Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Collaboration Game

I've been thinking about it for years . . . it's finally time to do it.

Here are some of the ideas for how to "play" with another class of middle schoolers, then the next step will be to hook up with those classes and see how it works.

Ground Rules:
  1. Each student should operate under a teacher-approved nickname and never reveal Name, Age, or Location . . . even though the game forum is private. Practice digital citizenship wisdom.
  2. Students should not, within the game forum, arrange to meet outside of the game forum. This includes giving email, phone, or other contact info.
Although there will be other discussions that students are able to weigh in on any time and with any frequency, some of the forums will be for the playing of games.

Guessing Game:
  1. Choose the as a group something for the other group to guess. Your goal is to find something that they can guess within 5 guesses . . . if it takes them longer than that you haven't done your job well.
  2. Choose a category: local animal, vegetable, building, or geographical landmark.
  3. Create 5 clues that will lead the other group to it, then post the first clue and category in the games discussion forum.
  4. The other group can ask 2 YES/NO questions each day, one or both of which may constitute a guess at the answer.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Dabbling in Google Earth

On my list of SuperNeatToolsToLearnNEXT is Google Earth--it is with chagrin that I admit that my experience is shallow with this amazing tool (for now). But I am changing that, and I want to point out a great resource that demonstrates how to use GE in the content area of Language Arts.

Google Lit Trips is a fun idea . . . interactive webquests with beefy features.

Here's a good .kmz file that I will show the teachers at my school in August: My Brother Sam is Dead.

Download the KMZ file, then open Google Earth and select File | Open and choose that downloaded file to open. I'd turn off many of the default layers and labels so that the data for My Brother Sam is Dead is nice and visible. Fun stuff.