Beyond Classroom Tech Tips…

October 21, 2007

Release the Hounds

Filed under: Professional Development,Web 2.0 — Donna DesRoches @ 5:03 pm
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Yesterday in my small group chat room at this week’s Fireside Chat of the K-12 Online Conference participants enthused and complimented Chris Harbeck on his presentation, Release the Hounds. Needless to say, his session was first on my catch-up list this Sunday morning.

The participants in the chat room were right to be impressed. Chris Harbeck is a middle years math teacher in Winnipeg, Manitoba and in his four mini-presentations he outlines four strategies that he uses to engage students in their learning. Scribe posts, growing posts, e-portfolios and unprojects are all very practical ways which effectively use a wide variety of technology tools to teach curriculum content.

I am working with a group of teachers, one from each school as well the teacher-librarians in our school division to look ways that we can more effectively use technology for teaching and learning. On September 25 we had our first day long meeting with a focus on the read/write web, web-based tools and their impact on education. As is natural at a meeting with such a focus teachers were awed and overwhelmed and the feedback reflected this with teachers asking, “Now what? How do I do this in my classroom? What are practical strategies for implementation?”

Chris’ presentations respond to this need in a very practical manner and because he is a math teacher his strategies for using technology in a meaningful way fit very well with our school division’s PLC focus on math.

I particularly like his approach on e-portfolios in which he asks students to teach their parents about a particular concept and in doing so demonstrate their knowledge of subject content and 2.0 applications.

I am doing a workshop on Monday, Easy Peasy Homework Pages, to demonstrate how wikis can be used to create simple homework pages. I will will use Chris’ slideshare presentation and wiki as an example of how such a simple tool can be used for powerful communication and interaction.

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