Friday, August 28, 2009

New Ventures and Twiddla Team WhiteBoarding

The start of this school year is different for me in two significant ways: first, I will only be teaching technology part time at my school and second, I am now the Global Partnerships Director for the World Leadership School. This transition has been a year in the making, with some trepidation but mostly excitement. My role at the World Leadership School was one I basically imagined, molded and then reshaped with the founder of the organization. They offer service-based student travel experiences to developing nations, and needed someone to help them expand their trips into year-long programs. We would of course use technology to accomplish that goal. So far, we have just the right number of schools participating in this, our first year.

I've been working for a bit over a month and I've had more Skype meetings than I can count, compared curriculum for partner classes, evaluated technological capabilities for possible sites overseas, led an inservice for a huge group of teachers and jet-setted in and out of schools within a day. I'm busy, a bit tired, but still excited about everything.

This morning, I'm conferencing with a teacher in India who is partnered with his colleague back here in the States, a 9th grade Geometry teacher. We will be deciding if a wiki is the best possible organizational structure for collaboration or perhaps some other tool. But what I'm most excited about is the tool Twiddla. It's a "team whiteboarding tool" that allows you not only to share a screen and upload documents (which you can then edit together), but you can also use the screen like a shared whiteboard. Perfect for math, right? There are even built-in shapes and graph "paper" for the screen. Of course, it's free, because that's me: miss spendthrift. Try it out yourself!

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