Friday, March 09, 2007

Teaching, Learning, Teaching, Learning...
Just because I haven't written about my progress doesn't mean I haven't made any. I guess the products of my learning will have to bare witness to my journey. A great deal of credit goes to the talented contributors to the K12 Online Conference this past October. I encountered more talent in this workshop than in all my 20+ years of workshop attendance. The number of workshops and the asynchronous nature of the conference provided me with an unparalleled opportunity in educational technology.
My first year of teaching AP Biology afforded me a situation for developing a Moodle Course. Except for the external blog we have for the course, the content is primarily managed in Moodle. I've tried to use as many different modules as possible (chat, discussion, wiki) as I increase my proficiency. What has been best, is it seems to get around the filters the district has in place for social web tools. We have been able to work in the chat module as we develop the wiki content. Though there have been a few bumps, Moodle has performed well.
Eldridge and Gould describe a model of Punctuated Equilibrium to explain the sudden appearance of forms in the fossil record. I guess my evolution was punctuated as of last week when I left my mark in the digital fossil record. I have been gathering all of this knowlege and these tools to transform the learning interface for my students. I was ignited by several recent posts to Darren Kuropatwa's blog. The current addition of a SmartBoard to his class had me wondering about the Interwrite SchoolPad that I had started using last year. He had mentioned uploading the day's SmartBoard content into a slideshow on SlideShare. After loading the latest version of the Interwrite sofware, I realized I could export my pages as a .pdf to SlideShare and paste the slideshow into a classroom blog. So now I needed to activate blogs for each of my classes. A couple of emails to the district's IT department had my blogs lifted from the filter (at least for reading, editing from school will be a problem I think.) Here is one result. This seems like a good time to hit the School Advisory up for the funds to purchase 4 more SchoolPads to pass among the students.
Now, Podcasting.
I have been toying with podcasting for some time, but the fearless nature with which Mr. Kuropatwa wrote about podcasting challenged me. So, I took the bait. My first podcast was was a microphone on the teacher desk and me lecturing an introduction to the classical genetics of Mendel. Nothing great but there it was!
So, in the last two weeks I've redesigned my website, posted a podcast, established four classroom blogs (with slideshows) and one master blog for myself.
None of this, though, would have been possible except for the fact that someone took the time to share their experiences with me (us). I am grateful.

A Difference: SmartBoard Day 1

1 comment:

Durff said...

Your podcasting a lecture reminds me...try an MP3 player to record the lecture, then upload it in a podcast. Vickie Davis used this method with a $40 MP3 iriver and I just bought one for our history teacher for $30. The memory isn't what the kids have for their iPods, but sufficient for recording voice lectures. What I bought came with the earbuds, disk, USB extension, & disk. I need to find a lanyard to wear around the neck...