I had the opportunity Saturday to hear a talk by Dr. M.D. Roblyer of the University of Tennessee Chattanooga . She was the keynote speaker at the Oregon Technology in Education Network annual fall conference held at Pacific University. The Network is a collection of 6 Oregon based teacher education programs that are working to improve the integration of technology into university instruction and pre-service teaching. I am again this fall teaching a class at Pacific University and as part of the class, I had the students attend the conference in the morning and we held our first class session in the afternoon.
Dr. Roblyer gave a very topical talk touching on topics such as Wikipedia, virtual schools and virtual worlds, plagiarism, digital natives and the research of Dr. Don Leu and his students at the University of Connecticut. I've attended this conference for the past few years and this keynote was the first that I felt actually spoke to me.
I also attend Sean McKay's session on Wikis. Sean is Systems Administrator and Technology in Education Consultant at George Fox College. He discussed Swiki, a Squeak based wiki that can be run on just about any platform. Swiki is very easy to set up. Swiki would be a good choice for a classroom teacher looking to run a wiki in her classroom. Because it runs on a local desktop a teacher could easily set up the other machines in her classroom to connect to the Swiki server and have her students access the local wiki. We have been doing something like this with Instiki. Swiki might be a good choice for teachers wanting to experiment with a wiki, but also do so within their own classroom network.