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!!


Barbara said...

I really like your blog. I like the pictures and links you have in it. Can you tell me how can I add links in my blog?


Carla Raguseo said...

Hi Barbara!
Thanks for your comment. Let’s see if this helps:
Once in the Dashboard click on the template (plantilla)tab, go to “page elements” and click on the “add a page element” link. A window will pop up with different options. Click on “links list”, enter the links and finally save the changes. It is really fun to customize the template. I am looking forward to week 5 to learn more about it with Claudia.
Carla R.

Our Class Blog said...

Dear Carla,

I'm so glad to see such familiar faces...The connected girls of Aricana! I DO hope our groups in Brasilia and yours can develop even more special international collaborative projects. Count on me at a distance and Erika is there, always eager to do new things.

I'm glad you didn't close this blog because as it is a sandbox it can really be experimental giving you the perspective of sharing and interacting with the world.

Erika and I have been training a lot of teachers and some have gone ahead with the idea.

Maybe, you'd like to see one of the blogs we created for one of the teachers' workshop.
Blog It!

It's our pleasure to have you with us and I'm always thankful for having found you all, my dearest Argentinian partners!

Good luck!


Dennis said...

Hola, Carla.

I'm impressed with your blog!

I especially liked the rationale behind it: "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."

I'm also impressed with the many components that the blog contains.

Kudos for your excellent work!

Dennis in Phoenix

Nina Liakos said...

Awesome idea! Will this be a team blog for all of your lab colleagues? I think it's a great idea, and here's my message to them: I hope the webhead spirit will infuse you all with a desire to play with web tools and eventually to incorporate more of them into your professional lives.
Nina (MD)

Erika Cruvinel said...

Hi Carla
I loved meeting the lab team! I'm sure we will includethem in new collaborative projects this year! There are so many things we can do togehter and this blog is a great place to start coming up with ideas! I was just telling the b4b moderators that I become more and more Argentinean each day for now I have so many friends in Argentina!

Berta said...

Hi Carla, Yhanks for visiting my blog. The mirror effect in the pictures is done using picturetrail. See this post for instructions:
It is very easy to use, just follow your intuition. There are many nice effects there.
CariƱos, Berta

Berta said...

oopphhsss, the code was cut off. Anyway, go to mu blog and look for post on Oct 20. Cheers, Berta

Carla Raguseo said...

Dear Dennis , Nina, and Berta,
Thanks a lot for your encouraging comments. By having you around we will surely be able to learn from the Webhead spirit!

Dear Carla and Erika,
Thanks for sharing your workshop blog with us.
You are already part of the Computer Lab Team. Make yourselves at home!
Carla R.

Gladys Baya said...

Thank YOU, "Carla R"!

This is an incredible staff development tool... Just today I started a Yahoo! group to help those who want to learn about new technologies at the school I work for get together...
We can share successes and failures in our efforts to spread the word. ;-)
Wish we were in the same city, to run to you and give you a BIG HUG

Carla Raguseo said...

Same here, Gladys!
I'd love to share experiences and learn from your multiple projects. You never stop!!
Even though we don't live in the same city, I still look forward to a B4B or LwC f2f meeting.

Let's do it!

Carla R.

Claudia Bellusci said...

"A Sandbox for Teachers". Another bright idea by Carla! Once again you're showing your generosity and helpfulness with your own colleagues at work. Carla, It's us, the "Blogging Team", who have to thank you for taking the challenge of collaborating with this adventure.
I wish you a good experience blogging with your co-workers and students!

Carla Raguseo said...

Dear Claudia,

Eternal thanks for inviting me to join in!
Big Hug,