Hello World? No kidding…

I’m sure it’s not difficult to tell that this is my first blog post.  Call me wildly daring or dangerously stupid, I just learned about the depths of Web 2.0 about a week and a half ago.   Now, it’s not like I had been living under a rock.  Obviously, I had heard about blogs, wikis, Facebooks, YouTube…etc.  But honestly, the “world” had taught me two things about Web 2.0 tools:  1) they are “toys” that college kids played with and 2) they are the perfect unlocked door for predators to waltz right through and do who knows what to my innocent and Internet-naive elementary students.  As far as I was concerned, I needed no part of Web 2.0.

Then something almost magical happened.  I signed up for a workshop at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ.  Lisa Thumann was offering ed. tech workshops and I signed up for one that sounded interesting… (wait for it) “Project-Based Learning”.   Sure, I saw the workshop, “Web 2.0″, but wikis and blogs were blocked in my district for students and teachers alike.  Why would I go to that workshop?  Well, the technology gods had something special in mind for me.  There was a scheduling conflict and I was “forced” to choose the Web 2.0 workshop…and guess what?  I loved it.  Thanks to Lisa, I’m on Twitter, have an active iGoogle Reader and was exposed to many tools that I can’t wait to use with my students.

But wait… wikis, blogs are blocked in my school!!  My IT team and administrators haven’t yet seen the light.  Can I do it?  Is it possible to show them that these tools can change the way our students and teachers learn/communicate/live?  After immersing myself in this “brand new world” I realized my elementary students were NOT Internet-naive.  Each year, we discuss Internet safety and the threat of predators.  Many of them have email/IM services that they use at home.  I’ve always been a supporter of supervised computer use with students… so what’s stopping my district?

Lack of knowlege:  it was stopping me too, a week and a half ago.   My plan for this blog is to share the steps I take with my students and our administrators.   First, my fifth grade students are learning about Web 2.0 by reading ed. tech blogs.  (If they are blocked, I print them out at home so the kids can read them.)  Then, they will use the Persuasive Writing Tools on readwritethink.com to map out a persuasive essay arguing for or against the use of Web 2.0 tools in school.  (I’ll send the final drafts to our administration…sneaky, I know)  Next, I’m working on a project with my GT students.  I’d like their final presentation to be a VoiceThread.  I’ll see how my principal feels about allowing comments!

Thanks for reading.  I hope that if you’re on the same journey as me (or have been through it already) that you’ll take a minute to respond to my posts. I’d appreciate any comments, suggestions or advice you might have!

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10 responses to “Hello World? No kidding…

  1. Great job. Love the idea that the kids are getting good tech knowledge, not just Microsoft tools. I hope the administration gives you more permissions.

  2. This sounds great! I wish my school was more open to the helpfulness of blogs and online communication! Good luck!

  3. Christy – I’m so happy to see you’ve dived into the Web 2.0 world. I’ve enjoyed welcoming you into http://twitter.com and I can’t tell you how much it makes me smile that you have embraced the idea of opening up the world of online collaboration and communication for your students.

    Good luck with your blog and I’ll be seeing you soon be it at the Center or online!

    Lisa

  4. Welcome to the world of blogs. It sounds like you are on the right track to improve education for your students.

  5. What an exciting journey! I’ll be interested to see where the road takes you.

  6. Hello Christy and welcome to the blogosphere!

    Comments? Congrats on taking the plunge. Blogging is easy, fun, beneficial and powerful. Also, excellent choice of blog software and host. :-)

    Suggestions? Have fun, keep the shiny side up (old CB term), stay gold, and blog often!

    Kevin Jarrett
    Technology Facilitator, K-4
    Northfield Community School

  7. Great post! I enjoyed reading about your steps to introduce the students to web 2.0 and how you will compensate for the blocked sites. Glad you aren’t letting that deter you.

  8. Hey Christy,

    Your been busy since our workshop. Sounds great, let me know how it works out.

  9. It is so exciting to see your blog growing as the days go by! I am learning so much. As I was reading about report cards and if the day will soon be here that there will be no more hard copies, I was wondering if the day will come when Mom or Dad could connect to the classroom via computer to watch a presentation from their child or listen to the teacher introducing a new concept to the class. Would it be a good thing for the parents to see their child interact in the classroom? What if the student could see Mom and Dad at work? No more phone calls to say, “Sorry, I forgot to tell you I have band practice today after school.” Just a thought…..I hope to have time one of these days to check out some of your listed websites.

  10. Pingback: This I Believe… « Thumann Resources

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