Monday, July 30, 2007


On page 15 Siemens defines connectivism as "the assertion that learning is primarily a network-forming process."

There is no doubt that web 2.0 tools can aide in connectivism, and that connectivism is desirable in the classroom. The battle for any teacher is, and always has been, getting his or her students to make connections among nodes of knowledge. This usually requires a certain degree of emotional involvement on the part of the student. Web 2.0 tools can certainly aide in creating an environment for emotions to become involved so that connections and learning can occur, however to assume that because a teacher is having his or her students blog or enter data on a wiki as opposed to discuss in class or create more "traditional" projects in the classroom setting that said teacher's students are engaging in connectivism and learning.

The challenge to us teachers still remains that of relevancy. Students can just as easily mindlessly blog or enter information within a wiki as they can mindlessly journal or fill out a worksheet. No matter what tools we use, it will be crucial to create relevancy for our students.

There is no doubt that packaging the information in a way that is familiar to students helps and that is why I'm immensely excited about using web 2.0 tools during this upcoming school year.

second life

So I created my alter persona for second life, downloaded the program, and as i was signing on to my session, anxious to discover what second life is all about and what it has to offer, my internet connection went down.

This was of course frustrating. The initial frustration was born of the inability to see what was up with second life...the secondary frustration was, "i hope this doesn't affect me adversely grade-wise."

I think this is one of the perceived problems with utilizing web 2.0 tools....i think a lot of teachers are afraid of technical failures and difficulties. We all know how to, and are taught to, have a contingency plan, but it's frustrating when one puts in so much effort towards something only to have it postponed or even fail due to circumstances beyond one's control.

However, living in fear is no way to advance...whether it's fear of a technological break down or fear of a more standard teaching exercise working, we must continue to take risks.

I hope to get on second life when the connection is up to speed (i'm writing this from the library...) and check things out for myself.


So as I sat down to create my first podcast, i came to a road block immediately: what do i say? Its hard to think of something that's "podcast worthy" for lack of a better term. After some contemplation, I decided to do a music review...or preview rather. I decided to do this because I wanted the challenge of integrating music into the podcast.

I integrated the music, but I think i did it the easy way....I simply played the music and recorded it via my cpu's internal mic as opposed to importing the actual mp3. I was happy with the end product, but i ran into another roadblock...

When i attempted to upload my podcast to gcast and podomatic, neither site would take my podcast. I thought perhaps it was because my podcast was in aif format as opposed to mp3. Right now i'm trying to figure out how to convert my aif. file into an mp3 file and maybe that will work.....

and ideas?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

new wiki

I've begun to create a wiki via wetpaint for my upcoming AP comparative government course....any ideas, suggestions, let me know!

comparative government

I'm hoping to utilize the latest web 2.0 tools in teaching my AP Comparative Government class....

I'm currently using Google Reader to Monitor Ken Wedding's Comp. Government Blog and it has already been extremely useful.

I'm curious though if there is a way for me to save certain blog entries via my Google Reader in a folder...because many great things are popping up on russia, but i may not get to russia till May!

Monday, July 16, 2007


I've enjoyed reading Knowing Knowledge by George Siemens.

His discussion of knowledge acquisition is concise and clear. I'm a big fan of his "connectivist" view of knowledge acquisition. I feel it accurately describes how we use and acquire knowledge without falling into the trap of relativism.

Such an explanation also serves to reinforce the value of web 2.0 tools in the classroom.

two point woah

first of all...not sure if that's the correct spelling on "woah"

So there's all this knowledge available, all these resources, and all the arguments / rationallizations / legitimizations regarding teaching and the web tools available make perfect sense. The problem of course is creating relevancy for our students.

In my mind the most difficult thing about using these web 2.0 tools will be determining the "proper tool and approach", as stated by George Siemens in Knowing Knowledge (p. 41), to use in order to most effectively and efficiently create relevancy.

At this point...i'm wide open to suggestions from anyone who has experience with these tools and their application in regard to teaching....

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

writer's block took me WAY too long to contemplate the name of my blog....only to settle on "Mr K's musings" ????