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A weblog designed to share Geography resources with students and colleagues

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Crowd sourcing

Categories: Other
I have been asked to follow up a course that I delivered last year for teachers in the school this coming week. The course had the rather grand title 'Embedding ICT in Teaching and Learning'. I had a look at what my classes have been doing over the last year as I really didn't want to do a rehash of what I had talked about before-blogs, wikis, mobiles etc. I decided to look at instances where we had either tried to bring opinion from outside of the class into the learning environment through online tools, or where we had used ICT to provide an instant audience for students work. I narrowed this down to 10, and cheated just a bit as I included Glow, which I am planning to use pre-Christmas with a colleague in Ayrshire. Apologies if the prezi makes you seasick, it's my first time trying it (due to the nature of the course wanted to try presenting it in a different way too). The examples I have mentioned are:

1) Ask 500 - find opinions for your class by posing them to a worldwide audience and seeing any patterns in the return. I asked a question about conflict in the DR Congo last year when we were using Rwanda as a case study of forced migration. I was amazed at the number of people who listed a 'don't care' attitude, but it also helped illustrate why the genocide in Rwanda was just a distant news story to many here at the time it occured.

2) Twitter- for me, the best place to get instant responses to any question. A number of times over the past year, I have asked questions which I could use in class, from things as simple as asking people what the weather was like and asking my class to map it, to having 'interviews' where the class drove the questions and therefore became the audience themselves

3) Voicethread- There are better examples than mine of this great site and its uses, but I have used it as a unit starter. While most students are working on other tasks, I have asked individuals to post a question, something they would like to know about the topic they are studying. The class becomes my crowd, and I take direction from them throughout the rest of the unit, answering their questions where possible and indulging them in areas they want to explore further. Paired with a knowledge starter, this makes teaching the unit a lot easier, as I find out straight away knowledge highs and lows and avoid repetition. One feature I haven't explored and would like to is the whiteboard function where students can draw on the slides too.

4) Google Docs- I had to use this in a slightly manufactured way, as I couldn't assume that students had access from home, but I know that there are school based packages for google apps, and I love the idea of collaborating on a presentation, spreadsheet or document as a class. We collaborated around a few questions, students prepared a response to an issue I had set (where they had to have a definite opinion) and we then inserted our slides into the presentation to showcase the work.

5) Wallwisher- I have already posted about this recently, a homework wall of student produced sticky notes, very quick and easy to do, but because of the numbers of people contributing, the end result was a highly visual and engaging display of student work for all to see.

6) Edmodo- My platform of choice for keeping all my students homework in the one place, an easy way to give meaningful feedback to individuals, but also somewhere where it is easy to encourage groups to work together. The beauty is that links can be made public at the teachers choice. Students work can be celebrated and given to a wider audience while still maintaining pupil privacy

7) Glow- This is the cheat. Myself and Val Adam from Maybole are looking at doing a linking activity between an s1 or s2 class before Christmas. Glow gives us the opportunity to link our classes or indeed any other class in Scotland. Our students will be hopefully asking questions of each other, sharing their work, and with the ability to have a glow meet, maybe even talking or engaging face to face through the web. All we need to do to get started is create a group and invite students from both classes as members. I am really looking forward to this, especially as the communication is secure

8) Posterous- I have started using Posterous occasionally to quickly post classes work during or immediately after a lesson, or by sticking possible resources on it beforehand. I do all this by simply e-mailing from my phone. The example I have included is when my s3 class were doing glaciation modelling. I was able to post the results directly after the lesson. I love the fact that students can then go home and show their parents what they were doing as I feel it brings parents a bit closer to the classroom too.

9) Etherpad- Again, something I have blogged about before, an online debate where anonymity is key and students build their permanent record of the debate. More details here.

10) Wordle- or a 'crowd cloud' as I have called it in the prezi, an easy way to see at a glance opinions on a subject ( I like using it before really delving into a topic and then revisiting it to see if the perceptions were correct). This is also a great tool to use for revision. I pasted a bunch of text from a textbook case study and had students use the 'wordle mat' as a reference when attempting past papers.

Hope all this kind of makes sense, I'm also happy recapping as it gives me the chance to showcase the classes work again :)


At 11:59 pm, Anonymous sarah said...

really interesting. Would like to know more abour the work in Carrick. I have tried some of these but I have renewed optimism to attempt others with my classes. Thanks, inspiring.

At 12:10 am, Blogger Kenny O'Donnell said...

Thank you very much Sarah. Val and I hopefully getting our heads together at SAGT conference, so will keep updated through twitter.Good luck in trying some of the 10 again :)


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