Sunday, December 11, 2005

Raw Materials for the Mind, pages 82-107

Reflection on Pages 82-107 from Raw Materials for the Mind, by David Warlick; ISBN 1-4116-2795-4.

Tools for Internet Collaboration:

* Address Groups
* Mailing Lists
* Yahoo!Groups Web Page
* Video/Audio Conferences
* Wikis
* Virtual Worlds
* Multi-User Domains (MUDs)
* Safety Issue - Viruses

My initial feeling about all these tools is that it does seem a bit intimidating to get them up and running. Many of the high school kids that I work with simply don't have the access to computers needed to implement these tools. Of course, I have heard of schools that are providing all their students with laptops, but that is not my school. My school hasn't provided me with a laptop, and I wish that they would.

I do feel that one or more of these tools could be implemented with possibly interesting results. Another issue is that the instructions on which websites to go to in order to set up these tools may be out of date considering the high turnover rate on the internet. I will see if the recommended multi-user domain is still up and running. This is called Tapped In.

Well, Tapped In is definitely there. I even opened an office for use in Monday night's class. It is listed as WilliamV's office. I wandered around in the virtual TI campus for a while and then in my office for a while. It has a homey feel. I was even able to change my office decor, which was amusing. I hope that the discussion area inside my office proves useful as I try to teach class tomorrow.

Back to the "tools" of this section of Raw Materials: All of them seem to require a little research and preparation to implement. This is nothing new to teachers and (with the needed equipment) could provide at least a novel educational experience for students. That in itself is helpful to instruction. The Raw Materials gives simple, to-the-point instructions along with the author's opinions and advice on how to use the various materials. All in all, helpful and comprehensible.

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