Thursday, April 28, 2011

Flat Classroom: Netvibes and my PLN and CMP Reflection

Here I am several weeks into this program and I have already revamped much of how I operate my classes. I have my students working on wiki pages and leaving to be self sufficient and to prove their own learning along with the collaboration of students.

I have created a Netvibes account. I love it. I have made some changes over the weekend. I went a little crazy on the Flat Classroom tab(always afraid I am going to type Fat Classroom which would not be good). I simplified all the updates. I realized how far behind you get when you don't check on a regular basis. In my case I did not do much with the class or anything since the chat on Tuesday. After several days of neglect I returned to a ton of updates. I loved reading them all, but the downside is that I did not take the time to respond as much as I would have liked. I need to do a better job by checking each morning or every other morning.

Additionally, my students are wiki editing machines and therefore I have hundreds to check each day. I am staying on top of this one as it is my first time taking kids through the process.

What I am learning is that they still don't understand how to use the Discussion tab. There is very little educational/feedback/collaboration talk going on. There is with some of them, but I would say 75% is just social type comments. I have talked at length about this, but it does not stop them. I plan on having them peer review the latest Flat Classroom Project and rate the videos that I am judging to help them learn how to critique and offer feedback properly. I have it designed that when they come to class they have 5-10 minutes to do this on their own. They are using the time, but not for the intended purposes. I will work to correct this. What I don't want is for them to scramble at the very end and post the comments I am looking for just to earn the grade. I think they are still a little timid about this. Either because they have been ingrained to do their own thing and not help one another. I think part of the perception is that it is almost like cheating and I keep telling them to use one another. Help each other. Offer guidance. Offer answers and help. Collaborate to take each other to a higher level. It has not sunk in quite yet nor did I expect it to after only 6 classes.

I wish there was a way for me to have a RSS feed for Google Documents. My students are collaborating on a project using this tool and it would be nice to have a feed when they jump on so I can check instead of manually checking on my own. I have not found this option yet.

My iGoogle page is rocking. I have it updated. I rearranged, added some things needed and deleted unnecessary widgets. Any good widget recommendations? Yes, I went with a Portal 2 theme as this game is slowly taking over my life(I have only played for a few minutes, but the addiction has started)

I updated my Google Calendar. Changed the image background to make it unique. Synced up with Buzz, but not sure how that helps me. It looks cool and need to check into this more.

Now my Google Reader needs some help. It needs to be organized. I need to work with tags and folders more. Time to sort through some feeds by deleting some and looking to add some that I am missing.

Things take time and that will be a project for the week.

Any other items I should consider in my PLN? Symbaloo is my next project to put together some good webmixes.

That is all for now. Thanks for reading.
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