AM 8:50 I'm pumped, shocked and busy. I can't believe that I so quickly got things going in the class this year considering new classrom, students, school and so many hardware issues. I got things working on Friday, and today is the first moment of class use.
I just used them in my reading class, ironically, and it went OK. Kids were excited to finally use those cool things in front of them under the glass ports.
Went well: New, "homebase position"-- (ran out of time--this is now being written 9 hours later and it aint so fresh) esp. the point about space for the heat to leave the computer area. Having students put things back into the homebase position at the end of class felt like them being stewards, not simply workers.
Their task got them onto wikitionary and I think it might have been a bit of too wide open seas for them. The cooperative aspect of discussing the definition and seeing which one works best in the context of the book was too authentic. I needed to start out with something a bit more contrived so I could focus on either the cooperative aspect of: sharing ideas, testing fits, working on win-win decisions; the conceptual aspect of: using the wikimedia interface--knowing the difference between the different kinds of word qualifiers--knowing how to hypothesize and test fits of concept to the actual context. OK etc etc so this wasn't my best activity. Anyway, students are introduced to the concept of the service as well as a couple of the challenges of using the site and that is good, and they got a chance to reflect on the class.
Now, moving on to Science Class--I'll have to write this at a time more immediate to the actual teaching. Manana...