Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Art meets Technology - Beautiful!

This is a "web graph" of the Teach Web 2.0 blog. Isn't it beautiful? The blue dots represent the links on the blog. You can create a web graph of your blog here. You will also be directed to Fernando Luis Lara's incredible art project 365specialdays.com
Creative idea, really.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Twitter FINALLY makes sense to me. For the longest time, I couldn't get past the fact that none of my personal contacts use Twitter. I figured that meant that I wouldn't have anyone to "Twitter" with. Now, I can humbly report that I am following 21 people. I even have 6 people following me! But, there's more. After following "edtechtalk", I learned last evening of an online chat about the OLPC program. It was very interesting, and I made a few more contacts. The best way to find people is to "people" search with keywords for which you have an interest. For example, I started with "educational technology". Any organization or person who lists this as a keyword will come up in your search. You can choose to "follow" that person. In settings, you determine whether you want updates sent to your email or phone. If you are worried about being inundated with text messages, you can just set it up to read on your twitter page. Pretty cool, short and sweet, and easy to maintain.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

I'll have a GREEN Christmas

I feel fortunate to have placed an order for the XO laptop on the first day of the Give One Get One offer. This makes me a "Day 1 Donor", an honor for which I even receive a badge. (See badge in blog sidebar). Apparently, this means that I will have my little green laptop before December 24. I say "apparently" because I won't believe it until I see it. But, that's ok. I've done a little volunteer work on the project by posting some content to the educators page on the OLPC Wiki. I hope that actually having the laptop will provide some insight and inspiration for further content contributions. If you are a teacher, and you would like to contribute, just visit the educators page at http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Educators


I'm very excited that Anna and I will be traveling to the Educon Conversation/Conference in Philadelphia in January. Our proposal to share and invite others to join the Teach Web 2.0 Wiki has been approved. The meeting sounds really interesting. It is set up to be a conversation about education rather than a technology conference. We hope to get participation in our project from teachers outside of our school. We're also looking forward to a tour of the Science Leadership Academy.

Collaboration Beyond the Classroom Walls

I've been thinking a lot about collaboration. Trying to find a class outside the United States to collaborate with my kids has actually been frustrating. You would think that a teacher who champions educational technology and participates in educational online communities would have no problem. Here's the reality. After a number of false starts, I have yet to identify a good project. I've even been trying via iEarn, an organized collaborative community. The project initiator has not returned my email. I'm going to keep trying, but I've had similar issues with other organized projects.

There is a series of steps to this process, all of which have to work out, for an online collaboration to take place. First, you have to locate another teacher who shares your vision or interests. Once you make contact, it's important to communicate effectively and work together to set up realistic time lines. Finally, both sides must be flexible when obstacles pop up that change the original plan. I can't seem to get past step one.

So, this leads to another thought. Perhaps collaboration begins at home. Maybe I don't have to go halfway around the world for effective collaboration. (Though, I am going to keep working on this.) My third graders are working with another class of seventh graders at our school. They are writing about what life would be like if you lived in a .... This is taking collaboration beyond my classroom walls and benefiting both groups here at home. I'm learning a lot about running a good project that will hopefully help once we find a worthy online project.