What is web 2.0? Supposedly called the the second generation of the web where interaction and sharing of information, often in a rich format(more on this in a minute), become the focus rather than just finding information as in the 1st generation of the web. Make any sense, maybe not, but the internet is definitely changing. Many people are spending more time on the web than watching tv, or gasp……interacting with others live(as opposed to virtually online). Heck, they are watching tv online! One day our tv’s, phones, internet, appliances and who knows what else will all be interconnected. I have watched my children, just today, play in a virtual rock band with people in California(via the Wii), send Grandma a video with demonstations of Halloween costumes and basketball plays, as well as add entries to their online blogs about Christmas wish lists! All of these things would have been a dream just several years ago. Why do I mention this here? I believe that these applications must be utilized in the classroom. A video created by a college class at Kansas state (click here), does a good job of showing why today’s students need a different approach. We truly are using the tools of the 19th century to engage the 21st century learner! We are making some strides. We have several staff members using blogs for their class to interact on. We have classes working on creating original content for the web and for demonstrations of learning, but we could be doing much more! Below are several links that show some of the possibilities:
- Back to school with web 2.0 a list of links with lot of examples.
- TeachDigital – Wesley Fryer’s web 2.0 wiki
- Class BlogMeister – ok, so this one has my name in it, but it could be used in your classroom!
- The Education Podcast Network – look for K-12 produced podcasts
- Carbonmade – How about an online portfolio that demonstrates understanding well beyond just a Powerpoint presentation.
These five examples (among the literally thousands of others) represent just a small sampling of the online tools you could use to engage your students….and best of all, they (the students) will show you how to use them. Just identify the goal, tell them what is required to reach the goal, and point them in the right direction!
O.k, what is rich content (if you are still reading, I mentioned this in the 1st paragraph)? Rich content is interactive. It has video. It has music. It surveys reactions. It is not………boring!