I'm thinking about creating a Web 2.0 Apps class as a semester long elective for high school students. I'm wondering if anyone is already doing this and would be willing to share materials/ideas.

I'm also interested in getting ideas for how to structure the class (it runs about 17 weeks). I'm thinking of starting with blogging and having students blog their reflections about each tool they learn. I'm also thinking about having them create screencasts to teach others how to use each tool. I'm a little stuck on a final assessment. One idea would be to have them invent their own ideal Web 2.0 app (as a concept - not the programming part).

Please share your materials, experiences and ideas. Even if you have never done it.

Tags: assessment, curriculum, lessonplans, web2.0

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Liz,
Great to hear your ideas, you are very inspirational. I wish I could say I've done this with kids, but I haven't. I like the idea of blogging, but it would be great to see a wiki showcasing each tool that others could collaborate on. I LOVE how you do your screencasts and think that is a great idea as well. Good luck with this, keep us posted. Thanks again,
Mark
I think that the best app out right now is Evernote. I used it to take notes for my seminars this summer. I like being able to access the information from anywhere.
Hi Liz,

We are trying a new class in our district called IT Essentials it is a year round course - covering social vs professional networking, Web 2.0 and other collaborative and communication tools. I am not teaching it but supporting the new teacher (new to our district as well). Class starts this Wed and we still have not worked out the syllabus, or general outline. We we do I'll send you a copy. I may need a reminder or to. At the start of the school year I have no-memory.
I would love to see this too. We are considering some mini courses for freshmen and seniors that might be focused around some of these issues.
Beth and Alice,
Maybe we could collaborate between classes in some way. Skype the kids into a conference call or something like that, or create a ning together, where they can blog with each other. I only have 2 kids in my class right now, so it is going to be more like an independent study. It would be great to get some more kids to participate.
Hi Liz,

Your proposed class sounds like a lot of fun! You could have units focused around different tools, such as social networking, bookmarking, blogging (maybe cover this first as you want students to document what they are learning), presentations (like jing and such), and swiss-army type applications that link more than one tool together. I love the idea of having students come up with a concept of their dream app...I would take this class!

Phil
Liz, it would be interesting to have the students consider, propose, and document how each new app could be used to deepen learning within a specific content area. For example transferring VoiceThread into a history class.
Liz,
Always a trendsetter.
Could your final assessment be something like a reflection on what they learned during the semester using the tools that they believe are the most valuable to them as learners?

If nothing else, definitely offer a choice for your students to tap into the method that helps them best demonstrate what they have learned.
Hi Liz:
One thing I have been thinking about is the whole "toolbelt" idea and getting students ready to go to college. The problem is that students need to know why they might need to choose the tool. As juniors, our students have a year long project. They must chose a side on an issue that is current public policy. So the research process is very important. The teachers and librarian help them set up RSS feeds, learn to evaluate web pages, and find current, relevant materials. Perhaps your students could help make and organize the tutorials to teach students and teachers how to setup and use the various tools.

Here is an interesting web site I have been looking at recently. Your students could evaluate and choose which ones they think are best.

An finally, I wonder if having the students design their final assessment is some way. A couple of ideas:
1) they take the best of the best and deign the ultimate tool.
2) last year Google High School had a competition, perhaps they could design something around those parameters to make it authentic.
3) working with a department, such as English, they could come up with the tools they think best suit the needs for a certain project.

Good luck and I'll be anxious to see what you come up with!
Wow, Liz! Your class sounds exciting and mind expanding. It’s such a great idea to have them explore, harness, and evaluate tools that will scaffold learning.

How to assess? Hmm... What do you want them to learn? Is it to seek and build a growing library of useful tools? To establish a varied base of tools they know really well? To find tools that fit their own style of expression? To share and teach others about their discoveries? To show they can use a chosen few tools that help them ask great questions and reveal their understanding?

Sky’s the limit with a class like this!

I teach little kids, but I’ll offer a few assessment ideas:
• use a chosen tool to communicate their findings, their new ideas about evaluating web tools, and what they will adopt from other students’ research
• create multimedia presentations (individually or in groups) to “advertise” their discoveries for other students everywhere
• convince teachers of their other classes to let them do an end-of-semester project using web tools to enhance meaning, and ask each willing teacher for just a bit of input for your evaluation

Best of luck! Your kids are really lucky.
Holly
Great questions!

I think your list of learning outcomes all apply to the goals of the course. How does this sound? Ultimately I want them to be able to find, learn, evaluate, use and share Online tools that will improve/challenge/inspire their own learning.

I think I will definitely have them create at least one multimedia presentation, definitely during the week we are learning Google Presentations.

I like the idea of having them teach a tool to at least one other person, not in the class (friend, teacher, or parent, virtually or in person).

I want them to design an evaluation rubric for each tool that they learn.

Not sure how the other teachers idea will fly - I'm at a new school and I don't know how that will go over.

-Liz
Hi Liz,
As I am preparing to present at NJAET's annual conference on 21 "Must See" Web 2.0 Websites for Educators I've been collecting a few collections of websites that may be helpful to you. Since there are so many new tools that come out and so many that die out, it's tough to plan so far ahead.

But here are the links:

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/cool-websites-and-tools-edition-165/

http://cooltoolsforschools.wikispaces.com/

http://www.smartteaching.org/blog/2008/08/100-awesome-free-web-tool...

http://blog.ted.com/2007/08/100_websites_yo.php

I hope this helps.
Lisa

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