Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Great WebQuest!

As I searched through WebQuests to find something appropriate and worthwhile for a high school English class, I came across a great one for learning poetry. The link is as follows:

It is called "Poetry Quest", and is written by Robert Keim. I was impressed with the amount of information, the layout, step by step instruction, and, best of all, ALL the links are active (as of 2/28/07). The end result of the WebQuest:

"With a partner, students will create an informative booklet titled "Guide to Poetry" which must include the following:

Comprehensive list of poetic elements (at least 10 elements)
List of types (forms) of poetry (you'll choose 26 types)
Definitions and examples of terms from both lists"

I feel like this WebQuest is a little more comprehensive than just a quick overview of the elements of poetry. If the WebQuest is TOO comprehensive for your liking, there is a "lite" version that still covers a good bit of information, but will take less time.

Overall, it is very well done, fun to look at (colorful, but not too distracting), and the tasks are in a logical order. Thanks, Robert Keim, for all your hard work!!!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Response to Chapter 6: The Social Web

My response to Chapter 6: The Social Web: Learning Together...

I am really excited about the concept of Social Bookmarking. As a teacher, I feel like I waste so much time searching the internet for some web pages, ideas, worksheets, etc because most of the stuff I come across is useless to me. When I finally find something that will work, I make sure I bookmark it for further inspection at a later time. How wonderful it would be if I could save some of that time by browsing through other English teachers' social bookmarks. Typically we only bookmark sites that are actually helpful, so the chances of finding something usable on others' social bookmarks are good.

I signed up with and, so I will learn more about their usefulness as I continue to play with them and personalize them. I am just getting used to using tags, so I know I will get better at knowing how to accurately tag a site so that it can be useful to others.

The ideas in this chapter will definitely decrease my frustration as I search for neat things to do with my class. And it can help my students when they are doing some searching of their own. So much to learn, so little time!!!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Response to Chapter 8:Podcasts

Podcasts sound very attractive to me as a teacher of EBD middle and high schoolers. I have a small handful of students who like to write. All the others would rather talk all day. Podcasts could put all that vocal energy to good use. Planning a podcast could prove to be interesting as they would have to have some kind of plan before recording. But many are very creative, and would make quite interesting recordings. They could also work on social skills by creating a group podcast, reporting on a topic of the week or general class news. Hmmmmmmmmmm. I will have to put some of these ideas to the test!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Response to Chapter 4: Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts...

Before reading this chapter I wasn't sure how accurate wikis might be, but Richardson laid many of those fears to rest. Although content can be edited at any time, many are always watching those changes and will correct them if needed.

I see the advantages of using wikipedia as a research tool in the classroom, but also as using it as a tool for the class to collaborate on a certain subject. Students would find it interesting to add and change info in a wiki. I think it would hold their interest much longer than doing a common research paper. It may also be a good way to unify a group of students at the beginning of a new class.