I have been thinking lately about how Web 2.0 could enhance the lives of administrators and principals. Administrators are busy, overwhelmed with practical tasks required to keep the school functioning smoothly. What can Web 2.0 add? Here are my answers. Please help me by adding yours.

1. Blogging - administrator blogs can reflect on daily tasks or larger issues. They can also be a way to communicate to students, parents, the community.

2. Wikis - how often do you need to work collaboratively with another individual or a group to create a document? A wiki is a good way to do this.

3. Google docs & spreadsheets - another way of working collaboratively with others, or easily sharing documents

4. Google calendar - share information about what's going on, events, schedules, holidays, etc.

5. RSS feeds - get the news and blog posts you want to read all in one place.

What else?

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Hi Marian-
Our district is currently using all of these tools to enhance classroom instruction. The teachers using these tools are thrilled by them and the teachers who aren't, usually aren't thrilled with anything. I have been trying to use a school wide wiki to enhance communication and encourage an atmosphere of academic sharing. It has been slow getting people on board though. It is hard to for someone who has looked at websites as static tools to get comfortable with adding and creating their own content. It is not a comfort zone for many. I will keep plugging along though, no pun intended.
Hi Brad, and thanks for your reply. A school-wide wiki is an interesting idea. Would you be willing to share it with me? I'm going to be speaking to a group of administrators on Friday and would like to show them some examples of the things I'm talking about, like wikis.

P.S. Is that your son in your photo? Cute picture!
the site is private right now- people feel awkward posting material when they know a large group of people will be reading it. Until it gets going I have restricted access to people in the building by invite only. I would love to share the trials and tribulations with you, though, once it gets going.

Yes thats my son he is turning 4 next month. Thanks

My name id Deron Durflinger. I am the Secondary Principal at Van Meter Schools in Van Meter, Iowa. This is our wiki that we use. Let me know your thoughts.

Hi Marian,

Well, I'd put Classroom2.0 on the list for sure. I guess it depends what exactly you are looking to create with the tools. Personally, I'd rather use a calendar on a wiki like found at pbwiki.com. Our staff is using a wiki to exchange information and share information. It helps to reduce the number of memos and email that we use. I guess blogging is a good tool but it has to fit the person. Not all people want to use that tool as part of their professional growth.
Any kind of document sharing is a good idea. I use Zoho to share information but it really doesn't matter what you use.
I have begun to use an online desktop where I can save a host of things and access them anywhere online. These might include peepel.com, eyeos.com, desktoptwo.com and desktopondemand.com. I'm even thinking of having my students begin to use this so that they can access items online without having to worry about the whole jumpdrive thing and viruses.
I think another good tool is something like Netvibes or Pageflakes where you can collect widgets that allow you to be better organized. I use Pageflakes where I have a ToDo list, Notepad, Calendar, a link to my Zoho documents and so on. It is a great way to stay organized.
As for RSS feeds, I'd go with a reader like GoogleReader. Simple to use and add RSS feeds.
I'd also suggest an email like Gmail just for all the signup information that you will be getting.
I do use Zoho planner but not a lot.

Another tool that administrators should have is an online bookmark like Magnolia, Furlit or delicious. They help you to keep track of your information that you find on the web.

I also use Skype for interacting with various people across the world but Meebo is another application that works very well for chatting.

I also claimID.com to organize my links that I use alot. That way my links are one click away. I have it set as my homepage and add to it often.

For those people who get involved in pictures, flickr is the one site that many people use.

I would also recommend that people begin to investigate Rockyou or Slideshare as ways to collaborate and online slideshows.

One last tool that people might be interested in if podcasts. We use audacity to make the podcast and then use the podomatic site to put them on the web. However, you can use any number of sites and there are sites, like Odeo, that let you do all the work online.

I think that about covers the tools that I have been using in the last year or so. Of course there are Facebook and twitter but those really aren't administrator tools although many professional people I know use them.

Hope this helps
Wow, Kelly, you are definitely living in the digital age! Thanks for such an extensive list. I only have 45 minutes for the presentation I'm doing, and I'm going to cover some basics, but I forgot all about Skype! I have looked at PageFlakes but not really used it yet. And I will check out Zoho.

One of my first topics is social networking, and this discussion is such a perfect example of how useful it can be. Even though I will probably never meet you, I got to pick your brain, or I should say you generously shared your brain with me, and just in time. My workshop is on Friday. :)

I might add that you should look at AirSet.com which is a way to organize yourself and groups. I started using it a while ago but somehow missed it in my list. What's great is that I can sync with my PDA which allows me to keep my tasks and appointments up to date. I can also pull in my ical from home which is handy.

For your presentation I'd go with the wiki, google documents or zoho for document sharing, Skype, Ning, some type of blog and then an online organizer. For me, these are the basic essential tools to be organized and productive. As a teacher, I also use a website at freewebs.com to distribute my assignments and lessons. You can check it out at www.freewebs.com/mrchristie . I have links to various sites plus to the wiki that the students use to hand in information and assignments. I reduces the amount of paper that I deal with as a teacher. Plus, it will allow me to use voicethreads at a later date.

Check out pbwiki.com - they are giving away free presenter packs to people who are presenting about wikis. They have some good tutorials and information that you might be able to use. Plus, they give you a gold membership to give away as a doorprize. An incentive to attend!
Thank you again, Kelly. I looked at AirSet. It looks awesome, but I guess I'm reticent to put all my data on a site that I'm not sure is going to be there for a long time. I've been using Yahoo groups. AirSet has some better features, like the tabs for different groups, and the shared calendar, but I don't want to spend a lot of time building something that might disappear. Synching with my pda would be pretty nice, though. What is ical?

Thanks for sharing your FreeWebs site, that looks good too. Your assignments for your kids look fun. I didn't realize you are so far away! :) I'm in San Diego, CA right now and my workshop is tomorrow. I did get the email from pbwiki about the free gold accounts tonight. It's probably too late, but I applied anyway.

Take care,
Marian, I'm a Technology Director and just wanted to say that we've been using AirSet for our online school calendar solution for two years now - they've been around awhile. We pull down the RSS feeds for our school calendar and lunch calendar so that we can display them on our website, and the data on the Airset calendars comes from a sync from our Outlook Public Folders (so data is entered locally by the secretaries). Parents can join AirSet free and sync with our calendars if they wish.

I don't know how long it will be around, but it's a great tool!
Thanks for this feedback, Pam. I appreciate the voice of experience! I have been demonstrating Google calendar. The synching function on AirSet sounds pretty nice, though!
I am a school principal who opened a blog last year as a way to inspire teachers to take on this new technology and share it with students. I administer one wiki which is ambitious in that it is addressing the needs of web 2.0 technology spread across administrative and instructional lines. The other wiki I partiscipate in addresses the needs of administratiors across the school district I work within. I will share pts. 3-4 with my study group.
If you were to be encouraging other administrators and school policy makers to embrace web 2.0, and permit use of web 2.0 tools in classroom, what points would you bring up? I'm interested in seeing this from an administrators' point of view :)



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