Week in the Classroom
“Listening to the voices: student empowerment
through collaborative learning projects beyond the school walls”

Sharon Peters
Montreal, QC, Canada
Blog: http://www.mtl-peters.net/blog

Presentation Title
“Listening to the voices: student empowerment through collaborative learning projects beyond the school walls”

Sharon Peters is a secondary English teacher and an educational technology consultant. She recently completed an M.A. in educational technology while working full-time at Lower Canada College in Montreal. Her thesis work was an action research study about online collaborative learning in a blended environment for high school students. Sharon has been an active user of moodle and blogs in the classroom. She also blogs regularly about social computing and educational technology: http://www.mtl-peters.net/blog/ Her three digital native teenagers keep her motivated to explore the use of web 2.0 tools in education and to provide a vision to others about their effectiveness.

Online collaborative learning projects provide students with an authentic audience and a sense of student empowerment by giving them a voice and an opportunity to engage in dialogue and feedback. The Internet has become the read/write/speak/listen web which has the power to connect students in safe, dynamic environments. This presentation will offer a rationale for collaborative online learning projects, the tools available to support the projects, ideas for types of projects, project management and real-life examples of collaborative exchanges. The presenter, from Montreal, Canada, has been participating in online projects for several years with such countries as Israel, New Zealand, Russia, the U.S. and Kuwait. Ideas on how to integrate projects into the curriculum in order to meet standards and guidelines will be offered. Exemplars of evaluation criteria will be presented. The presenter has experience with such online learning environments as Nicenet, moodle and elgg which will also be featured and explained. As much as possible, dynamic content such as screencasts, podcasts and videos will be used and organized on a wiki to make the presentation a richer multimedia experience and to permit comment feedback.


On this day..

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9 Responses to “Week in the Classroom
“Listening to the voices: student empowerment
through collaborative learning projects beyond the school walls””

  1. Floyd Geasland says:

    I enjoyed the discussion you had with your students. When he talked about Web 1.0 compared to Web 2.0 it made me realize I’m a Paper (Web 0.) person comfortable teaching in a Web 1.0, but looking for the “how to” guide for Web 2.0 just like your student. This conference is giving me the definitions and tools I think I will need and be able to use to move into the Web 2.0 world. Most of this gelled as I listened to his conversation. Thanks.

  2. Vicki Davis says:

    I love this presentation. It is truly inspirational. I am going to show it to my administration as we consider going to a laptop campus. It is great to see the environment in your classroom!

  3. […] Original post by Lani for Student News Published by October 26th, 2006 in Student News. Tags: Student News. « 11/7 – Second student appreciation day, Fall 2006 Videos made by a Wis Gally student, Frank Germinaro Jr. » […]

  4. Bob Sprankle says:


    I thoroughly enjoyed this conversation and appreciated the inclusion of student voice in this conference. Kudos to Sonny for his insight and participation. He is the first “digital native” that I’ve heard discuss Friedman’s book and his take on it, and searching for the “next step” was refreshing.

    Bob Sprankle

  5. […] Reflection on: Listening to the voices: student empowerment through collaborative learning projects beyond the school walls by Sharon Peters […]

  6. Cheryl Oakes says:

    I listened to Sonny first and was really impressed with his discussion about The World is Flat. Sonny says, the Internet just goes on and never ends. I like his statement that the Internet Takes interconnectedness and connects all his classes, then makes the application to the real world.
    I like how he uses terms like YouTube, CNN, and wikipedia like they are terms everyone will know, similar to the NY Times. If you are not familiar with those terms you must google them and become familiar with them. Being part of a flat world doesn’t mean it is smooth transition, but rather the road is bumpy with many opportunities for new learning.
    Cheryl Oakes

  7. […] My Eighteenth Post – The Flat Planet Project Begins Well after a few months of planning and discussions the Flat Planet Project is under way. A few months ago I contacted fellow religious education teacher and edublogger Neil and asked if he would be interested in joining my class in an online collaborative project. He jumped enthusiastically on board with the idea and has done a great deal of work to get this project going. (Thanks Neil). I must say even though I searched him out to engage in this process I was a bit worried about how my students would responsd to the idea.  Would they be willing to work with a class in a different country, who were 2 years younger than them (this is a big deal when you’re 17/18)?  But I must say that since the project was introduced the students have been very keen, enthusiastic, and engaged in the whole process.  Today I was talking about the project with some of my students and I told them about some of the places that the wiki and the blog have had hits from and they said they felt a lot of pressure to do well on it because of the global audience, and the judges who will be participating.  They also said that this was motivating them to do well.  Furthermore, they said it was “exciting”!  Ah, now that’s music to my ears! […]


  9. Linda Byrd says:

    Thank you for meeting the varied needs of learners. Your presentations shared an innovative ways for students to share their experiences in using technology for learning and understanding a concept.

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