Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Learning sometimes comes unexpectedly

Last night was one of those unpredictable amazing events that came from one idea and ended up in the most amazing evening. It started as it so often does these days from a Twitter tweet which alerted me to a session called The Flat classrooms workshop that was being streamed live on UStream in St Louis in the US. The session was being run by Vicki Davis, coolcatteacher and Julie Lindsay, 123learning and I and about 30 others just happened to log in as they were about to begin their first morning session. Being able to watch and listen to their introductions and their plans for the two day workshop was fantastic. At one stage they skyped in Darren Kuropatwa a renowned maths teacher in Canada who does some amazing work with his students and blogging. But what was even more powerful was the back channel chat that was going on at the same time on Chatzy. Julie and Vicki used this chat to add to and discuss issues and ideas with the real life group and they also continued to chat and share with us online. Two hours later I finally dragged myself off to bed at 1.00am having spent two great hours watching and listening and most importantly learning. Here are a couple of cool links that came out of the chat that I will certainly be returning to.
The Education vodcasting site is a site run by two science teachers who create vodcast lectures for their students. This means that effectively they turn their classes on its head by sending the students away with the lectures to listen to and when in class the students spend time with the teachers on more practical experiments and ideas.

Susan Morgan shared her school website which lists fabulous examples of teachers using Web2 in the classroom

smadlliinger shared a polling site that can be used with mobile phones to create and complete polls online

Martha Bogart shared her site on Videoconferencing
and there were so many more but I lost track.

Sometimes it takes no more than an internet connection, a few hours spare time, a comfy chair in a cosy lounge room to experience some pretty powerful professional development.


Julie Lindsay said...

Hi Anne, so glad you had time to come in and be part of our virtual participants. It is all about connectivity. Our philosophy is to provide the learning experiences and conditions and promote connections. Who knows where it may take us all!

Anne said...

Thank you Julie. I have been following all the wonderful work that you and Vicki have been doing for a while now. Particularly the Flatclassroom and Horizon projects. I constantly find them a source of inspiration. Like you, I love wikispaces and much of my online work with students is created around a wiki. You are certainly leading the way in online education and it's pretty cool that you are a fellow Aussie and better still, a Victorian. Hope to cross paths again soon.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anne, I visited the FA academy website, a really interesting site. I liked the way the teachers list the web 2.0 work that they are doing. I have so much to learn and want to start wikis/blogs with my class asap as a tool for them to write about our upcoming poetry unit. Can you point me in the right direction so I can establish an online tool for my studnets to use?
Susan Harley

Anne said...

Sure Susan I would be very happy to do that. I think that the best thing to do would be firstly to decide which tool you would like to start with. Wikis and blogs fulfill different purposes so decide what you actually want the students to be able to do and then start from there. I find that is a great places to start with wikis and they are very supportive of education. If you want to give blogs a go then is a good safe place to set up student blogs. I will say though that setting them up is a little more challenging than beginning with a wiki. If it is helpful I might be able to drop in to school for an hour or so one day this week and help you set it up if you like. Just let me know. cheers and good luck.

mrsdurff said...

Hi Anne! Their workshop was great fun, wasn't it? That is how all PD for educators should be done....sadly....
Thank you for linking to my blog!

Lucy Barrow said...

Anne, I love the "site renovations" you have done! (Although I do love pink!) Well done.
Lucy :)

Anne said...

me too Lucy. Pink is 'my' colour. And up until recently I would have said that green is my least liked colour. However I do like this shade and it's good for a bit of a change.