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Welcome to the Human Network – An Introduction to Web 2.0 with David Jakes – NYSCATE

Presentation resources can be found here.

The first part of the day David spent providing an overview of Web 2.0, focusing on its place in the classroom and how it “changes the game” of learning. Some of the key points as takeaways for me:

  • The key to bringing people on board and understanding Web 2.0 is to them create a personal learning environment – with a social bookmarking site (del.icio.us), aggregator (Google Reader), and possibly a blog (Blogger).
  • Blogging excels at promoting reflective writing – writing for an authentic audience vs. writing for the teacher
  • Twitter – the power is in asking questions to the network. I still see it as lots of not-so-necessary chatter that I’d rather not try to keep up with. David did model tapping into the expertise by twitting a question that came up during the workshop.
  • NetVibes – a good start page (similar to iGoogle but faster) to organize your information
  • Google Lit Trips – A very neat site that uses maps to chart the journey through a book
  • The top of Bloom’s taxonomy is now *create*
  • Darren Kuropatwa’s AP Calc blog: http://apcalc06.blogspot.com – great model for using blog in a classroom – also check out apcalc07.blogspot.com
  • furl – social bookmarking like delicious, but takes a snapshot of the page. Good for transitory pages (such as news sites) where the original page might go away after time.
  • Kids spend all their time online, in chat rooms, games, networking sites, etc. – not blogging. They need guidance on using blogs and wikis effectively, and how to make constructive comments.

David’s 4 fundamental principles of technology in learning:

  1. Technology must support fundamental literacies that the shcool or organization believes in.
  2. The technology must extend the learning to a new place that could not be reached unless the technology was included.
  3. The technology use must be framed within proper pedagogy.
  4. There is assessment data that enables the evaluation of the learning, and of the application of technology, if possible.

And, the 4 fundamental literacies of web 2.0: dsc00043.JPG

  1. Connect
  2. Contribute
  3. Collaborate
  4. Create

PM: Blogger
Blogger from Google has the management tools to be able to create a safe posting environment for students. I asked about the difference between Blogger and Class Blogmeister – Blogmeister is built to be a totally safe environment from which you can add permissions/access. In a few small places, Blogger must be modified or too much access happens automatically (‘Next Blog’ button should be edited out of the template). The apcalc06 example we looked at is a great example of a teacher “walking the walk” of blogs in the classroom.

Del.icio.us
Use commoncraft intro video to demonstrate for teachers. You can follow other users (network) or tags (subscriptions) within delicious. I’ve always subscribed to a tag feed from delicious and read them in Bloglines – that way all my RSS is in one place.

Evoca:
Publish podcasts with a cell phone on the fly…oh, so sweet (costs to make the call) direct access to post. Gcast is another service which is free, but requires a PIN when calling. Check this out:

The above was made in exactly 30 seconds by calling the Evoca phone number and recording your message. Hats off to a colleague in this workshop, Andy Yale, for his great off-the-cuff recording!

Way Cool Sidetrack:
ccMixter – upload Creative Commons licensed work, others remix and mashup

PBWiki:
Very easy to create and manage wikis with lots of plugins.

All in all it was a full day with lots of great ideas and thoughts. One of the reasons I wanted to attend this is that I have been following David’s writing for some time now and wanted to work with him in person. His presentation style is terrific – very unassuming, quiet, direct, and thought provoking. I also really like that he is still school-based and has an ongoing connection to the classroom. His school is very fortunate to have him.

So for me, here are my next steps to follow up:

  • Meet with the rest of the tech facilitators in the district and have conversations on setting up personal learning environments and rolling out Web 2.0 tools.
  • Decide with tech facilitators what the key PLE tools should be and where they should be hosted

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