Day #12.3

Ahh… I finally found some extended time to sit down at my computer and write a commentary of what I’ve learned this week in ED 620.

Let’s start off with wikis. Wikis are really cool tools for learning. They allow anybody that has an internet connection and access to a wiki page to edit, change, save, and collaborate information with others in one place no matter the time or place. Probably the best known and most used wiki out there is Wikipedia. I mean, who hasn’t heard of this website? I’m constantly looking up information (most of the time useless information) on Wikipedia in my spare time. You can learn a lot of interesting facts in the “world’s biggest encyclopedia.”

But, I want to talk about using wikis as a classroom tool, so first, here is a short video that I found on YouTube:

In today’s classroom, technology is changing the way that learning takes place. The internet is becoming more social with Web 2.0 tools, and collaboration is a big part of the new learning experience. This means that educators need to rely on tools that allow for this type of online collaborative style of learning. Wikis are one of these tools, and there are a ton of websites out there that allow users to easily create their own wikis for their own personal use.

I have played around with wikis in the past. I personally have used Wikispaces in the initial development of my professional e-portfolio (I found Google Sites to offer more of what I was looking for in the design of my e-Portfolio). Surprisingly enough, I have never had the chance to work on a wiki with other people in a collaborative manner. I’ve always used Google Docs for my online classes, but I do want to develop classroom content of my own that uses wikis to promote collaborative learning.

I’m curious, out of the three wiki engines that were listed in our ED 620 content (Wikispaces, Wetpaint, & Peanut Butter Wiki), which one have you used the most?

That about does it for this week in ED 620. Time for me to finish my portion of the “Online Scavenger Hunt Project.”

Week 4, here we come!

Day # 12.2

Hello digital world!

It’s been a very long and busy week for me, so I apologize for not posting anything earlier.

Let’s get started, shall we?

This week in Ed 620, the theme is online collaboration tools. This is a topic that I’m somewhat familiar with, but having a deeper knowledge of what’s out there for use in the classroom is very beneficial for any educator.

The creation assignment for this week involves group work. We are to work in small groups and collaborate using online tools in order to develop an internet scavenger hunt. In order to work together as a group from wherever we are all located while we work on our online coursework, the group relies on some of the technologies that are discussed in this week’s “Module 3.”

The scavenger hunt document that is being created has been made using Google Docs. This amazing tool allows anybody with the link to the document (which was posted in our group’s ED 620 message board topic) to edit and add their own content. The content in this particular case will be questions, answers to these questions, and websites where the answers can be found.

Our group has decided to focus on the Civil War as an overall theme for the scavenger hunt. This year (2011) marks the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the war (1861), so we thought that it would be relevant. So far, two group members have created five sets of answers/questions/websites a piece, but I have not found the time yet myself, but I have compiled a list of good Civil War related websites that I am going to use in the next few days:

All of this browsing through Civil War material has inspired me to post this video:
Ok…now to go work on my portion of the scavenger hunt. More info on my thoughts and experiences with the “Module 3” collaborative content to come in my next post.