9-13-2011_3-06-15_PM.pngI asked my husband what the Internet was to him, 10-12 years ago, compared to today. He calmly and purposefully stated: "It was a source of maintaining our checking account and conversing in email." I then asked, "How about today, honey?" Again, he calmly and purposefully stated, "It is a source of maintaining our checking account, and conversing in email." Ah...he was so techno advanced - it's mind boggling!

Unlike my husband, many years ago, most people utilized the Internet to browse/retrieved information from all regions across the world. Today, it has been transformed into a facet of powerful tools, allowing us to communicate, create, collaborate, post (to name a few) in ways our parents could have never fathomed. Today, buzzwords such as Read/Write Web, The 21st Learner, Web 2.0, Instagram, Facebook, Flickr, Google Hangout, WikiSpace, Twitter, Pinterest, Blogging, Podcasting (to name a few) have infiltrated into both educator's and student's daily vocabulary.
Will Richardson surmises that our students are entering our classroom carrying with them a wealth of knowledge about the intricacies of what the Internet has to offer. As educators, it is essential for us to evolve with the times and learn how to harness these web tools into our curricula. Additionally, he also asked some very thought provoking questions to consider: (Chapter 1, The Read/Write Web, page 6 (3rd edition)
  • What needs to change about our curriculum when our students have the ability to reach audiences far beyond our classroom walls?
  • What changes must we make in our teaching as it becomes easier to bring primary sources to our students?
  • How do we need to rethink our ideas of literacy when we must prepare our students to become not only readers and writers, but editors, collaborators and publishers as well?
  • How can we as learners begin to take advantages of the opportunity these tools present, so we may understand more clearly the pedagogies of using them in the classroom?
  • So are we ready to embrace Web 2.0? What is Web 2.0? Why should we use Web 2.0 in our classroom and what are some Web 2.0 tools we can use?

Are We Ready to Embrace Web 2.0?

For this book study, I wholeheartedly agree with the author, that we become acquainted and implement these tools into our own “learning practices” before we dive into using these new technologies with our students. It is my hope, by the time you finish this book study, you will:
  • First, utilize these tools personally (i.e. RSS Reader, Social Networking and Bookmarks)
  • Become familiar/comfortable with these tools.
  • Gain knowledge of how you may model/implement these tools for your classroom.
  • Finally, take advantage of the potential use of these tools to enhance student knowledge and prepare them “for the slew of new illiteracies and competencies in their post-education lives.”

What is Web 2.0?

According to Wikipedia: "Web 2.0 is a term describing changing trends in the use of World Wide Web technology and web design that aims to enhance creativity, information sharing, and especially, collaboration among users." I personally liked the following from Randy Rogers, a strong proponent of Web 2.0. "Web 2.0 refers to the part of the Internet that not only gives information; it allows users to contribute/create information. Web 2.0 allows users to use the Internet in a collaborative manner, to customize the web for their own needs, and to form valuable networks with other users, who share the same interest, expertise and goals."

Why Use Web 2.0 in the Classroom?

Web 2.0 is a valuable teaching tool for several reasons:
  • Collaboration - the widespread availability of the Internet allows students to work together, even from remote locations.
  • Motivation - students can and will be very motivated to create online products. A potentially worldwide audience is a big motivator to create quality products.
  • Meaningful - products reflect “real” society and the latest technological skills.
  • Communication -web-based student products, RSS/XML, blogs, etc. all facilitate communication between schools and parents/communities.
  • Availability - being Internet-based, students and teachers can access Web 2.0 tools from school, home, libraries, or anywhere Internet access is available, effectively expanding the school day.
  • Creativity - students move beyond acting as knowledge consumers to becoming information experts and creators.http://web20resources.wikispaces.com/s.com///

What are some Web 2.0 Tools for the Classroom?

Web 2.0 is a dynamic resource. New applications are being created almost daily. Some of the earliest tools included blogs, wikis, and filesharing sites. The list now includes, among other examples:
  • Wikis — collaborative web pages. Content is generated and monitored by groups, drawing on a greater pool of knowledge/resources.
  • Social networks / Forums — an evolution of blogs, social networks revolve around the creation of groups of users who communicate/share similar interests, occupations, etc.
  • Filesharing sites — these include sites where users can create and share audio or video.
  • Social bookmarking — sites designed to allow users to recommend websites, videos, music, etc. via online lists of favorites, or bookmarks.
  • Blogs — online journals that allow creators and viewers to interact, sharing news, opinions, etc.
  • Podcasts — audio or video files that may be downloaded by users for display on mp3 audio/video players.
  • RSS/XML — online subscription tools that allow users to remain constantly informed about new information, news, podcasts, etc
  • Productivity tools — online versions of traditional software, such as word processors, spreadsheets, slideshows, et

Assignment for Chapter 1: Due 19Oct15

Chapter 1:

You will be setting up TWO profiles:

  • Set up your Profile for this particular wiki. Please refer to this page for more information. Add an avatar (picture of you or create one). This is a great avatar creator link . Also, please refer to this page for additional avatar creation sites. Please know it is not necessary to create an avatar using one of the above sites, you may use a photo of yourself.
  • Please set up your Documentation wiki page by posting a short bio and picture. Please know this is different from the Profile you created above. Go to your Book Study Participant Documentation Wiki Page located on the wiki side bar and click on your name to begin. (See below and view my page or Martha's as an example.)
  • KEvans10png.png10-8-2012 8-38-57 AM.png

  • Please click here to view the short videos on the following topics for Wikispaces: Introduction and Files and Pictures.

  • Read Chapter 1.

  • Please view the following short videos.

  • Engage Me

  • YouTube project,A Vision at K-12 Today which was created to inspire teachers to use technology in engaging ways to help students develop higher level thinking skills.

  • Answer the Chapter 1's discussion questions (See below - past the Web 2.0 Tool) by posting to the "Discussion button" chpt 1 3.pngat the top right of this post.
  • Each week, I will be posting a Web 2.0 tool for you to preview. On some assignments, you will be utilizing it as part of your assignment.

Web 2.0 App/Tool: PowToon, GoAnimate and Voki

Discussion Questions: Due 19Oct15

For Chapter 1: Answer the below discussion questions by posting to the "Comment" at the bottom of this post. Please do click "Add Discussion" when you responding to the discussion questions.

  • What are your thoughts about EACH video you viewed?
  • Why is it important to you to keep up with the newest technology?
  • How could you use GoAnimate, Powtoon or Voki for/with your students?
  • Any other thoughts you would like to share?


If you get a chance, please visit some of the below links mentioned in the chapter 1.