Today I spent ten hours in a car driving across Ontario, Quebec and into New Brunswick here in my beautiful country of Canada and I was inspired. Of course the raw beauty of the Canadian landscape is enough to inspire anyone, but I happened to be reading Will Richardson’s Blogs, Wikis and Podcasts and so my teaching brain was ignited. I read his blog often, but this was the first time I had sat down and read his book which was a great experience!

I found the chapters discussing blogs and wikis to be really helpful! I started using blogs this year in my Media English class and I wrote a previous post about how my students enjoyed the experience. After reading Richardson’s book, I have a couple new ideas of how to incorporate them into my classroom. For example, I plan to use a wiki to organize my classes. I’ve been discussing with @jeffreaburn (the System I/T Principal for our board) that allowing students the ability to access a wiki with all the pertinent information organized by class units will help students to know what is coming (ie. due dates) and organize their lives so that they can be successful. It will also give me a more “transparent” teaching style which is something Richardson highly promotes. I can imagine that many parents would appreciate being able to know exactly what is going on in class and thereby helping their children to be more successful in class.

I also really like his discussion of RSS feeds. I, myself, have just figured out how to use Google Reader and it is so handy for keeping up to date with many fabulous education blogs! (As of right now, I have 674 unread items in my Google Reader, but that’s what happens when I’m driving half way across the country! I guess I have some reading to catch up on next week!)

For now; however, I will keep brainstorming and since I have another eight hours in the car tomorrow with a seven hour ferry ride tomorrow night to get to our destination province of Newfoundland, I will have time to consider more applications for my classroom.

Stay tuned for a continuation of these ideas… or a continuation of the conversation and please feel free to comment 🙂

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3 thoughts on “Inspiration

  1. You can read in the car? I am impressed. Also like the blog’s new look.

    I’m going to try a combo of a website and class blogs to try to organize my classes because I completely agree with your statement about transparency. I don’t want my evaluation policies, assignments, or anything else about my class to be a mystery. My hope is that the better job I can do of keeping students, parents, and colleagues in the loop, the more accountable I’ll be as a teacher, and the fewer excuses there will be for… well lots of things!

    As far as the format that we choose to use as teachers, I was debating for a long time about what to use. Now I think that the format just depends on the teacher and what works best for him or her.

    Enjoy your vacation and I look forward to reading more on this topic!

  2. Great to hear your interest for wikis and blogs – I took a pbwiki (now pbworks) summer camp last year and put together the beginnings of a wiki to manage/post course content. I’m still playing around with it, and mostly using the blog for reporting until the wiki is fully functional.
    I like the blog because of its reporting style – good for developing writers – but love the wiki because it’s so freeform – the students can play, and many may be able to tap into (much quicker than I can) its various possibilities. Most wikis now have privacy features as well – not so much a concern for secondary students, but important for myself in elementary.
    Thanks for posting!

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