It's Elementary!

by Jamie Forrest

Step one ~ Final project post October 12, 2010

Filed under: eci831 — Jamie @ 12:51 am

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?



5 Responses to “Step one ~ Final project post”

  1. Lulu Kaliher Says:

    Good approach on setting up the framework for your project. I’m looking forward to see how it comes to creation.

  2. wdrexler Says:

    Have you considered one of the tools available specifically for sharing book recommendations?

    Good Reads –
    Scholastic (for younger students) –
    Spaghetti Book Club –

    These may not meet your exact needs, but you may get some ideas from taking a look.

    Good luck!

  3. karenjanowski Says:

    Here’s a resource you may find helpful from Richard Byrne, a teacher in Maine who has an incredible blog, Free Technology for Teachers. (Where does he find the time to compile all those resources?)

    See if this helps you better understand how to get started with wikis. I highly recommend Wikispaces which is free for educators (meaning – no ads).

    Have fun – see if your students find this to be an engaging, motivating way to share their thoughts to an audience beyond their four walls.

  4. My daughter started a children’s literature project when she was working toward a Gold Award in Girl Scouting… Even though she never finished the Gold award, she still putters around with the catalog. She chose a WordPress blog and it is kind of clever the way she used tags to help filter books/

    The nice thing about WordPress is that you can have multiple authors (readers in your case!) on the blog. You as administrator can give other users various levels of access to publishing. Your students might be assigned the role of “Contributor” which means they can author posts, but not publish them. The “Administrator” (you) would have to approve the publication. Not very “open”… but ensures quality control…

    • Jamie Says:

      Thank you Jennifer! I love your daughter’s website! This is very similar to what I want to do. I have a question for you. Did she write her own book descriptions or are those taken from the back of the book, the publisher, etc?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s