We utilized the wiki planning forum in Oncourse to first discuss how we wanted to meet virtually.chat.jpg.png

Our team decided that an instant message chat would be the best choice for our virtual conference. We chose to use GoogleTalk since we all have Google accounts from Fiesta 2 and it allows for group chat. Initially there was some confusion as to how to access the group chat option. It was discovered that the group chat has to be opened in the iGoogle page instead of through the GoogleTalk application. The chat format worked well--at times it was difficult making sure that you read everything (with 4 people posting) but overall it was an accessible application to have a discussion. We did experience some difficulty with connection about 3/4 of the way through our chat. For some reason Anne kept getting disconnected from the group chat. She could talk one-on-one with Allison in the GoogleTalk application but could not reenter the group chat forum. This created some problems because Allison had to act as a mediator to relay the discussions back and forth. However, we were still able to complete our discussion and come up with a solid idea for the wiki.

As a group we all work with some combination of K-12 students. Therefore, we wanted to create a wiki that mainly focused on resources for children. At first Anne suggested a wiki that provided activity ideas and resources that used food connections to teach. Though we did eventually use this idea, its initial format was vastly different. We tried to come up with 12 catagories (3 for each of us) that would all contribute to teaching through food. For example, we had literature connections, community activities, culture, programs ecetera. We had some difficulty thinking of 12 different topics that would yield enough to consitute a wiki page. Nevertheless, we ended the chat with a good starting point and decided to think it over to see if we came up with anything better.

The next day Jennifer had a great idea of how we could narrow our topic to make it more focused for each person. She thought that instead of trying to develop 12 independent catagories for a general topic we could focus on teaching books through food connections. We would each choose an age group and could then use any of the 12 subjects we had discussed to add pages for our book. Everyone like this idea and we were able to quickly decide the age catagories that we would each have as a focus. We used email to communicate these ideas and other questions/concerns.

After we had our virtual conference we communicated mainly through email and the discussion tab in the wiki. It was easier for everyone to check those two places instead of the Oncourse forum also.

Through some quick wikipedia and Google searches we did not find a single place that brings cooking ideas together with teaching books. There are a lot of resources about book clubs and discussion questions. There are also activity ideas and resources if you look specifically for cooking ideas. However, there are not resources that clearly take a book and develop ideas of how to teach it with food connections to a class, book club or library program. Our wiki is also unique in that it can be utilized by teachers, librarians or even parents and students. It is set up to give concrete ideas for specific books that will hopefully give people a starting point to think of ways they can continue this mode of teaching with other literature.