On Wednesday we completed the second week of OpenPD Round 3 and it was a great success. Conversations centered wikis, widgets, how to embed objects / widgets into a wiki. I learned about customizing embed codes when placing videos in a blog or wiki.
Jamie Gustin explained when embedding video clips from YouTube/TeacherTube you should customize the embed code so you do not inadvertently copy and paste code which allows for related videos to be embedded. I had no idea related videos could be pulled in through an embed code, very valuable information.
- When you have a YouTube or TeacherTube video you would like to embed, to the left of the video there is a space where you are able to copy the embed code, well if continue to look to the right of the word embed you will see a customize link.
- Click on the customize link and there is a radio button to check which says don’t include related videos. I would suggest always having this checked.
Scott Weidig and Bud Hunt also joined us in class and in our Skype call. Each has had experience using Zoho, another online collaborative tool with many components similar to Google. Zoho contains a wiki as well as many other features as well. Never having used Zoho myself, they both made excellent contributions to our session on the features of Zoho they use and their experiences.
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Tonight begins round three of OpenPD, we have made a few changes this round. The class will be held from 5:00 – 6:00 PM EDT, check your time zone here. We will have another face to face session joining us from the Magnolia School District in Texas. Jamie Gustin, who attended our last session of OpenPD, is now inviting teachers in his district to participate. All of the connection information is available on the wiki, we will be using Skype and Ustream as we have in the past, sign up for accounts if you have not already and plan on joining us. The agenda is posted, we will be starting with creating you own wiki and hope to move ahead to more advanced options in both wikispaces and also blogging.
We are looking forward to teaching the course again and also to having more people join us. It has been a wonderful experience and we anticipate the same for the following 5 weeks, see you tonight!
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OpenPD is in its second offering, the course has been going very well, wonderful participation, all those attending engaged, tools working extremely well. We had an activity planned for this week as a review of what we had covered last week. The assignment was to create a Google presentation in groups; members of the groups would be mixed, face to face and virtual. All sounds good, right? Well it did turn out great; all groups were successful in creating their presentations and sharing them, working through editing. The downfall was the communication during the creation of the presentation. We decided to use Skype chat, all had Skype accounts, but not all were as familiar with group chats in Skype, myself included and I screwed up. I had difficulty adding people to the group chat, I didn’t have everyone’s contact information, and not all were logged on to Skype so when I tried adding them to the chat it didn’t work. I felt as I did the first night of class in the fall, clumsy with the tools, and rather than assist those in the class with what the assignment was I felt I had the reverse effect and proved to be a hindrance instead. I should have been better prepared, and I apologize for that, at the same time it was a true picture of what it is like for a teacher to be a student in their own class.
It has been suggested it may be in the best interest of my co teachers for me to step aside and let someone else take my place, someone savvier, and someone more literate with the tools. I know I don’t have a string of accomplishments associated with my name, not a blogger that is read or subscribed to, and not someone who falls into the category of any kind of name recognition in the world of education. I do believe strongly not all of us are made of that mold, but we all do contribute in our own way to challenge those we come in contact with to open their eyes to the possibilities we believe are relevant in the shifting landscape of education. I have felt being part of OpenPD has been a contribution I have been able to make, a time of collaborative learning for anyone interested. I have a lot to think about.
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We are preparing for our second round of Open Professional Development – Social Software in the Classroom. Our first round was very successful and we are inviting anyone who would like to learn more about the free online tools available to use in your classroom teaching or building collaboration to join us in this learning experience as well. The class in the fall was collaborative and engaging in both conversation and the sharing of ideas, we look forward to the same atmosphere and hope to see you there.
When – Class will begin on January 23rd and continue for five consecutive weeks beginning at 6:30PM Eastern Daylight Time, please check your time zone here.
Skype – If you don’t have a Skype account you will want to create one ahead of time, it is free is what I will use to moderate discussion during class via a chatroom. To join please send a message to me, robin.ellis1, so I will have your contact information before we start. We recommend you use a headset to participate in class conversations; this will decrease the likelihood of an echo effect.
Class Wiki – Our class wiki (with the schedule and participant portfolios) is located here http://openpd.wikispaces.com. To join us, please join the class wiki.
Attendance – For teachers who are not taking the course for in-service credit, perfect attendance is not required.
We have geared this class for those new to using web 2.0 technologies in their classroom practices, but all who have experience with online tools are welcome to as well help us demonstrate what we have all found valuable. Hope to see you all soon.
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