Several years ago I attended training at the University of Texas on Telecollaboration. Most of the ideas presented in the training seemed so labor intensive that there was no way as a teacher or now as a Instructional Technology Specialist that they could be implemented. Or I felt like I needed to know professors from all over the country before I could begin. So I filed those ideas away and thought maybe some day I could attempt what I had learned.
Those ideas have come back to mind lately and I wanted to explore a few of those here.
Have an online conversation with a historical figure.
The original plan was to use email as the main means of communication. Questions over access to the information in the emails and how the class could actively participate in conversation stopped me from trying this. But with web 2.0 tools this could happen easily by substituting email for blogs.
This is not a new idea and you can find some examples of teachers already doing this online.
Basic premise: A Historical figure could begin keeping blog about the major events that happened in their lifetime. Students could pose questions to the person to get a deeper understanding about how things worked.
- Teacher(s) could write the posts and students could ask questions through the comment section.
- Students could research the person and create the journal entries to be posted. Other students could read the postings and ask questions about the information presented.
- Harriet Tubman – http://dowell.typepad.com/harriet_tubman/
- World Was II – http://tappmiddleschool.typepad.com/ww2/ – blogs are not based on actual people but on historical events and fictional people
- Students could research a part of the world and write a blog entry as a person who lives there explaining what life is like. Other students could comment on the entries and ask extension questions.
- Create a blog that represents a side of revolution. The Texas rebels could use the blog as a way to communicate the latest in the war effort against Mexico and what has happened. Students could write the entries or the teacher could also post entries that the students have to respond to.
This is just basic ideas to get the ball rolling. More ideas?