I came across two wonderful videos about social networking this past week that I have shared elsewhere but want to keep on sharing, since I do believe that this wave of technology is still on the way up and is gaining more footholds every day.
Here is one in general about social networking from Common Craft folks:
[kml_flashembed movie="http://youtube.com/v/6a_KF7TYKVc" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
And here is one made by Chris Sloan, a Writing Project friend and fellow musician from Utah, about using Elgg networks in the classroom:
[kml_flashembed movie="http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=5911907492375806153" width="400" height="326" wmode="transparent" /]
I’ll write more this week about my own forays into social networking (as a participant and as a creator).
Peace (with you, and you, and you …),
This is a pretty cool site called Delicious Network Explorer that allows you to visually “see” the connections in the delicious social bookmarking network. You can type in a username and then it draws connections between the people who are in your network.
Here is what my network looks like, with the 33 people who are connected to me via Delicious (unfortunately, there was no easy way to share the picture so I had to do it manually):
The colors have meaning, too, including who has included you as a friend, and a fan, etc.
Peace (in the network),
For the past few months, I have been overseeing (with my friend, Bonnie) a collaborative project designed to bring teachers from around the country together to experiment with digital storytelling through video. The project is nearing (every so slowly) the first phase, in which about a dozen teachers have been working on short movies based around letters of the alphabet. Later, when all 26 movies are finished, we will use an online site called Jumpcut to collaborate on the editing together into one big movie.
The small movies have been amazing to watch. There have been heartfelt tributes to nurses and horses; childhood stories, both humorous and emotional; and evocative videos that create a sense of place. Many of the folks have never done anything like this before, so some of the use of tech has been a struggle and we are learning as we are going. I am urging them all to share their scripts and their reflections with the bigger community. This is the blog that Bonnie and I set up — called Using Tech to Tell Stories — where much of the work is being shared.
This is my intro movie, which is based on the picture book Chicka-Chicka-Boom-Boom, and I used ToonDoo as a platform for making short comic frames:
[kml_flashembed movie="http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=5504345373755011847" width="400" height="326" wmode="transparent" /]
If you want to view all the movies submitted so far, you can head to my Wiki site where I am slowly collecting them at one site. Go to the ABC Wiki.
Peace (with partners),
I am presenting a workshop this weekend on Podcasting and Audiocasting to teachers in our newly-reinvigorated Massachusetts Writing Project network. The conference is called Because Writing Matters and features Sonia Nieto (who writes and speaks so eloquently about social justice in our educational system) as our guest speaker and a whole host of workshops.
Here is the slideshow that will go along with my workshop. What you can’t hear are small bits and pieces of student voices that runs on each slide, and I intend to use my friend The Reflective Teacher‘s idea of boiling your week down to a single sentence as our writing prompt that will lead to a podcast in the workshop (posted here, of course).
Here is the direct link: Casting Your Voice Out to the World.
Peace (with podcasts),
I have been writing and participating in a social networking site called Classroom 2.0 that has teachers from around the world exploring the issues of the new wave of technology and its intersection with technology. It has been very interesting and many good conversations are emerging from the site (which has a few hundred members right now).
Head on over and check out Classroom 2.0 and join the conversation while learning just what a social networking site is all about.
Here is a blurb:
Welcome to www.Classsroom20.com, the social networking site devoted to those interested in the practical application of Web 2.0 in the classroom and in their own professional development. Especially we hope that those who feel they are “beginners” will find this a comfortable place to start being a part of the community dialog and to learn more.
Peace (with community),
As part of a book project that I am helping to edit around how composition is changing in the classroom, a colleague passed along a new resource book called Teachingmedialiteracy.com by Richard Beach. I haven’t yet had a chance to really check it out but, being digital, I did check out his website, weblog and wiki.
I like the Wiki best of all. Beach has his students 9college, I think) contributing to the collective knowledge in such areas as:
The sites within the Wiki are well thought out, instructive and reflective, and provide a myriad of resources. This Wiki is a great site for anyone venturing into the thicket of what media literacy is all about these days and the voices of students come through with the power of the collective Wiki.
Peace (with no deceptive advertising),
A friend asked me to share the Weblog site where I launch many of my workshops on Weblogs for teachers in the Western Massachusetts Writing Project with very little, if any, knowledge of Weblogs, Wikis, podcasting, etc. At this point, the site is only the main interface and not an actual blog, although I have used it for that during various workshops (it all depends on audience and purpose).
Feel free to use the workshop site as you like.
Peace (with sharing),
This is a follow-up to yesterday’s post, in a way. One of my projects this year is to work with our Massachusetts Writing Project (newly reconstituted with Susan at the helm) with newsletter weblogs for all of sites, and then collect all news via RSS feeds to a single blog site.
This would give us a collective voice for sharing information and by using RSS feeds, I am hoping that it will be less work for everyone involved (except for me, in setting the darn thing up).
Our writing project site also envisions a time when all of our assorted projects (Project Outreach, English Language Learners Network, Reading Initiative, etc) will have their own blog space for sharing with others, and we want to be able to collect their news at one site, too.
So I started toying around with PageFlakes and Mike, over at his Edublogs tutorial site, showed the world how to collect feeds from PageFlake and then move that code over to an Edublog site — just what I may need. (Thanks again, Mike!)
Check out my public PageFlake site and give me any feedback. I have collected all the feeds from folks in the Western Mass Writing Project who have completed the three-hour Weblog/Podcast workshops with me.
Peace (with Pageflakes),
Jeff Grinvalds, of the Nebraska Writing Project, just published an informative article for the NWP on reducing technology glitches in the classroom (what? I never have glitches, do you? Hmmm) that gives some practical advice for teachers considering technology.
He begins with a personal story of working to create a movie project with his students, only to realize that, “After the show was over and we went to watch the tape of the acts, and I realized to my chagrin that I had not run an audio cable from the video camera to the VCR, so we had this wonderful footage with no audio.”
Check out Jeff’s article: Technology in the Classroom — How to Reduce the Glitches.
Peace (with the writing project),
I just came across an article by Jakob Nielson that discusses the skills that young people should be learning. The one-sentence summary of the article is instructive: “Schools should teach deep, strategic computer insights that can’t be learned from reading a manual.” What he means is that schools should not teach to a certain platform or software program, but they should instruct along the lines of critical thinking and problem-solving that will come in handy no matter how technology changes (and it will change — we all know that).
Here is a list of the skills that Jakob says are vital:
- Search Strategies
- Information Credibility
- Battling Information Overload
- Presentation Skills
- Basic Debugging Techniques
- Understanding Usability Guidelines
You can read more at his site but I think this is a nice basic list to think about.
Peace (with the basics),