Session 1 Orientation & Introduction - June 7, 2011

Clipart Image 11154
Clipart Image 11154

Welcome and Overview
  • Please open and read the C**//ourse Overview and Expectations//**. It is important for every participant to understand what is required of them before they begin this program.
  • Please also take time to review the course syllabus, the norms for discussion, final project rubric, and other course documents above.
  • After you have read the Essential Questions listed below, complete tasks 1.1 through 1.7 for this session.
Essential Questions
1. What are the essential skills for success in the 21st century?
2. How can a virtual notebook be a valuable tool for our students?

1.1 Survey
Before starting the course it is important to guage where you are in terms of your technical knowledge. Please select the link below and complete the pre-survey:
Link to Survey

1.2 Forum Post
Briefly brainstorm your initial vision of a 21st century classroom.

1.3 Readings: Massachusetts Technology Literacy Standards and The National Educational Standards and Performance Indicators for Teachers and Students

The Massachusetts Technology Literacy Standards defines what K–12 students should know and be able to do in order to use technology for learning. The teaching and learning of these skills will be integrated into your content area lesson in your final project.

The International Society for Technology in Education is an organization that promotes improving teaching and learning by advancing the effective use of technology in PK-12 and teacher education. It has developed the following standards:

Open and read each of of the articles below. As you read think of how these apply to your students. What do they already know? Where do they need development?

1.4 Readings: 21st Century Classroom
Your vision of a 21st century classroom constitutes an important element of this course which will evolve through each session.
Having developed your initial vision, read the following articles:


Tapscott on Changing Pedagogy for the Net Generation,

1.5 Forum Post
Respond to the following prompt, being sure to reference the articles:

  • How do schools, teachers, and students need to adapt in order to be successful?
  • What is your vision of a 21st Century Classroom?
Revisit your initial thoughts (task 2)Respond to other peoples' posts by the end of the week.

1.6 Creating a virtual notebook:

Throughout the course you will be completing your work in your own internet based notebook or in the forum discussion on the Moodle site. We have found success with using wikispaces as the environment for virtual notebooks. What you will do is set up your own virtual notebook that you will use for this course and can then use as a model for student notebooks in your classroom if you choose (or you may decide to create a model virtual notebook for the purpose of walking students through the set up of their own).


Creating your Wikispace

1. Watch the following video
2. Go to
If you already have an account please sign in. If you do not already have an account please create one by entering a username, password and email address into the spaces provided and select get started.
3. Create a new wiki. For this course your wikispace (Which will be your virtual notebook) should be named as your first name then last initial followed by "virtual notebook". (Example: for John Smith it would be JohnSVirtualNotebook) This will give your wikispace the address Next select your wiki permisssions as Protected (free) and your wikitype as K-12 Education. (see example below.)

Virtual Notebook
Virtual Notebook

Customizing a Wiki

1. View the following video __
2. Now go to manage wiki, then Look and Feel then Themes and Colors choose a the color scheme you would like. We suggest that you use the notebook theme.(see below)

Creating a Homepage

  • The first page on your wiki is your home page. Many people enjoy personalizing their homepage.

Start by selecting EDIT, this will bring up your editor tool bar as seen below.


Using the dropdown tab (where "normal" is written) select Heading 1 and write the title "About Me"

Next Select file. To insert an image from your computer select upload files, browse for the file you want to include. Once you have selected the file it will appear on the left side of the file menu. Select this file and it will appear on your page. To insert an image from the web select the external file tab, then simply enter the web address of the image you want to include and select load.

Finally, using normal text enter details about yourself. You should include details of your teaching experience and your motivations for participating in this project. Feel free to experiment. Make sure to select SAVE when you are finished.

Set your Permissions correctly
To allow others to post in your discussion tabs:
  • click "Manage Wiki" (right near "New Page" and "Recent Changes" links)
  • Click "Permissions"
  • Click in the box next to " Allow discussion posts and comments from non-members." So that a check mark appears.
  • Click "Update"

NOTE: If you are an educator be sure to request a free upgrade to the Plus Plan.

Click: Manage Wiki
Click: Subscriptions
Go to the bottom of the page and check the box to request an educators free upgrade. You will receive a free upgrade by the next day.

1.7 ForumPost -Think/Write/Pair/Share
Respond to the following:

Think/WriteHow does the use of a virtual notebook have the potential to address the state and national technology standards as well as fit your vision of a 21st Century classroom?
  • Post your response
  • Open and read a response from one of your group members
  • Comment to this members post
  • Read other comments and post