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Moving Google Earth and Cyberbullying 101 To The Wiki

After a few months, and over 200 registrations, using Moodle as the LMS for Google Earth 101 and Cyberbullying 101, I have decided to move the content into my wiki .  The Moodle registration system was becoming very cumbersome because so many email addresses were sending back the registration message as spam.

I am hoping that a wiki environment will allow for a more connectivist approach. A little inspiration from my ECOO session with George Siemens. I would also like to expand out some of the courses over the next few months, with anyone who is willing to help.

Jump into the WIKI

Cyberbullying 101

Cyberbullying Online CourseThere has been quite a bit of media attention around the topic of cyberbullying, much of it geared towards fear mongering.  I was hoping to refocus on awareness and education through the Cyberbullying 101 course.  The idea behind the course is to give educators, schools, parents and students some useful strategies in dealing with this topic.  Banning and blocking web sites may be politically/legally useful to school districts but they are merely pushing the problem deeper. It is my hope that offering ideas, resources, lessons and strategies, through the Cyberbullying 101 course, we can move towards educating students about becoming better internet citizens.  The course is made up of topical wikis, resource documents, feeds, discussions and lessons. 

The module should take 1-2 hours and will be made available for as long as I can afford the bandwidth.  I appreciate any contributions that you make to the course as well as any feedback that you have.

You can register for the course here

This self-guided collaborative course was built to generate a greater awareness of cyberbullying, as well as provide useful strategies for students, parents, classroom educators and schools. 

Estimated Completion Time: 1-2 hours
The enrollment key: cyberbullying101

Moodle Courses …Coming Soon Cyberbullying 101

The Google Earth 101 has started off well, with close to 50 participants joining the course in the first few days. It seems as though the wiki’s and screencast areas are a big hit, whereas the discussion areas have barely been touched. There have been no changes to the topical wikis, where I had hoped to see some changes. You cannot force community on to participants in any online course, so I am thinking of adding a weekly synchronous chat to get some cross-pollination of GE ideas going and hopefully inspire some asynchronous discussion.

I am just finishing up another short 1-2 hour workshop on Cyberbullying 101 that I will make available in the Moodle courses. Unfortunately, it is a little tricky to get audio and video segments (with regards to copyright) that are appropriate and that I can pull into this new course, so it is mostly textual with resource documents, feeds and PDF’s. If you have any classroom stories about cyberbullying that you would like to share, or useful resources, please let me know.

Google Earth 101 Course for Educators … Now Available

Now available! (for as long as I can afford the bandwidth)

This introductory course takes educators through the basics of using Google Earth’s Free Version and looks at classroom integration ideas from K-12. There are over 40 minutes of online videos for educators to familiarize themselves with the application, as well as different opportunities for educators to collaborate through topic specific wiki’s, discussions, and potential synchronous chats.

Feeds from topic specific blogs, a large directory of Google Earth files and a curriculum ideas and resource wiki are just a few of the resource that you will find in this course.

What makes this course different form other online courses is the ability to modify the course content and change the direction of the course through the use of topical wiki’s, discussion and synchronous chats.

When you have completed the course try the different quizzes and see if you have what it takes to be a Google Earth Edumaster.

1. Register for free at:

2. To enrol in the course you will need the enrolment key: googleearth101

Moodle CMS Up and Running

Spent the last little while getting Moodle up and running on the server. I am planning to experiment on a PD model where educators help to create the course as they go through it. (I know – sounds flakey – but if it works :-) )

The idea is to create a structured core of a course with the ability to edit elements within it’s structure. Learners can go through the course passively or actively. A passive participant would read, view, and reflect on the content that they are learning. After or while working through the assignments, an active participant could change or expand on the sections of the course through topical wikis, synchronous and asynchronous discussions. The self-directed collaboration nature of the course will rely on course participants in order to maintain portions of the course.

I am going to start with a sample core course and if it is successful, increase the breadth. Before I open up the course to everyone I would like to get some feedback from a few people. If you are interested in participating in the course please contact me. The length of the course will depend on the participants level of interest and if they are an active or passive participant.

The Teaching Hacks Learning Modules can be found here:

If you would like to try out the sample course contact me here:

Taking a Multi-Modal Approach to Professional Development

One of the errors that I can see with professional development that is currently done in the school systems is taking what I would call a traditional approach. It is a train-the-trainer approach, where teachers aggregate in a central location to receive PD and it just does not work.  The expectation is that once teachers receive professional development on a particular topic or curriculum document that they are going to go back and share this knowledge with their staff.  This may or may not occur in various ways at the school level.

At the school the PD might occur as advice for approaching a particular topic, handing out a few papers summarizing the PD, or perhaps a short in-service or regurgitation of materials presented at various in-services.  What can happen is a misinterpretation of the materials presented or just not informing other educators at all.

As consultants or resource teachers the types of communication modes that are available can be overwhelming. The key is to find a few different modes that you feel comfortable with and keep experimenting with new modes.

Try to include training materials in a learn-on-demand type of approach – create a podcast, screencast, or video of the PD event.  Make the PD available to all educators not just the ones that were able to make it out for the PD session, when they find it useful to them in their teaching.  Provide a method for continuing the lines of communication throughout the year, whether it is a account for sharing bookmarks on the topic, a discussion board, weblog, or an email list.   There should be continued discussion, but also a support network about the PD event.

Personally, I think it should be a requirement for any curriculum document or software product that is available in a school should already include multi-modal training resources and that does NOT mean a PDF manual.

Teachers’ TV

All I have to say is WOW! – “There are currently 653 programmes available to download.â€?

Just go look at it…

eWorkshop-Ontario’s Education Foundation Program

Online professional development offered by the Ontario Ministry of Education through TVOntario. This Flash Based resource concentrates mostly on K-6 teachers by offering self directed learning in Literacy and Numeracy, but there are sections on Leadership which will interest other educators. These workshops are interactive, provide screencasts, and a toolkit containing printable resources is also available.

There will be more modules available as these project develops so keep an eye on this webspace. If you haven’t been there already it is worth a look

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