Tag Archives: wiki

Remiss in Posting

If you have noticed that it has been awhile since I have posted regularly to my blog, your observation is correct. On September 27, my mother unexpectedly passed away in her sleep. We were caught off guard completely by the suddenness of it all. We weren’t prepared financially nor with any arrangements that she would have wanted. To work through the grief I created a program and a wiki for family and friends to visit and leave messages. I now realize why people say the funeral service is for the family, not the one that passed away.

One thing we have learned through this tragedy is that each of our families will not be caught off guard. In time, we will all make and voice desired arrangements for funeral or crematory services. It isn’t a subject we like to discuss but it is one that loving parents can do for their children and spouses. We soon discovered the numerous opportunities to be taken advantage of financially during our grief. Having those difficult conversations would have saved us a great deal of heartache, worry, fear and anger during the worst moment so far in forty years of my life.

I am so blessed that I am not teaching this year. I need this time to regroup, heal mentally and emotionally. To stay distracted and focus on other things I am working on very small online things such as microblogging a sentence or question or two. I presented virtually to a distance learning conference in Dallas from teh education service center here in San Antonio. This made me actually get out of the house and force me to focus on preparing for the presentation. Not teaching has cost us a great deal in the terms of spending money, adding to a savings fund, and enabling me to present and attend educational conferences but the payoff has been I now have the time to recoup and evaluate where I want to be next school year. Do I stay semi-retired or do I return to education for year number twenty? Those are all questions I have to answer and the time that I have been given this year to focus on me personally and professionally is priceless.

This past summer I was very selective in the positions that I interviewed for as I didn’t want to just take any position that came along. After spending two years in an oppressed financially and talentwise district I didn’t want to find myself in another less than favorable situation. Each rejection was puzzling but I now see the blessing in each denial and am grateful that things have turned out the way it did.

So for now, I wait. I occasionally send plurks and tweets throughout the day or week. I wait until I have the strength to blog. I wait until I have something I want to say. I wait until some of the pain lessens that I can think clearly enough to write an interesting, informative post. And I wait.

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Are you up for the PBwiki Back to School Challenge?

I am one that is usually up for new challenges and decided to take on “Back to School Challenge” by PBwiki. The feature that intrigued me the most about creating a PBwiki is the feature that students can be invited to use the pbwiki without having an email address.

When you use a wiki, your students get a gentle introduction into online collaboration, and they’ll remain engaged beyond the classroom. Many of our educators tell us about their students getting hooked on PBwiki and editing it from home and on the weekends!

Several months ago I set up a PBwiki for personal use and didn’t like the structure and setup of the pbwiki. The wikispaces and various nings were much easier and met the need at the time. After reading about the challenge from an email, I decided to revisit PBwikis and discovered the ease of the setup and the ability to create pages from pre-created templates. These features made PBwikis definitely worth it to take a second look and set up the PBwiki.

In just a few minutes I had things set up and invited a few users to the wiki. The wiki will be used for educational purposes but I currently have the pbwiki set to private views until I have things set up and ready for public viewing. Regardless of whether you participate in the Back to School Challenge or not, I was extremely impressed with the new PBwikis and the awesome resources available on the site. Even if you don’t use PBwikis, some of the white papers and educational resources are applicable to any type of wiki setup and worth checking out. And if you take on the back to school challenge good luck to you!

It’s About Time

It’s about time! Crazy things have happened and I am now able to devote some time to posting to this blog. Keep checking in or even suggest a topic or question that you would like to see discussed in this forum. I am currently investigating the use of an wiki set up by professional educators to discuss current topics in technology education and the framework “Understanding by Design” to reform and promote positive change in schools.

Taken from the Wiki defining Understanding by Design is:

Understanding by Design is a method for planning using backward design — visualizing the end result (what students should understand) before selecting learning activities.

The link to the wikispace is: http://ubdeducators.wikispaces.com/. Check it out and experience a different form of professional discourse and collaboration. What are your thoughts?