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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Virtual NECC Post #2: Bernie Dodge remixes Web Quests, Videoconferencing, Cool Tools, Open Source and more



Bernie Dodge remixes WebQuest using Bloom's Taxonomy

Janine Limb discusses how Bloom's Taxonomy is being used by Bernie Dodge to remix Webquest design patterns at Web Garden. [See Bernie's PowerPoint] Janine challenges us to consider the words Design. Decide. Create. Predict. Analyze. and to go on her website to discuss how these can be used in Video conferencing.

Mark Grabe had this take on the presentation:
"Today’s presentation was a one-year review of the QuestGarden project. I would describe QuestGarden as an example of a more socially-based site – users have accounts, WebQuests are built with the aid of specialized design tools and design guidelines, and participants have the opportunity to repurpose/extend WebQuests developed by others."

Middle School teacher (in probably the most detailed post on this session), Suzanne Porath, noted:

"He is especially interested in the new developments within the WebQuest structure – using wikis and podcasts."
As my readers know, I am a strong believer in wikis as this technology has transformed and improved my classroom in amazing ways over the past year.

Quest Garden will require a fee as of September 1st ($20 for two years.) If you want to test its usefulness, you may want to try it out over the summer. I also like how Mark says Bernie characterizes himself, Bernie has created a personal blog entitled One Trick Pony. I like this man!

Videoconferencing: How to cooperate internationally and the value of networking

Janine also posts about the Designing Quality Interactive Projects for Videoconferencing she attended yesterday. They learned about the two categories of videoconferencing projects: (1) exchange projects such as Read Around the Planet , and (2) multipoint projects such as MysteryQuest. Of interest to me is how they discussed cooperating with other schools around the world when you are on differing time zones. She says:

"We talked about www.timeanddate.com and how to use the Meeting Planner to find out which time will work best."
She says "One of my main take-aways from the workshop is the huge value of networking." With the flattening of classrooms, this is more important than ever.

Top Tips 4 Teachers: Change, Techspurts, Cool Tools
In the Top Tips 4 Tech Teachers Workshop, Alan Dunn blogged about the 15 categories of tips given to them by instructors. It is easier to read if you look at the handouts in one window and Alan's post on the other. The main things I learned from this workshop:
  • You will change a school and/or district culture only through subtle change over a long time period.
  • How to effectively use Tech-spurts. (Students and parents who are trained to help. See my last posting for more research on this.)
  • Cool Free Tools: FindSounds, ArtPad.
The Open Source Buzz and Demonstrations

The buzz is that the Open Source pavilion is swamped and a lot of interest is being generated about Moodle in particular. Kdumont at theeducationalmac.com blogs about the Open Source session with David Thornburg. Demonstrated at the session (and the claims of each) were the following programs:
  • Edubuntu - Open source OS designed for education
  • Audacity - Open source sound editor to replace Sound Forge
  • Inkskape - Open source line art, vector graphics comparable to Illustrator
  • nVu -Open source web authoring akin to Dreamweaver or Frontpage
  • Blender - Open source 3 d modeling and animations. (Was used in animating Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy!)
  • Dia -Open source diagramming software akin to Visio
  • Tuxpaint - Free paint program for kids -- I'll use this one!
Bernie Dodge (see session summary above) demonstrated the following open source software:
Podcasting and Podcatching for the Absolute Beginner

He also covers David Warlick and friends session on Podcasting and Podcatching for the absolute beginner. As always, David has a great wiki to go along with the presentation which is a good tool to use if you are teaching beginners to podcast. According to the presenters, podcasting is:

"Fastest growing technology use in history."

The technology integrator at Many Hats was excited and says:

"I especially like the fact that just about anyone can do this. I really want to use podcasting to post booktalks and other things, but I think I can get teachers to do this."
Barry caught some video.

Digital Storytelling: Cool PowerPoint Tip

PattyB attended the Digital Storytelling seminar. (I found it through Google search. The article isn't tagged. I learned something I didn't realize:

"I got a great tip on creating a graphic or pic--use PowerPoint. Create a "slide" which can include any text, and instead of saving it as a presentation, save it as a gif or jpg!!"
This will be helpful as I create graphics for my blog and will be an easy way (that the students already know) for them to add graphics to theirs.

21st Century Skills: Job changes, Problem Solving, Challenges

Bethany attended the 21st Century Skills and High School Reform session. The most amazing points are:
  • How many jobs will you have between 18 & 38? 10.2
  • US is falling behind - we are 7th in math & problem solving (Japan is first)

She sums it up well:

"The focus of 21st Cent[ury] Skills is very focused on thinking, problem solving and communicating. How we assess and evaluate that is going to be the biggest challenge."


Conclusion
While participants are complaining of long lines, standing room only conferences, and boring speakers, I'm sitting here with my shoes up. Its over 100 degrees here. Time for some ice cream and then off to the next conference. (85 more posts just emerged in bloglines, so I'll have a lot reading to do!)

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