I am so overwhelmed with the amount of technology out there that I do not know where to start...blogs, wikis, video, making movies, etc. I want to know what you would vote as the most effective use of technology, whether it be an actual piece of equipment, online, or anything classroom 2.0 that you have used in the classroom. I have the type of personality in which I want to try EVERYTHING, but time is a huge factor, so the purpose of this discussion is to help me narrow my focus down to something more manageable. So I am asking you the experts, what you have found to be the best of the best. By the way I would like to try to limit this to the elementary level but I am open to any suggestions.

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Good points. Glad to have your voice here!
Not to muddy things further - but how many of these communities and tools are becoming filtered readers of some kind? Twitter and most other presence clients/platforms bake the reader into the application. Nings can serve as aggregation stations (both technically - as they can display RSS feeds, and metaphorically, as the people here link and relink to good content.)
How many schools filter Ning?
Many. But Classroom 2.0 (I think because the way the domain's mapped) gets through our filters. Steve - what does it cost to do that for a particular Ning network?
$4.95/month, plus whatever you pay to register the domain.
So for $70/year, one kind person could "sponsor" a Ning around the filters in most school districts. Interesting. I wonder if there's a program there somewhere . . .
Our school filters ning, in Australia. So I ahve to ask the technicians to unblock the ones I want unblocked. Some ning sites that we use, are collaborative project sites with other schools. Classroom2.0 thankfully gets through though.
Good point. Maybe one I would have wanted to articulate, but wasn't clear on in my own mind until you spoke it.

I'm sorry to say that my own personal aggregator/reader gets a lot less attention now than it once did.
Steve said "not everyone is going to want to go through that work--or needs to"

Most people don't want to take the time to master the skills they need to use. They just want the mastery.

Some people don't need to be masters of this stuff. I would argue that educators do not fall into that class of people.
I'm not sure that's the case. I think there are different skills being mastered by these different tools, and the ability to participate in a thoughtful, engaged, and collaborative dialog can actually be cultivated and learned in a lot of different environments, online or off-line. Social networking (or "collaborative learning communities") may round out the strengths of someone who chooses to spend their intellectual time in other areas outside of the blogosphere or the tools of Web 2.0.
Well sure ... if all you want is "the ability to participate in a thoughtful, engaged, and collaborative dialog" then CR2.0 is a good place.

I'm a little more demanding. I want to actually learn how the tools work, to see how they operate within the context of my own practice, and to explore how they might be combined and applied in ways that give me outcomes that I can delight it.

Not just one tool. Not just wiki's. Not just Voice Thread. Not just just blogs ... not just any of it.

I want a tool box that has more than a screwdriver in it and for that I need more than just "the ability to participate in a thoughtful, engaged, and collaborative dialog."

But that's me. :)
Well, you know me well enough to know I fall into the same camp! :)



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