Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Web 2.0 Tools

What are they and why should I be interested?

Wikipedia (a web 2.0 tool...) defines web 2.0 tools as "a perceived second generation of web-based communities and hosted services — such as social-networking sites, wikis, and folksonomies — which aim to facilitate creativity, collaboration, and sharing between users. The term gained currency following the first O'Reilly Media Web 2.0 conference in 2004.[2][3] Although the term suggests a new version of the World Wide Web, it does not refer to an update to any technical specifications, but to changes in the ways software developers and end-users use webs."

In "layman's terms" web 2.0 tools are another "layer" to internet that allows people to interact and also makes software available on-line - more often than not it's free! Think of a social-networking site...myspace or facebook for example. Both of those sites allow interaction with others on-line. Those are considered a Web 2.0 tool. This blog is considered a Web 2.0 tool. My wiki - jmcdaniel.pbwiki.com - is a Web 2.0 tool. Google offers a word processor, spreadsheet document, and powerpoint type document (called Google docs) online. They are free and work very similiar to documents of similiar type. The exciting thing about these, though, is they are on-line and can be accesses from anywhere you have an internet connection. All you need is to create a google account (free of charge - of course).

To be able to search for all sorts of different Web 2.0 tools (most free, but some not), you can visit www. and a list of all sorts of different Web 2.0 tools will be available for your pursual. You can search by different criteria and then when you click on a tool, a preview with a description of the web 2.0 tool will appear at the bottom. There will also be a link that will take you to the actual web page of the tool if you're interested in using it and/or learning more about it.

In the coming weeks, I will be highlighting some different web 2.0 tools and giving detail on what they are and how they might be used to enhance learning. I will go over some of the more common ones (blogs, wikis) and will also give a listing of several different ones that are not quite as common. This will allow you to explore some of the different things that are out there with knowledge of how it might be used to enhance student learning.

I welcome thoughts/ideas on web 2.0 tools! Please add your "2 cents"!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Welcome to My Blog

Students of today crave technology. Some teachers of today shy away from technology. Never a good combination. Why this blog? To encourage and inform teachers about becoming a 21st century teacher for our 21st century kiddos. They are wired differently and they learn differently. Yet there are still teachers out there who teach like they were taught.

What's the harm in this? We learned it just fine the old fashioned way and look how we turned out - just fine! The problem is that our kids have to know how to communicate in a global economy. There are skills that kids of today have to know and understand that weren't important when we were going to school. I plan, in the days to come, to blog on the different skills that a 21st century student needs to have that, in a "traditional sit in your seat and listen to me talk" classroom does not provide.

I hope that you learn something from this blog. That is the intention. My mission is to help teachers be successful using technology in their classroom. Feel free to comment (even if you disagree!!) and add your own "2 cents".

The plan - to blog at least once a week (if not more) on issues relating to integrating technology into the every day classroom. Sometimes it might be as simple as a link to a great article. If you're an avid user of technology - good for you! Please share your expertise with us. If you're ready to use technology, but not sure where to start, hopefully you'll find some great things to get you started. If you're convinced technology is for everyone else but you, I hope you keep reading to "prove me wrong". The world would be boring if we all had the same opinion, but how much richer the conversation is if there is discussion!

May this blog help at least one teacher to realize the importance integrating technology into every aspect of their teaching!