Hi everyone- I am an elementary teacher trying to assimilate/ learn about blogs, wikis, message boards, podcasts, etc etc, and I find myself overwhelmed with the amount of information! Each of these general areas has a tree of programs and skills associated with it.

While looking around, clicking and experimenting have been very interesting, it has also produced information (and link!) overload for my brain. Can anyone suggest a logical learning sequence to acquire these skills? Something like, start here, with this program or technology, get that down, then move on to this step? For example, would it be helpful to understand wikis before moving onto blogs, understand blogs before moving onto social networks, and so on? Are there specific skills that would be especially helpful with this learning? I suspect these areas are still too big, and I need to get more specific, but that's the best I can see it for now.

It's like learning the alphabet, at least some of it, before learning to read. Or learning individual letter sounds before reading words. I don't have to have a thorough knowledge of the "alphabet" before I can start, but some foundation would be awfully helpful!

As a general baseline: I can word process, search the internet, use email, general basic computer skills that most people, I think, possess. Kind of your average elementary teacher with an interest in using web 2.0 technology (I am throwing that term around, not sure of its full meaning) in the classroom.

Even a good, very current book would be helpful. Thanks

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The vote is in! I better go get Will Richardson's book, on the double! Thank you all for responding to my little plea, "Help! I'm drowning in a sea of nformation!" Really, it is so kind, and encourages me to keep going.

I am hoping to use what I learn to help other elementary teachers to take the plunge into "communication technology." Once I "get" it, I want to break what I learn down into absorbable chunks with the hope that more teachers, especially those in the elementary classroom, will feel capable of using the technology- kind of like an easy reader on the way to fluency : )

I'll keep you posted on my progress, dear teachers!
I recently found this graphic that does a really nice job of explaining the difference between blogs, wikis and discussion forums.

I've done a few screencasts that might be helpful to you. Three on Google Reader, one on Del.icio.us and one on Twitter.
Hey everybody! I got Richardson's book yesterday, have read about half (first reading, not going through all the links yet), and have set up bloglines and subscribed to a few news feeds, as well as using RSSmix (it was a little easier for me to figure out than blogdigger) to combine the feeds from my ning networks into one easy to use feed! Now I know why people in this classroom are so intelligent and informed!

I think it's important for me to check my RSS feeds daily for the next couple of weeks, so the tool doesn't become just one more thing on my toolbar, so I assimilate the power of RSS feeds and know where I might want to go with them. It's exciting! The power of collecting information corralling it somehow. I hope this is the first step to me feeling/being more directed and less scattered and overwhelmed.

Anybody have any feeds they love that they want to share? And if I'm missing something or making obvious mistakes, please let me know (like I really should go with blogdigger because of.... or any other detail I might have wrong.)

Thank you for letting me share my beginner's mind with you. It's very helpful; I don't have anyone in "real life" to share this with yet : )

Welcome to Web 2.0, you have arrived. There are a couple of good ways to find RSS feeds. One is to click on the "Top 1000" link under "Additional Features" and check out some of the top feeds. Another is to copy from someone else. You can look at my feeds at: http://www.bloglines.com/public/gmiller
Look in the Education folder. The first one there is Will Richardson's Blog. He always has interesting subjects. You can also see his blogroll here: http://www.bloglines.com/public/wrichard

Hope this is helpful. Be ready to be very busy reading. There is so much info that you can never get to it all, but this will help you find some of the important stuff without working to hard. You might also notice that I have Classroom 2.0 in my blogroll. That way I get feeds from this site and don't have to come here to check if there is something new on here.
I think you need to decide what you like to do on the web. Do you like to read blogs? Do you take pictures? Do you like listening to podcasts or watching videos? Whatever you choose, your interest and excitement for it will spill over to your students.

I understand completely your feeling of being overwhelmed. I still feel overwhelmed and I have been learning about 2.0 for over a year. I started with blogging. My first posts were just words, then I added some photos, then videos. Eventually I started creating my own content, but this is a process. From there I have tried wikis, video creation, and audio creation. My next project is podcasting.

If you would like to see my progression go to my blog and look back through my archives. Don't feel pressured to run the marathon until you have practiced running for a while.



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