There are so many new tools that make Web 2.0 possible. So many, infact, that I am only skimming the surface by discussing a few here. I will discuss more as time goes on, but today I will suggest a few that may be of some use in the classroom or library program. Even if you can’t imagine how to use it right away, it is worth investigating so that you might use it in the future.
Some more obvious Web 2.0 tools include:
YouTube a popular free video sharing website which allows users to upload, view, and share video clips online. There is a group within YouTube that is designated for schools (YouTube K-12) where students and classes can upload their video creations to share.
Flickr a website where you can store, search, sort and share your photos. You could search for curriculum-related photos to share, or upload class photos – when photos are uploaded, you can designate the security level (who will see your photos). You can have settings so that only ‘friends’ can see photos, where only contacts that are approved as friends have access to your photos.
MySpace / Facebook Both of these sites are social networking sites, and there is still controversy around the use of these in schools. Many school districts have their filters set to block these websites based on the possibility of innapropriate content, and safety concerns. My view? These are websites that students use outside of schools, and they need to be taught Internet safety, and how to use social networking sites safely. I am not sure there is a tie-in with the curriculum, so other than teaching Internet safety, these sites may not have a use in the classroom.
Some new tools you may not have heard of include:
Splashr a tool that can be used in conjunction with Flickr. Splashr takes Flickr photos and presents them in any format you select (i.e. slideshow, mosaic, etc.) You can search for whatever subject (tag) you want, and can specify if you want to search all of Flickr, or a specific person’s photos on Flickr.
Del.icio.us A Social bookmarking site where users can save bookmarks and organize them with tags. It keeps all your bookmarks in one place, you can bookmark sites for yourself and your friends, and see what other people are bookmarking.
Scrapblog This is a very cool site, which allows users to combine photos, videos, audio and text into a multimedia scrapbook! You could use this for class field trips, projects, and special events at your school.
Ning This is a social networking site, but you can create groups within which to network. You might choose to have a group for your class! Teacher-Librarians that are wondering about Library 2.0 might want to join the Library 2.0 group where they can share questions and ideas about Web 2.0 and Libraries.
The article Back to School with the Class of Web 2.0: Part 1 (written by Brian Benzinger) offers a huge list of Web 2.0 tools geared towards teachers and students, organizing them into categories: organizers, gradebooks, management, mathematics, resume building, to do’s and notetaking, learning and research, and media sharing.
Part 2 of this series expands on the Web 2.0 tools, with categories including word processing, presentations, diagrams and mind mapping, spreadsheets, and calendars.
I really like Part 3, as it addresses some things I have already been thinking about, namely educational blogging, photo sharing with Flickr, educational podcasting, Wikipedia and Wikis, and video sharing.
There are far more Web 2.0 tools than time you have in the day to learn all these. My suggestion: take time to quickly peruse the lists, pick a few that find interesting, and start by learning those.
If I have missed any good tools, please feel free to leave a comment with your suggestion.