Hello all. I'm joining the network from sunny Phoenix, AZ. I am an English professor at South Mountain Community College (still pouting about ad-free Ning for K-12 only). SMC is the smallest of 10 colleges in the Maricopa Community College District. I believe we are the largest community college district in the country. I'm in the process of setting up a Ning social network site for my freshman composition courses next semester, so I stuck my head in here to see if I can get some good ideas. I'm blogging about technology in education on my blog: The Maricopa Experience.
Thanks for sticking your head in Classroom 2.0. I'm sure you'll find it an engaging community of educators from all backgrounds, experiences, subject areas, and levels.
There was an interesting discussion, albeit a little while ago, about Ning social networking. Also, if you click on Social Networking on the right side of any page, you can view the past discussions about this or many other topics.
Please feel free start discussions or participate in any of the existing discussions. Also, please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
Hello folks! I am a high school marketing teacher. I am also half way through a technology integration specialist (TIS) training program, completing an Intel Thinking to Teach master trainer class (ends this Friday, 11/30), and serve as a technology support specialist at the high school. I have already gained a great deal of information from Classroom 2.0, and look forward to learning more. I am particularly interested in collaborative teaching opportunities, including interactive classrooms, on a global level. I am currently interested in opportunities in the Pacific Rim for marketing studies.
I'm excited to be here! I'm Kate Olson and I'm a first-year 4th/6th grade keyboarding teacher in La Crosse, WI. I hope to be teaching middle or high school business education in my district within the next 5 -10 years, although I really do enjoy the elementary level. I'm just getting started with all of these fun tools after a very brief training session at school a few weeks ago. So far, I've started an edublog - www.mrsolson.edublogs.org - and have used it only once (today) so far with kids after starting it a week or so ago. I'm very open to everything and anything new and fun to use in my classroom and want to keep up with the kids and technology!
Short version of a very long answer:
Students are beginning to use computers at school in kindergarten. I don't necessarily think that QWERTY needs to be introduced then, but the longer that students are using computers without knowing the proper touch-typing technique, the harder it is for them to lose old habits and accept a new way of typing without major frustration. Some of my students at the 6th grade level argue that their method is faster, which is true at the very beginning of my class, but the fatal flaw with this is that it requires looking at the keyboard. All the 2.0 tools are wonderful for learning and use in the classroom, but students with poor typing skills waste SO much time with the mechanical aspects rather than spending the time thinking or creating. As many adults with poor typing skills know, just participating on a forum like this can use up an entire prep period!
Of course, I have much more to say on this, but you can check out my blog - www.mrsolson.edublogs.org - to see what some adults have to say on this issue. Or, I can go on and on if you'd like!
I tend to agree with you that the earlier a child learn Qwerty, the better thay will use the computer and the internet. When I was working with the primary children, I was amazed at how quickly they learned key words to use to find what they wanted on the Internet. Even kindergartners could read the word "games" on a site and knew that it would take them to something they would enjoy.
I had an idea back then, that when children are learning their letters for the first time in Kindergarten may be the time to introduce the keyboard and have them learn the Qwerty formation. I did a flash presentation on that, which you can find at: http://www.educationalsynthesis.org/movies/AlphaKey.html ... I am disappointed that there are no reading programs that incorporate the keyboard at the primary level ... I think that is where it should begin.
Hello there, I work for an Internet Safety charity in the UK. I am really keen to hear about the great ways that educators are using social networks in lessons. Please let me know any successful projects- I am in the process of gathering info and resources!
If you want to hear about successful projects, you want to learn about Chatback. It was a project started in UK by Tom Holloway for special ed students. Tom was in Royal Leamington Spa. The project consisted of Tom writing a question or project for the kids to respond to, and seeing the responses that came in from around the world. The first project my students participate in was Christmas Food, in which, about this time of year, all the students in the project posted what they will eat on Christmas day (or the equivalent, Hannakah, etc.) While it may be only a teacher's pride in her students, but the students who participated in Chatback and similar projects in the early 90's did much better in life than expected when they were students.
Thank you Anne. I've had a look at Chatback and it is a very encouraging project. I think I may see what people in the forum have to say. The problem in the UK ( as I'm sure you're aware) is that so many schools are simply blocking social networking spaces Facebook, MySpace, Bebo etc. The majority of young people are not getting anu opportunities to be taught how to get the most out of these exciting environments!
Hi everyone! My name is Caroline O'Bannon and I'm in Winder (that's wind like what you do to a toy + er) Georgia. I feel like I'm coming in a little late to the game, but I'm excited about what Web 2.0 has to offer for the students in my school district!