I do not teach in a traditional classroom setting, but I do have a ten-year-old daughter who is starting to venture into the world of social networking and communicating online. When she came home more than a year and a half ago and told me she wanted to “get” a penguin, she and I set up free Club Penguin accounts and spent most of our time off over the holidays playing together. It wasn’t long before I was sending credit card information to sign up for two Club Penguin memberships. I have had teachable moments while online in Club Penguin. The most memorable was on New Year’s Eve 2007 when I taught a group of penguins about time zones as I counted down to midnight. My daughter and I (as penguins, of course) still meet online and all of her friends want to be on my buddy list. We challenge each other to sled races and Mancala. She rarely spends any of the thousands of coins she’s earned while I buy every new item I can to wear and decorate my igloo. It’s like playing Barbie Dolls when I was a kid except no one is fighting over the best dolls, accessories and cleaning up the mess. It has been a great beginning social networking experience. And, yes, I know it’s not MySpace or the world of constant text messaging and I’Ming, but we will embrace those, too!
As I started to explore Web 2.0 tools for the classroom, my first and best guinea pig was my daughter. She has been the author, voice and subject for many projects and has learned, along with me, how to use VoiceThread, Flickr, PhotoStory 3 and Animoto just to name a few. Earlier this year when I was attempting to make good on a volunteering promise to produce 1,400 buttons for the METC, my daughter helped me with cutting and pressing buttons for several days. In the process, she learned Web 2.0 terms like RSS, Java, wiki, tag and del.icio.us. As we made buttons, I showed and explained the terms. She was a big help and was able to tell people what the buttons meant when she came to the conference on Wednesday afternoon.
I am the administrator a Ning social network, Web 2.0 4 Teachers which started out as a place to collaborate with particpants last summer during three separate workshops focused on Web 2.0. We now have more than 100 members and with a little prompting and prodding is becoming a valuable professional development network.
I update fairly often on Twitter and recently I've been using JustUpdate with my iPhone to add my tweets. I will use Twitter to let my followers know that I have posted this. I will also send direct Twitter messages to those I am “tagging,” Wesley, Elizabeth, Randy, Pat and Vicki to spread the virus. Unlike a virus, it won't make you ill and you are encouraged to pass it on:
- Think about what you are passionate about teaching your students.
- Post a picture from a source like FlickrCC or Flickr Creative Commons or make/take your own that captures what YOU are most passionate about for kids to learn about…and give your picture a short title.
- Title your blog post “Meme: Passion Quilt” and link back to this blog entry.
- Include links to 5 folks in your professional learning network or whom you follow on Twitter/Pownce