Wednesday, September 23, 2009

First online collaboration!

Finally got to do a collaborative project with Mary D. and Lisa G. Since the three of us all have at least one sophomore level class, and since at least one of our class periods overlap, we decided to do an inter-class live blog on Coveritlive around an excerpt from an essay that all of the students read. Because two other teachers also teach sophomore level English, they were included, so we ended up with four sophomore level classes plus an upper classmen American Literature class and several teachers all participating throughout the day!

Prior to the discussion, we introduced our students to Bloom's Taxonomy and Costa's Levels of Inquiry and then worked with them on developing higher level questions to use during the blog. I had my students submit the questions to me via a Google form I posted on my class webpage. Google forms are my new thing so far this year; I've been having the students submit a good bit of information that way, and I can see the potential for having them take quizzes that way as well, assuming I can get them on individual computers that day. I've decided that I really would like to become a Google-certified educator... I hope they do another training in Boulder soon!!

It seemed to go well... the blog went live just before the start of school and stayed live until the end of the day; the longest blog session I've ever done. Aside from some technical glitches with getting others signed in, the day seemed to go well, especially once everyone got the hang of it. The students in my room were highly engaged; one remarked that he wished we could do live blogging every day because he was learning so much that day.

The most intense part of it was keeping up with the posts. I have the controls set so that all posts must be approved by me or by another producer (the other teachers involved), so when there are something like 80 kids or so posting, it gets pretty crazy. I've posted some other thoughts on it here on my teacher blog... feel free to check it out and comment if you'd like.

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