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.

 
 

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.

 
 

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
File Size: 3626 kb
File Type: pdf
Download File

 
Embeds Workshop 06/26/2008
 

I'm conducting a workshop today for the for TBR eLearning Summer Institute at The University of Memphis on embedding stuff and widgets into your Web site, blog, wiki or Desire2Learn.  So, I'd love to hear your ideas about what you like to embed and where you go to get your embeds.  I'm also going to use this space to demo some embed codes, so it might look a little cobbled together.  That's intentional, though.

iGoogle, Pageflakes

Most people are probably familiar with widgets from iGoogle <http://www.google.com/ig?hl=en&source=iglk> or a site like Pageflakes <http://www.pageflakes.com/>.  You choose little tools to show up, sort of like a start page.  TIP: There's also a Pageflakes just for teachers <http://teacher.pageflakes.com/>, which has lots of widgets just for teaching.

Places to get widgets or embeds

1.    Tony Vincent’s site <http://tonyvincent.net/?q=node/43>
2.    Google Gadgets <http://www.google.com/ig/directory?synd=open>
3.    Widgetbox for all types <http://www.widgetbox.com/>

Unexpected places to get widgets or embeds

1.    Barnes & Noble Studio <http://www.barnesandnoble.com/bn-studio/videos-podcasts/index.asp?>
       See it in action at        
        <http://michaelmgrant.weebly.com/1/post/2008/06/brisingr-is-coming-september-20th.html>

Places to make your own embed widgets

1.    For photo slideshows <http://www.goodwidgets.com/widgets/share/69745>
2.    For forms <http://creator.zoho.com>
3.    For presentations <http://show.zoho.com> or <http://sliderocket.com/>
4.    For polls <http://www.polldaddy.com>
5.    For audio (mp3s) <http://www.widgetbox.com/widget/mp3>
6.    For charts <http://www.richchartlive.com/RichChartLive/>
7.    For spreadsheets <http://sheet.zoho.com/>

Some examples

1.   Slideshow: Kameilah Amaya <http://technology-education.weebly.com/my-artifacts.html>
2.   Slideshow: Jennifer Nelson <http://msjnelson.weebly.com/artifacts.html>
3.   Slidecast: Matt McLean <http://mattbmclean.wordpress.com>
4.   Zoho Sheet <see below>

 
 

Two of my favorite Web 2.0 tools of all time just went to the dark side.  Okay, that's a little dramatic.  They both just instituted new business models.  Zoho Creator, the online database and Web interface tool all in one, just added a business plan.  This, of course, placed limits on the free plan, including the number of applications and the amount of storage total.  Apparently, everyone else also loved this tool and the folks at Zoho decided they needed to cash in on that.  Well, I can't blame them.  It's really an awesome tool for what it does.  OgasaWalrus recommended that they might offer a lower priced personal or business plan.  I've done the ASP programming and I've done the PHP programming, and I hate programming.  So, to have a tool that will allow you to create a form and it generate the database connectivity behind the scenes is pretty spectacular.  I will certainly miss unlimited use of Zoho Creator.  I've recommended it (and the other Zoho brand of tools) to so many colleagues and teachers across the country I can't count them all.  I sort of wish there was a way to get a little reward for inviting people to use Zoho.  Hmmm?  There's another business model for them.


Weebly, another of my all-time faves and the host of this here blog, also just added a "Pro" plan.  This, too, generated a ceiling for the number of sites you can generate with the free plan.  I have encouraged double digits at least of individual teachers to use Weebly for their classroom sites and blogs.  Weebly is certainly unique, which is why I love it so much.  Weebly not only has a drag-and-drop interface but it will allow you to create a Web site and include a blog or multiple blog pages within your site.  Weebly was certainly doing this long before Wordpress added the features of menus and and static pages.  I believe that they may be experiencing some heavy volume and not enough support.  In a recent support email to Weebly, it took about 2 weeks for them to respond and they indicated the difficulties they were having.  So, maybe the Pro plan is a revenue generating method to help support the current users.  In any case, I will continue to use Weebly and recommend it...particularly to teachers.  It hasn't been blocked by school districts yet, and the drag and drop certainly make it easy enough to use with little to no instruction for the teachers.  Wonder if Weebly would institute the invite rewards too?