Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Horizon Project

This Wednesday I am driving to Edenhope (3hrs drive) to present to teachers in the area on ways to use wikis. A cluster wide conference it focuses on ways to use Web2.0 applications in the classroom. Presenters are talking about ways to use blogs, podcasts and global projects. I plan to not only talk about the way we use wikis at Wedderburn but also to showcase some amazing wikis that are being created by students and teachers from all over the world. One in particular which is an outstanding example is The Horizon Project. I have volunteered to be a judge this year. I basically thought what better way to get to know more about the project than to actually be involved in it. Check it out here. Can't wait to get started. http://horizonproject2008.wikispaces.com/Instructions

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Intel Education- a one stop shop for teachers.

In addition to being a teacher at Wedderburn College I am also a Senior Trainer with Intel Education Australia. Recently I had to update my training with Intel and am completing an online Essentials course. This is a new innovation from Intel and is an upgrade to the original face to face course. The original course is five days long and therefore problematic to many schools in that it can be difficult to cover the absence of a teacher for that length of time. It is however a great opportunity for teachers to be able to devote an extended amount of time to creating a unit of work that incorporates higher order thinking and the use of ICT. This new course provides the same level of professional development but with less face to face time. This is done through the use of a dedicated website where the participants can write, upload and share the units of work that they create. Web 2.0 tools such as blogs and wikis are used in the training. The trainer supports this learning through regular blog posts; encouraging messages posted directly onto the participants website and feedback as the participants works through the course. The participants do two days face to face where they have the opportunity to meet with other members of the group and then over the next 8 weeks they complete their unit of work. All through the course they are encouraged to share and support each other. One of the things that I really enjoy about working with the Intel team is the sense of collaboration and sharing. The website has a wealth of ideas and information for educators to use with other teachers and with their students. And it's all for free. There are many many units of work for teachers to use, many links and ideas around assessment and higher order thinking to name but a few of the sections. Each time I revisit this site (and I do go to it often) I am amazed at what is there and how substantial the website is. It could truly be called a one stop shop for teachers. It's worth a night of exploring to see just what is there.