After 12 hours of techie information, I think that my brain is fried. Despite that fact, I am gaining momentum to start the school year and to do some really cool projects. Today we talked about wikis – just like wikipedia. This is a great tool to get kids communicating with others in the school, teachers and peers from around the world. Unlike a blog, a wiki is less of a journal and more like creating a book. Everyone can add information and their ideas. While I thought about using a blog to keep in contact with a friend in North Carolina, perhaps a wiki would be better. Instead of writing “letters” back and forth, they could do all sorts of activities together. I was thinking that, for example, my students could write directions on how to draw something and send it to our friends in NC. Then, the kids in NC draw what they read. They post their drawing (via kidpix or some other program) and then the original pics are posted as well. Students can then discuss the differences and/or change the directions to be more clear.
Students could also write short essays/paragraphs and post them to wiki. Their partner can then edit and help with the grammar/spelling/content. Instead of merely relying on their peers in class, my students could use their bilingual buddies to help. Each student could have his own page to help keep track of everyone.
These are just a few ideas, but I am sure I can come up with more. I always get excited about technology, but it ends up taking too much time or not working out how I want it to. I hope that I can focus on one project this year and really make it work. I think this wiki thing would be great. There are so many options and the ability to work with kids from all over the world.