In a recent comment, Tracy asked for successful 2.0 teacher inservice ideas:
It has to be stuff that will appeal to their sense of personal fun – if I market it as something they have to learn for the classroom, they will never sign up to learn voluntarily. Your suggestions (and those from any other people reading this blog) would be much appreciated.
We did one that worked against the worst odds. (It was, after all, the last week of school and most folks considered cleaning up their classrooms a far more compelling activity.)
About one fifth of our faculty is already hooked on using Web 2.0 applications with learners, our task was to intrigue the others.
We first presented context for 2.0. (Our wiki for the workshop is located here.) And because we wanted our teachers to be able to represent themselves in the activities to follow, we had them begin by creating avatars.
I thought the avatar actitivity would take 15 minutes. I was wrong.
Avatars turned out to be a great hook. Teachers took 45 minutes perfecting their avatars. They explored; they were playful. We took gallery walks. The most serious of our faculty created the silliest avatars. And we learned a little more about each other through our accessories. Little secrets emerged.
Then we brainstormed. After we discussed why we’d all want to use our avatars to represent our contributions to wikis and blogs and forums and nings, a psychology teacher asked, "What if we asked students to create an avatar to represent a particular condition and we had them analyze it?" An English teacher suggested students create avatars for literary characters. They might explain why the avatar represents the character in writing activities. They might blog as their characters.
The next step was creating a wiki for a course, a unit, a teacher’s whole courseload. Teachers brought their avatars with them and began writing and organizing, migrating content they already had in word processing files and presentation files. We used Wikispaces for teachers because it is easy to use and offers teachers ad-free sites. Teachers loved the ease with which they could post Web content.
Later, we got to briefly introduce blogs, our new school ning, RSS, tagging.