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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I was truly inspired by Karl Fisch, Brian Hatak, Brad Meyer, Anne Smith, and Barbara Stahlhut from Arapahoe High School who did their presentation yesterday on Constructivist Teaching with Technology:Learning with Laptops. They started with a three yearstaff development plan, and a 4 person technology team in their high school. Karl applied for a grant, I don’t know from who, and assembled a 16 person cohort, including the 4 tech person tech team, to pilot the idea of laptops and constructivism. We listened today to how they started, asking for participation, settinga limit to the number who could participate managably in the first year, set out the guidelines through an email, people responded answering questions then they were chosen. I would like to read more on the Arapahoe web site about the project, the basic concept is teachers using blogs, wikis and podcasts to engage their students. They talked about the authentic learning aspect for the kids, how they (teachers) were not all “techie” teachers to begin with and some relied on their students to learn the technology and teach them as they went. They are finishing year two and now have approximately 45 teachers who have gone through either the first or second cohort. They meet every three weeks for three hours during the school day, had other teachers in their building help out covering portions of the time and substitutes which I assume were paid through the grant money for staff development. Anyway their approach was to change the pedagogy within the school starting with this first cohort. Nothing that they have done would be considered high tech, nothing requires a great deal of knowledge of computers, and the focus was not on the technology. laptops in each of two classrooms, buy in with the community through the production of student work that was posted. Next year they are adding two more classrooms with laptops carts.
I don’t know how to get a foothold in the high school where I am, but I would love to be involved in a project such as this. To hear teachers talk of the impact this project has had on their students in terms of modeling, the teachers modeling their own learning in these cohorts and the value that has had for their students to see. They all were so enthusiastic yesterday, it was great to be part of this conversation with them. This was worth the trip!
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