Whiplash!

3/11/2006 01:10:00 pm

In the last two months I've done 4 workshops, or rather I've redone OLÉ and Rip, Mix, Learn. Next Friday our school is having their annual technology PD day and I've been asked to do two workshops. The morning will be an OLÉ/"Let's Build A Blog" double header and in the afternoon I'm doing something new (for me). It's called Whiplash!

Whiplash! is a fast paced introduction to several read/write web tools that teachers and students can use in and out of the classroom. It's my first workshop on a wiki. Here's the format: An alarm is set to ring at 10 minute intervals; 5 tools, 10 minutes each. At the end of the first hour I expect everyone will have whiplash!

The audio will be recorded and published to the wiki so anyone can come back to listen and participate at their leisure. I'll cut it up into 10 minute chunks and post each one to the relevent section of the workshop. The second hour is where participants can recover and pursue a guided/self-directed exploration of the tool(s) of their choice.

I've heard the word whiplash used several times to describe how workshop participants feel after a fast web 2.0 overview. I came up with the title after reading a post of Alan's he wrote after his 2nd (3rd?) podcasting workshop -- something just clicked.

Alan continues to be a major influence on my thinking about the meaningful use of technology in education. I was heavily influenced by his recent offering: New Learning Technologies Buffet. At first blush it looks like a list of links he used as prompts in his presentation and to provide an after the show resource for folks who wanted to come back afterwards to digest things at their own pace. But he's clever that Alan, look at the survey tool he built into the presentation under the Introduction and Overview section and again at the end of the Break. How's that for tailoring your presentation to your audience? Thanks to Darren Cannell, I put a survey tool into my workshop too. ;-)

Anyway, that really got me thinking. There are a number of people doing these overview type presentations all over the place: Alan, Will, Brian, D'Arcy, David, Bud, Clarence (he's the best; he does ALL this stuff with his students!), Dean, Anne, Lani, Leigh, Jim, and many more. Now the way I see it, the underlying theme to harnessing the power of all these tools is collaboration. Wouldn't it be cool if we had a modular, plug and play workshop that we all contributed to? Anyone could edit it and tweak it to their personal preference whenever they gave the workshop becasue all versions are automatically saved on the wiki. Wouldn't it also be cool to have the audio of everyone's presenation archived on the site so that anyone could visit at their leisure and listen to a variety of perspectives on how to integrate read/write tools into their teaching? Wouldn't it be facinating to see what happened when two or more people were giving the same workshop on the same day and how the two groups and presenters interacted with each other in real time?

When this idea first occured to me it struck me as very exciting. As I continue to work on Whiplash! it struck me that organizing materials for a presentation is a very personal thing; everyone has got their own personal style. I thought I'd throw the idea out anyway and see what comes of it. If the idea has merit we'll end up with a modular, plug and play workshop made by people from all over the blogosphere. If not, then this post will be quietly ignored. ;-)

I'm still assembling material for the workshop so it's unfinished. I'll probably finish it sometime this weekend (like late Sunday night) and continue to "tweak" it until Thursday night. If anyone else would like to play along the password to edit the wiki is, you guessed it: "whiplash!" (Don't forget the exclamation mark.)

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