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Final Discussion Response for Walden – finally…

Posted in Educational, Personal with tags , , , on August 9, 2008 by Mister A

In my final week of my final class of my masters program, the assignment has been to discuss and explore our goals with a trusted colleague. We were to limit our discussion to one goal and choose someone that we trusted to get feedback from. Since those darned Aussies are always sleeping, I decided to explore my goal with Janine.

The goal that I shared with Janine Defuria, a Walden Colleague, was, “I will utilize wikispaces in each of my classrooms in the coming year. I will design a wikispace for 7th graders and one for 8th graders.”

Janine and I have collaborated on a few projects in the past couple of classes and we have developed a pretty good working relationship I think. I appreciate the feedback she has given me and I believe she has appreciated the feedback I have given her. We have explored several new web2.0 tools together including Skype and Google docs. We used both of those to collaborate on this discussion question. It is fascinating to me that two teachers, one in Philadelphia, the other in Great Falls, Montana, can have a conversation about a document they are both editing at the same time when they are thousands of miles away from each other (will this ever get less fascinating). She was an excellent choice for this meeting because I believe that she is very passionate about the importance that read/write web technologies have in the lives of our students.

The key question that I came up with as a result of our collaboration and discussion was “How am i going to utilize various wiki tools to make this application an effective tool for the curricular area of mathematics, and not just another bell or whistle?”

Janine talked about reflection and Project Based Learning. We both thought those would be excellent ways to get the kids going on the classroom Wikispaces. Janine mentioned that i may need to make a schedule and work on staying on task as i have a habit of getting sidetracked at times.

1. Search for Projects on the PBL website in the math curricular area.
2. Contact and set up a meeting with a PBL expert.
3. Manage and prioritize time by creating a schedule or calendar (yeah, right).

Janine has been good for me with regards to staying on task. Again the fact that someone 1000 miles from me can pull me back on task is so cool to me. I am glad we are making this connection. It is easier than ever before for teachers to connect to one another across great distances. I believe networking is key to effective twenty-first century learning.

On a personal note, our new dog Buster, is chewing everything in our house to bits…We are trying cure him of it…but I guess puppies like to chew things…Rawhide seems to keep him busy for a while…any suggestions would be greatly appreciated…