Mulling over the idea of using a 2.0 tool to support elementary teachers out in the trenches.

We want to use a 2.0 tool to unite our elementary teachers out in the trenches. We have been exploring a few. The wiki seems to be the best shot. We want to get core lessons out to them, curriculum updates, important events, and have a way for them to post questions, concerns and other support. It would greatly help with the mentoring of new teachers. We also want to assess where our teachers are in their technology knowledge. Survey Monkey helped with that.
Anyone out there with more ideas on tool choice, set-up and configuration? Or any other ideas on the subject.

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Barb,

Get them involved here on Classroom 2.0 and in an discussion forums you can find that get them talking professionally among themselves. Let them explain what needs they see, and branstorm how others have solved similar problems. Especially, give them a forum to discuss behavior issues.
Thanks Anne,
I have passed on other sites such as this one as a way for them to discuss and read about items of interest, but we really need a way to unite our elementary art teachers electronically within our district. I really need to know the pros and cons of 2.0 tools for this purpose. Our teachers need to get connected. I was curious how other districts have solved this problem. Not necessarily art teachers, but how they have connected any group of teachers within their district that have common interests.
Thanks, Barb
I'd say a ning like this one is your best bet.
Thanks.
A Ning like this might be a bit much at first for some teachers. I know in my building it would. There is a ton here and it is a great place, but can be overwhelming if you aren't used to social networking sites.

I am using Wikispaces and have just put together a place for teachers.... although not many are taking advantage of it yet. Must be that it is getting to the end of the year and energy levels are tapped. :) You can visit mine and see what you think. It is a work in progress.... http://northteachers.wikispaces.com/ Good luck!
Lisa,

Anything online is going to be overwhelming to some teachers! The wiki looks good, but I really don't see anything for the teachers to do on it.

For those who are ready for this forum, get them on quickly. Word will spread among the teachers if they get good and useful information on here.

Something you could start on your wiki is a place where teachers can post a link that they felt was useful, and perhaps describe what was useful about it and how they used it.

You may want to "seed it" with some links you already know about, and you may want to include my site: http://www.educationalsynthesis.org which has a lot of resources for elementary classes, especially the lower grades (lots of alphabet resources under Language Arts). You can tell you teachers that if they can identify a resource need (online or print), and if I can do it, it will be there for them when they need it. The extensive stuff on Predator and Prey in science (and under lessons, on Professional), came about because I teacher I used to work with said she was having a hard time finding good resources. I am always adding new stuff to the site, and will announce on here when the new edition of the monthly newsletter is posted with links to all the new stuff added that month.


PS: For those teacher ready to be on here, suggest that they turn on the notification of new discussions and replies to discussion they are interested in. They can set up a folder in the mail system, and make a "rule" in outlook (or whatever in another mail program), so that all the notification go into an incoming folder that the teacher can look at as a group once a day or every few days.

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