Sunday, November 2, 2008

Everything in One Place

I was intrigued by the title of the K12 Online Conference presentation: Teaching Web 2.0 - Everything You Need in One Place. I realize that the world of potential tools changes daily. I wondered how everything could possibly be in one place. Now I have my answer.

The Conference Video
I enjoyed listening to Wendy Drexler's presentation. She explained how she put together a wiki called Teach Web 2.0. She moderates it with Anna Baralt. Wendy sees this website as an ongoing community effort to evaluate various web 2.0 tools with SWOT analysis. I had not come across her wiki before this presentation. It will certainly help me to lead the change at my school as I continue to try to spread the word about the tools available on the Internet that can be used with an educational focus.

What I Like
When introducing tools to teachers, I now have a fabulous wiki to point them to for ideas. It will also extend the concept of collaboration between educators across the globe. As I teach other educators about the tools, I will show them this wiki and ask them to take a risk and include an entry once they have used a tool with students or for themselves as an educator.

As an example, I stopped by the Kerpoof page. I was able to read through the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats perceived in this website by the contributor to the page. There are ideas included for the classroom. I added my own perceived weakness and classroom idea.

Kerpoof on Teach Web 2.0
I like Kerpoof because it is free, attractive, and has a variety of options for young students. It does a good job in protecting children's identities. I realize the website needs to earn money to survive, but use this as an opportunity to talk about the value of using a website and asking a parent to spend money for additional access.

When I used the program with students some of the younger ones who are used to using Kid Pix got frustrated when they couldn't find the image another student was using. They had to click on the images and wait until the one they wanted "kerpoofed" onto the screen. I included this as a perceived weakness.

I know that teachers need to practice writing dialog with students for certain applications in class. I included this as an idea because the Make a Story option in Kerpoof would easily work in that situation in a very engaging way.

Cup of Joe
The essential questions are very interesting on the Voicethread for this presentation.
  1. How do teachers navigate and analyze the countless Web 2.0 tools that might have potential for student learning?
  2. How can one teacher make a difference in the quest to better understand and apply 21st Century learning principles?
  3. How are other teachers using Web 2.0 tools to promote student learning and achievement?
These are great questions that I intend to answer on the Voicethread.

Is This For You?
If you are involved in introducing various Web 2.0 tools to other teachers, if you are using Web 2.0 tools, or if you don't know what I mean by Web 2.0 tools listen to this presentation. Afterwards, take time to look through the Teach Web 2.0 wiki. While you are there, make sure you take time to begin helping Wendy and Anna build this into a resource that has even more value for everyone.

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