I did a workshop on wikis today, and, by all accounts, it was a huge success. Having never taught it before, I really did not know how well educators would take to it, but it seemed that everyone (teachers, administrators, college faculty) found something in wikis that they could do — that helped them do their jobs. We used Wikispaces, learned how to create hyperlinks, format text, talked about security, learned to embed images, videos from YouTube and Google Video, and even how to aggregate blog entries, news, and del.icio.us web links into their wiki pages. It was very gratifying, and I’ll do that one again (doing two wiki breakout sessions here at NCETC).
Next! I did my first ever Skype conversation during a conference workshop. It was during the wiki session, where one of the first things that the participants did was to take a look at Vicki Davis’ Westwood Wiki Site. Of course, they used words like fabulous and phenomenal to describe it. And then, to their surprise, appears the CoolCatTeacher herself, nine feet tall on the presentation screen. She described her site, answered some questions, and gave a brief description of the Flat Classroom project. My workshop participants were so impressed, as was I.
Finally, I got a new story yesterday. As I had checked in with the registration desk first thing in the morning and was on my way to my workshop room, a school librarian from Granville County stopped me to chat. She talked about some of the things they were doing in Granville, and as I pointed out how some much about the new information landscape is empowering to learners, she said, “You know, you’re right.”
She went on to describe how one of the social studies teachers in my school had her students produce a video as a class project about their county. This one student was constantly coming into the library to work on his video, which was about muscle cars. He went all over and took digital pictures of every muscle car in the county, and interviewed their owners.
The librarian then said that it was not until after the students played their videos for the class, that she learned that that boy was and EC student with some especially challenging learning disabilities.
Now That’s Power!
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