Saturday, April 16, 2011

Flat Classroom Teacher Certification Course - Challenge 5 Bonus - Student PLN

This week I sampled for the first time wiki where students have complete control over their pages and journey through this 7th grade Language Arts Extension.

As I make my path down my own journey in the Flat Classroom class I am learning more in these first few days than I have in a long time. This extension has opened my eyes to a variety of new things.

The bonus challenge was to create a student personal learning network where they have a start up page that provides them with everything they need to start the day.

I have decided to keep them right where they are at this time. Not sure if I get my points for this bonus or not, but the wiki has already proved to be enough. I have more teaching moments with this one wiki and think that adding a PLN to their menu of options will be too much at this time.

None of them has prior history to using wiki. We are starting each class talking about social network etiquette, how to help one another(and not harm), how work collaboratively, and to provide a network of knowledge and resources.

They have a mindset where they want the stuff to be for them. I am trying to teach them to embrace the wiki as a place to help each other. It will not be considered cheating if John for example goes to Bob to offer help on his spelling errors. It is not cheating if John reads something on another page and wishes to add the information to his own as long as he gives credit. It is okay to do all of these things.

Our topic for this extension are the Japanese internment camps during WW2. It is very hard to find a RSS feed for this topic. Students will treat the wiki as their PLN. They have the access with this one wiki to view the work of everyone in all the classes. They can all go to the "recent changes" tab to see what the latest improvements are. They have learned so much in just a few days. Learning how to offer feedback, how to add pictures, how to cite sources, how to read the history of their page, etc.

I dove in head first and am still afloat swimming in this massive ocean of learning. I just hope we don't sink along the way.

This is link to the wiki. We start reading the novel Monday so more of the work will be developed this week. It is still in the infancy stage, but I think my students and myself are handling the most we can at this point.

Feel free to offer guidance, suggestions, comments, etc.
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