Introduction

I'm Chris Pastro, a member of John Shauer's summer Web 2.0 class. I'm currently teaching ELP (formerly known as Gifted and Talented) at Randy Smith Middle School in Fairbanks, AK. I'm learning about a whole new world of technology communication, tools, and how to engage students in discussions about technology privacy issues.

Favorite Web 2.0 Tools

Here are some of my favorite Web 2.0 tools:
  • Blogger: I was able to set up a blog. I'm still having a hard time justifying the time this blog might take. I see this as a great tool for new teachers who are working with a mentor or a group of mentors.
  • Wikispaces for Teachers: I set up the YOUCREATE wiki for students to post and comment on their own and other projects: http://youcreate.wikispaces.com/. Will I use it as a home-page for my classes? Yes, I'm convinced! Now that I have it started, I'll reformat and set up my webpage with a link from our school web page. I still feel like we need to standardize our home pages in one place–on our school home page for students and families. I really like the way this school uses wiki world. Check out http://westwood.wikispaces.com/ I'm also thinking about a "student inventor/writer/ problem solver/artist/ of the week" to highlight on this page.
  • VoiceThread: I'm loving this one. I've started two projects and I just need time and your help to iron out the basic format. You can now export VoiceThreads! Any class or student VoiceThread can be exported to a movie that can be burned onto a DVD or shared offline with parents. All educators can order archival exports at 50% off, $10 for 10 exports. All annual class subscriptions include 30 exports, while schools get one for each user account.You can check out what I've started at
  • Photo Sharing: I started a flickr account with a few photos of artwork I created at the Art Institute last summer. You can see it at http://www.flickr.com/photos/27320237@N04/. I hope to create a photo sharing account to highlight photos of student projects to help tell the story of what my students create individually and as a team. I visited http://www.flickr.com/photos/honeycreektech/ and liked the way this technology teacher documented student work and progress during the year.

Web 2.0 Integration Project

I'm planning to use the Voice Thread tool for a place based research project next year. We'll research the history of our school. Students will interview the architects, former and current administrators, teachers, students, secretaries, custodians, coaches, and artists who have made an impact on the history of RSM. In addition, I hope to have students document their ELP projects using Voice Threads. I will share the Permission to Publish paperwork with parents at our Back to School night and try to get them signed at the beginning of the year.

Purpose

The objectives of the history project are:
• Students will demonstrate interview skills and writing skills as they conduct interviews and write essays.
• Students will demonstrate photography and technology skills as they take photos, upload photos, and narrate photos using Voice Threads technology.
• Students will understand copyright issues and cite resources.
• Students will create a Voice Threads account that tells the story of their school.
• Students will discuss Permission to Publish and technology privacy issues with parents/guardians.

Audience

The audience will include current and former students, teachers, administrators, parents, and staff members.

Essential Questions

• Who are the important characters in our school's story?
• What makes our school learning community unique?
• How will our school be remembered by future generations?
• What stories could the walls of this school tell?

Standards

Alaska Technology Standards
1) convey ideas to a variety of audiences using publishing, multi-media, and communications tools
2) use communications technology to exchange ideas and information
3) use technology to explore new and innovative methods for interaction with others.
4) discriminate between responsible and irresponsible uses of technology
5) respect others’ rights of privacy in electronic environments
6) demonstrate ethical and legal behavior regarding intellectual property, which is the manifestation of an original idea, such as computer software, music, or literature;

Alaska Writing Standards:
1) The student writes and edits using conventions of standard English
2) The student documents sources using MLA guidelines
3) The student revises writing

Thinking Skills

Students will collect and organize information
Students will analyze data
Students will create a Voice Thread and communicate their final product with a diverse audience
Students will evaluate their final product and make modifications as needed
Students will reflect on the process and their own contributions

Assessment

Students will develop a rubric with the teacher. Rubric points will include research skills, work ethic, use of technology tools, and communication skills (writing and speaking). Students will conduct a self assessment and a written reflection about the project.

Links to Project Resources

I have started the Voice Thread account. It is currently set as private. I also set up a generic yahoo email for students to use to create their own avatar.