Friday, May 25, 2007

WiAOC 2007

The Webheads in Action Online Convergence was held last weekend!

Although I wish that I could have attended many more sessions, the recordings and related resources are still available. I was so happy to hear two fabulous presentations about educational blogging by much-admired colleagues!

The first one was delivered by Vance Stevens, Nelba Quintana, Rita Zeinstejer, and Sasha Sirk; their presentation title was "Writingmatrix: CONNECTing students with blogs, tags, and social networking". These teachers had an idea to connect students to people outside the classroom using blogs, tags, and social bookmarking. It was interesting to see how the project was implemented by teachers in different parts of the world and students who are at various age and English levels.

The second one was presented by Carla Arena, Erika Cruvinel, and Ronaldo Lima; their presentation title was "Blogging with Students: Ideas to Enhance Communication". I was really impressed with this presentation because they discussed ways to maintain momentum and keep students interested in class blogging projects. Whereas the Blogging for Beginners EVO session focused mainly on developing teachers' skills to set up and manage a blog, this session focused on how to create and implement collaborative cross-cultural projects. They shared many examples including a mystery guest project, a scrapbook project, and even a blog for younger learners written by a dog!

The creativity and energy displayed through these online presentations was amazing and I'm hoping to implement some of their ideas in my class blog. More on that to come in a future update. In the meantime, check out the archives of WiAOC 2007 and leave a comment about your favorite presentations!


Atousa said...

Dear Mary,
Thanks for your comment. I totally agree with you. And I hope I can get to know you better.

Best wishes

Mary H said...

Hi Ati,
Thank you so much for your comment and I'm glad that I found your blog. And I hope that we'll connect again in the blogoshpere too!

For other readers of the blog, Ati (and Parisa) are students in Iran. I was introduced to their blogs by their teacher, Susan, who is a member of Learning with Computers.

I think an important reason for educators to join online communities of practice is to be able to communicate with many teachers and students from other countries and to afford students the same opportunities. These experiences are precious!

Vance Stevens said...

Hi Mary, I found your blog during a search on writingmatrix in Technorati. I don't think you'd used that as one of your tags (labels) but it appeared in the list anyway. We're still trying to work out how the system functions. In any event, I'm glad we made your most favored presentations list, and glad you enjoyed . Best, Vance

Mary H said...

Dear Vance,
I'm honored to have a comment from you here! Although it seems that I made a bit of a mess with the tags on this post, I'm glad that you were able to find it. Your work with Webheads has been inspiring for me and your latest explorations through the WritingMatrix project are really helpful for other teachers who would like to try similar blogging projects!

Mary H said...

Vance blogged about the online convergence and how he discovered my blog. Read his "post"
I think online communities of practice, events, and tools give us great opportunities to connect with like-minded colleagues around the globe! I'm looking forward to more of these experiences.

Carla Arena said...

Dear Mary,

Funny the connections! I was reading Claudia Ceraso's post. Then, she mentioned your post, and here I am! So many things happened after our convergence that I missed your post. Thanks for the sweet words. I really would like to focus more on the issues we mentioned during our presentation. Keeping the conversations flowing on a class blog takes time and facilitation. If you can attract, enchant your students by having some "blogging strategies", then chances are your experience will be successful. But it takes work, blogging just doesn't happen by itself. You need to engage a group in a discussion, then it will flow. Just some ramblings!

I haven't forgotten about our collaboration and will get back to you this week.


Saša said...

Dear Mary,
I came across this post in the Technorati 'writingmatrix feed' while looking for some of my students' posts - what a pleasant surprise. :-))
A big hug from Slovenia

Mary H said...

Hi Sasha,
It seems that the writingmatrix tag is really powerful! If/when I end up having my students create their own blogs during the upcoming semester, I think the use of this tag would be a fabulous and easy way to encourage an outside audience to read their blogs. Thanks for your comment!