EducationBridges.net Elgg

I never thought that the EducationBridges.net Elgg would be such an interesting place to visit. It’s almost become my aggregator since I don’t always have the time to open my Flock Aggregator each day. I get an global perspecive on educational technology, and it’s hard to believe that this space is continuing to grow. Here are some quick examples:

John Patten writes, “A teacher sent me an email this morning asking me to look at the logs for his Moodle site. Yesterday he started a forum on his site for the
very first time. He had almost 2000 hits on his site yesterday, in one
day! Granted some of theses hits are the same students going to
different areas in his Moodle site, but that was still pretty
impressive.”

Felicia George writes, “I was frustrated by the inability to get any sound on my computer. I decided to bite the bullet and do some troubleshooting. I followed the directions under the control panel until I reached a point where I didn’t understand what I was doing. Then, I did what I should have
done first. I switched the speakers from the ones on my computer to the ones that I knew worked. Now I have sound.”

and

Beth Ritter-Guth writes: Today was a really productive day. The students in my Honors College English 1 class exploded mentos and diet coke to demonstrate the writing process. We were going for distance. Our chem professor donated goggles. It was
a lot of fun.

… So, what does this all have to do with learning to write? The best
writers are the ones who care about the world they write in 🙂

So invite your teachers to check it out. Go to EducationBridges.net and register. Click on Read What Other Folks are Saying to see what’s happening in this space.

Happy Browsing.

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Back to Blogging…

It’s been a while. I’ve been reading, and writing, and listening, but not here. I’ve been watching the EducationBridges.net Elgg, working on a web site for a friend’s charter school, and Arvind and I have begun webcasting again at EdTechTalk.com.

But what I’ve been working hardest on is the day job. Rolling out 18 new SmartBoard rooms, 30 Tablet PCs, and a new community portal web site. We’ve really pushed the professional development model for faculty, and those Tablet PC ‘Fellows’ are really changing their teaching to create more interesting and effective classrooms. Today I met with two of our Tablet PC fellows, and in both conversations, the fellows were reflecting on their learning, and thus reflecting on the learning of their students. The conversations are so exciting. One fellow said, “I’m really excited to use the Tablet in a way that will speak to some of the students that I don’t teach to during class discussions.” That’s what it’s all about. It’s really not about the technology, but using a tool to enhancing the learning that happens in the classroom. That type of comment is what makes the past four weeks of intense work pay off. I went home with a good feeling today!

Two more things… Tomorrow at 1:00 pm EST, Arvind and I are interviewing Fred Bartels , a most inspirational educator and the creator of the School Computing Wiki. Please join us at http://www.edtechtalk.com/chat.

Lastly, tomorrow afternoon I begin working with our Math Department on Lesson Study. I am very honored and excited to be part of this group of faculty who will be observing a faculty member teach the same lesson multiple times and then work on making it better through conversation. Now that’s collaboration.

Until Next time…

A Teacher Collaborative Community…

A few weeks ago, on the ISED-L Listserv, someone asked for a site that was a MySpace for teachers. I had been discussing Elgg with Dave Cormier and Jeff Lebow for a while, now. Arvind and I talked about online communities for educational technologists in our 21st Century Learning #7.

So the time has come. Last week, I emailed a proposal to Dave Cormier and Jeff Lebow at World Bridges and they gave us http://elgg.educationbridges.net . I set up an elgg installation and we’ve got 19 users right now.

What’s the point of this community? Here’s my purpose statement:

The purpose of this site is to create an environment for educators to collaborate about teaching and learning in the 21st Century. We at Education Bridges believe that to make the world a better place, educators need to share their best practices/lessons learned that are research as well as experience based practices.

So go to http://elgg.educationbridges.net — sign up, fill in your profile, and check out the View All Posts link under Your Blog to see what people are saying. Also, follow some of dave cormier’s beginner elgg suggestions — make a community (or two!). Start socializing. Start learning. I look forward to seeing what happens.