Friday, January 23, 2009

I discovered this morning during our keynote speaker that I can't just sit and listen to a speaker anymore I need to multitask. There was a backlog chat that was being projected on the walls in the auditorium where we sat. Unfortunately, I'd left my tablet in my classroom and couldn't participate. It was killing me!

So now I'm being a bad listener while in my small session... typing away, trying to catch up with my thoughts. Bad me.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

My husband and I are going out of town for a few days - we're leaving Saturday morning. It'll be interesting to be away from e-mail, twitter, skype, facebook, and my rss feeder for that long! I can't remember the last day that I didn't at least check my e-mail! I'm cringing now just thinking about when I "plug back in"... how long is it going to take me to catch back up?! It's crazy just to think about. But, on the other hand, it'll be like going back to times of old (except we'll have a cell phone!). I don't even remember what it was like before e-mail... I seriously wrote my friends snail mail letters?!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I decided against assigning my Algebra 2 kids their wiki. That class is so divided ability-wise that is would have been an interesting result; I guess I just didn't want to deal with the whining that would have resulted from the assignment. Maybe I'll do it second semester. I think the learning of the tools is an important lesson, as is the actual review involved in getting their pages put together. Hmm.

The precalc kids' pages turned out pretty good. We had some issues with getting it all together, thanks mainly in part to some students (apparently in one of my other classes, not precalc) that decided to hijack it a couple of different times. They were somehow able to log in as kids in my precalc class and then editted their little hearts out. Thank goodness for the ability to revert to previous versions! Needless to say, my precalc kids were not happy about it (and neither was I!). From what I understand, one student was punished for it. It took place at his house, but he claims innocence. He was in alternative school (our version of in-school suspension) for the past 5 days and should be back in class on Tuesday. I'm interested to see if he says anything to me about it or not.

I gave the kids a follow-up to their wiki assignment where they had to go back to the wiki, look through 5 of their classmates' pages, and evaluate them. I wanted them to know what all was on it and what could have been done. Everyone seemed pretty pleased and it was funny to see how harsh they can be on grading. They also had to answer questions for me about what they learned and if they enjoyed the project and if I should assign it again. Aside from remarks about the hackers, most kids seemed pretty pleased with the project, learned some new uses of technology, and would like to do something like that again. Yay! Mission accompished.
Check it out!
As part of the PLP process we're supposed to come up with a group project to present at our May f2f meeting. My team consists of 5 people - me (hs math), Tonya (hs computer science), Tricia (hs English), Sherry (hs Spanish), and Pat (jr high social studies). We have quite a variety of interests, so it's been interesting trying to pin down a topic.

Tonya just proposed an idea that I think is very interesting that involves screencasting lectures and podcasting lessons and posting them to our school website; I guess our principal is very interested in letting the parents know what all is going on in class. I think the idea is interesting (as long as I can get the kids to do the podcasting - I hate to hear my own voice!) and I hope everyone else agrees... this is an opportunity for me to learn about these new ways of communicating that I don't yet know about. I've done a couple of wikis (hmm... on last count, make that 4), I'm pretty active in the twitter community now (username Fouss), I have a few blogs, I use RSS feeds... but podcasting is something that I know nothing about. Could be neat.

My student teacher for this coming semester asked me to show him how to use Google Reader/RSS feeds. Thought that was neat.