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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  1. Anonymous11/3/06 23:45

    Now that you mention it I remember reading about that! (Although I've never seen it myself .... yeah, now I remember, Alan got a phone call from his mom. I thought that was brilliant!)

    Sometimes I'm like a sponge; I read stuff from so many different sources I forget where I stumbled across it. ;-)

  2. Anonymous12/3/06 05:10

    Darren, this is a great idea. I am intending to do a presentation about Blogging As Professional Development with two other Adelaide edubloggers, Bill Kerr and Al Upton and this would help our planning. Our presentation would probably borrow heavily from other ideas all over the edublogosphere (including yours!) so the plug and play wiki would work a treat. For example, we might want to skype in a fellow blogger during a presentation from North America or Europe which would be directly stealing your idea from OLE. But we'd feel better if it was a suggested method or component of a Blogging workshop - hope this idea gains momentum. Where might you start it up - how about at Shifted Learning?

  3. Anonymous12/3/06 09:19

    You, Bill and AL are giving a workshop together? I wish I were there. ;-)

    Like I said in my post, all this "web 2.0" stuff is really about the power of collaboration; go ahead and use any of my ideas in your workshop -- I'm flattered. I don't really think of it as stealing. The way I see it, if we really wanted to maintain proprietary rights to our ideas we wouldn't blog them. We all benefit far more by working together.

    This would be a great idea for Shifted Learning! It's gotten quiet about that, perhaps your suggestion will encourage some movement there. ;-)

    And as far as skypeing in visitors from afar goes -- I highly recommend it. It's always a real eye opener for people who are not yet part of our community to see/hear skype in action. If you use Gizmo you can also record the call. ;-)


  4. Great Stuff !

    I taught a Web 2.0 seminar this weekend to the 32 Elementary Principals in my district. I had 2 hours 7 pm - 9 pm. It was the kickoff session for a 3 day retreat in Leavenworth, Washington.

    Not only did they experience Whiplash...but also headaches, upset stomach, & dizzy spells...I think it was my presentation style...I could have used this stuff.

    Count me in, for selfish reasons. :)

    Skype = GEMalone...I'm a rookie skyper and have a small contact list...but size isn't important :)

  5. Anonymous12/3/06 15:04


    As usual, you're up to some good thinking and doing. A nice combination. I'm wondering, too, about all the re-creation that each of us is doing as we try to "spread the love" of these tools and their classroom potential. I'm interested to see what develops. I just put in a couple of hours of work on the EdTechTalk wiki, and I think that a site like that or like yours (or both) is important. The question becomes -- are they doing the same thing or a different thing? How can we build tools that will help everyone?

  6. Anonymous12/3/06 16:21

    Hi Darren,

    What a cool concept! Mind if I observe online on Friday?

    Here's a link to some of the resources I've gleaned in the last week or so on wikis and podcasting: http://nlcommunities.com/communities/joevans/articles/Podcasting_and_Wiki_Links.aspx

    You likely have all of the information already but thought I'd shoot it your way just in case.

    Also this joke from the CJOB joke page:
    At Heathrow Airport an individual, later discovered to be a public school teacher, was arrested trying to board a flight. He was in possession of a compass, a protractor, and a graphical calculator.

    Authorities believe he is a member of the notorious al-Gebra movement.

    He is being charged with carrying weapons of math instruction


    John Evans -another MB teacher

  7. Anonymous12/3/06 22:41

    Glen: Glad to have you along. ;-)

    Bud: As always, you've articulated the issue more elegantly and succinctly than I could have. I haven't seen the EdTechTalk wiki ... I'll have to check it out before Friday. ;-)

    John: Glad to have you there. At the end of the first hour I'm picking up on an idea I got from Brian Lamb; I'm going to create a Muddiest Point page on the wiki and have participants learn how to edit a wiki while at the same time sharing their "muddiest points." Until then, it might not be much to watch. But y'know what would be real cool? If you (or anyone else who reads this) edits the wiki in real time in response to the things that they write. Hey, how would you like to do that? Check in at about 2:30 pm (central time) if you're up for it. ;-)

    Chris: You've nailed the exact image I was thinking of ... that's the nature of the audio I'm going to embed on the homepage. ;-)

  8. Hello Darren,

    I've been reading your blog for a couple months now and always learn useful stuff from you and the other 40 educational bloggers I get feeds from.

    I would love to collaborate on a project like this. I am preparing to do several similar workshops within the next few weeks at my college and then will likely take the show on the road to some other Minnesota colleges over the next year.

    The shared wiki would be not only a great tool for organizing the presentation materials, but also an excellent example of the power of a wiki which should help drive home the point of the workshop being given.

    Count me in if there is anything I can do other than use your materials. :)

  9. Anonymous13/3/06 09:44

    Welcome aboard Barry!

    Here's how to move this idea forward:

    Use my stuff, contribute some of your own, whenever you give a session using this stuff record the audio (you can upload it to Ourmedia.org (sign up for a free account to get unlimited storage of all your stuff; forever)) and post it to the wiki.

    Over time I imagine this growing into a living example of what Web 2.0 is all about and a resouce with a variety of speakers sharing their knowledge and expertise with the world.

    Now if that doesn't sound grandiloquent I don't know what does. ;-)

  10. Wow, cool. I just blogged (and furled and delicioused) your Whiplash post and the site that goes with it. I'm planning on making a couple of presentations of the kind you describe - an overview of what's availabe and why use it - later this year, and I'm tagging sites that have ideas, quotes, and/or examples of good presentations that I could use. Not quite your 1-wonderful-wiki idea, but close. I'd definitely be interested in what you suggest, tho I don't have much to contribute at the moment. The presentations I'm doing will be reports, just 30 minutes, not hands-on workshops (I'm working on one of those, too).