Today, I am spending the evening with some exceptional preservice teachers at Union University in Jackson, TN, with Dr. Anna Clifford's classes.  We'll be discussing what characteristics of Web 2.0 make it most approachable for teachers and students.  We'll also consider what to watch out for when using these tools, too. 

Here's a list of links I'll be referencing today:
    • Delicious <http://del.icio.us/>
    • Diigo <http://www.diigo.com>
    • Google Docs <http://www.google.com/apps>
    • Jumptags <http://www.jumptags.com>
    • Trailfire <http://www.trailfire.com>
    • Twitter <http://www.twitter.com>
    • Weebly <http://www.weebly.com>
    • Zoho <http://www.zoho.com>

Here's a list on my sites:
    • Kid eLit+ <http://michaelmgrant.weebly.com>
    • Viral Notebook <http://viralnotebook.weebly.com>
    • My email <mgrant2@memphis.edu>

Download today's presentation in .pdf format (10.5 MB).

Thanks for having me today!  I would like to thank Dean Tom Rosebrough and the number of other faculty and stafffor visiting and sitting in.  All the questions were great!  Good luck to all of you, and email me if you like.

 
 

Clif Mims and I will be sharing and discussing with Grades 6–8 teachers at Memphis' newest charter school Power Center Academy.  We'll be spending two days with the teachers and staff discovering how best to leverage their high technology environment and Web 2.0 tools.  Below are some of the tools and resources we'll be exploring.

:: Our Resource Sites
     :: http://www.clifmims.com
     :: http://clifmims.wetpaint.com
     :: http://www.diigo.com/user/Clifsnotes
     :: http://viralnotebook.weebly.com
     :: http://www.jumptags.com/msquareg


:: Viral Videos
     YouTube videos that make a point.


:: Social Bookmarking Sites
     Diigo :: http://www.diigo.com
     Delicious :: http://delicious.com
     Jumptags :: http://www.jumptags.com
     Pillfish :: http://www.pillfish.net
     Trailfire :: http://www.trailfire.com

:: Web Presence Tools
     Weebly :: http://www.weebly.com
     Edublogs :: http://edublogs.org/
     Wikispaces :: http://www.wikispaces.com/


:: Trailfire is for More than Bookmarking
     Here's a post that describes how to use Trailfire to create self-instructional units and Webquests.

:: How to Weebly in 10
     Tutorial

:: Search & Retrieve
     An activity to explore different search engines, metasearches and directories.

 
 

Today, I am spending the evening with some exceptional teachers at Union University in Jackson, TN, with Dr. Anna Clifford's class.  We'll be discussing what characteristics of Web 2.0 make it most approachable for teachers and students.  We'll also consider what to watch out for when using these tools, too. 

Here's a list of links I'll be referencing today:
    • Delicious <http://del.icio.us/>
    • Diigo <http://www.diigo.com>
    • Google Docs <http://www.google.com/apps>
    • Jumptags <http://www.jumptags.com>
    • Trailfire <http://www.trailfire.com>
    • Twitter <http://www.twitter.com>
    • Weebly <http://www.weebly.com>
    • Zoho <http://www.zoho.com>

Here's a list on my sites:
    • Kid eLit+ <http://michaelmgrant.weebly.com>
    • Viral Notebook <http://viralnotebook.weebly.com>
    • My email <mgrant2@memphis.edu>

Download today's presentation in .pdf format (10.5 MB).

9:25 pm
We had an awesome time tonight.  I really enjoyed talking, discussing and answering.  I was so excited to hear the variety and imperativeness of the questions.  I can tell that these teachers are really considering how to implement these technologies meaningfully and efficiently into their classrooms.  Thanks for having me tonight!  Good luck to all of you, and email me if you like.

 
 

Turned onto Trailfire by Dr. Kevin Oliver at NC State University, I have come to really like Trailfire as more than just bookmarking.  Intended to be used as a social bookmarking site, Trailfire allows you to collect bookmarks into a category, or "trail."  The trail is then linked linearly with navigation buttons.  You can include comments or annotation on each of the Web pages that are part of your trail. 

For me, this was a great opportunity for preservice teachers to create a self-instructional unit for students to follow.  A teacher collect a series of Web sites to be included in her trail.  Then the annotations are instruction and directions to the student.  These annotations may include critical thinking questions, notes to pay particular attention to a diagram or animation or directions to perform a task as a result of visiting the page, such as create a list or summarize a statement.

Another reason I really like Trailfire is its ease.  Students have real success with using Trailfire, and I don't have to spend a lot of time teaching them how to use it.  The support on the site is straightforward and well done. I find "it just works."  I also find because it just works, the emphasis then becomes on locating the best sources of information possible and not on learning the tool.  Another emphasis is placed on creating instruction that is meaningful and age appropriate. 

At my Jumptags, I have bookmarked a number of examples of student products created with Trailfire.  I've also located a great trail about how to use Trailfire that was created by aprilpc as part of her presentation for the K12 Online Conference.  Here's a few for you to peruse:
    • Magnetic Materials by George Richardson
    • Native Americans by Kimberly Boyd
    • World Religions by Lauren Weber

Have you used Trailfire?  If so, how?  What do you like about it?  What would you like to see improved? Here's a short tutorial on how to use Trailfire.


 
 

Last Friday, I presented a keynote address to the Tennessee Board of Regents eLearning Summer Institute on Web 2.0.  These ideas were collaboratively generated with Clif Mims, who happens to be at NECC in San Antonio right now.  In any case, some of the characteristics that I discussed with teaching and learning were:
    • low threshold applications, i.e., easy to learn and use
    • variety of tools and models
    • access to tools and knowledge, i.e., free tools and access to expertise and knowledge.

Some of the challenges I discussed were:
    • longevity, i.e., the short life span of the tools
    • uncertainty, i.e., whether the tools will  last
    • unconsolidated services, unlike the office suites that are all in one
    • student security and ethics, i.e., protecting student information and encouraging academic honesty
    • large numbers of applications.

What characteristics of Web 2.0 tools do you think make them attractive to teaching and learning?  As a corollary, what challenges do you feel exist to using the types of tools in our classrooms?

Download the presentation and presenter's notes below:

web2_teach_learn.pdf
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