This has been a valuable module with regard to my organisation of collaborative projects. I feel I have a greater understanding as to how the technology can be incorporated into the teaching/learning process while maintaining the integrity of the classroom. I have a better understanding of how to approach the planning stage and am less likely to use technology just for the hell of it. Also, I am now more likely to search out new tools using the list.
This module reinforced my understanding of some of the tools I learnt about in Web 2.0 and beyond web 2.0 last year. The eight categories are a helpful way to decide what tools will be the most suited to the pupose of a collaborative activity. I also found the images and ideas for classroom use helpful because when I did web 2, lots of the tools were more suited to high school students and these examples helped me think of more ways to use these tools in the infants and primary calssroom.
I think the biggest lesson here is that I have to continue to think creatively and use these tools in as many ways as I can to achieve the prurposes of collaboration.
It always sends my mind into a spin when I think about all the different collaborative tools available for use by our students and ourselves, the teachers. It’s a minefield! I recognise that I don’t have the expertise to introduce many of these wonderful tools so I need to be proactive and learn before I ask my students to use these tools.
How can I do this?
Once I decide what tools will required
I can start using my twitter account to follow people who are experts in using collaborative tools.
Access blogs and forums to assist me.
I’m a visual learner so if there is a video, podcast etc I will definitely use that.
Search for tools on google and other search engines.
Talk to colleagues!
This module has cemented for me the importance of selecting the right digital tool for the job. This requires research and then requires that I have a solid understanding or expertise in setting up and using the digital tool selected before asking students to use it. I realise that I must do my homework first. I have had problems with this in the past as I have tried to introduce collaborative digital tools without firstly checking if they are supported properly by the school system. This caused no end of frustration for both the students and myself. Also, being able to problem shoot is important. I now have some great avenues to explore to find out what tools could be used and many ways to learn how to use them.
Wow, that was a great module.
I have already spent hours exploring many of the different tools outlined in this module and will spend many more hours investigating more.
I had many frustrating moments where particular websites didn't provide me with what I thought they offered, but am eagerly awaiting emails from their support staff to explain what I am doing wrong.
I am really looking forward to teaching my students how to use these tools and believe that their implementation is going to revolutionise how my students interact with each other and others around the world.
Next term I am trialling a multi stage unit whereby we are joining a stage 2 and a stage 3 class together to begin and inquiry and I believe these tools will be essential in the success of this unit.
I am envisaging a holiday spent exploring tools for implementation next term. :-)
What a great module. It has expanded what I thought of as online collaborative tools and given me a whole bunch of digital tools to explore and experiment with.
I liked that it pointed out a great resource for finding new digital tools is the other teachers we work with. I feel teaching has changed from being 1 teacher per class to being more of a collaborative effort and digital tools have helped us to broaden that to not just within the confines of the school we work but the whole world.
I think by teaching our students the basics of the tool and then giving them some skills on how to find ways to better understand and use the tools we are enabling them to discover other tools and learn how to use them by themsleves.
My head is spinning by the ways that we could have classes from across the country working on a task together.
I loved having access to so many online tools for collaboration (although I do think there are many more that could be added to the list!)
In this module, I became mindful of three things:
- that the purpose of the task must always be kept at the forefront of the planning process
- that the online tool must allow for the purpose to be realised
- and that sufficient explanation, modelling and support be given to students and staff so that the tools can facilitate engagement, creativity and authentic learning.
I agree with everyone else that this module was a lot of fun. I agree with Tracey when she pointed out that when teachers share their explorations and successes (or failures) we learn more than if we try to do it all ourselves. Students and parents can be great resources as well. I have enjoyed collaborating on a wiki set up by our teacher librarian for the Year 4 cohort, setting up an ePal relationship with a Year 4 class in the US, supporting the students to use Glogster as a presentation tool and using Google Docs with staff. Next term, I plan to try some more tools, including a microblogging app (possibly Twitter, possibly an alternative) with my class. I have loved getting into Twitter myself as a PD tool. I have built up quite a useful network of educators, some I know personally and others I don't. I look forward to revisiting this module's resources when planning learning experiences for my students.
When dealing with Stage 1 students it is a bit difficult to think about blogging (as some find it difficult to log in to the netbooks) although we have tried it as a buddy lesson with the Year 5 students. This was a great experience for my students so they could explore the idea without getting bogged down in the 'mechanics' of it all. I would definitely like to continue this style of work with my students to encourage them to become more independent 'collaborators'.