Sunday, November 29, 2009

We have an exchange!

We just received our first emails from our sister class in Brittany, France. I'm very excited about this, and I know my students are looking forward to getting these emails, which they will reply to in the coming week. Another small step, but we've come some distance now.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Another small step

Last week, my class sent its first emails to our class in Brittany, France. We used some stock French phrases (Bonjour, Je m'appelle...) and wrote the rest of our introductions in English. Our corresponding class is a English class in a French school. I'm curious as to how or when they will respond.

Today, I took another small step towards making the class wiki public by inviting my supervisor to be a member. She was favorably impressed by it. I was hoping to get some pictures from our French correspondents and put them on the wiki before taking it public, but I'm thinking now of turning it public after the Thanksgiving break, and adding the international portion later.

My last group project on the wiki was group reports, in which each group posted its sources (from a limited list) and main points of information on the wiki before writing the paper. This seemed to work well on a number of levels; more than one member of the group could access the information, and it gave me an easy and paperless way to check their sources. For my next project, I'm asking my students to do individual reports on the same model; post their sources and main points on the wiki, and then write their paper off of those.

Also for this unit, I have come up with my usual list of questions, which I call "Find Outs," for my students to research. This time, I've assigned each student a "Find Out" question, and I've made it one list between my two classes. I guess we'll see what happens.

Everyone on our faculty was asked to suggest a topic for a workshop for our local AIMS convention next year. My topic ended up as "Evolution of my class wiki." I like the term "evolution," because it suggests a step-by-step forward movement, which is how I've been working in incorporating Web 2.0 in my teaching. I'm sure others have done more, and more quickly, but given the lack of a computer technology person at my school, and the lack of other tech-savvy role models at my school more skilled than me, step-by-step is how I feel comfortable working. Besides, I do have an outside life.