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December/January Issue of #ProjectPLN

This is one of my favorite issues of Project PLN yet.  This issue was particularly near and dear to my heart because it was such a revealing activity when I did the exercise with my own students.  We asked teachers to engage their students in the question: “What would your dream school look like?”  Students of all ages dreamed with us and shared their ideal school.  It has been a lot of fun to see what students have dreamed up! This is an issue not to miss, if you haven’t done an exercise like this with your students all ready, I highly recommend it.  I found it fascinating that EVERY student in 3rd-5th grade that I did the activity with included an animal of some sort in their dream school and included something about no bullies.  (If you think about it, animals are easy. They never judge and they don’t bully.) To education decision makers: Take note, there is something to be learned from these dreams! An ENORMOUS thank you to @thenerdyteacher, he has totally been picking up my slack this year as I squeak in to be helpful last minute…A.K.A. it has already been taken care of.  Thank you Nick!  You are classy with a capital C. Project PLN is moving to a bi-monthly posting schedule in 2012 to keep the editors (us) and the contributors (you) sane. So, what is first up in 2012? We want to know what books/reading has had the most impact for you as an educator.  These could be books about education specifically, or books that have given you a new outlook on education, learning or teaching.  If you are anything like me, everything you read, see, encounter is filtered through your education lens and adds something.  We want to hear about all of those things! When I pitched the idea of this month’s issue to Nick, his first response was “awww not a book report” in a super whiny, high-pitched voice….okay I made that part up, we were actually texting and the whining was implied.  Book report is not exactly what I had in mind (although if that jives your jets, by all means be our guest).  One of the things I have been particularly bad about is keeping track of the books and recommended readings from those in my PLN. They fly through my Twitter stream, get favorited in my Reeder or scribbled on a nearby piece of scratch paper.  The result: very few of them ever see the light of day again and I forget.  I also know that books (and blogs) have had a profound impact on me as an educator.  If not for Seth Godin encouraging me to “Ship it”, I might not have taken the leap to start a school.  If not for Sir Ken Robinson, I might not have had such conviction to help every child realize their “Element”.  For this issue, your posts can be in the form of top 10 lists of your must reads.  A bucket list of things you want to do as a result of books you have read (with reference back to the original inspiration).  A blog post you have written as a reflection on something you have read. A link to your bookshelf in Shelfari.  For those of you who are feeling really ambitious, a book trailer.  Really it can be ANYTHING, we just want to know what you are reading/have read that has impacted the way you think about or do education. As always, feel free to email posts to ProjectPLN10@Gmail.com, check in on us at Twitter @ProjectPLN or say hello on Facebook.  Please get us your posts in February so we can work on publishing them for the March issue!  

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Group Table

Posted by admin | Posted in Blogs, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 18-11-2008

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What it is: GroupTable is a web-based software and success network developed specifically to help student groups improve document management, project planning and communication.”  Group Table helps students stay organized with all of their group projects and study groups in one place.  Students can see all of their groups in one place including any file uploads, posts, tasks, upcoming events and more.  Each student and group has their own binder on Group Table that allows them to organize, store and share word documents, presentations, and spreadsheets in one easy-to-use location.  Group Table has the ability to create to do lists and assign tasks or remind others about upcoming events.  Each group gets a dedicated chat room and discussion board with Group Table making collaboration and communication simple and efficient.  This site was created by college students for students.  Although the target audience is high school and college age students, Group Table could be effectively used in the secondary elementary classroom and the middle school classroom.

 

How to integrate Group Table into the classroom:   For high school and college students, Group Table is a great site to introduce students to for their own group creation.  Secondary elementary and middle school students would benefit from a teacher led group on Group Table.  This is a great way to introduce your students to effective collaboration, communication, and 21st century literacy skills.  It is essential that students learn how to collaborate on projects using web 2.0 technologies and Group Table provides the perfect space to practice.

 

Tips:   Teachers, create a study group for your classroom that your students can join.

 

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Group Table in your classroom.

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