Connected Pro-D

The Hub of My Final Project

Posted in ECI Final Project by tchcruiser on November 28, 2009
Tags: , ,

Hub Cap

Originally uploaded by Heaven`s Gate (John)

Thanks to some comments and feedback and the chance to “think outloud” about what I really wanted for my project, I have decided to use a wiki format as the main hub for all my work, and then branch out from there to my blog for the reflective pieces, links to resources, etc. I am finding my time this weekend putting some meat to the site has been fairly easy going and wikispaces is quite easy to work with. However, with that said, I am finding it does have its limitations – namely that I am unable to find easy ways to move text and pictures around the page and have been frustrated at times with that. I think the only way around it is to select the alignment for the picture and text separately. Too bad they did not have text boxes that could then more easily wrap around images. 😦

Here is the link to what I have designed so far –

If any of you have a few minutes to provide some feedback as to what you think might be improved (other than getting some content onto most of the pages!) I would welcome any feedback. I set it for PUBLIC so that anyone is welcome to edit each page – please add any links or resources you know of that apply to each area and let me know what you think so far. It is a mammoth project, I am finding out, and clearly the first steps in a career-long endeavour. But you have to start somewhere, and it is in this project where I can see the benefits of SHARING and COLLABORATION as others come in, give a bit of what they know, and take also what they can.

If you know of any other similar sites that might be a resource for me to look at for formatting ideas, ways to display links, document files, etc, I would love to see them. My idea is to try and get not only static links, but also embed some media on as many of the pages as I can. This will be my ongoing work now, as it feels like it is set up roughly the way I want it for now…. until I see something better and get ideas from other places. I really wanted to add images to each page to help bring in some interest rather than just links, as that is boring. That took A LOT of time – much more than I thought it was going to. But I also am easily distracted by all the amazing art work out there!

Wish me luck!

Piecing My Final Project Together

Posted in ECI Final Project by tchcruiser on November 23, 2009
Tags: , ,

When a Body catch a Body

Originally uploaded by ms_quarantine

I liked this image as a way to capture my current frustrations around my final project this week. I usually enjoy spending a ridiculous amount of time putting jig saw puzzles together and am finding that creating the space I want to build for my final project is feeling much like it does when you first dump the box of pieces on the table and start sorting. You have a really good idea about what the final end picture or product should look like, and what components and pieces you will need to achieve it. But what is still nebulous and challenging is finding out which of those pieces need to be connected, and how they should be connected, in order for the entire thing to come together. This is where I am at with my final project. Let me outline the basic premise and then perhaps you might provide some ideas and suggestions to help me select the best pieces for the best fit.

Project idea: continue to expand and build upon ECI 831 blog space for professional development personally and for my work as a consultant to help support other teachers who want to connect to professional development readings, links, discussions and other content.

Rationale: I have to read professionally and respond to books in book circles, PLC groups and other areas. I could record my reflections and thoughts about what I was reading in this space, and invite other teachers in my division and world audience to also respond and participate, lessening the need to drive long distances to still participate and feel part of the conversation and learning.

I also am asked to locate and share resource links and materials with teachers in my division. I would like to do this work once, and then store these links in a more permanent fashion with others more effeciently and easily than by one-one emails.

I would also like to share my collaborative efforts and professional growth (required formally in my PGP and informally because I am interested in recording this in a more public way) with others in a more transparent way. Telling someone else and knowing that others are watching for results is a powerful motivator for me to actually carry out my plans and goals for the year.

1. Use the blogspace already created to act as my “homepage” and make more pages/categories to extend the topics, subject specific curricular areas and professional growth areas of interest beyond ECI 831.
2. Connect to other sites that do a better job of housing links and media (such as a wiki site for links that others can contribute to) and youtube channels for videos, etc.

As I am working at this, I am wondering of I should not use a wiki as the home page instead and connect out to the blog, as Alec has modelled with our course. Although basic and not as fancy, it does seem to offer more flexibility for linking to so many other forms of social media. Maybe it is just the blog site I have chosen, but the more I try and get indepth with wordpress, the more it is not working for me. I am feeling flashbacks of working with Joomla- not at all intuitive. 😦 Does anyone else feel the same way or have ideas about how I might piece together my parts for reflection on professional readings, useful links to websites and resources, and connections with media in a neat, tidy and efficient manner?

The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of using a wikispace as the main hub, and branch out from there. It does allow others to add easily to the work in progress as they find things (kind of in keeping with the “find a penny, take a penny” container at the cashier…). I know I like to feel helpful and a contributor to someone else’s journey and not always be taking, taking, taking. That is the beauty of the wiki vs the blog. And am I right in thinking that not all parts of the wiki needs to be open to the world? That you can lock areas that you want to not be changed?? If so, then maybe this is the way forward?

Who has got the missing pieces of my puzzle? And if you have one, would you please share it?!