Yes, People are Watching!

I received this email yesterday. i love getting messages like this because it validates the work we do with cyberenglish.

Diane Carter []
You replied on 11/18/2008 10:33 AM.
Sent: Monday, November 17, 2008 6:23 PM
I have just learned how to use wiki spaces and can’t wait to use them in my classroom. I know just enough to be dangerous, but I can see all sorts of potentials! I just came from your wikispace after reading the message to wiki fans on the talkies list serve.
You obviously know what you are doing. I am wondering if you would answer a few questions and give me any guidance you think I might need.
Did you get parental permission before having kids create their own wikispace?
Any problems with school administrators? I noticed your space has no details about where your school is, your kids’ last names, etc.
Did you have problems from your tech people giving students assess to sites like youtube?
Thanks for your response,
My response:
RE: Wikispaces
Paul Turtola
Sent: Tuesday, November 18, 2008 10:33 AM

thanks for writing to me about wikispaces. i have been a big fan of them for a couple years now and  really like what they can do to promote learning. maybe once you are up and running we can have our scholars collaborate. i teach freshman and junior english as well as creative writing. maybe we can do something on a piece of literature or even just let the kids use peer review for some of their writing.      

 i’ll try to answer your questions:

1. no parental permission was necessary. in the beginning of the year parents sign an acceptable use agreement for all internet work their child will do in school. there are some rules we have to follow per district policy like not having pictures of the kid or the last name. i also show them the wikis and blogs on parent’s night so that they see the value and power of such technology.

2. as far as youtube videos go, we have them blocked here at school. i show kids how to convert youtube files (appropriate ones, of course) using a program called zamzar, and this allows their embedded videos to be shown.

the zamzar link is shown at the bottom of my website, which you can access by clicking on the link below my name. i hope this helps, and like i said, maybe we can collaborate.

paul turtola



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