By recording my thoughts, I have developed a focus for my online research. My goal now is to develop an online social network and virtual classroom for the class I am going to teach next year. Why wait you may ask?
I want to get it right! I want to make sure that I choose the right platforms to engage students and yet still be accessible to all the children in my class. I also want to ensure that I can facilitate the site confidently, (I currently teach a prep class - 5-6 year olds which this tool is not appropriate).
I have so far done the following:
- This year I used Pageflakes to set up an information page for parents of my prep class, sharing things like photo galleries, great websites for kids, a calendar, a blog and a to do list as well as the show and tell roster!
- set up a ning social network but this is blocked by school filters (need to find out how to change this).
- successfully installed joomla 1.5 on to my personal school webspace
- investigated using moodle (to tricky for me to set up and probably over kill for my project)
- investigated using a commercial add on for joomla as a learning management system (LMS). I found joomlearn basic (free) but have not installed it yet as is has reported issues with cb (see below)
- Installed CB (community builder) from joomlapolis which allows profiles, blogs and connections to name a few great tools.
- read a million other forums and blogs to get ideas, tips and learn from other's experiences.
- joined hot chalk which might be my virtual classroom ( or blackboard which is offered by my education department and I already have courses set up).