I will be co-presenting & I have a group of students presenting at the Student Showcase for PETE&C in Hershey in February 2010. I am so excited about both.
My presentation is: Bringing Global Connections Home with Moodle. It is practical because we are using so much technology (most of which is linked through Moodle) in our Foreign Language department – especially at the middle school level.
I just found out today that my 6th graders were accepted for their project ~ A New Think-Pair-Share: Think-Collaborate-Publish. The past few months with access to 1:1 laptops has been AMAZING. The students have enjoyed using GoogleDocs, peer editing, than having the chance to publish their work online. We have used both Voicethread & Glogster Edu for publishing. The students have benefited because they were getting peer feedback and also teacher feedback on the GoogleDoc before they reached the publishing step. So they were confident and proud of their work and willing to share it with the world.
In regards to peer feedback: the students have been taught that if they do not agree they should ask a question as a comment to the GoogleDocs (ctrl M is our friend). We also established that online etiquette does not allow them to delete someone else’s work. We dedicated class time to using GoogleDocs and learning about Voicethread. However, now we can continue using the tools in the classroom and they are able to excel with limited guidance. The technology is enhancing the learning not taking up time. Recent studies have shown that students who publish online have more confidence to write. These students have a higher self-efficacy. Often when students are publishing their work they are going beyond the minimum expectations and enjoying it.
Each of my classes has their own blog. The Voicethreads are embedded in the class blog so it can be shared with family and friends. Everyone is welcome to leave feedback and comments. The students are very proud of their work. When we create Voicethreads in class, they easily receive 90+ comments, which implies the students are engaged in the learning. They leave positive and reflective feedback for their classmates and they get feedback from their family as well.