5th 07-08 Technology Integration Learning Academy Session 8 April 2008, 7-9pm

Tonight's Topic: "The Soup de Jour: Personal Learning Networks and Collaboration and Other Stuff"

Jason Neiffer, Facilitator, jneiffer@helena.k12.mt.us


  • We have just two sessions left. The next will be online and take advantage of the district's Moodle server. We will start there tonight.

Thoughts to start us out this week:

  • Hi. :)

PART I: Moodle? Moodle!

What is Moodle?
  • Moodle is an e-learning environment that can be used in face-to-face, e-learning model or hybrid classes.
  • Moodle is free, open source software (meaning that anyone can download a copy and place it on their server for use for free). Moodle IS NOT for downloading to desktop computers, just servers.

Moodle in Helena? Woo hoo!
  • I have been the teacher-leader in this year's Moodle pilot project in Helena. I have used the Moode with all of my classes (AP European, Western Civilization and World Cultures) and ran a 90% online course to those looking for government credit recovery at night school at PAL. (Tour here.)
  • Ryan Cooney (Honors World Cultures at CRA), Mike Agostinelli (Computer Apps at CRA) and Gary Myers (4th at 4Gs) have also used them directly with their students.
  • Although Moodle was designed to provide a comprehensive e-learning solution for schools, it also provides an impressive body of tools for classes that want to an easy-to-setup-and-maintain online solution.
  • Talks are ongoing on options for expanding Moodle through the whole district, include aggressive amounts of professional development.

Let's Moodle up this month!
  • Our last session will start Tuesday, 15 April 2008 and will last just two weeks. The online activities will be posted on the 15th with additional instructions then. There will likely be an element of online presentation (more later) and discussion afterwards.
  • The rules:
    • THIS MUST HAPPEN OUTSIDE OF CONTRACT HOURS (which last 30 minutes before school starts to 30 minutes after school starts). Additionally, you cannot use your lunchtime or preparation time to complete these activities. Be professional, please!
    • YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR COMPUTER ACCESS. If push comes to shove, you can come use my computer lab in the basement of Capital by appointment.
    • FOR THE DISCUSSION COMPONENT, please post early and often. Waiting until the last minute defeats the purpose.
HPS Moodle Server: http://webapp.helena.k12.mt.us/moodle

PART II: Collaboration and The Personal Learning Network in Three Acts

Act One: The Wiki

A definition, to begin:

Wikis in the K-12 Classroom:

Free places to establish wikis
  • WikiSpaces: My preferred provider and a great place to make a good, solid wiki. They now offer free teacher packages that have special features with educators in mind.
  • PBWiki: A really clean, simple wiki

Act Two: Twitter

The Twitter
Cool Cat Teacher's Twitter
Will Richardson's Twitter

Act Three: Social Networking Through Ning

Ning is a social networking site (think "MySpace" and "Facebook") that you can create on-the-fly.

Helena Public Schools TestNing