Nothing tricky here, just local educators getting together once a month at a local coffee shop to share ideas about teaching and learning. The idea came from a group of amazing educators in the Phoenix area and I figured we could get it going in the little valley I live in. So we did. Our mission is simple, "The Verde CyberSalon is dedicated to creating a friendly and open environment for teachers and administrators to share ideas about teaching and technology. We meet monthly at various locations to share ideas and develop community among educators in the area." You can find us here and here.
57 Second Blackboard Tip of the Week
This project has been ongoing and the tips are updated weekly, usually. We were able to add a flash version to our faculty portal tab. The faculty have access to them in an area that they use often. That was a huge leap from emailing them links once a week. The tips have been well received.
Our webletter was originally housed on the YC site, but it lacked the commenting feature so easily done in blogs. After some discussion of other venues, we decided on Blogger and have been pleased with it there. We also had the Webletter added as a channel to the faculty tab in our portal, so like the 57 Second Tips, faculty have it right in front of them often.
I really think that with the things we can do with computers these days, it is important to place a fuller picture of the instructor in online courses. I have presented this at the 2008 League for Innovation in the Community College Innovations Conference in Denver, the League's CIT Conference in Salt lake City, and at a Maricopa Community College conference. The last two are presentations I have given at Yavapai College events like our Summer Institute for teachers and our Staff Development Day.
This course has been developed over the last year by our TELS department. Thus far we have had great success with intorducing instructors to the web 2.0 and we have been in a great position to watch many begin to use the stuff in thier courses. This semester we added all the content that had been locked in Blackboard onto the class Ning site. We are making progress.
K12 Teacher Academy
We just completed our second year of a K12 event we titled "Teacher Academy." The first year we had over 20 participants from all over Arizona. Our second year the focus of the event was web 2.0 technologies and strategies for integration. You can visit the Ning site we used in the class by clicking on the image below.
The TELS Shared Google Reader Items
We use Google Reader as a way to share information with the faculty here and within our offices.