- Nings, Elgg (like MySpace, Facebook and Bebo)
- Scribd, skrbl (collaborative text)
- Google docs (collaborative spreadsheets)
- Flickr, Photobucket, Picassa (images)
- Teachertube, You Tube, Mathtrain (videos)
- Slideshare, Slide, Picturetrail, Animoto (moving images)
- Podcasting, Voicethread (audio)
This page has a collection of various web 2.0 sites, many of which would be considered social networking tools. http://learningweb2.wikispaces.com/Step+Two (Thanks Marg for this link).
But, are all of these tools applicable to maths and science learning? Is trying to use these tools like trying to knit with a knife and fork – they are great tools but for a different purpose, and you end up with an inferior product that is more difficult and takes longer to produce?
Part of the appeal of web 2.0 is it’s new and different, but when it is used often, will it lose this appeal and become another ‘chore’ for students? Hopefully, my research will help me to answer some of these questions – stay tuned!
I created this symbolic shield at Scion crest generator after blog-surfing and stumbling onto Tom Woodward and Jim Coe’s site, Bionic teaching. Last year, the year 9’s drew their own symbolic crests using symbols from books and the internet. You could try to create your own at Scion – although you should be over 18 to download the images (I’m not sure why yet? – the site is owned by Toyota, and may have unsavoury undertones?) My shield represents my passion for sustainability – biodiversity, energy, water and waste. You could even use the image as your avatar.
I have discovered a vibrant, safe online learning environment for school children called Superclubsplus. This supervised utility is huge in the UK and Europe and is now gaining recognition in Australia. Currently it is free for schools to sign up their students for two years. The aim of Superclubsplus is “to enable children to communicate safely, work together creatively, learn from each other, have a voice…and a purposeful audience..” It allows students to create web pages, articles, join clubs, participate in forums, discuss current issues, create projects for school, earn rewards an the list goes on. This is all done in an environment that is consistently mediated by highly trained and dedicated staff. It is well worth while visiting Superclubsplus and taking the tour to see how it all works. Please check it out, comment and let us know what you think, or if your school is already registered tell us how it’s going.
SIGN UP FOR THE CONFERENCE NOW!
The Knowledge Bank online conference this year is focused on Web 2.0 in education: what it is, how it’s being used today and its potential to radically change education.
Topic: Learning in a changing world – Web 2.0 and beyond
When: Six sessions held over July 22 and 23 2008
Where: Online in Elluminate
Sign Up: The conference is free but you need to Sign Up.
Web 2.0 is not new – many of us have used social networking sites like YouTube, TeacherTube and FaceBook. We know about Wikipedia, Skype and podcasting. We read, even write, and comment on blogs. But what might happen to education as Web 2.0 becomes mainstream?
- Introducing Web 2.0. Who are you? Where have I met you before?
- How can reading and writing a blog change your way of learning?
- How does a direct connection with an expert shift your relationship to knowledge?
- Who are the content experts?
- What skills should we be teaching to young people, and what can we learn from them?
FULL PROGRAM DETAILS WILL BE AVAILABLE SHORTLY.
This two-day conference includes six sessions and a great line-up of speakers to talk about theory and practice. We challenge you to actively contribute to this debate – read, ask questions, comment on the conference blog and add to our own body of knowledge on the issue.
“I believe that the Web 2.0 will culturally, socially, intellectually, and politically have a greater impact than the advent of the printing press. We cannot even begin to imagine the changes that are going to take place as the two-way nature of the Internet begins to flower, and even those of us who have spent time imagining this future will be astounded by what happens.”
Keynote speaker Steve Hargadon in Web 2.0 is the future of the education.
For those unfamiliar with the term, a learning style is a way in which an individual approaches learning. Many people understand material much better when it is presented in one format, for example a lab experiment, than when it is presented in another, like an audio presentation. Determining how you best learn and using materials that cater to this style can be a great way to make school and the entire process of acquiring new information easier and much more intuitive. Here are some great tools that you can use to cater to your individual learning style, no matter what that is.
We recently had a psychologist complete an assessment of a Year 7 student and her report and advice was applicable to many other students. Some students have difficulty reading and writing at any level and this can impact on many of their subjects. Many teachers of students with disabilities have embraced technology to improve outcomes for their students, and some tools will be just as useful in mainstream classrooms.
Some of the programs that were suggested were text-to-talk programs, which are ‘artificial readers’ – you highlight the text and the software reads the passage to you. These include: “Speakonia”, (free) “Sayz Me” (also free) and “Natural Reader” (probably the best of the free ones) . “Dragon Speak” converts your speech into text. “Voicethread” was also mentioned as a useful tool – students can verbally label parts of a picture, tell a story or describe an experiment.
Here is a Voicethread activity for students who would prefer to speak about the microscope, rather than draw a picture or label a diagram.
I’ve been trying out some of the top 100 tools for learning and thought you might like to see what they are all about. One of the fun ones is “Comic Life”, which lets you create funky comics from photos. Although it is not free, I think you can do a similar kind of thing with word – add speech and thought bubbles to photos. Try it out!
This is a cross-post with technoLOTE
The ePlanks podcast is up and running! We have 4 episodes all ready to go for your listening pleasure. ePlanks is a project that I (Jess McCulloch) am working on with Anne Mirtschin. We are trying to lay the ePlanks of the virtual classroom and a Web 2.0 school. We’ve been a bit busy lately with my little iPod and it’s voice recorder -which has become my favourite piece of technology lately!
Episode 1 – We talk to Virginia as she begins her journey as a blogger. We ask her what she thinks of the whole Web 2.0 thing. She’s feeling a bit left behind, but that’s ok – never fear, Jess and Anne are here!
Episode 2 – We found Sandy Phillips from the Victorian Department of Education’s Education Channel and so we sat her down and asked her how Global Teacher got started, which is the blogging campus we have set up many of our students and teachers with for their blogs.
We chatted about how we started, some fears and just jumping in and trying it.
Episode 4 – As part of our ePlanks project, Anne and I decided to go and visit Coburg Senior High School, who are not just talking the talk of a 21st century school, but also walking the walk. You will have to listen in for more details of this pretty amazing school.
We are planning many more episodes for ePlanks, so keep an ear open – we are on the cyberwaves!
Click on the player here to listen to our episodes, go straight to our podomatic site, or you can subscribe through iTunes.
This is a cross-post with technoLOTE
Anne Mirtschin and I were lucky enough to this year be granted Teacher Professional Leave to develop a project we have called ‘ePlanks – Laying the Foundations of a Web 2.0 School.’ Our aim with this project is to get as many staff using various Web 2.0 tools (such as blogs, wikis, podcasts, social networks and social bookmarking sites) as possible to extend their teaching in a way that suits them.
We have outlined several stages that we think would be important when encouraging staff to jump into the Web 2.0 world. Our eplanks are:
Plank 1 – Understanding what the Web 2.0 World is / means and why you would use it
Plank 2 – CyberSafety
Plank 3 – Digital Media and Copyright
Plank 4 – Creating Your Own Online Space / Creating Online Student Spaces – Blogs and Wikis
Plank 5 – Adding Your Voice / Adding Student Voices- Podcasting
Plank 6 – Joining Networks and Making Connections
Plank 7 – No Walls on this Classroom – mLearning
Plank 8 – Keeping the Learning Going – Web 2.0 PD for Busy Teachers
You can find more details about these steps on the ePlanks wiki.
As part of this project we went to see Will Richardson speak at the SLAV conference on Monday 12th May. Will is a world-renowned leader in the field of Web 2.0 in schools and it was great to hear him speak. The main message I took away from his session was that Web 2.0 is not about the tools, it is about the powerful connections that can be made with those tools. These connections then lead to really powerful learning experiences for our students. These connections can make it possible for you to bring someone into your classroom who knows more about what you are trying to teach than you do – whoever they are and whatever age they are. Comments left on a blog can lead to further conversation and the discovery of more information about what you are trying to teach for example.
Here are the points Anne noted from what Will Richardson said:
These are all really important points for us to remember as we progress with our project. I especially like that it has been pointed out that teachers are more important than ever before. Hopefully this will motivate some teachers to take a few more risks and at least get up to their knees in the river/ocean that is the world of Web 2.0.
Look out for plenty more posts about laying the ePlanks – and the ePlanks podcast!
“Animoto” is another tool for uploading images and adding audio – this time with a range of tunes to create funky short videos. You can create 30 second videos and choose a music style to match, or register as an educator and have three months unlimited use.
Here’s one I did with my Year 9 Off Campus Program. On Tuesday 6th May, 21 students travelled to Mailor’s Flat to assist in a revegetation project to save the critically endangered Orange Bellied Parrot. There are less than two hundred individual birds left in the wild and they are endemic to south-eastern Australia, migrating from Tasmania to the Victorian and South Australian coast each winter. Part of the program to build numbers of these pretty birds is a revegetation program to provide roosting and feeding plants, which will increase their chances of survival. Students were able to separate seedlings of woolly tea tree and messmate plants and re-pot 3,000 plants.Takes a little while to load, but worth the wait!