Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Link to Wiki: John Metzler's Wiki

Brainstorm ideas for how you might use a wiki in your classroom or school (clubs / teams) to create a meaningful project for collaboration and learning.

A wiki could be used as a means of collaborating and providing each other with resources that some may know about, but others may not. It could also be a place where students provide each other with notes from class (if a student is absent), or where they collaborate on how to solve a problem. Additionally, it would be a place where they study information for their final, since they will have created a large collection of resources.


How is an LMS (Moodle) different from a standard teacher website? As you work with Moodle, what advantages do you see it affording your students? How can Moodle help you transform your classroom into a more student centered learning environment?

I have been tempted to work with Moodle many times. However, each time I work with it, I become more and more frustrated. While some parts of Moodle are well designed and student centered (opportunity for self-directed lessons, online quizzes), they are extremely time consuming and inefficient for teachers to use. Additionally, the simple upload of documents to Moodle is time consuming and takes an enormous amount of time to get done. While it is possible to just "upload a google doc," I don't find this to be a fix. I just find this to be a way out of a poorly designed system.

As far as what advantages it affords my students, I can not see many other than it is organized quite clearly. However, a teacher website can be just as organized for students. It can provide resources for students in a similar manner and it takes less time to make things happen. The only real advantage to Moodle is the opportunity for the self-directed lessons. Though, I do not believe this is necessary beneficial for ALL students and many would not benefit from it. Because of this, it is difficult to justify putting in the hours upon hours of time necessary to create an effective lesson.


Reflect on how the concept of Open Source content is compatible with educational philosophies such as the concept of the democratization of knowledge and development of an educated population.

Open source content is compatible with educational philosophies that emphasize the democratization of knowledge because no one person owns the software, and it is free and available for all to use. Since this is true, anyone can work on the code associated with the software, which leads to larger collaboration amongst the developers of the software. Since there is more collaboration, improvements are continually made as they are needed.

Those who use FOSS are generally free to make comments about the software and ask for things to be done with it, if they are not capable themselves. Some FOSS is very beneficial (such as Physlets), but some is a cheap version of a more technologically advanced software. While this is usually the case, generally the FOSS works, just not as smoothly or presentable as the more technologically advanced software. Still, everyone has access to the FOSS regardless of socioeconomic status, whereas only a certain percent have access to the most advanced software.

Cloud Learning

This post is done as part of the reflective portion of a technology course:

Link to Cloud Learning Lesson: Metzler's Google Doc

Post a reflection of your experience. List potential instructional situations where synchronous meetings would lead to innovative or improved learning experiences for your students. Post comments to two new colleagues' blog posts.

I have used Google Docs before in my class as a way for them to collaborate on specific things, like data attained from a lab. Students are then able to do a much more in depth analysis of the conclusions and implications based on this data and evidence they create. The idea to use a google doc as a way to initially address what students know and don't know about something is new for me. However, I feel it could be a powerful assessment for me, and the students are essentially "anonymous," at least to my students after the document has been closed to them. I plan to use this and, if it goes well, I think it could improve the learning experiences of my students and could increase the formative assessment the students give me.