The "Alice Project"

A 10th Grade Honors English Tour of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland"

Technology January 18, 2010

Here is a quick list of the various hardware and Web 2.0 tools we used during the project:

  • Wireless PC laptops
  • WordPress.com blogs
  • Gmail and Google Docs
  • CoverItLive
  • VoiceThread
  • Prezi
  • YouTube
  • Survey Monkey / Poll Daddy
  • Wikispaces
  • Diigo

Below is a detailed summary of the various technology that helped run the project over the 6 weeks:

* Wireless Laptops:

Our classroom houses 21 PC laptops (approximately 2 years old).

Each student had access to the Internet daily inside the classroom.

* WordPress Blogs:

Using my own non-school WordPress.com account, I created 16 student-team WP blogs; each team had 4 to 5 students.  Each one was entirely set up for the student teams using a standard WP.com theme with sidebar links to all other teams and project-related sites.  Student-teams were allowed to re-configure their own sites as needed both visually and connection-wise.

In terms of access to each blog’s ‘dashboard,’ I remained the primary ‘administrator’ during/after the project.  Students on each team rotated between ‘editor’ and ‘author’ status on a weekly basis.  Editors would have the ability to publicly publish all teammate entries and make moderate corrections to each blog. Authors were able to submit/edit blog drafts, but they waited for their weekly editor to take care of final revisions before asking me to formally publish each entry.

In terms of the design of each student-team site, students could request ‘administer’ status for a limited time.  This allowed them to change themes, work on the CSS (if they knew how to), and organize the layout of various side bar items (et al).

3 of the blogs were never used, kept only in case of a need to divide up a team due to unforeseen events.  This was merely a precaution.

* Gmail & Google Docs

Each student established a Gmail and a Google Docs account at beginning of the school year.  Students used GDocs to collaborate on various blog entry drafts before submitting them for final publication on their team blog itself.

* CoverItLive

Various teams used the live ‘blogging’ (or ‘chatting’) feature of CoverItLive to hold virtual conversations with each other about various topics related to their research and blog entries.  Several teams published their archived chats on their team blogs.

Additionally, we used CoverItLive to live blog the 2-night showing of “Alice” on the SyFy channel at the end of the project.  Outside guests took part in these conversations, too.

* VoiceThread:

Several individuals and teams used VoiceThread to orally narrate discussions re: various images/illustrations related to the story.  Many of these were published on blogs, too.

* Prezi:

Several individual students used Prezi to create ‘zooming’ presentations (as opposed to typical ‘static’ PowerPoint presentations) to analyze the story and various images associated with the story.

* YouTube:

Many students used various YouTube (and similar) videos as a way to analyze various ways that artists/directors have re-created Carroll’s story.

* Survey Monkey / Poll Daddy:

At various intervals during and after the project, students answered a series of questions via Survey Monkey to determine how they felt about the process of the project and their knowledge of the text.

Additionally, students occasionally used on-line surveys like Poll Daddy (which is an extension offered via WP.com) to ask their readers various questions within the body of a blog entry.

* Wikispaces:

The Jurors used a private Wikispaces ‘wiki’ to evaluate and comment upon their student-team blog assignments.

* Diigo:

Jurors also used a private Diigo group access to leave highlighted annotations ‘on’ the actual blog entries that they were evaluating.

 

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