Friday, March 15, 2013

Chapter 8: Communicating and Networking with Websites, Blogs, Wikis, and More
Focus Question: How can teachers use wikis to promote collaborative learning?
Photo Credit to Danielle Bauer on Flickr
Wikis are web pages that are created and maintained by multiple users. In schools, wikis enable collaborative learning environments where teachers and students work together to investigate topics and share information. A wikitext is a book or booklet that teachers and students create together as part of a class study of a topic.

Tech Tool: Moodle
Moodle is a free web application that educators can use to create online learning sites that help promote students to pursue knowledge outside the classroom. Moodle can be used to create fully online courses or to simply blend the classroom with the student's home through teacher designed websites, blogs, wikis, forums, or online tests or quizzes. To install the program there are 4 easy steps:

1) Move the Moodle files into your web directory.
2) Create a single database for Moodle to store all
   its tables in (or choose an existing database).

3) Visit your Moodle site with a browser, you should
   be taken to the install.php script, which will lead
   you through creating a config.php file and then
   setting up Moodle, creating an admin account etc.

4) Set up a cron task to call the file admin/cron.php
   every five minutes or so.


By easy I obviously mean ridiculously complex for the novice like myself. I thought there was a lot of potential with this application and I really agree with the philosophy of constructivism and constructionism being at the forefront of education but unfortunately I had neither the time nor patience to figure out just how to download it....I can't imagine how lost I would get in trying to actually use the product.

Summary and Connection: 
Photo Credit to djtyrant on Flickr
Online communication is a practice I am going to adhere to the fullest of my abilities and to the extent at which my students are participating in. Teacher and classroom websites, blogs, discussion boards, email, and instant messages are all great tools to get the digital student involved in academics outside the classroom, which I feel is very important. Whether it be synchronous or asynchronous communications I feel an electronic correspondence between the instructor and student can be vital in a student's academic growth. Creating a place for students to learn classroom material outside the classroom and creating an online dialog with the students displays the teachers hard work and communion with the student and a student's willingness and enthusiasm for knowledge. The eighth chapter of Transforming Learning with New Technologies was a very informative portion of the book on a subject I find will be crucial to my teaching career. I especially like the idea of publishing students work online on the classroom website. A great way to encourage to students to do their best and see their hard work pay off.

Maloy, R. W., Verock-O, R. E., Edwards, S. A., & Woolf, B. P. (2010). Transforming learning with new technologies. Allyn & Bacon.

1 comment:

  1. Fortunately, Moodle is much easier to use than it is to install - I would definitely request assistance/support from IT dept! But it is usually done as an institution instead of an individual anyway. Its premise as a learning management system allows for students to continue to learn outside the classroom day!