I’ve been busy wrapping up the end of another school year and leaving for summer vacation. I returned home this past Saturday and again got busy finishing up a presentation for provincial science teachers. Interested science teachers in the province were attending a four day conference at The University of Regina. The province of Saskatchewan is in the process of piloting new middle years science units. I’ve been involved in the piloting for the past school year by attending meetings, discussing the curriculum with other science teachers and piloting new units. I’ve enjoyed the process and the opportunity to provide feedback from myself and my students as we work our way through the new curriculum.
This past Wednesday I presented technology links, activities, simulations, lesson and unit plans for two of the grade six units: Flight and Space. I had organized my information on wikis using the draft curriculum and organizing the links based on the expected outcomes and their learning indicators. My first question from my audience was “What’s a wiki?” At that point I had to do some back tracking and explain the Web 2.0 tools I was using. Throughout the presentation I was asked questions about how I had used technology and Web 2.0 tools to prepare my presentation. By the end of the session I had explained wikis, classblogmeister, delicious, diigo and twitter. I also discussed the power of networks particularly for the teachers who work in rural communities within the province. At one point one of the attendees asked the organizer if I could come back next year and present specifically on Web 2.0 tools and their application for science teachers.
My biggest worry when the questions starting coming was not to overwhelm anyone with the variety of networking tools I was using. I know that it can be a bit intimidating when you’re new to technology and someone is spouting off names and links when you’re just starting out. I wanted to assure everyone that a year and a half ago I had started with a class blog, six months later added wikis and continued from there as I had time. My advice was that the teachers choose one tool to begin with and slowly add to their repetoire. Many of the teachers were interested in using wikis to organize their unit plans so I left my email address and invited questions as they began their technology journey.
I hope I inspired some teachers to use Web 2.0 tools in their teaching even though that wasn’t my intent when I planned my presentation. I’ll post links to the new units with the technology resources as soon as the Ministry of Education approves the new curriculum.