Hello all. I am new to this particular group on Classroom 2.0, but I thought I could share/get feedback on a string of courses I am running for my staff this summer. Below are the titles and descriptions. Feel free to give me some direction and guidance or take for your own and morph into what you need.


Professional Development Classes offered for Summer 2007

Connective Writing: How the Internet is Changing the Way We Communicate
Course Description:

Consider these ideas:

* Many learners will move into a variety of different, possibly unrelated fields over the course of their lifetime.
* Capacity to know more is more critical than what is currently known
* Learners are successful when they incorporate new information into an already existing framework.
* There are over 2.7 billion searches performed on Google each month.
* The number of text messages sent and received every day exceeds the population of the planet.
* More than 3,000 new books are published every day.
* It’s estimated that a week’s worth of New York Times contains more information than a person was likely to come across in a lifetime in the 18th century.

How do we make sense of it all? Is there a way to reflect on all of the incoming messages, the myriad information sources, and keep our thoughts, ideas, and connections in one place? Yes, there is.

Writing, as a skill, is changing rapidly. While the tenets of quality writing remain consistent with traditional standards, new elements and formats are adding layers to the process and finished product. Writing, or even the use of podcasts, images and video, can help us make sense of all of the information that we are confronted with. Whether you are believer in constructivist or connectivist theories or not, the concept of learning by associating new knowledge with that which we already know works.

This workshop will show us how we can make the most of 21classes, a free blog host for K-12 educators. The fears that teachers may have about exposing their students to the reported perils of then Internet are easily combated by 21classes' filtering and permissions. We can set the access level from completely restricted where only the teachers sees the student writing, or to completely open to the world to access. Upon leaving this workshop, each participant will have create a class blog where they are the moderator, and student accounts can be added come September.

We will also explore the connective features of writing with the intention of podcasting, which serves as a medium for student writing. Podcasting adds an element of performance and personality to writing that some students can use to express themselves in a new way. With the help of Audacity and GCast, each participant in this workshop will set up their own podcast "channel" that student podcasts can be loaded to and hosted on your Schoolwires site.

Using Wikis to Extend the Walls of your Classroom
Course Description:

Several teachers in the district have begun to use the power of wikis to enable their students to work collaboratively on web pages centered around a particular subject or project. Sites that use “wiki” technology are turning the ideas we have held about online research upside down. A Wiki is defined as:

a type of web site that allows the visitors themselves to easily add, remove, and otherwise edit and change some available content.... This ease of interaction and operation makes a wiki an effective tool for collaborative authoring. The term wiki also can refer to the collaborative website itself (wiki engine) that facilitates the operation of such a Web site, or to certain specific wiki sites, ...and on-line encyclopedias such as Wikipedia.

Wiki technology lends itself inherently to collaborative learning and creation. The very idea that several students can work on a body of information both simultaneously, independently, and from any location where they have an Internet connection, immediately extends the classroom beyond the 40 minutes that we see them and beyond the physical walls of our classroom. Participants from any content area will benefit from the balance of student freedom and teacher control afforded by PBWiki. Some examples of projects that teachers using wikis have created are: classroom study guides for full and half-year courses and even individual exams, collaborative projects with other schools in other countries, choose-your-own-ending stories, and student-driven tutorials for all levels of mathematics.

This workshop will focus on creating a project or reshaping an already existing project to include a wiki. The goal is to have everything ready to go with the project so that when students arrive in September there is no time crunch and only their names have to be added.

Using the Wisdom of Crowds to Mine the Web: Social Bookmarking
Course Description:

One of our biggest concerns as learners and educators is how we will keep track of the consistent rising tide of information available to us. What is good? What is trash? Wouldn't it be nice if we could hire a group of researchers that we chose to find useful sites for us? We can, through "social bookmarking."The rise of "Social Book marking," and "Social Annotation," on the Internet has created a new and relevant way to find pertinent sites, track information and share knowledge. Your “favorites” now can follow you to whatever computer you are on!

Del.icio.us, a leading social bookmarking site, allows users to depend on "the wisdom of crowds" by granting nearly full access to anyone's bookmarks and tags. If, for instance, a user is finding great material on a subject matter that you are interested, you can subscribe to their bookmarks so that whenever they find something and tag it, you will also receive it in your account. It's like having a team of researchers working for you!

In this workshop we will delve into the advantages of using "tags" to describe web pages and store them in an online account that is accessible and expandable from anywhere. This will allow you to work with colleagues by sharing a tag in common and build a repository of useful websites. The classroom applications then open up: can my entire class share this tag with me as well? Yes, and we will show you how to make this happen. We will explore two of the major social book marking sites, discuss the advantages of each, and learn how to use the "folksonomies" created within these communities by sharing our tags with other users.

Google School: How to Plan, Implement and Create Using Google for Educators
Course Description:

Wherever you turn in the news these days, Google seems to be up to another huge move. Whether it is acquiring YouTube for over a billion dollars, being voted the best company to work for, or introducing a suite of online applications to rival Microsoft Windows, Google is more than just a search engine.

In the last few years, the minds at Google have been busy creating applications that really, for lack of a better word, rock. Skeptics and converts alike agree that Google has created unbelievably useful and elegant tools for all people to use. Teachers are a main target for the folks at Google.

Google for Educators are a series of free applications aimed at helping teachers integrate technology into their lesson planning. Are you a teacher searching for ways to have students collaborate on a writing project or a data collection? Google Documents and Spreadsheets, their version of Word and Excel, allows several users to work simultaneously on one document or spreadsheet. Are research papers a part of your curriculum? Google Notebook allows users to keep a running log of web pages they visit and make notations that are saved to a page in Google, so works cited lists become much easier to create. At the completion of the workshop, each participant will have their own suite of applications from Google to work with, and at least one classroom project ready to go!

Web 2.0 Teaching Strategies
Course Description:

How many times have you marveled at the things your students can do on the Internet? How do you harness that ability and focus it in a targeted direction? Where the Internet used to be about gaining access to information and researching, today’s Internet, dubbed “Web 2.0,” is all about creating content and using services.

Web 2.0 is the era when people have come to realize that it's not the software that enables the web….(what) matters so much are the services that are delivered over the web.
It is an era where, instead of pulling content from the web, we are not all equally capable of pushing content out to the web as well. That is the fundamental shift in how Web 2.0 has changed the nature of how we do things: we are now all content producers, and we are now all capable ubiquitous contact in a flattened world.

This workshop will focus on using the web to produce dynamic content for yourself and your students. We will use two types of data visualizers to take authentic research and statistics, either from your classroom or from a different source, and produce various types of data manipulations that you can use to help your students see the data in meaningful ways. Because of the shift away from a one-way flow of information on the web, we are all now able to access experts in fields like never before. We will examine ways to bring content experts into your classroom via Skype, a free Internet telephone service, YackPack, a messaging system where people can leave voice messages for you on your website, and co-blogging with other teachers, experts, or members of the community.

Upon completion of the workshop, participants will have a host of resources that they can take away from the class and apply in their own professional practice.

Research 2.0 with RSS: How to get information to Find You
Course Description:

Think about these statistics:

* In September 2003, kids ages 2-11 spent average of six hours and 39 minutes online; in September 2006, that average had increased 41% to nearly 9 hours and 24 minutes. (ZDNet)
* According to former Secretary of Education Richard Riley, the top ten in-demand jobs for 2010 didn’t exist in 2004. "We are currently preparing students for jobs that don't yet exist, using technologies that haven't been invented, in order to solve problems we don't even know are problems yet." - Karl Fisch
* There are over 2.7 billion searches performed on Google each month.
* The number of text messages sent ''each day'' exceeds the population of the planet.
* The average kid, age 2-11, spends nearly 9 1/2 hours online per week(up 41% in the last three years); the average teen spends nearly 27 hours online per week (up 27% in the last three years). Adults age 18-26 spend an average of 12 hours online per week. The average family spends 3.6 hours online ''each day.''
* There are over 700 million Internet users worldwide, 153 million from the U.S.
* 77% of Americans are online. 52% of Internet users are women.
* Education can no longer be about the accumulation of facts:
o More than 3,000 books are published ''each day''
o A week's worth of ''The New York Times'' contains more information than a person was likely to come across in a lifetime during the 18th century
o It’s estimated that 1.5 exabytes (that’s 1.5 x 10 to the 18th) of unique new information will be generated worldwide this year. That's estimated to be more than in the previous 5,000 years combined.
o The amount of new technical information is doubling every two years. That means for a student starting a four-year technical or college degree, half of what they learn in their first year of study will be outdated by their third year of study. It’s predicted to double every 72 hours by 2010.
o Third generation fiber optics can push 10 trillion bits per second down one strand of fiber. That’s 1,900 CDs or 150 million simultaneous phone calls every second. It’s currently tripling about every 6 months and is expected to do so for at least the next 20 years.
o Predictions are that by 2013 a supercomputer will be built that exceeds the computation capability of the human brain. By 2023, a $1,000 computer will be able to do the same. First grader Abby will be just 23 years old and beginning her (first) career ... (By 2049, a $1,000 computer will exceed the computational capabilities of the ''human race.'')
(Thanks to Karl Fisch for the stats)

The sheer amount of information available to makes the use of the word "overwhelming" an understatement. How do we gain access to the best information without being overcome? We need a way to filter as we mine the Internet for information. We need a way to make the Internet work for us. This class is designed to help you eliminate needless searches and target specific information in an efficient manner.

We are all familiar with the Internet and the various search engines that help us find information; however, there exists something called the "deep web." It consists of databases, documents, scholarly research, multimedia files, graphical files, software, and documents in formats such as Portable Document Format (PDF). These are the types of things that Google or Yahoo won't always catch, but often lend the most credible information. Bringing this to your students will greatly enhance the quality of the research and analysis you get back from them.

In addition, we will use RSS or "Really Simple Syndication," to gather our newfound information into one place. Simply put, RSS is a way to subscribe to content on the Internet and have it delivered to you on a regular basis. We use the word content to mean many things: news stories from magazines and online newspapers, blog posts, changes on wiki pages or online documents, Google searches, YouTube and Google Video searches, picture searches, and even del.icio.us tags. In this workshop we will work to make you a more efficient researcher and planner, able to find resources based on the work of others as well as yourself. When the school year begins, you will be more than ready to keep up with the topics you need to, and more on top of your research than ever before.

Administrator's Introduction into Web 2.0
Course Description:

What makes administrators effective technology leaders? Do we need to be immersed in technology in order to promote its pedagogical resources within our buildings? While we all might consider ourselves to be at least proficient in various applications of technology, the pace with which it advances is unprecedented, meaning that our knowledge base must increase as well. Also, emerging social applications like MySpace and Facebook for middle and high school students, and Club Penguin for elementary school children have left a lot of us in the dark as to what our students are doing online and why they feel the need to connect in such a way.

This workshop will serve both the purpose of increasing knowledge of the pedagogical applications of technology within our district, and that of understanding how we can come to terms with the emerging social technologies that our student population is immersed in. Upon completion, you will have a working knowledge of solid strategies that you can pass along to your teachers during post-observation meetings; furthermore, you will understand the basics of social networking and see its positives and its drawbacks.

Trailer Teacher's Toolbox
Course Description:

So you have been issued a new tablet PC and you are teaching in a modular classroom this year--what now? The machine you have at your fingertips has the ability to change the way you approach your classroom, much more so than a regular laptop. Sitting in front you is a traveling interactive whiteboard, a mobile production studio, and the biggest productivity streamliner you have ever encountered.

Examine this prediction from noted educator and futurist Stephen Downes:

The students’ real learning environment - their online world - will
penetrate the school environment one class at a time. Innovative
teachers will attempt to actually remove students from the school
grounds much more frequently than in the old field-trip days (this
allowing for 100 percent use of online techs). The amount of school
time actually spent in school, as an average, will constantly decrease
(in five years it should be roughly 80 percent, give or take a lot; in
ten years it could be down to 50 percent, give or take a lot).

Does this mean that teaching will change? Absolutely. By learning to maximize the potential of the tablet PC in your possession, you can be assured that you will be that innovative teacher Downes speaks of.

Let this class serve as an introduction to the tablet. It differs greatly from a normal laptop, and you will want this time to play around with it. This class also serves to show you how you can take the tablet, access the wireless projector in the modular classroom, and give your students access to dynamic digital content. Working with a variety of web applications, and Web 2.0 tools, you will leave this workshop with an arsenal of strategies, time-saving tools, and a completely new outlook on how learners can be taught.

Tags: 2.0, courses, edtech, professionaldevelopment, web

Views: 19

Replies to This Discussion

Wow! It sounds like you have a full plate this summer. I hope you are also finding time for yourself. These courses sound amazing. I taught an "Intro to Web 2.0" class for teachers this spring. It was just a taste of many of the tools you are focusing on in your courses. It seems like your courses would be a natural next step for my students. New Jersey isn't too far away... maybe we can charter a bus.



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