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Monday, April 18, 2011

Implementing a Personal Learning Environment

  Happy Easter break/ Semana de turismo/ Semana Criolla/ Semana de la vuelta ciclista!!!
Here's more food for thought during the break...
Mike and Vicky

The increasing integration of web 2.0 tools into our teaching practice is opening new doors for learning to keep on going outside the classroom. The knowledge society is taking over teaching and learning. As 21st century teachers, we need to be ready to explore new tools that will enhance lesson plans and engage students into learning.
El auge de la integración de herramientas 2.0 en nuestra práctica docente esta abriéndole las puertas al aprendizaje para continuar ocurriendo fuera del aula. La sociedad del conocimiento se está apoderando de los procesos de aprendizaje y enseñanza. Y como docentes del siglo XXI, debemos estar listos para explorar nuevas herramientas que nos ayuden a mejorar nuestra planificación y a involucrar a nuestros alumnos en su aprendizaje.
With this in mind, during this semester my students and I have been collaboratively working on a wiki. What is a wiki? It's a “website” that allows you to create content in collaboration with others. Through this tool my students shared book reports and created appealing mystery stories. They were also able to discuss each other's stories and engage on digital reading and writing. It's been a terrific experience for all of us! Some of my kids would check on the site during the weekends for reading for pleasure...homework became fun!
Con este objetivo, durante este semestre mis estudiantes y yo hemos estado trabajando colaborativamente en una wiki. ¿Qué es una wiki? Es un “sitio web” que te permite crear contenidos en colaboración con otros. A través de esta herramienta, mis estudiantes compartieron fichas de libros y crearon historias de misterio muy atrapantes. A su vez, discutieron las historias de unos y otros, y se embarcaron en la lectura y escritura digital. ¡Ha sido una experiencia buenísima para todos nosotros! Algunos de mis chicos visitaban el sitio web durante los fines de semana para leer los cuentos sólo por placer….las tareas domiciliarias pasaron a ser sinónimo de diversión!
 Please contact us if you would like a link to our wiki. Since it's a private PLE (Personal Learning Environment,) you won't be able to access unless you receive an invitation that we’ll be delighted to send to you. We will also teach you how to use it if you are interested. It’s not that complicated at all! Just need to learn the tricks we learned this semester and you’ll be ready to set off!!!
Por favor contáctense con nosotros si quieren visitar nuestro wiki. Al ser un PLE, no podrán acceder a menos que reciban una invitación nuestra, la cual enviaremos muy gustosamente. También les enseñaremos a usar la herramienta en caso de estar interesados. Ya van a ver que no es complicado. ¡Sólo se necesita saber algunos trucos que aprendimos este semestre y estarán prontos para comenzar a usarla!

If you are planning to start online learning sharing, this information might be useful for your students...
Strategies for Creating and Maintaining a Safe Space:

  • Use each other's names. Using a person's name when you respond to his/her postings creates a friendly online tone.
  • Read questions and conversational postings carefully to avoid unnecessary confusion.
  • Compliment your peers when they post strong responses or contribute original ideas to the conversation.
  • Ask questions. If anything is unclear or you want further information or insight on a topic, just ask. If you have a question, there are probably other members of the group who are confused and need further clarification as well.
  • Be considerate. Remember that your peers cannot see your body language or hear your tone of voice, so you need to keep your language direct and respectful.
  • Avoid slang, jargon, and sarcasm.
  • Listen to all the ideas presented. Remember there is no right or wrong in a discussion. A variety of perspectives add depth.
  • Stay open-minded.
  • Respond instead of reacting. Do not write a response if you are angry or upset. Instead, wait until you have had time to calm down and collect your thoughts.
  • Really read your peers responses. Avoid skimming. Respect the time your peers have spent articulating their thoughts by reading carefully and thoughtfully.
  • Reread your messages before sending them to ensure that your ideas are clearly communicated and supported.
  • Critique the content, not the person.
  • Do not present your personal opinions as fact. Back up your ideas with information to strengthen your statements.
  • Courteously answer all questions addressed directly to you.
  • Make "I" statements when respectfully disagreeing. Sharing an opposing opinion or idea is an important part of discussion, but it needs to be presented in constructive manner that encourages further discussion.
  • Do not use all caps when writing. It is interpreted as yelling.
  • Avoid emotional punctuation, like exclamation points, unless you are complimenting an idea shared.
Source: Catlin Tucker, English Teacher, USA

1 comment:

  1. Hello Mick and Vicky,

    So nice to see my resource up on your blog! I have a variety of other resources to support teachers in integrating online work into the classroom.

    Like Vicky, I also teach English and I love using online discussions to complement my traditional curriculum. I use Collaborize Classroom, which is a free and private site, that is focused on discussions. I have used wikis in the past but enjoy the structure of online discussions.

    If you want a resource to support students in "Saying Something Substantial" in their interactions online, please let me know! I am happy to share.