step into the net

Thursday I proposed a lesson in poetry using aspects of multimedia. The convenient thing about using technology is that you can ‘layer’ your approach, depending upon your comfort level. Time is always a factor in preparing lesson plans for the classroom. What will have the most effect for a more streamlined effort? The setup part need not be overwhelming. Okay, so how would you go about putting that poem up on the net?

Perhaps you’ve settled on a lesson to discuss the poem. You could assign a first reading away from the classroom, as homework. Then, open the next class with a freewrite about what they think it’s about. Of course, they could read the poem in the textbook, but they would lack the enhanced attributes of the version I constructed. How much better to have that appear on a website.

A blog, such as this one hosted by WordPress, is one possibility. You could construct separate blogs for each of your classes, or you may be able to simplify by using pages within a blog which link to particular information for each class. You break it into grade levels. Maybe you teach two tenth grade classes and three twelfth grade classes. Maybe you teach Composition 101, American Lit 150, and Shakespeare: the early plays. WordPress blogs are fairly flexible and can accommodate most of what you will need. Another possibility is a Blogger blog. They are both useful and are priced for teachers: free.

Another platform for your class is a wiki. I have used pbwiki as a web presence very successfully. Will Richardson, over at weblogg-ed has this to say about wikis as a means for teachers to connect with one another:

I know it would require some front end loading, but if districts were using wikis to house curriculum and encouraging teachers to work off of them as they move through the year, noting, tweaking, fine tuning, reflecting, etc., it would be one way that they could begin to make good use of a Web 2.0 tool and make it easier to connect to what other folks are doing.

He suggests this as a means to introduce the idea of using wikis for communication, a practice that would naturally expand to including students. From my own experience, I found it a great way to store lesson plans and presentation materials. It becomes a repository for information. Richardson suggests that teachers start by using wikis amongst themselves, building that repository, in order to make teaching easier.

And when you think about it even for just a few seconds longer, it’s not hard to come up with all sorts of other ways to create a rich curriculum “text” if you will that could include videos of lessons, links to resources and artifacts, and the general throwing around of ideas that could potentially deepen the impact of what’s happening in the classroom.

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1 Comment

  1. April 1, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    […] yesterday’s post I briefly discussed how teachers can develop a web presence using blogs and wikis. Many school […]


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