Monday, August 19, 2013

Do you Web 2.0?

I found the best way to grow professionally - every night! I take part in educational Twitter chats throughout the week.  So far, I am really enjoying and learning a lot from #edtechchat which occurs every Monday from 7-8 CST and #PATUE which occurs every Tuesday from 7-8 CST.  Recently, #MSedchat started - actually it started last week. This chat is every Thursday from 8-9 CST.

This week's #edtechchat was on the topic of Web 2.0 tools. What I loved about this chat, and other chats actually, is the participants didn't start naming ALL the Web 2.0 tools that exist. Rather, we had a discussion about why teachers should use Web 2.0 tools and some obstacles they may need to overcome. The last two questions dealt with what tools we use and what tools we plan to explore this school year.

So, what did I learn?

Web 2.0 tools ...
~ provide students with a way to create, connect, and collaborate.
Tools like ScreenChomp and Educreations on the iPad allow students to create an original work based on a topic. Students can showcase what they have learned through their own thoughts and expressions. Allow students to create something to "show what they know" rather than completing a worksheet provides the teacher with more insight into what the student actually knows and understands. A worksheet just shows the lowest levels of Blooms.

~ should enhance the lesson rather than try to teach the lesson.
Technology can not replace the teacher. Technology can enhance a lesson and provide further learning opportunities. VoiceThread can not teach students about the water cycle, but through the use of VoiceThread, students can learn more about the topic through the eyes and minds of students.

~ need to be cross-platform and easy to understand for both teachers and students.
PC, Mac, iPad, Nook, Kindle - Oh whoa the list can go on and on.  Web 2.0 tools need to work on most if not all platforms. This provides all students and all devices the opportunity. This is crucial in BYOD schools. Teachers have to use tools that all students can gain access to and not just a select few.

~ be worth the screen time provided to students.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says children under 2 should not have screen time and children over 2 should have limited screen time, one or two hours a day. Two hours a day may seem like a lot, but that can quickly add up between school and home. If a student spends 30 minutes in a computer lab and another 30 minutes in front of a screen in the classroom that only leaves 60 minutes of screen time at home. Sixty minutes is two Disney cartoons. That doesn't even take into account mobile devices, game consoles, etc. Teacher MUST select the Web 2.0 tools they select for students wisely. Don't let the students play on a mindless math game for 30 minutes. Put their minds to work by creating a graphic organizer on Popplet or creating a story on StoryBird or Little Bird Tales.

~ should be shown to teachers through classroom integration, rather than in a sit and get session.
I am guilty of this statement. I have shown teachers about a Web 2.0 tool in a sit and get session. Teachers need time to play with the tool and decide if its something they will / can integrate into their curriculum.  I saw the best PD idea at ISTE this past June. The presenter take us a list of four tools.  We picked the one we wanted to learn and explored with in a small group. We then got into a different group and shared what we just learned.  THEN she started to talk to us about the tools.

~ need to keep student identity private.
This one is big!  We have to keep the identify of students private and the students themselves safe while online. This leads to the teaching of digital citizenship to our students and our teachers! Things like, putting your full name online and going into chat rooms need to be topic of conversation before diving into certain Web 2.0 tools or on the Internet in general.

These are just three of the tweets that really stuck in my mind tonight included:

So, what are some good Web 2.0 Tools you can use with your students?

~ Popplet
~ Google
~ Schoology
~ Edmodo
~ Voice Thread
~ StoryBirds
~ Little Bird Tales
~ Animoto
~ Sock Puppets
~ ScreenChomp

I'm am not going to tell you about these tools though. I want you to go out and learn about them!  Don't forget to share what you learn.


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