Thursday, August 20, 2009

Using Google Docs with Students


sharing digital documents used in the classroom.

medium on which students can collaboratively create products.

projects: planning, creation, publishing.

Google Docs

Very powerful for collaboration.
Central, web-based location accessible from any computer with web access.

Study Finds That Online Education Beats the Classroom

Interesting article delivered to the google reader:

Study Finds That Online Education Beats the Classroom

Day 4

Porta Portal and Delicious both appear to hold great promise: Porta Portal as a repository for web sites with strong ties to class room content and Delicious as a tool to extend the search for those sites.

Still thinking about the architecture. A website might be the correct entry point for the "digital environment" to be created. The website could have pages dedicated to each course. These pages would then provide a repository for all the digital materials associated with a course. The website would also provide a launching point for each class and the materials, blogs, wikis, etc of that particular class.

Hmmm. When do we start classes?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Sounds like a Rap star's moniker! Interesting tool. I will move forward with it as it represents a single location from which to access my bookmarks. Played around with the social aspect a bit: the shared bookmarks. That seems pretty cool and helpful. Looks like a keeper.

Day 3

While this blog is under investigation I will continue to keep it active...covertly.

Today I would like to get a better handle on Delicious: get some bookmarks in place, organize them by topic, access some shared bookmarks, upload some bookmarks from this machine.

Also, what about the igoogle thing? Not sure about creating another environment there that needs attention along with the SPSD email account and the home email account. Is now the time to kill the home email account and move to gmail? A little suspect about following the yellow brick road to the wonderful wizzard of of google.

I am pondering what the architecture should be for for further development. Should there be a blog for each class for each year that contains blog entries, points to student blogs and other student work as well as classroom activities and web based resources? Or should a web page be developed that "contains" a launching point for each class/course? The second option seems more likely to support future growth, more organized and more maintainable.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Blogger trouble

This is the 3rd time we've created a blog with this account. Every one has had a "spam warning" attached to it making it impossible to add to our RSS readers among other annoyances. The posts below and their comments have been copied and pasted in to this version to keep the journal going. We may try another way...

Day 3 - RSS Feeds

Productive morning. Worked through the mechanics of establishing some RSS feeds. Got some RSS feeds established for work and pleasure. Fearful of RSS feeds creating a multi-headed monster that I will not care to feed, groom and otherwise be a slave to. Always looking for techniques to simplify: less can be more.

Day 2

Look forward to more conversation and discovery.

Here is an article from last Sunday's NY Times on the "digital classroom". Very topical for the this class:

In a Digital Future, Textbooks Are History

And here is a link to the responses generated and published the next Sunday:

And the Future of the Textbook Is ...

La Premier Post

So far? After poking around this summer looking at some fairly robust blogs maintained by mathematics teachers and their classrooms, I am still looking for the content. The few blogs I have looked through seem to be about engaging the students and teachers in the use of blogs, wikis, flickr, twitter, et al with very little focus on content. Moreover, the time invested in developing these blogs appears to be substantial. Of course students will benefit from exposure to and use of these tools in this environment. But where is the mathematics? Perhaps I am another woolly mammoth stuck in a tar pit on his way to extinction. But if we are going to invest significant effort with this technology I would expect to see more mathematics. Maybe the content is there but I just don't see it? It is early yet. There is a way to integrate these tools and enhance the teaching and learning of mathematics without making it all about the tools themselves.