Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Snowball Effect

Anyone who has ever made a snowman knows that you start with a small snowball. As you keep rolling it in the snow, it gets bigger and bigger until you have a "snowball" big enough to use for one of the parts of your snowman. This gradual growth of the tiny snowball into a much grander one is the "snowball effect." That is what I am experiencing this semester with my students.

This semester I started teaching a face to face class through McDaniel College for teachers in Prince George's County, Maryland. This is a face-to face class. We meet at Green Belt Middle School. I had never taught a class before where everyone had their own laptop and we had quite a time getting everyone on the Internet, especially those with Apple computers. (It's so much easier to work in a computer lab!) However, with the help of the IT person, Ms. Mitchell; the library media specialist, Ms. Butler; and Ms. Hammond, the Social Studies teacher at the school, we are slowly but surely getting everyone online through their own laptop computers.

The teachers in the class have all started their own blogs and I can feel the snowball effect as more and more of them are beginning to see the possibilities for using web 2.0 tools in their own classroom.

In order to provide a permanent record of the Internet assignments that we are doing, I've decided to create Googledocs and link to them in the sidebar under lesson plans. That way the students can have an easy way to refer back to what we did in class and to continue learning on their own.

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