Looking for collaborators on a "First Day of School" project

Since it is "that time of year," I think a great way to introduce kids to the concept of collaboration is to share first day of school experiences around the country and around the globe. My first thought was to do Animoto videos, but I am sure there are many other great ways to connect. Ultimately, it would be great to create a web site or wiki with all of our experiences in one place. I would foresee us talking about traditions, fears, hopes, etc. I think staying with the ages of around 7-11 would be best. This could be a really excellent project!

I am new to the idea of collaboration and trying to learn all I can about web 2.0 technology, so I am very open to any guidance anyone wants to give. I am a third grade teacher in an inner-city school in a high poverty/ high crime area. I am hoping to expose my kids to other cultures in the country/world. Let me know if you are interested!

Tags: Collaboration, first day of school

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Hi Sam,

I am a first grade teacher in Pennsville, NJ. My students are 6 and 7 years old. I am new to all of this, but I love the idea of using a wiki to collaborate. The first day of school is a great idea. I've been following the conversation. I'd like to join your wiki so I can look at what you are doing and learn from it. I have limited experience. I'm not sure how much help I'd be. Will your students contribute to the wiki or will you be entering their responses? Did you have to get permission to use their photos or work on the wiki?

Fran
This is all new to me (and to many teachers, I gather). If I am ahead of you in knowledge at all, it is only by a day or two! I mostly wanted to gain some experience and get a colleague list--I am glad that so many people seem to enjoy the project! Just go to the wiki and request to join (if you have not already). Looking forward to working with you!
Thanks, Sam!
I look forward to watching this project develop in the next couple of weeks. Our students start school on Sept. 9th.
When you set up the wiki, did you do it as a k-12 educator? Someone said that your wiki can be ad-free if you are a k-12 educator and the wiki is for educational purposes.
I am going to try to do a wiki that will involve parents/grandparents-Schools-Past and Present. The students and I will do what school is like today and we'll ask parents/grandparents to contribute to the schools in the past. It is an idea that K. Cassidy , a first grade teacher in Canada, did. It goes along with a social studies unit we do in first grade. I shared my plan with our Technology Facilitator. I'm just waiting for permission. Cross your fingers.
Fran :-)
Fran, always get permission to publish student photo or work. Potentially big trouble if you don't. N
If you like to get some ideas from former projects, here's a couple that I participated in last year:

http://onlineautumn2008.wikispaces.com/

http://winterwonderland.wikispaces.com/

There are examples of Voicethread, Voki, TeacherTube, and many other free Web 2.0 tools that work well on both Macs and PCs. Also, you can go into your settings and request that the ads be removed from the wiki since we are using it for k-12. That always makes it look nicer:)
Hi Annemarie,

I just checked out the two links for the wikis you participated in last year. Wow-there were so many wonderful ideas. I am new to Web 2.0 tools so it helps to see how other teachers are using them. I was excited because I found a project similar to one that another teacher and I did last year. The teacher on the wiki extended it by doing a Voice Thread. Now I am rethinking how I do several other projects in my classroom. It is reassuring to know that I don't have to reinvent the wheel in order to use the Web 2.0 tools. How did you find those projects to participate in? Thank you for sharing!
Fran :-)
Hi Fran,

I was able to find out about those projects through Twitter and another Ning I belong to called Elementary Tech Teachers. We had so much fun and learned so much. I'm looking foward to becoming more involved with projects this year.
Checked out your sites (plus a couple others of yours I found on your profile) and they looked great! I noticed the VoiceThread on Goodwin2in (Winterwonderland) and see that it is neatly embedded into the blog. I can't figure out how to do that--looks so much nicer. Also, Voki is blocked at our school, and they do not let teachers around the firewall (boneheads--don't get me started!). Thanks for the advice.
Sam, did you know you can get wikispaces for kids without ads? http://www.wikispaces.com/site/for/teachers
You might want to get in touch with the wiki guys and have them remove the ads. I find them distracting and so do kids! Plus you sometimes get ads inappropriate for kids. N
Sam: What a great idea. Since your age group will be under 13, have you thought about hosting your project on Thinkquest.com It is a safe site & kids under 13 can use it. I also think museum box would be a great way to showcase your first day research project.
I hadn't heard of these sites, but I will check them out. At the moment, I have 11 tabs open on my browser of all the things I am trying to learn about, so I am getting a little overloaded--but I am enjoying all the things I am learning. Thanks for the site info!
Hi Sam,
I teach 5th grade in NC and would like to participate in the "First Day of School" project. Betsye Sargent sent me your link. I am a member of web 2.0, Audacity (for voicethreads), Animots, Skype, and wikipages. Our 1st day is Tuesday 8-25. I will take lots of pics. Please let me know if there is room for my class on this project.
Thanks,
Mary Freeman
mfreeman@rcsnc.org

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