This has been a great opportunity. Last spring I began hearing about Web2.0, but I really wasn't sure what it was all about and what the point was. I really can't believe how much I've learned!
I especially enjoyed using the image generators. I was able to use some of my creations as part of my PR campaign for my author visit so this activity was very timely. Library Thing has also been a great find. I am continuing to add books from my home collection so that I'll be able to track what I have. The social aspect of this site as well as the social bookmarking sites has been fun too. However, I think that learning about wikis and the collaboration tools on Zoho and Google Docs may be the most useful for encouraging collaboration at school.
This week I created my first wiki for school. It is called DSMS Best Practices and can be found at http://dsmsbestpractices.pbwiki.com/ . The password is dsms in case anyone would like to add something to it. It's new so I'm still figuring out what to do, and I'm just now introducing it to some key teachers before I share it with the whole staff. I plan to share it with our new teachers before school starts. It will be interesting to see where it goes.
The first week of July, my husband and I, 3 administrators, and 9 other teachers from our school attended the Model School conference in Washington D.C. This conference tied in wonderfully with this program. These 2 experiences propelled my husband and me into moving forward with technology on a personal level. It was time for new cell phones and we decided that we needed to upgrade to phones with Web2.0 capabilities. I now check my email, my rss feeds, and library thing regularly wherever I am. Already I wonder how I lived with a cell phone that only made phone calls. I also bought a new laptop just for me. We have just a few laptops at school and that is often a problem. While I keep one in the library there is still the problem sometimes of too many users. Now I have what I need when I need it. Next, it was time to make some upgrades at home. We live in an area with no cable access so we were still using dial-up which really was not effective. So we decided to install a satellite system (which is wonderful). Then we decided to install a wireless network system at home so my husband and I can both use our computers at the same time and I can go anywhere in my house (or on my deck) and use my computer.
I appreciate that this class was set up to allow people to work at their own pace. I was gone most of the summer but was still able to work on this class at my convenience. The only suggestion I would make would be to possible have a page on the wiki or a blog for tips, suggestions, and technology support. I learned some great tips on how to make things work by reading other people's blogs, but it would be nice to things in one place.
I would definitely participate in another program similar to this and I will recommend this to others. This has truly been one of the most useful learning experiences that I've had.
This is just the beginning!