Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Wiki-end!

Several months ago I heard some of my friends at other schools discussing wikis. I went on wikispaces and even attempted to wiki. The bad news is that I quickly gave up because I could not figure out how to make it work or happen for me. So that was that. Then several weeks ago, in one of my classes (maybe this one) a sweet little video called Wikis in Plain English was introduced to me. After watching it once, I knew I had to try to wiki again.

To my surprise, creating a wiki through was SO easy! Within minutes, I had a very basic wiki created and ready to go for immediate use in my classroom. To test drive it, I assigned my students generic usernames (a benefit of pbworks for teachers and students without email addresses). They went home, logged in and took off running on my wiki. Who knew? Now they regularly request to wiki, and I have to say that it's not only much easier to engage them, but I enjoy reading their posts as well.

TO define the role of a wiki in the classroom from my perspective, it's the WWW method, also known as the Whatever, Whenever, or Wherever that is missing from traditional teaching. Both my students and myself can log in and work cooperatively using the WWW method on a given topic from a classroom discussion, to book reports. The opportunities for wikifying your classroom are endless.

Today, I'm not only converted from my earlier thinking about wiki's, I'm now a user and creator amongst my faculty at my school. From sharing lesson plan ideas to implementing a new form of technology integration that is free, I'm glad to be able to share a new and painless tool at my school.

To check out my current wiki projects check out the following wikis that I have created:

EME5053 Wiki

TigerLanguageArts Wiki

Have a great Wiki-end!


Want to watch the video that changed me forever? Watch this:

Friday, October 23, 2009

Looking Ahead: While I was working on embedding, I also had some storytelling assignments to work on in one of my other classes that I'm taking. I discovered Animoto earlier this semester and it has to be one of the easiest online software programs that I have ever used! For this particular project, I had to tell a story about Me. For weeks I was stumped on how I was going to tackle this project. In the end, I created several versions. I wanted to be able to show my students that just because you finish something, doesn't mean that you are really finished. I want to try and embed my video on here, just to see if it works. What I am going to embed is an early version of my video and a final version. I created my video in Animoto and then downloaded that portion of the project into Movie Maker to complete the narration. Overall, I think it turned out better with the narration. I'm looking forward to the possibilities that this class and my other classes are providing me with. :)


W/O Narration

With Narration

Friday, October 9, 2009

Week 6 Online Identity Reflections

This week has been a crazy adventure for me. Over the course of the last week, I have had several presentations both at UCF and in my own school. My aunt passed away, my sister is getting married tomorrow, and I have been working like a nut trying to finish the wedding cakes. With this being said, being required to reflectively consider my own online identity has been a challenge. According to the link in my class assignment, my online identity is considered "Digitally Distinct". I created my online profile through Google .

Establishing an online profile and updating my About me profile on Blogger, I found to be quite easy. Trying to determine which information to divulge to the world while maintaining my personality without being too stingy with my personal information, is tricky. I want to provide my pertinent details to make myself digitally distinct, but I don't want everyone knowing everything about my life at the same time. As I was considering my audience, I decided that making my profile educator friendly, something that I myself as parent would not be afraid to open on my computer with my students.

As I was reading through Chapter 2 of the Future of Reputation, I was intrigued by the idea of a being both a Diarist and a Journalist. I wondered how blogs came to be, so I was very interested in The Blogfather also known as Glenn Reynolds. He argues that “technology has made it possible for individuals to become not merely pamphleteers, but vital sources of news and opinion that rival large metropolitan publishers in audience and influence." (Solove 16) To apply the same mindset to education, blogging also will prove to be of great significance to the changes and revolutions taking place in educational technology. Being able to blog reflectively about the success and failures of how technology is being used in my classroom, school, and county is one way to hopefully improve my own classroom instruction in the long run.

Personal Learning Plan

This semester I was introduced to a new concept. Perhaps not entirely new, but one with a name. I had never thought of my personal/educational/instructional goals being part of my "PLP" or Personal Learning Plan. However, now that I know what they can be called, I think I will stick with PLP. So with that being said, I'd like to share how I am working on developing my PLP this semester and hopefully into the future.

1. Create Wikis within my school/department to collaborate on lesson plans and unit building, professional development, and technology tricks or ideas.

2. Reflect weekly on classroom experiences and previews of the current week in my classroom by maintaining and publishing blogs at

3. Enhance classroom writing projects by incorporating online publishing avenues directly with my students. (i.e. National Writing Archives through the NCTE)

4. Begin to Create Podcasts that provide lessons directly to my students through Audacity and iTunes. While creating Podcasts also subscribing to fellow teachers, classrooms, and instructors will also enable me to better prepare for content lessons, professional development and other situations.