Julie Mathiesen did an extensive session on the use of Blogs using blogger.com. The word blog is take from the phrase web log. She explained the move from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 and how the web has moved from static to interactive. I liked the analogy of going from an information silo to architects of participation.
Part way through her presentation, Geoff Sheehy joined us to tell us how he is using blogs and wikis with his students. Geoff has been showcased in the media because of his students' blogs on the events of the Rapid City Area Schools lockdown on April 17th. Geoff is a dynamic, energetic teacher whose enthusiasm is infectious. Check out his website and go through all the blogs and wikis that he and his students have created. He uses different blogger for every grade level so that his students get different experiences.
After Geoff scooted back to his session, Julie showed us how to work within a blog site we set up at this very blog spot. Blogger.com works with Google, so you need a gmail account to work there. That is very easy to set up and free. We set up the basic blog and then we learned how to change the presentation design, post, edit, add links, add images, and add video. Julie took us to a site called teachertube.com. What an awesome site to find educational videos. I will be spending much time checking out this site.
Julie is going to be offering a breakout session on Tuesday. She is a featured session at 12:40 in LaCroix C/D. She will continue talking about Web 2.0 and 21st Century learners. Check it out! Julie will fire you up about how you can use new technologies to excite and engage your students.
The final part of our in-depth session covered wikis. Lennie Symes took us through some discussion of the book "Everything Good is Bad." We discussed how gamers, television, and the Internet are affecting the way our students are learning.
Lennie has much of his wiki presentation on his site. Wikis are a collaborative tool where many people can work on a project. They are quick and easy to work with. I can see a number of uses for students. I think I will start with putting my assignments and things I want students to know on this kind of a site. I may also have students work on a group research project and have them put all their research into a wiki.
Our keynote speaker on Monday morning is Will Richardson. He is going to also be discussing this topic. This in-depth has me really excited for the speaker!