Web 2.0 Presentation: Middle School & Bellarine 2012

Welcome to the CCG AGQTP Web 2.0 Project blog. This post includes the PowerPoint presentations and resources relevant to the Middle School presentation on January 31st, 2012 and Bellarine presentation on March 1st. You’re encouraged to take a few moments and peruse the two presentations below, as well as other resources and links on this blog.

If you’re looking for the short Edmodo tutorial videos, click the page link above for “Edmodo Help & Support”.

Introductory Video

Glen and I must be on the same wavelength, because the video he showed a version of on our first day back after the Staff Service is the same video (different version) I’ve had embedded in this page since before Christmas. There wasn’t time in the staff meeting to include this video, which was created in 2007 to provoke reflection and discussion about the influence of digital technology on our world. It encourages teachers, parents and students to consider the nature of our world in the 21st century and the challenges and opportunities our students will face in their future lives.

Introductory Presentation

Exploring the use of web 2 2012

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  • Download the above presentation

Edmodo Overview

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Web 2.0 Project 2011 Exemplars

Click this link to review the varied projects last year’s participants engaged in. Read about the different Web 2.0 tools they used with their classes and their reflections on the impact on teaching and learning.

Edmodo Help

This link will take you to the official Edmodo help page.

I hope you, individually or with a colleague or faculty group, consider how Web 2.0 tools such as Edmodo can enhance teaching and learning in your class.

Get Started

If you’re intrigued to take a look at Edmodo for yourself, or ready to start with your class, begin by registering for a teacher account at Edmodo. You’ll need our Christian College “school code” with you when you register. If you don’t have this code, contact Chris Lean or Brendan Vanderkley.

Senior School: “Exploring Web 2.0 for You and Your Class in 2012”

Exploring Web 2.0 For Your Class in 2012

Thursday, 8th December, 2011

The focus and intention of this session is to begin the process of sharing the experience, knowledge and skill of AGQTP Web 2.0 Project participants with their colleagues. We’ll cover an overview of why teachers should incorporate Web 2.0 tools into their teaching, and some first steps in how to begin to do so.

The focus will be on starting small with a smart online space each teacher can use as an extension of their physical classroom. Participants in this session will come away with their online space created and ready to be used with their classes from the beginning of 2012. With so many teachers already using Edmodo – and due to its privacy and safety features – this is the logical choice for teachers to use as their online class space.

Introduction to Web 2.0 for Teaching and Learning PPT

Edmodo Overview and Teacher Training PPT

Video: Edmodo School and District Features Explained

Video: Embedding Content into Edmodo – For Teachers

Handout: Introducing Edmodo with Your Class – Tips

Video: How to Annotate Assignments in Edmodo

What Are Some Ways I Can Use Edmodo/Web 2.0 in My Class?

Here are some links for inspiration:

  • Ideas for Using Edmodo: a collaborative online document listing how numerous different teachers have or are using Edmodo in their own classrooms.
  • Uses for Edmodo: a similar collaborative document to the one above.
  • How Am I Using Web 2.0 in My Classes? (A brief list of how I have used mainly Edmodo this year, with links to specific Edmodo posts and activities that I have made public).

Hopefully this PD session and the resources included above will inspire, motivate and support you in incorporating Web 2.0 into your teaching “tool kit” in a way that enhances the teaching and learning experience for you and your students.

Thanks for your participation!

Project Workshop “Show and Tell” – Participant Class Projects

Monday, 24th October saw project participants come together and share where and how Web 2.0 technologies are being applied in their classrooms to enhance their students’ learning. Participants identified a range of Web 2.0 tools that they are using in their classes to foster higher-order thinking, authentic authorship and peer collaboration to name just a few benefits for students.

EDMODO – breaking down the barriers of time and space

In most classes involved in this project, Edmodo has served as a central hub, extension of the classroom and “smart online space” from which to serve a range of online resources, tools and content. Across the board participants have found value and benefit for themselves and their students in utilizing this resource.

Guest educational technology consultant Coby Beatson promoted the use of tools such as Edmodo to enable a “flipped classroom”, where some content that is traditionally presented in the classroom is instead served online for students to view or read for homework. This allows the more important activity of thinking about and responding to the material to be focused on in the classroom. It facilitates greater engagement and higher-order thinking in the classroom, keeping the lower-order activities for homework.

Many project participants have had great success and seen tremendous benefit in having the ability to post class content on Edmodo, especially in instances of student absence. Yuji Nakayama is just one teacher posting photographs of class board notes and other notes scanned as PDF files in this way, providing a resource which is greatly valued by students.

Debra Singleton  has focussed on embedding content for her classes within Edmodo. She has seen extraordinary value in the ability to embed content such as relevant Youtube clips, articles and resources from Scootle and other sites. Responding to Professor Steve Dinham’s message about the importance of timely feedback from the Retreat earlier this year, Debra has found the Edmodo Gradebook a great resource. The electronic tasks and assignments and the facility for feedback has been very useful and effective.

Geoff Trevaskis is using Edmodo with his Maths, Christian Education and English classes for setting tasks and assignments. He has found that though it took a little time to introduce and show students how to use it, it had great value for collaboration and communication beyond the classroom, enabling very easy communication with students when they have a problem.

Luke Feldman seems value in utilising Edmodo as a tool for more effective faculty communication and collaboration, with the feature of threaded conversations and more context to discussions than traditional email allows. He is continuing to explore the potential for use of Edmodo to enable more efficient communication cross-campus and across year levels in his faculty.

Ian Neville has his Year 11 Outdoor Education classes communicating and collaborating on a group project using Edmodo. Needing to negotiate and collaborate on the best uses for a specific wilderness area as members of a range of diverse user groups, students will present their group’s case for the area’s utilisation in class. Ian sees value in enabling students to discuss their respective group priorities and values on Edmodo as they prepare for their presentations. Edmodo has enabled the groups to engage in open negotiations and to consider the various values and priorities of all other groups. Within his faculty Ian has already begun to share his knowledge and experience, helping John Tatnell to leverage Edmodo in the same way with his own classes.

Kerrie Reid and the Year 8 English team across Middle School and Bellarine campuses experimented with using Edmodo for cross-campus “reading circles” earlier this year. They saw value in enabling one teacher to be “expert” on a particular text and allowing students from any campus to choose any text group. Students and teachers were able to collaborate and work together across campus and class groupings, facilitating stronger links between campuses. Despite some teething problems as a first foray into this type of activity, Kerrie is keen to continue exploring activities like this with what she has learned.

MUSEUM BOX

Ingrid Staggard and Anthony Timpano have been working with Museum Box as a project presentation tool in their LITE House classes. An alternative to PowerPoint, Museum Box provides a “virtual box” with faces where an idea or research topic can be broken down into specific ideas or arguments. The structure of the box can be tailored by the teacher to suit the task and can provide a scaffold for how a student goes about thinking, brainstorming or researching in relation to a specific topic.

Year 7 classes have been using Museum Box as the tool of choice for visual display of their information during their oral presentations on a wilderness environment. As an additional resource the classes have been drawing on the Arkive website as a resource for images and videos of life on earth.

Ingrid and Anthony, and their classes, have found that this tool helps provide a guiding structure and scaffold for student work. The user experience of this tool is very intuitive and engaging, and it provides the ability to present multimedia content, including Youtube clips and web links.

Ingrid values the “teacher console” feature, which allows the teacher to closely monitor, oversee and co-ordinate with students as they work. Teacher registration on the site and activation of their “teacher console” takes several weeks and requires email validation by the teacher’s principal. This ensures all teachers on the site are bona fide and helps ensure student privacy and security while working online.

BRAINSTORMING TOOLS

A number of teachers have been leveraging the value of online brainstorming tools which allow classes, small groups and individuals to collaborate and share their ideas. The ability to have a physical transcript or copy of a class or group brainstorm to keep and return to has been highly valued.

A number of teachers have experimented with the use of Stixy as a class or small group brainstorming tool. There is value in the ability to allow all students to contribute and collaborate concurrently, while also having as much “thinking time” as they require before adding their ideas during the session. It has been found that Stixy is best used in small groups or with students in “clusters” rather than all students working individually to avoid cluttering up the collaborative workspace.

Anthony Timpano has been using Bubbl.us and Popplet with his LITE House classes. Both mind mapping tools, these allow students to create a brainstorm or mind map and export it to a file for later reference. While Bubbl.us is very simple and easy to learn, Popplet also allows the incorporation of images and other presenting options. Anthony has found these tools to have great value for engagement and enhancing student interest and thinking. Similar to stand alone software such as Inspiration, the value of tools such as Bubbl.us and Popplet is their universal accessibility and the fact that they are free.

RSS FEEDS with NETVIBES

Geoff Trevaskis has explored the use of Netvibes for aggregating a range of articles and resources from diverse online sources on topics relevant to his classes. The use of RSS feeds enables the content on Netvibes to be constantly updated as new articles and resources are published. Conscious of open content and the age of his particular students, Geoff has used this resource himself as the teacher and then shared relevant resources and articles with his classes. He has discovered a range of multi-modal resources that were relevant and very effective in this way.

Brendan Vanderkley has used Netvibes with his Year 10 Psychology class, providing a rich resource of engaging and relevant content that allows students to select articles interesting to them for further study and discussion. Throughout the semester they contributed commentaries on their chosen articles and shared them on Edmodo for their peers to read and discuss. Brendan’s class Netvibes page can be viewed by clicking here.

Debra Singleton has also experimented with accessing RSS Feeds for her classes using Google Reader and found this a valuable tool.

PREZI

Geoff Trevaskis has had a number of students in the Qed Program utilize Prezi as an online presentation tool. Also an alternative to PowerPoint, it utilizes a “canvas” approach with the ability to build in zoom effects and other multimedia features that allow many more options than PowerPoint. Prezi is also able to be used as a collaborative workspace for brainstorming and sharing ideas, allowing multiple users to contribute concurrently.

The appeal of Prezi and its engaging multimedia presentation potential was not lost on Geoff or his students, and he sees great potential for further use in the future. He hopes this is something LITE House will build into their program so that more students can become familiar with it.

WIKISPACES

Christine Lean has worked with her classes on a history project, using Wikispaces as the host for a collaborative class wiki. Using a project management approach, wiki pages were set up for each decade of the project focus. Within each class, pairs of students took responsibility for a particular decade. Across the classes involved, there were 6 pairs working collaboratively on each decade page. Additionally each pair contributed their own “special interest” page on a topic of relevance to the decade they worked on.

This activity was run over 4-5 class sessions where students gathered material, searched and then placed it on the wiki. Chris chose a wiki as the tool for this activity as it had very useful management features and enabled students to have some exposure and knowledge of how to create a basic website.

TAG GALAXY

Daniel Fanning and Steven Cody have both explored the use of Tag Galaxy as a tool for engaging students with visual media and inspiring thinking and creativity. Tag Galaxy is a site that indexes the “tags” applied to all the images on the photo sharing site Flickr. Visitors to Tag Galaxy can conduct a search using keywords to locate thousands of tagged photographs that are relevant. In some respects similar to Google Image Search, Daniel mentioned he found it more engaging and interactive and enabled students to experiment to a greater degree. He used it as a stimulus for his Year 12 English students’ exploration of their Context “The Imaginative Landscape” and had very positive results.

CLASS BLOGGING WITH WORDPRESS

Brendan Vanderkley has developed a class blog project using WordPress, incorporating student explorations of “the use and abuse of power”. Students in his Year 11 and Year 10 English classes have participated and collaborated to share their perceptions on people and groups with power and the influence they have had on others.

Students researched a contemporary or historical person or group and wrote a reflective expository piece on their use of power. Central to the task was the student’s determination of whether their subject’s influence over others was good, bad or monstrous, which they needed to justify. Each student’s work was submitted for feedback and review before Brendan published it on the class Power Study Blog. Students later had the opportunity to reflect and comment on each other’s submissions.

The value of this project is that it provides an authentic audience and purpose for student work, facilitates peer feedback and collaboration and teaches students about publishing online. Students involved in the project have begun the production of a growing catalogue of powerful people and groups that successive classes in 2012 and beyond can use as a resource for their studies and in turn build on. Over time the students’ collective work will become a formidable online library of commentaries on powerful people and groups. It will become a resource others on the web look to as an authority on this topic.

OTHER MISCELLANEOUS RESOURCES

A variety of other engaging resources were explored to some degree by various participants. It was identified that they had great potential for use in a range of contexts:

  • VocabularySpelling City is a resource that allows teachers (or students on their own) to develop word lists that they can share with their students. The site then offers engaging and effective activities, learning strategies and “word games” to help students learn their spelling and meaning.
  • Poodwaddle and Gapminder World are both resources that provide thoroughly insightful and engaging interactive infographics and charts on world historical and demographic statistics. The sites have enormous potential as stimuli in activities for scaffolding higher-order thinking in a range of faculty contexts.

The team meets a final time on Wednesday, 9th November to develop next steps for the continuation of the project beyond its funded 2011 parameters. All participants are enthusiastic and committed to passing on their new skills and experience with faculty and campus colleagues, which will be a major focus for direction in 2012.

Project Leaders’ Workshop #1

On Wednesday, 6th April project leaders Marion Nott and Brendan Vanderkley attended the first of five workshops with highly acclaimed Web 2.0 expert Tom March. The focus? As expressed by Tom himself:

“…5 days spread across the year to develop deep and sophisticated ICT and pedagogy insights and skills.”

Joining project leaders from a number of other schools also participating in this AGQTP program, they embarked on an exploration of a number of ICT tools that have the potential to help enhance teaching and keep learning relevant and real for students. Central to this, Tom shared the value of establishing a “smart online space” for classes with the value of:

  • allowing teachers and students to continue learning beyond the classroom
  •  providing a means for serving “rich, real and relevant” educational content to students within class – but more excitingly, outside of it
  • enabling the possibility of using actual class time more efficiently

The project leaders explored live exemplars of such online class spaces and began to experiment with creating their own with the use of a WordPress blog. They gained some experience with setting up a different kind of brainstorm or class discussion with Stixy.

Later in the day, the focus turned to the pedagogy and rationale behind the use of these tools and participants were introduced to the pedagogical approach of “Look to Learn” to model and facilitate higher level thinking. Marion and Brendan both found the focus on research-based pedagogy a great asset to the workshop, meaning that the experience went much deeper than simply learning some new ICT tools.

The challenge looms now for our project leaders to get the ball rolling back at Christian College. As we plan for the first meeting of all project participants at Senior School early in Term 2, our focus will be to share our excitement and pass on some of the skills, tools and pedagogy we’ve taken away from this workshop.

  • Notes from the first project leaders workshop with Tom March: they include links to the live exemplars mentioned above, with details and related resources for each of the activities conducted on the day. Why not take a look?