Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The P.E. Geek: Boys, Sports, and ... Wikis?

Kristian Still teaches 16 - 19 year old young men in a sports course at Tauton's College in the UK, which is designed to encourage male learners to go on to higher or extended education. The course uses their interest in sports to help them stay engaged and pursue additional academic achievements.

Kristian uses the tools of Web 2.0 as an essential way to do this. He is the "P.E. Geek"--a fellow who is able to keep his students as interested in being in the classroom as out on the sporting field.

Kristian's work is a fascinating example of harnessing the creative potential of the read/write web to provide an environment of engaged learning. Mainly using the wiki platform as a base, Kristian includes rss feeds, photo and video sharing, online slide presentations, mind-maps, shared spreadsheets, quizzes, games, podcasting, and other Web 2.0 tools to teach respect, attitude, and preparation.

In the audio interview with Kristian that is linked below, he takes us through his websites and shows examples of all of these technologies, and you can actually follow along on the web through the technology of Trailfire. Trailfire lets you build or follow a visible trail of websites and comments. Kristian's "trail," which includes 17 web pages and is marked with comments by him about each "stop," is accessed here: Kristianstill's Web 2.0 experience (http://trailfire.com/Kristianstill/trailview/38344). ( You can also download an add-on to Firefox which allows you to easily create "trails" and follow others' trails.)

Kristian's not like any P.E. teacher I ever had. I think you're really going to like getting to know this inspiring educator!

Listen to the the Interview in MP3 format
Listen to the Interview in Vorbis OGG format

Post Script Notes: Since the interview, Wikispaces now allows "automatic merging"--that is, when people try to edit the same page at the same time, Wikispaces merges the changes so that people don't have to worry about overwriting each other's work. And VoiceThread now allows embedding their "voicethreads" into other websites.

(Cross-posted from The Infinite Thinking Machine)
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