James shows us how to use VoiceThread on Edublogs (I should have asked how to do this weeks ago) and other flash-based programs, so I am giving it a try. (here is the tutorial, by the way)
And you can try something too – add your voice to my thread (you will need to register for voicethread to do so, however). This was an experiment that I posted via Classroom 2.0.
[kml_flashembed movie="http://voicethread.com/book.swf?b=2246" width="400" height="500" wmode="transparent" /]
Did it work?
Peace (with flash),
I have been trying to understand social networking a bit more these past few weeks, as I think this is the direction I want to take our Making Connections project that creates an online shared writing space for middle school students in our Western Massachusetts area (this past year, we had about 200 students writing and responding).
My dilemma has been, what platform? I know others are using Elgg and it seems interesting but a bit complicated for teachers in my group who are not tech savvy and need to be able to troubleshoot and help students basically on their own. There are aspects of Elgg that I really like, including the automatic tag-links created via profile writing.
And then, there is Ning. A few months ago, I became part of the Classroom 2.0 community over at Ning and it has been quite a wonderful experience. Created by Steve H., Classroom 2.0 has grown leaps and bounds since I came on board. And this network has shown the power of the collective voice, as teachers are sharing resources, strategies and questions, and probing deeper into the Web 2.0 tools, and questioning such things as assessment in the connected world.
I also wanted to try my hand at administering a Ning network, so I created an informal one for technology liaisons within the National Writing Project. It was easy to set up my own Ning network — incredibly easy, and we now have 23 members (I am hoping for many more but don’t want to push too hard). I like the ease of administration and the use of widgets that allow such easy access to load and share videos, audio, and anything else you can think of.
And again, this is just another tool for creating a sense of community, so I enjoy “seeing” some old friends and some new friends in the Ning space. And that is a big part of the social networking experience, I think.
Peace (with networks),
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),