Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A Sandbox for Teachers

When I first came up with the idea of setting up this blog, I just wanted a place for all team members to experiment without the common fear of “spoiling” things. Therefore, we needed an open and friendly space to try things out, while giving our first steps into team blogging. Then, I remembered the sandbox feature in Wikis (another kind of collaborative tool).

According to Wiktionary the first two entries for sandbox are the following:
1. A box used for holding sand, for the purpose of young children playing in it.
2. (Wiktionary jargon) On many Wikis, the sandbox is a page where users are free to experiment with codes without destroying or damaging any legitimate content.

The blend of these two meanings perfectly summarizes the purpose of this blog: to play, experiment and reflect as we discover, share and apply the potential of the Web 2.0 tools to our classes.

Open or Closed?

As soon as I learned about the new feature in Blogger which allows us to restrict the blog to be viewed only by blog members, I thought that option would be a good idea in this case for shy members or first time bloggers in our group. However, as I have learned by taking part in different communities of practice, blogs are ongoing conversations with the world. In the new web, knowledge is built collaboratively, so allowing teachers from all over the world to take part in our experience would give us a unique opportunity to be part of this growing community of educators ready to take the challenge of integrating technology in education. Anyway, this will eventually be for group members to decide as we plunge into this new blogging experience.

EVO Sessions

Finally, I’d like to point out that this idea was born while taking part in two TESOL EVO (Electronic Village Online) Sessions: Blogging for Beginners (B4B) and Becoming a Webhead 07 (BaW07). I’d like to thank all moderators and participants for their immense generosity and their valuable help and inspiration. Special thanks to Gladys, Claudia, Carla A., and Erika (the Blogging Team) for allowing me to learn and collaborate with their group.

Let’s start Blogging then!!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Computer Lab Team

(Click once and then place the cursor on each photo to see the name)