Web 2.0 Tool Blog
There are so many tools which I love to use not sure where to start. Our school received two iPad carts this year and I have been lucky enough to have one of them in my room since the first of the year so I will start with Padlet. I used this application on the first day of school with no real instructions needed with the students prior to use. I created a Padlet using my log and I included a prompt for them to answer. We had gone over my expectations of them and the prompt for the students to write about was, “What are your expectations for your teacher and your peers”. I created a tinyurl and posted it on the board for the students to access the web page for this Padlet. This made it easier and quicker for the students to access. Since Padlet does not require a log in for students to contribute, there was not a lot of set up for myself. In this original exercise, the task was as simple as students, bringing up the URL, double tapping to type their response. Since the students did not have to log in, I had to ensure that included their name in the response.
Since I started out with a small expectation and assignment with the student first using a new tool, I believe this alleviated any challenges the student might have had with the tool. This allowed the experience to be stress free for myself and the students and was a simple integration with technology. Padlet allows users to upload links, images or a file. Since I gave the students a sync preview with just simple text our next use of tool we were able to build upon. Many research studies have shown if integration of technology does not go right or has issues, teachers have greater tendencies not to what to use technology. I know have students creating Padlets on various social studies topics. Students were able to contribute to Padlets created on three of the three world’s religions. Students were able to upload pictures or links which helped describe the beliefs.
While Padlet is my simple go to tool, I also love Voice Thread and Thing Link. I have language arts teacher using Voice Thread in their classrooms by uploading a picture and students creating stories based upon the image. Voice Thread does have challenges. For students to use the actual voice piece, they must have a microphone and a quiet environment to record. There is a cost to student license or you can use a generic log in which you could continually change the password. My language arts teachers love it. They assigned each of their classes a different genre to create the story to the picture. The students individually added to the story one by one. So they build upon each other’s narrative.
I know we were suppose to only talk about one or two, but there are so many great tools. I have recently found Thing Link. It can be used as opposites of Padlet or you can have students create your own. Thing Link allows you to have links to various websites and uses various symbols. I have used it a site using a tinyurl for my students to access when I want them to do research. I set up a Thing Link, which just has the web sites which I approve for research. This limits what the students are doing on the iPads and I can easily look and see they are on task.
In using specific tools and understanding the expectations of how we want them to work and what they can do, technology integration can be easy. Using these tools allows greater controls of what our students are accessing on the internet.
In the world of digital media it has become so easy to post our personal pictures to sites such as Instagram, Facebook, and Flickr. I am guilty of using Facebook as my own personal cloud storage of pictures. However in doing so I am opening myself up to my pictures of my favorite vacation spot becoming part of a school project. Sure I have a great black and white of the Eiffel Tower and the Emperor Palace in Tokyo, but do I want anyone to have access to them.
Since the onset of digital media and students using the web to research, a struggle has begun of what content should be allowable and what is a violation of copyright laws. Students think it is okay to Google a topic and get any image they would like to use in a project. “Hey, if it’s on the internet, I can use it”. The introduction of Creative Commons in 2001 provides a broader range of digital media which students can use properly. In 2007, Creative Commons expand to have resources directly related to education (Creative Commons).
A tool such as Flickr allows educators and students to use digital images in projects which following the guidelines of Creative commons and copy right laws. Creative Commons allows business and the public to determine how they will allow their work to be used.
After reviewing the various websites in the module, I have learned Flickr can be used to help students distinguish vocabulary words and display math concepts. In my own social studies class, I thought of instead of word clouds on a topic or events why not a picture cloud. The students can then annotated each of the images to provide the importance of the image to the cloud (Richardson, 2010 pg104).
It is amazing how more and more social and digital media sites are becoming part of the educational process. Before I know it one of my pictures may show up for a student to use on a project.
Creative Commons. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://creativecommons.org/education
Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms. California: Corwin.
Issac, J. (Photographer). (2001, March 25). Infrastructural and Environmental Damage during Iraqi Occupation of Kuwait [Web Photo]. Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/35483578@N03/5559102272/in/photolist-9teRqU-7wejNR-BDLLN-a8io71-9SnFUu-ac3Nnt-9Z2u9S-9p237w-a7A1YT-9iy9ka-a5WgQ2-dFzVWZ-9hRWXm-9nGjj8-7wr83w-83afMJ-dDY5dV-7GZS3u-7JQPbX-bUo9dJ-7FBJDe-aGd2Ge-aGd2AR-aGd2CD-9YaSuF-82zFdf-9ipWog-YuBeS-Yqb86-9tmgqB-97L9EW-9d8ZVo-9RaM32-bjBHmg-aqMHTX-bjBxPk-dBnwxp-sm7oK-7eiz3Z-bk3vgy-bxXpw2-bxXow8-bxXnBz-bk3vnN-bxXp9X-bxXnXv-bxXp2x-bxXoW2-bxXnzn-bk3vNs-bxXokk
Wikis or Blogs what is the difference?
Before reviewing material and investigating the difference between Wikis and Blogs, I thought they were basically the same just different wording. Being familiar with Wikipedia, I saw wikis as a blog but just for information. I now see a purpose for wikis in education from various directions. After reviewing Kathy Davis‘s blog and her Flat Classroom Project. I see wikis as a global collaboration site. As a social studies teacher and with a background in travel having my students working with other student around the world to solve real world issues, I see wikis as the venue for this type of collaboration.
Along with being a collaboration tool, wikis are a tool to build digital citizenship and resource tools. Richardson states “Give students editorial control can imbue in them sense of responsibility” (Richardson, 2010, pg.61). I have never been a fan of Wikipedia or allowed it as a research tool. However, the use of wikis can be used to teach students proper use and what must be validate in Wikipedia in research. The use of wikis allows greater understanding of Wikipedia and how and when to use it (Richardson, pg.59).
In my classroom along with building global collaboration with wikis, I would like to use other ideas I reviewed. My classes have used QR codes to create digital time lines, the idea of using QR codes embedded into a wiki as a scavenger hunt for review as used in Jennifer Barnett’s classroom is an idea I am quite interested in. This integrates technology in various forms and is student centered. Vicki Davis’ student’s study hall is also an easy integration of technology and student centered and driven. What greater way then having students to create something that serves a purpose and meaning to them and their fellow students and can improve student achievement.
So after much review, there is a difference between a Wiki and a Blog but both have a purpose in education.
Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms. (3rd ed.). Thousand Oak, California: Corwin.
Module 3 Blogging
I have never been much of a blogger or reader of blogs prior to starting the specialist program. My only venture into blogging was a family RV trip a couple of years ago written from my dog’s point of view. Apollo’s Great Adventure (Evans Heath, 2011). While travel log is not necessarily what educational blogs generally focus on I can see how something of this nature could be adapted in my classroom. In my own mind, I have also seen blogs as one directional, someone writing their thoughts almost like a diary. In reviewing the material in Richardson’s Chapter 3, I have a greater understanding of how, when, and why blogs can be integrated into a classroom.
In my development as an Instructional Technology Specialist, I read Richard Byrne’s Free Technology for Teachers blog as my go to resource for information. I read this blog on a daily basis and share tips with my peers at school. Byrne’s post about “21 Century Teacher” is a reflection how blogs can be written. While being a source for information, Byrne also voices his opinions on the latest trends and topics, sometimes in a comical manner.
Blogs can facilitate learning in various forms. Teachers could use blogs as a class portal, resource site, or a collaborative space for discussion. Blogs can be one directional with teacher providing information or thoughts or the teacher asking students to be contributors. What about weekly class bloggers? Blogs can even support differentiation with providing different types of tools and assignments for students.
As we focus more and more on the Common Core Literacy Standards in Social Studies, blogs do have their place. Blogging develops and teaches research, organization and synthesis in writing (Richardson, 2010). As we gear our students to be 21st century learners and citizens, they are able to work and learn collaboratively this can be easily be guided through blogs with students around the globe. It is his connective writing which enables student work to be share outside of classroom and provide more meaning to the writer and the reader. This outlet which allows students to reflect on their own work, provide thoughts, and feedback to others is a powerful tool. Others commenting and providing insight to a blog post further allows the author to have feedback to their writing. This also allows the writer to reflect on their own thoughts and develop in their critical thinking. Blogging gives the author a bigger audience to their writing and a greater meaning. The comments others provide to a blog validate to the author their writing is important and has value. This feedback will guide the author to continue to improve and strengthen their thoughts. These responses show meaning and purpose to their writing
As fast as our world is changing, learning is evolving with two new blogs being created every second. (Richardson, 2010).
Richardson, Will. (2010) . Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms
Evans Heath, C. (2011, June). [Web log message]. Retrieved from apollosgreatadventure.blogspot.com
Byrne, R. (2013, April 9). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.freetech4teachers.com/
Richardson (2010) states, teacher must experience networked learning spaces prior to incorporating these learning environments into our classrooms with our students. I do not totally agree with this statement. It maybe a scary world for many teachers who are not of the technology age. Cable television and home video games systems came out when I was in high school. I owned my own personal computer at the age of 25 in 1990. My first cell phone was a bag phone I got in 1992. Even though I started working for a travel technology company in 1997, I was not brought up in the world of technology in which my students are. I may feel comfortable using and trying the latest and greatest, many teachers still considered smart boards, “dumb boards”. It is a mind shift all educators and educational systems need to make and not be scared if we are tasked to ensure our students are college and career read.
Teachers as they plan their instruction must be prepared for every step in the process and also be prepared for the unexpected. Every clearly defined lesson in rare cases does not flow without a hitch the first time. When teachers further incorporate technology into their classrooms this is even more the case. In 2005, the National Technology Plan says, “students of any age are far more computer literate than their teachers.”(Richardson, 2010, p. 11) This further provides validation teachers must be prepared and be competent in the technology in which they implement in their classrooms.
As I work with teachers at my school to integrate technology into their classrooms, I tell them to start small and find one application or software they are comfortable with to use in their instruction. Find something they have a passion for and tap into their current knowledge and what they are comfortable with. Educators must understand the safety risk with their students using technology and ensure students know proper digital citizenship. I do agree with the text teachers must understand the ways technologies can facilitate global connections for their students and the impact this connections can have on the learning environments. (Richardson, 2010, p. 9)
While teachers are learners as well in the age of technology and must understand the pedagogical implications of incorporating technology for the classroom.(Richardson, 2010, p. 9) Who but our students are innovators in technology and can provide ideas of what could work and could be incorporate into our classrooms. You never know what tool a student may know and can share their knowledge with their teachers during the learning experience. As educators we must understand networking and technology tools we implement in our classrooms, but at the same time use the teachers in the classrooms our students to guide us as well since they are the technology generation.
In reviewing the tool box in the text book, I have not ventured much in to Really Simple Syndication (RSS). I can see the tool as a way to aggregator research and current events on topics I want my students to use through the year in social studies. I can incorporate these feeds in to my Edmodo site or on a Weebly research site.
I found the article A Day in the Life of Web 2.0 by David Warlick very interesting. I would have never thought of blogging this extreme. I believe the majority of teachers who do blog, look at it in a way to just deliver what is happening in their classrooms. Our school has struggled to find the way to get information out to parents. We thought having everything on our web site would be best. Parents and students could just go out there and find what the needed. Not the case, they are not looking at the web site and many still want to receive emails with news and updates sent to them. Whereas I am the opposite, I wish I didn’t receive emails all the time. Warlick’s article mentions Really Simple Syndication (RSS); I can see this as a viable tool to meet the needs of all. The information is on the web site for all to see and those who want to see updates can subscribe. Teachers and administration do not have to send out emails all the time. It also allows what is happening in the school to be shared with everyone including within classrooms and teachers. I can see using wiki’s and blogs as a way to share information for additional support and research with students, with the thought process of students creating their own study guides pages on these blogs is a great way to further engage the 21st century learner. With the teacher having the study guide wiki’s as a contest this also pulls the new “gaming” aspect of teaching.
I can see blogs and wiki’s as great tools for student engagement, flipped and extended classrooms and students and professional collaboration. However, many teachers are going to feel more overwhelmed with one more thing to incorporate and do every day, especially “old school” teachers. Presently at my school for students to be engaged in technology it all has to be done while in the classroom and in many cases it can be done there. The majority of my students do not have computers or internet at home and most of our classrooms only have two computers. Until there are better resources available to all students unfortunately many technology tools cannot be fully implemented to the level mention in the article. The can be great collaboration tools among teachers.
Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin .
Warlick, D. (2006). A Day In the Life Web 2.0. Technology and Learning Magazine.
Christa Evans Heath