Ready for Building in the Buckeye State

Greetings from Mantua, Ohio. I have been invited by a good friend to present collaborative technology to a middle school faculty. To spice things up a little, I invited one my teachers, Doug McGuirk, to present with me. Doug is a terrific teacher and understands the need for education to open up – he has shifted.

We were asked to get a staff going (and in turn, their students) with collaborative technologies. After some discussion, Doug and I thought it best to show and teach the faculty how to work with Google Groups, Google Sites, and Google Docs. We’ll even throw a little podcasting via cell phone with Gcast, some Jing, and Skype into the mix. The staff has already been introduced to the idea and use of Docs, but we wanted to expand on their knowledge by inviting them into the group and sites use.

We set up a homepage, a group, and a site. The group is fully functional and the site is already full of links, videos, announcements, and files. Since most of the faculty already has a Docs account, we figured the transition to using Groups and Sites would be a natural one. Anyone who uses Google’s applications will know how well their apps tie into each other. We were mindful that we are teaching to adults who come to the table with little knowledge of the Web 2.0 concept, so we wanted to create a day of learning and doing where what they saw and did, they could continue to build upon. We will leave with their Group and Site intact and open for use, edit, and expansion.

The hope is that the faculty understands the profound ease of use these tools bring to their professional community. We also hope that some of the faculty get the bug and begin class sites and class groups.

Follow up to be posted soon.

Author: Michael Parent, Ed.D

Father, husband, school administrator in NJ. "Education cures poverty".

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