Welcome everyone. My name is Cindy Wright, and I am an Instructional Technology Specialist with Columbus City Schools, in Columbus, Ohio. I’d like to share with you today some information regarding the newest Web 2.0 technologies and how they can have a positive impact in the classroom. My hope is that this presentation will encourage you to try at least one of the technologies I introduce. The presentation will be saved, and you will have access to it and my speaker notes after the WebEx. So if I go too fast and you miss something on a screen, just keep in mind you can always view it again later at your own leisurely pace.
Many teachers have overlooked the importance of technology in preparing their students for the future. If education can be seen as the passport to the future, then certainly technology must be included in education.
New technologies are embedded into every aspect of our lives. But if you look at the classroom today, it really doesn’t appear much different than it did fifty years ago. The traditional classroom is being challenged and must compete with the outside world to be a place of learning.
Technology has changed the way people get information, and the Internet allows learners to get information instantaneously. Access to all kinds of information is at their fingertips. They don’t have to wait until the teacher is ready to share the information. They can go online and find out now!
Students today are fundamentally different. Due to the kinds of experiences they have had with interactive technologies their entire lives, they have developed preferences that are different than most of ours. Marc Prensky has given them the title of “Digital Natives.” They are visual learners, multi-taskers, with short attention spans, who use technology to express themselves. They are information analysts, content producers, and real-time learners who prefer instant and text messages. Technology is very important in their lives. Many students believe they must “power down” when going to school. They have to turn off their cell phones and put away their iPods.
Every day we see technology used as a tool outside of formal schooling for communication, collaboration, understanding, and accessing knowledge. Technology is a tool that can help and enhance learning. By developing an integrated curriculum, we can ensure that the way students learn with technology agrees with the way they live with technology.
Educators must get over the idea that technology will replace them. Any teacher that can be replaced by a computer absolutely deserves to be because they just do not get it. I love this quote by Ian Jukes. For years, there was a belief going around that teachers would eventually be replaced by computers. I don’t think it will ever happen. The role of the teacher is going to change but they will still remain the most critical part of the education process. The issue is not so much replacing teachers with technology, but encouraging them to embrace it. Jukes says: 1. It is time for education and educators to catch up, to learn the new digital world. 2. In the information age, students need to be both producers and consumers of content. We have to move beyond 20th century literacy to 21st century fluency— being able to use technological tools without thinking about it. 3. Educators need to shift their instructional approach from director to facilitator. 4. If we want understanding and comprehension, we must teach in a new way. He theorizes that rather than experiencing an epidemic of ADD and ADHD, we’re simply not teaching effectively to the way students learn today. 5. We need to let students access information natively. Just as calculators were scoffed in the 1960s, social networking is similarly cast aside in schools today— where it needs to be an integral part of learning. 6. Let kids collaborate. Prepare them for their future, not our past.
As we prepare our students, we need to look at what is really important. There’s no need to teach skills. The skills are only as valuable as the application. If the application is updated, then the skills are outdated. What we want to do is teach our students how to think, how to problem solve, and how to approach new situations with strategies that will prove successful for them.
&quot;What thinking and literacy skills must students have to face the 21st century?&quot; You’ll notice these skills are not tied to any particular software or technology-type, but rather aim to provide students with the thinking skill and thus the opportunity to succeed no matter what their futures hold. http://newliteracy.wikispaces.com/ http://jennylu.wordpress.com/2008/02/17/what-are-the-needs-of-the-21st-century-learner-dennis-harter-and-justin-medved-are-leading-the-way/
The Internet as we know it has been constantly changing and improving over the past several years, and these changes have been so numerous and so dramatic as to inspire people to refer to this &quot;new&quot; Internet as Web 2.0. The Web 2.0 content is characterized by open communication, freedom to share and re-use content, and dynamic interactivity among users of varying technical abilities around the globe. There are now a multitude of Web-based tools available that can allow people to organize their favorite bookmarks, write online documents, and share information with others through social software like blogs and wikis. These tools can positively impact teaching and learning, and the implications are significant. Students can be empowered to see how their ideas can be shared easily with the world, and students around the globe can easily collaborate and communicate with each other to build knowledge communities that are not dependent on time and space. Let’s look at how these tools can be integrated into the classroom to make the most of their potential to enhance student learning.
What is Web 2.0? Open source content and applications, sites that get their value from their users: Learning Management Systems Blogs Wikis Social Bookmarking RSS Feeds Podcasting The Web 2.0 Landscape is varied. There are Web applications, social networking, content sharing, and more. Open Source Content and Applications Allows users to add content to the Web Relies on a community that encourages reusing materials Tools for commentary/free expression—text, audio, video Tools for management Supports social networking
With all these new tools, where do you begin? How can Web 2.0 tools help you become a better teacher? How can you work smarter, not harder? How can you feel connected to teachers with similar issues, feelings, worries, struggles? Get a Network!
The tools you see here, along with the folks who use them, can be very helpful to you in the classroom. You’ve probably heard of YouTube, the video Web site, and maybe TeacherTube, which is basically YouTube for teachers. But, what about Twitter? Twitter is a microblog tool. It allows you to connect with others by sending out short messages about what you are doing. Flickr provides online storage for your digital photos and Slideshare provides online storage of PowerPoint and Keynote files. Diigo and Delicious are Social Bookmarking sites. HotChalk is a learning management system. Blogger, and Wikispaces are online content sharing spaces, similar to Web sites.
So where should you start? A learning management system is a good place to start as it will benefit both you and your students.
Learning Management Systems are becoming more mainstream in education. Teachers have realized their potential to enhance the learning experience. Early management systems included WebCT and Blackboard, but proving to be too costly for most of the K-12 market, many schools have opted to use Open Source systems. Moodle is an open source learning management system. Some open source systems have sponsors and advertisers to offset costs. Teachers can dramatically change their classroom environment by utilizing a learning management system. When starting out with a learning management system, you want to find a tool that works for you and is easy to manage. Look for features like an online gradebook and the ability to create online assessments. Some learning management systems can be very cumbersome to integrate. For example with Moodle, although it’s free, you need a server to use it and a high level of knowledge with regards to setting it up.
An alternative to Moodle is HotChalk. HotChalk is an easy-to-use learning management system. In no time at all, you can be up and running with HotChalk. Teachers can create Web sites for their classes and can log on to manage their lesson plans, assignments, assessments, and gradebook. Everything you need to put your class on the Web is there at your fingertips. Students can receive and submit homework, view teacher handouts and reference materials, take online quizzes, and access their grades. Designed to engage students in active learning and provide primary source multimedia content that far exceeds what is available in traditional textbooks, more than 5,000 video resources provided by NBC through HotChalk can be used to supplement instruction in a wide range of courses.
What is HotChalk’s Mission? HotChalk’s mission is “Improve the Lives of Teachers.” HotChalk provides tools to automate daily classroom tasks such as posting homework and grading assessments, so teachers can focus more on teaching. It allows for improved communication between home and school via secure Web access to student progress and email notifications. With automatic notifications of homework status and grades, parents are certain homework has really been completed and no notes from teachers are left in a book bag. In addition, teachers can access a wealth of lesson plans via the online database in HotChalk and deliver digital content, such as streaming video from NBC directly to their students. Creating an account in HotChalk provides access to an online community of educators who are interested in integrating technology into their classrooms. A HotChalk blog and forum allows for teacher networking, collaboration, and sharing of ideas and content.
As you can see, Hot Chalk offers more than most free learning managements systems do. HotChalk covers all preK-12 subjects, including Math, Science, Music, Language Arts, Computers & Internet, Social Studies, Art, and Physical Education. HotChalk.com, is giving students and teachers what they’ve been longing for: an interactive educational tool that is informative, engaging, and relevant to the YouTube generation. Your digital natives will thank you! The NBC News On-Demand Archives make over 10,000 video clips of historical footage and news broadcasts available to K-12 students around the world. Rather than simply reading about the non-violent movement of the civil rights era, teachers are able to show video of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., speaking to the media about sit-in demonstrations. http://diverseeducation.com/artman/publish/article_11057.shtml
In addition to the online learning environment for students and the entire NBC news archive, HotChalk also offers online teacher professional development through a partnership with McGraw-Hill. There are many different courses to choose from with CEUs available upon completion of each course. Interactive modules including best practices, Web-based activities, Web links, and more are included in each course.
Teachers can select courses to take and work at their own pace to complete them. The interactive modules are excellent. They introduce a strategy and then use actual classroom footage to show what it looks like in the classroom when that strategy is implemented. It’s like being able to have a sneak peek into model classrooms, which is great, because as an educator we rarely get the opportunity to see what others are doing.
Because the programs are Web-based, teachers can participate in engaging professional development from anywhere. All of the professional development courses feature video, audio, and interactive exercises like the one you see here. Teachers can build effective strategies and network with other teachers via an online discussion board all within the HotChalk framework.
Let’s take a look at the HotChalk online learning environment now. This is a screen shot of the “My Classes” area. You can see my assignments and messages to the class.
This is a screen shot of the online gradebook. It is very easy to use and keeps a calculated score for the overall progress at the bottom of the page. This also shows up on the student’s login page.
If I go into my class called Rossford, Period 3, you can see the assignment calendar for this week and past assignments below. HotChalk is an excellent resource, and if you aren’t already using a learning management system, I highly recommend you give it a look.
Learning Management Systems are great way to put your class online, but if you’re not quite ready to go online with all of your assignments yet, you could consider beginning online learning with a different Web 2.0 tool called a wiki. Although there’s not an online gradebook or assessment tool like in a learning management system, there are many things you can do with a wiki.
A wiki is a class of Web sites that lets authorized users create and modify pages as well as search for information. The term also sometimes describes the software that makes the site possible. The most famous example of a wiki is Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia with articles that are written and edited by site visitors. When a large number of people want to collaborate, contribute, and easily find information on a given topic, that&apos;s when you need a wiki.
Educators at all levels are finding ways to incorporate wikis into their teaching. For every assignment that asks students to research a particular topic, there is a possible application for a wiki. Take, for example, a collaborative writing project. With a simple wiki, students from one class, multiple classes, or even multiple schools can post their writing samples for comment. The wiki structure makes it possible for several students to work on an assignment concurrently. Most wiki software packages track changes to a page so students and their teachers can see when and by whom the writing was edited.
These are just a few of the Web sites that allow you to create a wiki to use in your classroom. All of these sites are free for a basic account and have a minimal fee for add-ons and extra features.
Extensive online discussions can take place in wiki environments. Let’s look at a wiki now. This is a high school wiki created by a Business and Marketing teacher. She uses her wiki on a daily basis. She puts her daily announcements here, her assignments here, and she posts student projects here. I am sure parents of her students love her site. You can look back at everything she has done all year long. Here’s how she utilizes a Discussion Board to get students thinking and reflecting on their learning: Go Business and Personal Finance. Click on discussion. Click on credit cards. Here’s where she has students post their completed projects: From Home, go to Student Projects. Demonstrate how students can upload and download documents easily. Go to Entrepreneurship Class. Point out how her homework is documented. Since wikis allow for edits, I’ll show you how a page has changed recently in her class. It looks like she has given a student rights to edit pages. Go to Entrepreneurship. Go to History. Select April 23, 2008 to show how edits appear.
Here’s an example of a student wiki. You can use student wikis in many different ways. If you’ve heard of online portfolios, a wiki would be one way of doing that, and it’s free! You can see this student’s page where she has taken a photo of a quilt she made in Home Economics. Click on Academic- Go to Home Economics- Picture of a quilt she made! Obviously, she is very proud of her work and wants to showcase it here on her wiki for all to see. Students love having their own space online. They already do, with MySpace and Facebook accounts which feature their lives away from school. Why not let them use a wiki to highlight school activities? Let’s look at her resume. Click on her Resume. Open it. She has a great resume. She would like to study International Business or Accounting.
Just a couple more examples. Here’s one for an Economics class. Economics- click on Economics Challenge 1. Demonstrate students added to the project but did not come up with 50 ideas. This teacher posted a challenge and then gave the students an opportunity to work collaboratively to complete the assignment. In this example, a school is creating a cookbook, and here in their wiki they are asking for submissions. Notice how they have attached the document here to put the recipe on for the cookbook. It is a Publisher file. You can attach all kinds of documents to your wiki. Cookbook. Click on Cookbook. Show link to a file that they can use to submit a recipe. Suggestion would be to add a picture as well. There are so many wikis available. You can easily search for wikis in your subject area by going to the home page to see how teachers are using them around the world, with students just like yours. Show them how to search Wikispaces for teachers who teach their subjects for more examples.
It is so easy to get started using a wiki. It takes seconds. I would like to demonstrate now. Demonstrate how easy it is to get started with Wikispaces. There’s no e-mail confirmation message or anything. So once you register you can start working on it. In fact, right now, wikispaces is offering a full feature wiki, which would normally cost $50, free to K-12 educators. They are at 78,000 now, so if you hurry you should be able to get that special deal. It is completely free of advertisements and has additional features not available in the free version.
A little different from a wiki is a blog. If you are looking for a way to post information to the Web, like assignments, guest speakers, newsletters, etc. then you might want to use a blog rather than a wiki. Think of blogs as an online space that you can make available for the public to see or keep it private just for you to see. A blog doesn’t have quite as many features as a wiki, and some teachers find it easier to start technology integration with a blog because it is less to manage.
Blogs are great for having students create an online presence. Blogs provide students with an authentic audience. Students can create their own Blogs to learn about publishing online and managing public documents. Students are motivated by a real, potentially large audience. You’ll see increased participation with peer-editing and easy collaboration in group projects.
Class Blogmeister was started by David Warlick. On this site, you can search and find blogs located in your state. This blog site is only for classroom teachers. It is a totally safe environment. Students may not have their own blogs on this site.
Vicki Davis, a.k.a Cool Cat Teacher, uses a classblogmeister site with her students. She posts a discussion prompt and then lets students share their thoughts. She is a Computer teacher who uses cutting-edge technologies, wikis, blogs, and RSS feeds to learn about computer science, computer software, keyboarding, accounting, graphic design, and so much more! If we go to her site now, I can give you a preview of how she uses this blog. http://www.classblogmeister.com/blog.php?blogger_id=26813
Statistically speaking, there is a new blog created every 11 seconds. Many of your students may already have their own personal blogs. More than half of online users today are content creators not just content consumers. These are the folks that are using Web 2.0 technologies. http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/c/4/topics.asp If you are worried about what content students might post to their blog, then I would suggest using Edublog. Edublog is one site where teachers can create, manage and moderate blogs for their students with a minimum of fuss. Teachers can view student posts before allowing them to be visible to a larger audience. As a teacher you can use it to: 1. Post materials and resources2. Host online discussions3. Create a class publication6. Share your lesson plans7. Integrate multimedia by embedding videos 8. Organize thoughts 9. Get feedback10. Create a fully functional Web site
Here’s a blog used for Health and PE classes. This teacher has her students reflecting and writing about various health topics. She also uses it to showcase their community projects!
ePALS is a site that uses blogs to allow teachers and students to communicate with a global audience. Built-in translation capability makes it easy for teachers, classrooms, and parents around the world to collaborate, create curricula, and share their work. • Encourage multicultural understanding through reading and writing using authentic interactions. • Choose to receive feedback from peers and experts via email. • Display your students&apos; work to teachers and students in more than 200 countries
One last Web 2.0 tool I’d like to share with you today is Slideshare.net. Slideshare is an online storage space for presentation files, like this one I used for today’s WebEx session. Slideshare allows users to share their content via the Web by providing a direct URL to the file. This is a free service, and as you can imagine, users are crazy about it. You can access today’s presentation by going to the Web address at the top of this slide. Feel free to download the file to share with others. You could use it to present during an upcoming staff meeting, and to make it easier for you all of the speaker notes are included.
To prepare for this presentation I did a search for “Web2.0” and found there are over 25,000 files on the subject. I enjoyed viewing other presentations on the subject and found inspiration in different ways from each one.
There files for everything you can imagine, from math, to fine arts, to music. From now on, when you need to create a presentation, I recommend you go to Slideshare first for ideas and inspiration. Since most of the files are public and available to users for downloading, you might find you don’t need to actually create one at all. Another great thing about Slideshare files is that they can be embedded into a blog. So you can have students view them right within your classroom blog. You might try posting two different presentations on the same topic and have your students make a comparison and contrast of the two.
I urge you to think about how you can incorporate the tools of Web 2.0 in your classroom. Maybe you’ll start with a learning management system, a wiki, or a blog. Your students will be impressed no matter which one you choose. They would love it if you used all three! The message here is that we are Web 2.0. We all make the Internet what it is. As educators we can share and collaborate with each other. The tools of Web 2.0 make it easier now than ever before. Take advantage of the Internet for education. Really think about how these new tools can transform your classroom. Use Web 2.0 tools to build digital literacy in your students, to encourage participation, to communicate more effectively, to provide learning whatever, whenever, and wherever. By providing authentic learning experiences, and opportunities beyond the classroom, you will be preparing your students to be successful in the real world. The more proficient students are in Web 2.0 technologies, the more innovative they can be in using them. http://edtechvision.org/wp-content/uploads/2007/08/we-are-web-20.jpg
Tap into the power of Web 2.0. What questions can I answer to help you get started?
Integrating Web 2.0 Technologies
Into the Classroom
By Cindy Wright
Instructional Technology Specialist
Columbus City Schools
Engaging today’s students
means tapping into what is
important to them.
We have a responsibility to
prepare them for their future,
not our past.
The traditional classroom is being
challenged and must compete with the
outside world to be a place of learning
Technology allows learners get
– When they want it
– How they want it
– Wherever they want it
Today’s students are
• Visual learners
• Short attention spans
• Use technology to express
• Information analysts
• Content producers
• Real-time learners -
instant messages, text
How students live with technology
Different kinds of experiences lead to different brain
Dr. Bruce D. Perry, Baylor College of Medicine
Educators must get over the idea that
technology will replace them. Any teacher
that can be replaced by a computer
absolutely deserves to be, because they
just do not get it.
Technology is changing
• Impossible to keep up with
• Skills learned today will be
irrelevant in the near future
• Focus less on the
• Focus more on the 21st
Impacting the Classroom
With Learning Management
Learning Management Systems
• 2 LMS platforms
– Open Source
• Many good free sites are available
• Any time, any place, any pace learning
• Tools for teacher productivity
Online Learning Environment
• Add assignments
• Attach files
• Add comments
• Attach video clips
• Create messages through a class
• Create online quizzes
• Utilize an online gradebook
The HotChalk Mission
“Improve the Lives of Teachers”
• Automate repetitive daily classroom tasks like
assignments, homework, and grading
• Improve teacher-parent-student communication
• Quickly access thousands of ‘teacher-approved’
lesson plans and materials
• Deliver valuable digital content directly into the
• Participate in an online community of educators
• A free online writing space that is created
and edited by multiple authors
• Encourages collaboration
• Student interaction
• Easy-to-use interface for creating Web
• No software - all you need is Web-based
• Public or private, and you can invite
What can you do with a Wiki?
• Build a classroom/school newspaper online
• Publish student projects and research
• Manage documents
• Use as a presentation tool
• Debate course topics, assigned readings
• Design a student-created “Solutions Manual”
• Support service learning projects (build a
website about a challenge in your city)
Now we're taking the next step -
we want to give away 100,000
free K-12 Plus wikis. That
includes all the features and
benefits that normally cost
$50/year - for free. No fine
print, no usage limits, no
advertising, no catches.
• An online journal for reflections,
comments, and links to other Internet
resources and users provided by the
writer. Allows readers to write comments
in response to postings, connect with
others in the “blogosphere”