Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Collaborative Projects in the River Valley

After two days of relatively formal workshops looking at tools that can be integrated into classroom use, today and tomorrow is being devoted to teacher-initiated collaborative projects in the River Valley (Mt. Valley and Dirigo SADs . . . soon likely to become a single SAU). My job is to "roam" and be available to offer help when questions or needs arise. Quite relaxed. I'm learning from everyone around me.

In terms of creating web pages, Dreamweaver was the tool of choice until this year, but now FirstClass RWD, iWeb, blogs, wikis and podcasting have become the tools of choice for creating a web presence. This pleases me a great deal because these tools offer a small learning curve to get started and don't require as many administrative hoops to jump through in order to be used by busy teachers. Tools should not be so complex and/or clunky as to get in the way of learning and real-world utility.

It is a delight to watch teacher Andrea York of the new Dirigo Elementary School work with other teachers in her building develop web pages using iWeb. She is young, enthusiastic, full-of-energy, knowledgeable, and has a knack for working with others. Nick Waugh, a legend in the River Valley as the answer man in integrating technology, is available for any assistance that might be needed. The link to Andrea's pages that are just two days old is here. Other teachers in her school are developing their own classroom sites today.

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