Sunday, December 14, 2008

MEGAmap - MN Geology via Google My Maps

The nine map...five class...differentiated...jigsaw My Maps project was a success. Here is a link the to the actual student-created interactive map. After completing the project I gave the students a survey using Google Forms. Surprisingly, they loved the survey and gave me great feedback. Here is a glimpse.

One thing that was encouraging was the relatively small number of issues there were related to the technology. I suspect the number one issue that teachers might have wading into a MEGA-technology project would be the tech issues. In reality, the trouble spots arise the first day when a small handful of students will struggle to remember a password or a login name. Other than that, there are a few issues related to embedding but the groups usually help eachother out with that.

The two best parts of a project identified by the students were working in groups and learning about iGoogle (all students signed up for iGoogle and subscribed to an RSS feed of my homework). Hmmmm, interesting. The two worst parts were other people editing placemarks and not having enough time (at least 3 hours of classroom time).

After the map was complete, the students were given a take-home exam and the task was to teach an adult about the MN geologic history using the their notebooks and the Google Map.

The response from parents? iGoogle was cool and it was neat to see what their kids created. Success!

Got a idea for a project? Post it in the comments! Thanks!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

learning.21st - Formative Assessment

Since I don't know the end goal of this process I can only get an occasional look in to see the progress. I set up Google Analytics account on a Site I created for TIES and also on this blog. Out of curiosity, I checked it today to see there was any increase in traffic. While I never used the Site until TIES, the blog traffic increased only as much as if I posted a new post.

Conferences can sometimes be a disjointed bunch of sessions that fail to connect to the classroom. Web 2.0 as a stand alone does not need a conference, but to connect it to the classroom it is beneficial to see some applications modeled. I did see a few good sessions and got a little inspiration for doing things differently. I developed more confidence to articulate the vision of getting my students connected from day one and more forcefully lobbying the issue in my building. I also made a few connections with other people doing the same thing with similar visions.

This post is my formative assessment. The last two days outside my classroom were worth it. I connected with people and expanded my network. I grew...and now let's move on.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

TIES - learning.21st

Will be presenting this tomorrow at TIES. Looking forward to a couple good days of networking and learning new things. Here is the Site I created for TIES with all the goodies on it. More to follow....