This week, I received approval for my final project topic. Right from day one in the class, I’ve wanted to pick something that would allow for the students in my school to share their book recommendations with each other. I wanted to promote reading while taping into the knowledge that kids, especially the middle years students, tend to value their peers’ opinions more often than those of their teachers. You can read about this idea and some of the videos that have inspired me in the last paragraph of my blog post here. So, in order to make this happen, I have been exploring the idea.
First, I have been talking to people. First, I talked to our teacher librarian. I both wanted, and needed her support to make this project happen. She was immediately on board, but admitted that she has very little technological know-how to be able to help me. She offered to do some book-talks to help promote the project though. I also needed the support of my principal. She was also on board and offered some funds to purchase what I might need. For example, an iPod touch to read the QR-codes. I talked to the IT people downtown who are going to teach me how to edit video and create podcasts. I talked to people in my PLN on Twitter to get their feedback. One of my most valuable PLN members when it comes to books and teaching from a librarian perspective pointed me towards his own library wikispace where students can email recommendations to him and where he will read and recommend. I also talked to some of the students of my school to see if there would be interest in a project like this. I only talked to students of two classes, but I was very happy to hear that there was at least a handful of students in each class who were willing to give it a try and work outside of class time with me.
Next, I need to decide on what kind of tool to use. I have been looking around, trying to decide. At first, I thought I would use a blog. It is would be easy enough to tag entries by their interest level and reading level (according to our new AR system) and then to later search according to those tags. However, I am not sure how to maintain the ability to approve what gets posted without having to post everything myself. I really like the library wikispace I posted above. I just don’t know a lot about how wikis work… I would need to learn more, I think, before I can make a final decision.
So, my questions are: What would you suggest I use? Do you have a good Wiki How-to Manual that you can share?