Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Reflections

When I first began the seminar, I was overly eager and ambitious about what I thought I could accomplish. Part of this zeal stemmed from a background in technology. However, I have had to admit that my techy skills were not as sophisticated as I needed them to be in order to produce the scope and presence that I intended for my site. While my heart was in the right place, my skills were not. I tried Spruz, but found the specs difficult to work with, and I couldn't afford Ning, so I went headlong into Wetpaint. True, the Wiki afforded me much more control over the site, though I was now faced with a more difficult problem...how to incorporate the site into the classroom assignments.
I encouraged students to post their art, their writings, their music, their "pet projects." In the end, all that they posted (and not terribly successfully) were their vocabulary sentences. Even those were error filled.

My hope was to build a virtual community...much as Rich had suggested where our students could enter a virtual classroom. My idea was/is to have them be able to engage with students from other cultures, other schools, other countries. I have been wanting (and still intend) to work on creating a sister school environment whereby our students connect with other students on a similar level in English, virtually. I did find a site called ePal targeted at creating just this sort of operation. Yet, what did the schools discuss? Snowball fighting and how to deal with it! Very different from literary analyses.

I found Rich Dragon's visit to the CUNY workshop interesting. I do think that the world, the educational and business circuits, are bound to erupt into one gigantic blur. What , however, does this mean to us as educators? The answer that I have is: I have no clue.
I know that I want to continue to build the engagement of other cultures with web 2.O I know that I'd like to be on the cutting edge. I know that I can use my video and uploading skills. But, more than that, or how to get where I want to go, is a mystery.

This is definitely an adventure for us all. I hope we achieve at least part of what we want in the upcoming year.
For me, my next question is: How do I build Web 2.0 in the context of a cluster on the Supernatural? In the words of a wise man whom I consulted about a project, "What makes this different from all other projects?" I don't know.

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