Montreal, QC, Canada
“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.