I was beginning to feel a little overwhelmed with my GAME plan this week. I was still very focused on my goal of employing an array of digital tools - blogs, wikis, videos, and social media to tap into my students' passion for collaborating, creating and sharing. However, I felt like I didn’t know where to begin in designing higher levels of engagement in authentic real world experiences within the content areas. Although I have developed a language arts collaborative wiki project and placed an order for biography books for resources, I still felt like I should also be creating collaborative projects using Web 2.0 tools in science, social studies and math content areas.
Thanks to the resources in our course this week, I have been able to take a breath, calm down and make some revisions to my original action plan. I plan on following the sound advise on how to get started with online networking and collaboration offered by Vicki Davis (Laureate Education, Inc. 2009). My first plan of action is to visit Web 2.0 resources sites such as Eduwiki to locate ideas and examples for student projects so that I am not reinventing the wheel for every project in several content areas. I also plan to start small by creating one project, and then expanding from there. As Vicki Davis said, “You don’t get there overnight” (Laureate Education, Inc. 2009).
The second part of my revised action plan is to search for an online grassroots project to join. According to Vicki Davis, “Teachers must develop a personal learning network of teachers and other experts. For teachers to innovate with Web 2.0 tools, it is vital to connect to their network” (Laureate Education, Inc. 2009). It has become evident that in order for me to successfully integrate Web 2.0 technology into the content areas and provide my students the opportunity to personalize their learning, engage in the discovery process and creatively express their understanding, I must connect and collaborate with educators beyond my school and district.
Now that my students understand the concept of blogging, I am trying to locate an online blogging tool where my students can interact with each other, teachers and experts around the world. Most blog sites are blocked in my district, however I heard this week that they are looking into allowing Moodle. In continuing my search for an online learning platform appropriate for younger students, I plan to check out Think.com/ThinkQuest and Wiggio.
Laureate Education, Inc. (2009a) Spotlight on Technology: Social Networking and Online Collaboration. Part 2. Laureate Press.