Ah…summer. I’ve run into a couple of teachers in the last few days and all of them are in countdown mode. So weird not to be thinking about the calendar…
Anyway, here are three practical example pointers that might spur some thinking in the near or long term. Add some others if you have them.
1. Damian Bariexa is an English teacher at my old school, and yesterday he sent me this e-mail:
This semester, I implemented a wiki-based project in my Honors British Lit class for the first time; for the most part, my kids really enjoyed working on it. I’ve been trying to “promote” it as best I can by posting the link on other educational wiki sites, since the only way we show up in Google is via spelling errors (try Googling ‘poetry unappricated’ without quotes – we’re number 1!)… I’ve been monitoring traffic with Statcounter, and in the week or so it’s been up, we’ve already gotten hits from around the country and around the world. Even my seen-it-all, jaded seniors are intrigued by the idea that teachers in Argentina, Norway, and Australia are looking at their work as models for their own classes. It somehow even got included on what I think is an inservice wiki here.It’s at http://britishromanticism.wikispaces.com, and in addition to research and links, there’s also some blog-style discussion, as well as some stuff I wrote up for other teachers looking to incorporate wikis in their classes (I’m still tweaking it, but that’s the nature of wikis, I suppose – in a constant state of tweak).
It’s neither perfect nor final, but I definitely plan on utilizing some, of the basic structure and working this into my teaching next year, likely expanding it to other courses I’ll be teaching.
Call me late to the party, but this past year I’ve begun to see a lot of potential in wikis, and I feel like I’m only now beginning to realize that potential. I’ve also become quite a fan of TiddlyWiki, and have set up one such site for more administrative tasks (homework, downloads, links, etc.).
2. Then, this morning, I got this e-mail from Calvin Williamson pointing me to a blog where he’s making screencasts for his students at FIT/SUNY:
I am making Camtasia mathcasts using a tabletPC, posting them to blip.tv (a you-tube like video sharing site) and then giving them to my students in the form of a blog. Basically I have been using this technique to capture problem sessions I do with my students during office hours and posting them to the web…I really think this technique has great possibility for helping online math students see problem examples worked out.
3. Finally, Ben Wilkoff left a comment here last night and pointed to a really interesting wiki that lays out a plan for moving his school in a more progressive direction. Make sure you check out the proposal and the list of free software that he wants to use in place of the proprietary stuff.