Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Successful Web 2.0 Initiatives with Students and Teachers

This session was presented by Michelle Kowalsky from Whippany Park High School in Whippany, NJ and Terry Bese from Fresno Pacific University in Fresno, CA.

Collaborative Tools

- Wiki Tools

- Google Docs and Spreadsheets - Use Google Docs to collaboratively write a piece.

- PB Wiki is quick and easy. Your wiki is up and running in 30 seconds. Students can’t collaboratively write on same document, though.

Edublogs - district IT might like this blogging alternative more than Blogger.

ClassBlogMeister - free from educator David Warlick. It offers good controls to the teacher for managing the student side. You can have aliases for students. Can moderate all comments before they are uploaded. Email David to get an account for your school.

Blog Uses for Teachers

- Establish professional development communities

- Communicate with colleagues and solidify your own thoughts

- Populate your web page with news items easily (offers RSS feed too)

Student Blog Projects

- Teach about plagiarism of text and images. Students will Google items on others’ postings that sound too good and rat out the plagiarists!

- Talk about legality of deep linking

- Integrate with RSS from the start

- Keep it scholarly; use as a resume or portfolio item

- Blog to document an ongoing project, such as a science project. For example, document plant growth.

- Blog about your school's battle of the books planning. Students posted their reviews of the books they wanted included in the battle. Students debated others’ choices. Entries that were better written got more positive comments, which tended to make students write better. Student moderators rotated and were in charge of watching the comments. Let kids be involved in setting ground rules so they will self police.

- Moblogs are cell phone friendly. Good for field trips. People can upload images and comments on site. Turn on or off mobile blogging when you set up your blog. Blogger supports mobile blogging.

Forum Tools

Purpose: To have threaded discussions with a large number of people and/or on many topics at once.

Forumer is free.

Moodle is free and has a good podcasting module. How does library get integrated into Moodle? Can follow link to library databases. Michelle has been assigned as a teacher to every class and can periodically monitor and give feedback recommending books and other information resources.

Blackboard is not free. It has discussion boards. Students have to be assigned to a library resource class to access library databases.

Forum Uses for Teachers

- Whole group discussion
(Sorry, I missed the rest of this slide.)

Forum Uses for Students

- Complete homework in a more honest way.

- Continues conversation after class has ended.

- Encourages in-person shy voices to have their opinions expressed and treated equally.

Example: Cloning forum. Teacher and librarian purposely left material out of class discussion so students could find and share. Forum was for analysis of resources they found.

Working together and giving feedback is a 21st century skill.

IM Tools

TappedIn is available for free to teachers.

Skype - Provides audio IM & video conferencing. Teachers can set up virtual office hours.

Use chat features in Gmail.

YackPack - Click on icon for person and talk if s/he is logged in. You can leave an audio message if not.

Allows Q&A

Instant Messaging for Students

Terry reported on IMing by students during college classes.

- Talk on the back channel to discuss course topics as they occur. "What did the instructor just say?"

- Allows students instant access to the teacher to get their questions answered.

- Allows for personal attention and differentiated instruction.

Instant Message Tips

- Always turn on the history.

(There were more tips but time was running out and they were racing through the final slides.)

The PowerPoint of the presentation will be posted on the InfoToday IL conference site.

Contact michelle.kowalsky@gmail.com and terrybese@gmail.com.

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