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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Do You Walk the Walk?

What do you get when you mix ISTE and NASA resources, a select group of educators from across the globe, and a challenge to create educational artifacts for teachers and students to learn about the Magnetospheric MultiScale Mission (MMS)?
You get educators walking the walk- incorporating web 2.0 tools and networking skills to build an international learning community – starting with a base camp at the Iste-Nasa Cyber CafĂ© Wiki and branching out to use Edistorm , Skype, google docs, Voice Thread and other tools  just to begin.  What a great learning experience to explore and utilize the capacity of some of these tools.  It increased my skills, exposed me to some great new tools and ways to use some old ones.  It also taught me the power of online collaboration with like and unlike minded educators.
 The results?  A series of showcases waiting to be unveiled on March 27th at a synchronous celebration. 

Sneak Peak
I can share a little of ours now.  I had the pleasure of working with Jennifer Miller and her students in Dublin Texas and Tom Chambers a teacher of technology applications from Houston, Texas.   We put together the “Take the MMS Challenge” which features student research, application of the scientific method and culminating in students working as engineers, physicists, artists, or journalists to help others understand why the MMS mission is relevant in our everyday lives.
Our project can be found in this livebinder  with teacher guides, student activities, resources, web 2.0 tools and enrichment activities.  Feel free to get in there and “test pilot” the project or individual activities.  We would love your feedback!
Interested in introducing your kids to the mission, the Collaborize Classroom library has custom made questions in their library ready to go with links to some great videos and current events.  Great way to get kids reading informational text and writing for an audience!  Want to go further?  Try out the new SCAN lesson designed to get students to explore the relevance of the mission from different points of view.   “Space Exploration and You: SCAN The NASA MMS Mission” is a new free SCAN scenario designed to get kids thinking from different perspectives about the relevance of the mission. 

Now what?
Needless to say, it was a wonderful experience to walk the walk and integrate all of these tools to successfully make a professional learning community that spanned across the globe.  I am wondering how educators create these wonderful communities of learning for their students but do not create the same for their colleagues? 

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