Friday, January 18, 2008

January 18th Collaboration

The day started out great and the kids from Huntsville Alabama's Challenger Middle School and those of Sargent Park School started working on problems and getting to know each other.

The first class asked questions of each other and they were answered to rounds of applause and laughter. Once the introductions were over the students got to work and started doing the problems at the Alatoba07 wiki site. Once the classes started working we took 2 breaks to have students explain how they solved problems and then continued the process and ended with another question and answer.

The day went off with out any major glitches. Well no it didn't. My proxy server went down for 50 minutes right in the middle of the second class. It came back online and we were back at it again.

I am looking forward to the student comments at the voicethreads left at Alatoba07 site. I am curious to see how the 2 sets of students attacked the problems.

Next week I hope to try Yugma or ustream to capture the activity. Until next time. It is really cold here in Winnipeg. -40 with the windchill. That means it is a good time to do work.... sure it is :-)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Yugma and collaboration a perfect fit?

This is something that you might want to try. Until the end of the month you can have a free account. Yugma like Eluminate allows you collaborate in many different ways. I plan to use it to connect 2 smartboards. Chrystal and I are doing a math problem solving series with our students. Using this technology the students will be able to interact with each other using their smartboard or activeboard. I am able to give control of the mouse to the other school and have them write on our screen and visa versa.

As we give a problem and share our desktops the two rooms will in REAL TIME share ideas and solutions.

We will be storing all of our results and problems at alatoba07.

Thanks to Ann and Dennis for helping me test out Yugma and for Kristin for giving up some time on the weekend to teach me a few new tricks.

I have that fire back in my belly. Bring it on. I am ready for ..... collaboration.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A new project

I am going to be collaborating with an awesome teacher from Alabama. Crystal Wright is a math teacher from Challenger Middle School. After a few skype calls and some lead up we have decided that the students will introduce themselves to each other using voicethreads.

You will find the work we will be doing at the alatoba07. We are planning to use skype to get two different classes one from Sargent Park School and the other from Challenger Middle School to solve problems. I promote communication in my classroom and this will be a great opportunity for the students to practice what they have been doing. The students will start communicating with each other this week on January 18th.

I am a bit nervous for this first interaction. As with all first steps it will be the most difficult. After the 18th there will be nothing but smooth sailing. Right?!!

Looking forward to having the opportunity to collaborate again. It was great last year and perhaps it will be the catalyst for more authentic learning opportunities for my students.

I'll let you know how it goes.


Wow I haven't written since December 17th. I feel ashamed and let down. I need to write there just seems to be so little time.

I feel like I am struggling in quicksand and needing to find a way out. So many things to do and so few hours in the day. I know this is common for all of us yet I seem to be a an interesting crossroads right now.

My classes are going well, growing posts are being completed and scribe posts are done regularly but there seems to be little excitement in the tools and the communication between students. They like to comment and complete assignments but there is little WOW in what they are doing.

Perhaps I am dictating too much for them. Telling them what to do instead of letting them just do. My top students as always are preforming and enjoying the ride. My struggling students still need convincing and a push in the right direction.

We are starting our electronic portfolios and I hope the tasks built into them will get the creative juices flowing.

I'm back. It feels good to write again. Thanks for waiting.