I teach 8th grade US History and utilize technology in a limited fashion compared to what I see now. I do utilize class blogs for posting homework questions, posting surveys from Vizu and instructional videos using Jing. I would like to expand so that my students create their own blogs and have more ownership in the process.
What class do you have Tuesday at 11:15-12:33? This might be our best match. Is this the class you would want to work with. I only have one 8th grade class. We're a small school. My schedule is kind of weird.
Where are you in your curriculum? This week really set me back. I'm starting the Industrial Revolution Next week. I apologize for being behind if I am. It's been hectic to say the least.
Here's my e-mail address. E-mail is the best way to contact me.
If you wanted to juts test out our connection next week we could. Just to let the classes say hello and test sound and such. Also, next week let's start working on getting the unit planned and the details worked out.
This Friday we actually are not in session. We are going through WASC accreditation this week. Today was our first visit from our WASC committee. It's been pretty hectic for us at the school. On Fridays we actually get out of school at 12:30.
I was wondering if you could sent me a class schedule of the class you want to debate with. Then I can see how my schedule compares with yours.
Here's a rough schedule of my 8th grade Social Studies Class.
Thursday 1-3 ( I don't know your schedule, but this seems like a right fit for us. )
How far are you in your reading? I have a feeling I might be behind you. Next week, hopefully, I'll be starting the North and industrialization.
So, since we've last spoken, Susan and I got a chance to try out the Skype debate. Everything went well. Time difference was hard to work around, but all in all it is such a great tool/ experience for our classes to try out.
I would use the same format I used with the school in Texas. All we did was read points and counter points a certain list of issues. Basically the students should prepare a 30 second argument/ point and present that to get the ball rolling.
I'm guessing my students are probably on the same level as your students. We're not a Gate class. I have a wide range of learners.
If you want to get things rolling on this in the future let me know. The main thing is getting our schedules to match. This was a big issue with our last debate. We could try out a meet and greet.
Hey Chris, That's great you've created a Wiki. that is something want to try for sure. If you don't mind, since we were right about the same period in our history books, could my students read your class' wiki for information? You could let your class know that they have an audience in N. Hollywood. I could just put it up as one of our links and they could check it out periodically.
About the Skype. well, Susan and her class from Texas and I are getting it going. Were both working on out debates on the Hamilton and Jefferson topics. We've been having problems with getting a consitent connection. It's been frustrating. I think it might be a firewall issue though on my part. I'm going to test it again on Sunday. We'll see how it goes.
If this works out well, Let's see about our classes getting something together through Skype. I'm thinking Lincoln/Douglass/ Civil War maybe??
Let me know if I could post a link to your Wiki onto our class blog.
It sounds like were all pretty much at the same time period and covering the same issues. How did the "Fireside Chat/ Socratic Dialect" ideas sound? I was thinking that I might do this assignment and my class in two groups since there are the two of you. I was thinking about running the same project twice, once with you and once with Susan.
I lived in Stevenson, by the way. I loved it there!
Check out a thread I have with another teacher from Texas. Maybe we could come up with something with the three of us. She liked your idea of Hamilton/ Jefferson debates. Let's brainstorm and get something together!
I remember you saying that one of your student's created her own blog? I was wondering if she would want to link to our blogs. Our class is also linked to another year 8 class in New Zealand. She could be a part of our blog ring? As of now we've been posting "About Me" & "What is My Passion" type of blogs. My students are just getting to understand how to use Edublogs, some better than others. I wanted them to soon discuss current events, whats in the news, Bill of Rights, civil rights cases etc.
Also, have you thought about a curriculum for possible Skype project?
With your interest in Education Technology, I recommend you take a look at Wiziq's virtual classroom and authorstream's power point presentation platform. Both are web based platforms, have a bunch of features and free basic service.
This is great news!
I would love to set up a curriculum of collaboration between our classes culminating with Skype communication. From reading your blog, I believe we are just about at the same period in our classes too.
I've been working hard setting up my students with their own blogs. I will hopefully launch them this week as we are just getting off winter break. Do your students blog? If so, we could link to each other's blogs to create an audience for our students to post, comment, and share ideas.