Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wishing upon a wall...

I'm now in an experimentation mode of sorts! No, not the sort who would want to create anything that can explode in your face, but more importantly i'm in the mode for experimenting, and even 'hunting' for relevant Web 2.0 tools that I can use in both within and out of my classrooms. The first quarter have been a successful experiment for me, what with the numerous possibilities that a blogging platform has to offer! And I must say, it has been an interesting journey so far. Has it been COMPLETELY successful? Well, I think that it is not entirely successful on all fronts, but then again, the irony about this kind of experimental tinkering is the fact that we wouldn't know that something DOESN'T work, until we try it out, and then discover that it doesn't!

Well so far, the use of the relevant tools has been met with measured success (and failures). TWITTER is not as good when one wants to have a visual and more complete idea of how things are going, although it does capture the responses in a chronological manner, if that is indeed your lesson's cup of tea. And using mindmapping apps have been useful and enlightening, I think, as it does manage to capture the varied thought processes, the multiplicity of synapses that are happening in my charges' grey matter, and the sometimes almost awkward yet seemingly innocent way of looking at things. It is sometimes refreshing to see their ideas at their baseline levels being developed into something more mature, more robust, and perhaps even something more critical, with a dash of innovation and creativity thrown in for good measure.

I tried earlier today and found it to be quite an impressive tool for the collation of ideas and comments, much better than TWITTER. Here's a final screenshot of the task given to the students:

Screenshot on the 'Bird Problem'

But I think, where my area of expertise is concerned, there is still something missing, something perhaps that I can use to go beyond just the texting speciality of wallwisher, to something that can be used to collaborate even further through sketches and other means. (photos and annotation). Well I think I have found one or two of those tools, but have yet to put it in practise, and by that I mean to be used by my students. Let me have a go at them first, and maybe, just maybe, report my findings later on.

Wish me luck!

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