Friday, February 15, 2008

Oh crackers - I talked to long again!

I gave my first district level workshop on Friday. It was for people to get started using SharePoint websites. SharePoint websites offer students the ability to add things to websites, and work collaboratively, while still being held accountable for their actions. Because everything a student does or says is tagged on the website automatically, they have to be socially responsible in word and deed. Also, because it is password protected, the wrong kind of people can't go onto my virtual classroom website, and access my students' work or their pictures.

There were so many people in the first session, and I was really pleased that some of them had already started creating virtual classrooms with SharePoint version 2. There were many things that didn't go according to plan:

I lost temporary access to the internet (couldn't be helped though, and it always came back)

I was asked some questions I couldn't answer, especially about SharePoint version 3. Same-same, but different.

One computer booted up, and the desktop was upside down, and the mouse was oriented backwards.

One computer didn't bootup at all. Argh.

It was nice to share what I find most exciting with other educators that think the same, and see the same educational opportunities. Some people had new ideas that I might be able to use in my own classroom. But, I had lots to share, and didn't give enough time for people to just play (only 20 minutes). In the future, I must stop giving examples sooner, and leave more time to play. I talked as long as I did however so that people could see a variety of ways to use SharePoint websites for educational purposes.

So what is more valuable - the examples to get people thinking about their own classrooms, or the playtime to practice learning the skills?

People seemed to like the presentation, but will the slideshow that I published online using google documents be helpful? That's the beauty of google docs and working with teachers. If I get some feedback from a teacher who wants me to alter the directions on the slideshow on working with SharePoint, then I can edit it in it's published state. It becomes a living document, but not like a wiki (where the community controls it). I welcome feedback, but I still want to retain editing control over my workshop materials.

I hope this leads to me working with small groups of teachers who are interested in creating virtual classrooms.


Nora said...
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Nora said...

Hi James,
FYI your workshop was both interesting and informative... and it wouldn't be you, if there wasn't lots of animated talking! That's a good thing!
It's hard to fit a morning's work into only 1 1/2hrs, so sending us the links to your slideshow and blog was most appreciated. I would have liked more "play time" but not at the sacrifice of your examples and demos.
Thanks again!
:-) Nora