes are all Writing and Research so I group them together on the wiki.  I  have been having students from each class take class notes and post them to the wiki.  As I read the notes on the same classroom  topic material, I notice  that although each student included the critical information, each student picked different things to emphasize more.

Now that students have gotten use to note taking, we are moving onto collaborate notes. The first person posts  his/her notes and writes his/her name.  Then when a person from another section of the same course logs in to post his/her notes, the second person reads what the first has written and adds to the notes or clarifies information; he or she adds her name where she added info.  Likewise, the third person from another section does the same and adds examples if there exist.  The quality of information has increased drastically. The initial notes get transformed into a complete set of notes that will help anyone who is absent.  The notes serve as a great reminder of what we covered with specific examples. The wiki notes demonstrate that students collaborate to advance everyone’s learning.

How do your students collaborate?

My new book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Reponding to Your Students

Build a real class learning community

Teachers can create a class community such as everyone knowing two things about everyone else in the class without having a learning community where students continually work together to better each other.   Likewise, teachers can have students work together (Student A does this/ student B does that….) without really collaborating (interacting and changing the individual or group’s ideas) .

I would propose using formative assessment to build a class learning community. When students continually help each other by peer-reviewing and offering new ideas to others, they  have a learning community.  For example, in pairs, the students have peer-reviewed each other’s brainstormed evidence for an English essay and the teacher has given the original authors time to make appropriate changes. Then they continue being formative by creating groups of three to four.  In turn, each author reads his/her thesis and his/her brainstormed evidence; the group has the responsibility of adding three to four new pieces of evidence to the original list. After they help the first person, they rotate through the group.  Each group has a single purpose: to help each author to have three to four new pieces of evidence.  Those groups are truly learning communities

What learning communities do you have in your class?

My new book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Reponding to Your Students

Standardized Terms for Common Understanding

I am constantly amazed that we, in education, have not standardized learning terms.  Is a benchmark a 3-4 a year comprehensive test of the skills in the course? Or is a benchmark the level at which the students are to arrive? What’s a standard? The list of generic skills from the state?  The quality we expect of students?  What is formative assessment? Student observations that lead to improved lessons for next year?  A student observation that leads to instant feedback for that student?  Each new educational movement brings in its interpretation of a term.

We cannot even have an educational discussion because we use the same word to mean different things.

The Federal Gov’t wants to clarify the end product of learning instead of having states have their own standards. I agree. Even more the federal government should publish a dictionary of what educational terms mean so that everyone can use the words with the same meaning. A common vocabulary means that teachers within the same building, within the same district, within the same state, and within the same country can have a common meaning.

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students, is available through Eye-on-Education.

Reponding to Your Students

Making a Difference Through the One Laptop Per Child Program

One Laptop Per Child XO laptop

One Laptop Per Child XO laptop

Students get excited about helping out other students, especially if they feel that they are making a real difference. By assisting the One laptop per child (OLPC) program, they can completely change the life of a child in a third world nation.

The OLPC program has a a powerful mission “To create educational opportunities for the world’s poorest children by providing each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop with content and software designed for collaborative, joyful, self-empowered learning.” The One Laptop per Child is “an education project, not a laptop project. Their goal is to provide children with access to libraries of knowledge, ideas, experiments, and art — to provide a window into the world, with examples and references on which to build.”

For children in these third world nations, the laptop program is their way to a very different world than the one in which they live. With these laptops, they can learn not just from their local teachers (if there are any) but from people all around the world. They and their parents can learn to read. They can collaborate on activities with other students so they can learn from each other. They can share resources so that children in the village have books to read. Their world expands and so does their future possibilities.

These laptops are designed for children. In addition to educational logic activities (OLPC’s name for applications), students can express themselves through a paint activity and various music activities. They can communicate with others through a chat activity and a record (pictures and video) activity; in addition, they can share any activity with any other child. These young students have learning tools such as a calculator activity, a word processing activity, and a say- the-typed-text activity. These third world students have a web browser and screen shots of many wikipedia entries. These learners can switch from the three views of neighborhood (all those who are connected or nearby with an XO laptop), the circle of friends (those who are connected and share applications), and the home view (all of the child’s favorite activities.

The OLPC has created a powerful laptop with many exceptional features. The screens can be read in direct sunlight. Likewise, due to their mesh capabilities, the laptops instantly create peer-to-peer networks so that students can collaborate with each other. The laptop batteries are very long lasting. The case is extremely rugged. The OLPC works in many languages from Spanish to the small minority language of Quechua.

Students can help out in many different ways. A wonderful class project is to raise enough money to buy a computer for a student in a third world nation. Also, the students can create videos, podcasts, posters, and “ads” about this great project that they share within the school and the community. They can get media coverage to tell the wider community about the importance of the OLPC program. They can host an OLPC event in which they show videos illustrating the difference that the OX laptop is making in students’ lives. They can help any regional OLPC support group in designing activities for children and in testing these activities.

Help students to make a difference in the lives of other students. You can make a difference by using Amazon’s Give a Lap Get a Laptop program now through Christmas.

Improving How We Use Wikis for Better Student Learning

Here are some handout notes for the session:

Harry Grover Tuttle, Ed. D.
Instructor, writer, consultant
harry.g.tuttle   at   gmail.com

Blog: https://eduwithtechn.wordpress.com

Purpose: To improve students’ learning through changing how we use wikis in our classroom.

Formative Assessment Focus

Improvements:

    1. Teach the mechanics

    2. Identify the learning goal/purpose

    3. Explain the quality of responses

    4. Use students’ notes

    5. Organize the class

    6. Provide in-class and out-of-class resources by learning style

    7. Avoid common web topics

    8. Make learning “collective wisdom” instead of  “collective stupidity”

    9. Have exemplary work and reactions to the exemplars

    10. Build in real and varied interaction

    11. Build on the past

    12. Make group work transparent

    13. Have a student-help-student section

    14. Carefully use outside experts and other classes

    15. Co-create with students

A wiki has been created for you to add to  http://wikiforbetterlearning.pbwiki.com/

A mini version of the presentation is available at slideshare

Reponding to Your Students

Exemplar Collecting and Using For High Quality Learning

At one of the colleges I teach at, I had to submit material for a course review. I was pleased to receive not only a perfect 3/3 but also to be asked to send some of my material in as exemplary work. However, I became even more interested when I found out that this college that has at least six different campuses is collecting exemplars. My question becomes “When are they going to share these exemplars with the faculty so that we can improve by seeing the excellent work that our colleagues are doing?”

I would suggest that we all collect exemplars at our schools and use them to improve our teaching and our students’ learning. Have each teacher submit his/her best student paper, project, etc. For example, each English 9th grade teacher can submit one excellent student paper for the major types of writing. The teachers can physically put them in a cabinet or even better they can put them onto an English Wiki so that teachers at any given time can access these exemplars. These instructors can discuss with each other what makes each exemplary. They can all come to the same idea about what exemplary work is. Furthermore,They can use these exemplar papers to raise the learning level of their students. The instructors will have many exemplars for their students so that the students can realize that the high quality can be shown in many diverse ways.

Get your team to start collecting and using exemplars now!

For any one who is interested in implementing formative assessment in the classroom, my book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students is available through Eye-on-Education.

How to make Wikis and Blogs Collective Intelligence

THE magazine has an article on 6 technologies that will impact education in very near future. The writer used the term collective intelligence to refer to Wikis and Blogs. I agree that wikis and blogs are collective. Are they intelligent? Ithink that depends on how the teachers have their students use these tools. As a comparision, are all classroom discussions intelligent ones in which students grow academically from the discussion or is it a an exchange of opinions?

Here’s two things we can do to improve the intelligence of the wikis or blogs.

When students do add to a wiki to build a collective body of information, how do they use the information once they have created it? For example, if students find articles on different article on the same topic (immigration), summarize the articles, and post to a wiki, we simply have a collection of articles. What do we have the students do that uses that collection? Do they compare/contrast the articles? Do they search for the bias in each article? Do they create their own article that incorporates an in-depth view of the pros and cons of the issue?

When students post their ideas to a blog or even twitter about the ideas, how do students grow from each other’s comments? Are the students’ comments ones that challenge ideas, ask probing questions about it, give another view(perspective) of it, show connections, provide alternative explanations, or explain how to do it? How do their comments move them along the learning path?

Pool Curriculum Resources for Students’ Success

I have been asked to do three courses next semester, two of which are new to me. I was given a one page syllabus listing 7 outcomes and the name of the textbook. This course has been taught for over 16 years and surprisingly, that is all the resources I’m given. Why do school districts or universities not have a pooling of resources so that any new teacher can not only start off running but can start off at a high level of running? If schools and universities want their students to be successful, then each course should be built on the students’ successes from when the course was taught in the past. What helped the students to advance in the standard? Which learning experience were not helpful in moving the students forward? Where did students encounter learning problems in the course? Of course, each class is different but if teachers had all that previous information at their fingertips, they could have their students soar in their learning.

Does your district, school, or team pool resources so that each teacher is curriculum rich in practical strategies to help students be successful?

Wiki as Presentation Tool

PBwiki site

If your students have worked collaboratively to create a learning product through a small group wiki, then why not have them present their product via the same wiki? They already have the information from all of its stages -from brainstorms through various drafts. They can copy the information to a clean wiki page and organize it. They can either link to other presentation pages or they can move all information to one long scrolling page (put in about 12 blank lines between each aspect so that each aspect shows up by itself on the screen). They do not have to go to PowerPoint to do their presentation.

This type of presentation is especially good to demonstrate changes in thinking, growth in the project, and increasing levels of complexity. Students can show parts of their early brainstorm and then show their final product. They can show the various decisions that the group went through. Group members can add their feedback to each other and any teacher feedback and show how that feedback was incorporated to create a better product.

Have your students used a wiki for presentation?

Teacher Sharing and Technology WikiSharing: APA Reference List Practice

I talked with my son who was lamenting the fact that he could not find a worksheet on certain Spanish verbs as he searched the web. I shared that I had searched for APA style practice for a class that I am teaching and I could not find any. (By the way, I have a twenty minute rule for searching. If I cannot find it in 20 minutes, then I create it myself usually in less time than if I continued to search.) We both were amazed that with the thousands of teachers who teach and have taught the same subject for many years, teachers have not developed an Internet pool of resources. Imagine if all the high school English teachers pooled their resources (if each teacher contributed even one of her/his best worksheets), we could have a fantastic resource pool. We could build on what others have done instead of having to individually recreate materials. Instead we tend to keep our resources to ourselves so others cannot benefit. Maybe some educator should set up a wiki for specific subjects and then have parts of the wiki devoted to special areas of each subject. The wiki can be the sharing resource pool.

In the spirit of sharing, here is some mini-practice on developing an APA reference list for research papers.

Last Name:
In APA format,
last name, first initial (period) second initial (period)
so Maria Santiago
would be
Santiago, M.

Practice:
Robert Jones
Linda Tami Antone
Eileen Judy Tedun

If there is more than one author, an “&” goes between the next-to-last name and the last name
such as Smith, R.J. & Jones, E. I.

Practice
Robert Jones Marzini and Louis Samuel Lewis
Bonnie Pauline Frazer and Nancy Louise Davis
Connie Harriet Buly, Kevin Burke, and Alan Robert Potter

 

Year of Publication goes next in parentheses ( ) followed by a period.
a book published in 2004 will become
(2004) followed by a period such as Jones, R. J. (2004).

Practice:
a book published in the year 2000 by Jack Eugene Cooper and Albert Edward Stinson
Samuel Tobins and Grant Wigham published a book in the year 2006

 

Book
The book title follows the parentheses.
It is in italics. It is followed by a period.
For example, Everyday Candle Making becomes Everyday Candle Making as in Jones, R. J. (2004). Everyday Candle Making.

Practice:
A book, Country Schools, published in 1999 by William James Pophill
Kevin Patrick Connor’s book, Science Today, was published in 2006.

Location and Publisher
Following the book is the the location (city, comma, state abbreviation), a colon, the publisher (do not include words like publishing company) and a period. For example,
Berkely, CA: McThought.
Upper Sadle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice-Hall.

Practice:
Charlotte May Fish had her book, Ontario History, published in 2005 by History Heralds that is located in Shortsville, Vermont.

The Association for Supervisors which is based in Alexandria, Virginia published in 2004 Daniel Avery Tompson’s book, School Playgrounds

Website
Follows the basic format for a book.
Author (individual, group, or organization) + period
Date in parentheses + period. If there is no date, use (n.d.)
Webpage title + period
Retrieved Month, Day, Year, from web address + period.
(If there is no author, start with the title of the webpage)

Example:
Williams, J. (2007). Creating New Images. Retrieved November, 12, 2007, from http://www.pid.edu/curriculum/photographs.html.

Practice:
You want to refer to the article Data Power by Huan L. Long that you found at http://www.datamunchers.org/datapower/data.html on the fifth of May, 2007.

You want to refer to Vernon Nicholas Shafer’s website, Read On that you found today on the website http://www.readingpower/read.html

If you know of any sites that have shared quality teacher handouts, please share.

Wiki Wonderful for Student Learning

W I K I Wonderful Information Kids Inspired

I did a presentation today on improving students’ in-depth and comprehensive learning through a wiki.

I showed:
How students can create their own class textbook.
How students can summarize and clarify textbook chapters.
How students can work on projects together with a shared repository for materials, ideas, and drafts.
How students can do individual long term projects (term paper, science report, etc.) using the wiki as a scaffold.
How students can use a Wiki as a presentation tool.
How educators can do formative assessment during any stage of the students’ projects instead of waiting until the end to assess since the educators can see what changes have been made by which students.

How else do you promote in-depth and comprehensive standards-based learning through a wiki?

Harry Grover Tuttle 2007

More In-depth Textbook Reading Through A Wiki

Greater Textbook Reading Through a WIKI

The above diagram depicts how I am using a WIKI in one of my classes. Students read the chapter more carefully since they know that another student will be looking over their summary. The student who reviews the summary has to carefully read the chapter and then the summary to see what is missing, add any important concepts, and then to supply examples of the ideas presented in the text. The last student has to read the chapter, read the summary and examples, adds more examples, and then determine what outside sources will help other students who read this. They also know that I can see all the revisions to see what they added. By the way, many textbooks are not sequential.

To paraphrase a student, “I have to examine the text more since I know someone will be looking at my summary.”

How do you improve student learning through a WIKI?

Starting a WIKI in my Class

I started a WIKI for a class that I am teaching. It is easy to find free wikis (pbwiki, wikispaces,and wetpaint.

I find it difficult to find examples of how educators are structuring them and why the educators selected those formats. I do not know the advantages of using a no template versus a course syllabus structure. I could not easily find any list of what to do and what not to do in structuring a WIKI. I do not know what features I will need as the class uses the WIKI more. Why have some educators gone to the paid versions?

In additions, in terms of pure mechanics, I created a link from text and did not see the new page so I created another one. I found out that when I clicked on the link that the new page appeared. I did not find out that there was a File section under I had made a page for whole documents.

I wish that more information was teaching about actually using the WIKIs then “selling” them. Perhaps a think-aloud video of how an educator selects to do something within the WIKI would be a great teaching video that could jump start teachers at a high level.

What have you learned about using a WIKI in your class that can benefit others? What advice to you have for someone starting out? What mistakes can you help others to avoid? Let’s learn from each other.

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YouTube Classroom Video Collaboration

YouTube Stuff

I’m coming to see YouTube as the next wave of educational collaboration and sharing.

If you put your videos on YouTube, anyone has access to them so your students (and other students of the same subject) can see them at any time to view content. They can view and review the videos. Classroom videos that your students make can be put up for other classes to see. Your class and a class in a distant location can create videos on different aspects of the same topic and share then on YouTube. Your class and other classes can share how local history, science, language, and math reveal itself in your communities. Imagine if ten schools videotaped their local “underground railroad” locations and shared them. Imagine if ten schools interviewed local officials about what is being done to prevent global warming in the area and shared those videos. Imagine if ten schools asked local poets or writers about how to be better writers and shared those videos. Imagine if ten teachers shared their hints at helping students to do well on the same state exam in their subject area and shared those videos.

Instead of having your students create a PowerPoint, a poster, or a model, have them create a short video using a digital camera.

Imagine what could happen if each school district in the USA (and in each nation) put up an instructional video by Nov. 2007. We would have a gigantic library of YouTube videos that would be powerful instructional tools created by educators and students for other educators and students. What a positive collaboration!

So when will your district (or your class) put up an instructional YouTube video? How will you help your students and other students to better learn your subject area through YouTube.

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

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A Dynamic Constantly Improving Standards-Based Curriculum Made Easy with Technology

Curriculum Static or Changing

I remember the huge curriculum binders that dictated what I was to teach. The binders were so big that I rarely opened them. I knew the same curriculum had existed for many years. The pages were yellow with age.

Now teachers can create curriculum and constantly update it through technology. The updates do not have to be at the end of the year but they can be within any unit. Imagine a word processed curriculum that all teachers of the same grade level have access to. As they go through and teach the standards-based curriculum unit, they can add what worked and what did not work for them; they can add their formative assessments and the summative assessments that they used. They could even include class averages for the various experiences based on the team-agreed to rubric. They save the updated curriculum file back for everyone to see. As their colleagues look at the original curriculum and the learning experience suggestions made by their colleagues, they can consider their colleagues’ suggestions. They may think about a modified experience and modify it even more. As each teacher reads over other teachers’ comments and adds his or her own comments based on what actually happened in the classroom, the curriculum becomes dynamic. The curriculum is not removed from the classroom. It is not a stale document on the shelf. It is a living document of what is successful for students.

If each teacher spends even five minutes writing down his or her reflections on the unit and there are four teachers at that grade level, there will be a wealth of standards-based successful and non-successful strategies to consider for next year. Each year the curriculum’s learning experiences can be modified to be help more and more students to be successful. The curriculum will never yellow with age but constantly be refreshed. It will better help students achieve the standards as it changes.

Are your curriculum documents static or dynamic? How do they reflect your and your colleagues’ growing wisdom about what learning experiences lead to the students’ achievement of the standard?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

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Digital Divide – Digital Inclusion – Knowledge Divide

Digital Divide

More from the SITE conference

Paul Resta spoke on the Digital Divide. The Digital Divide is much more than just access to computer and the Internet. He prefers that instead of the Digital Divide, we think of Digital Inclusion. There is exclusion based on social, economic, geographical, language, and gender. He demonstrated through a graph that 70% of the web is in English, 5% in Japanese, 5% in German and 3.9 in Chinese: the English language excludes many people from accessing the information.

He stresses that there is a Knowledge Divide and that even if the Digital Divide is closed, the Knowledge Divide will not be solved. There is a shortage of teachers worldwide. He showed various world maps showing the percent of the continent not having radios, tvs, and computers. He stated that the USA is number 16th in the world in terms of penetration of broadband.

Dr. Resta stated the Digital Inclusion includes access to:
basic literacy
Hardware and the Internet
Culturally and relevant content in local language
Exchanging digital content
Educators who are culturally responsive.

How much do you students work with students in other nations through technology? What do you do in your classroom to help students understand the daily culture of another country through technology?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

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Higher Level Thinking Team Competitive Learning Using PowerPoint

Team Learning and PowerPoint

Students, in small groups, put together their information about an aspect of the major topic such as the Spanish Empire in a cumulative PowerPoint activity.

Each team gets to create two thought-provoking questions about the topic. These questions are not factual questions such as “When did it happen?”, “Who was the leader?” or “Where did it take place?” The questions are essential questions such as “How is Spain’s decline similar or different to the decline of other Empires?”, “How does Spain’s rule still have an impact on the modern world?” or”How does Spain’s rule compare to the USA’s role in the world today?” After the teacher Oks the questions, the teams post their questions so all the teams can read them. Then each team gets to select a question. A team gets first choice on one of its own question but a team may reject its own questions and then those questions are available for others. All of the question focus on slightly different aspects of the main topic.

Each team prepares its PowerPoint report. They are to include at least four historical detailed examples to prove their answer. They include at least one map, one other visual, and maybe a chart. The teams know they will receive points on how well they prove their viewpoint according to a provided rubric. In addition, they know that after each presentation, any other team can offer additional supportive evidence or contradictory evidence and that team will receive an extra point for each additional valid evidence. The teams realize that if they want to prevent any other team from getting points from their presentation that they have to have an abundance of information. They may even include a contradictory viewpoint and disprove it. Their team grade is their own presentation plus the additional points they gain from other’s presentations. Each presentation has a five minute limit.

During the presentations, the teams listen very closely to each other. They are seeking to find ways to agree or disagree with the presenters. They know that after the presentation their team will be given a minute to prepare any additional or contradictory evidence in a factual and persuasive manner. If they are successful in their challenge, the teacher will say “Point” and will add a point to their team’s cumulative score.

So how do your students engage in higher level thinking and in collaborative and competitive teams through PowerPoint?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

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Taking it Global -A Worldwide Collaboration for Your Students

TakingITGlobal

If you want your students to be global citizens, then you might want to make them familiar with TakingITGlobal. TakingITGlobal.org is an online community that connects youth to find inspiration, access information, get involved, and take action in their local and global communities. It is now the world’s most popular online community for young people interested in making a difference, with hundreds of thousands of unique visitors each month.”

Your students can research topics to see the views of youth around the world (Understand Issues tab). They can use the Explore the World tab to learn information about specific countries.

There is now a teacher’s classroom version where you can create a class section where your class can collaborate with other students from around the world.

Let’s take it global so our students are 21st century students and not locked into the walls of the classroom.

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

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www.takingitglobal.org

Skype Video Conferencing: Home Use to School Possibilities

Skype logo

I finally used Skype. I gave both my sons webcams and headphone mikes for the Christmas. One son is about 500 miles away so he does not get home much. We had no trouble connecting. He found out that he had to get the camera working first, restart Skype and then we could see each other. The joy of seeing him with all his facial expressions was heart warming. He got to show us the “computer room” by panning his webcam and to show us his new “toys” by holding them up to the camera.
The sound was quite good and the video quality of the camera was OK (a little grainy and quick movement became a slur on the screen). It reminded me of the early days of CUSeeme but with much better quality.

I thought of some possibilities for Skype in school:

-Shadowing a professional as she/he works

-Talking with people in labs, research centers, art studios, museums, “on location”

-Watching an expert do something or explain something (Your neighbor who does composting can explain it to the class and show her compost to them.)

-Class to class collaborative videoconferencing (not having to bring a big videoconferencing unit in the class and not having to go to the videoconferencing room is a big plus.) in all subject aeas.

-Conversing in the second language to people from that language area

– Watching an event such as a school play, a poetry jam, science demonstration (egg drop), etc.

– Another teacher from another district can help you co-teach your class since that teacher is an expert in the topic your students are doing.
-Mentor (A master teacher can watch your class and then give suggestions)

Skype presents a great example of bringing the world into our classroom and going into the world with our classroom. Did I mention it was free!!!!

So how have you used Skype in your school or what things would you like to do in your school with Skype?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

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Students’ learning community -local or globally supported education?

Local or Global Student Collaboration

(From Tuttle’s Learning and Technology Assessments for Administators, 2004, p. 44, used with permission)

How big is your students’ learning community for your class? What is the highest number that represent with whom your students have collaborated (sent and received information)? What was the project?

With whom do your students collaborate? Where are these people located?

Do you offer your students a global education or a local one? Are they educated from peer-to-peer collaborations with people from different locations and cultures? Are they educated from experts from other countries? Do your students learn about a country from people within that country? Do your students compare global warming with people around the world? Do your students write about a common theme and have peer-feedback from students from other locations?

Widen the community and increase your students’ learning!

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Top 10 reasons not to use professional collaboration program

 

10 I don’t have time to check the online site since I’m too buy creating materials.

9 My stuff is not good enough to share.

8 I don’t want anyone else using my great writing technique.

7 I’ve heard that blogs and other collaborative programs like that have porn so I’m staying away from them.

6 Othere subject area teachers don’t teach like I do so their materials or ideas won’t help me.

5 I’ve used the same materials for the last 20 years and I won’t change now.

4 I have all the transparencies I need.

3 Once I close the door, it is my private world.

2 I am an expert in my subject area.

1 My students like to listen to me lecture each period.

 

School Communication and Collaboration: A simple solution






Recently I had an emergency trip to the hospital. I was infuriated when I was asked the same medical background question by five different people. There seemed to be a lack of communication.

 

I visited with a high school teacher who was bemoaning the lack of communication in his school. I thought back to being in a very small department and in a large department; both had a lack of communication.

 

Why do schools not use an online collaboration tool to communicate within the school? All announcements can be sent out and archived for future reference. All forms can be accessed at anytime. Surveys can be given out and the results instantaneously produced for everyone to see. Department meeting notes can be posted so that future meetings do not cover the same ground. Progress or lack of it on long term curriculum projects can seen easily. Teams can keep track of “at-risk” individuals more closely.

 

It is time to change the present school culture to be an information sharing and growing one.

Online Collaboration Tools: Theory and Reality

A university developed an online collaboration tool based on a constructivist framework. Instructors have used this tool for more than ten years. Recently an analysis of its use was done. The reality was that most instructors used it for students to submit their homeworks and some used it for online discussions. Most instructors did not grade the discussions and many of those that did grade tended to grade the number of entries in the discussion. Students did have a virutal shared work space in which to work on prescribed assignments. These uses do not reflect a constructivist envionment

 

 

A public school librarian told me about the blogs in his school. Again, they used an online collaborative tool mainly for students to post their thoughts on topics but with no interaction among the students. Each student got to put in one thought about the topic. The contents of the blog were not studied in class and the students were not tested on the content of the blog.

The question becomes “How can we promote in-depth learning through online collaborative tools?

 


RSS Education with Technology

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