I often experience student web 2.0 fatigue in my classes because students have a tough time following multi-step directions. It's difficult to take kids through a step-by-step process of getting signed up to multiple sites, like flickr, twitter, blogger, edublogs, wikispaces... after a while they get burned out.

Anyone having this experience? Have you figured out ways to simplify the "instructional" process of trying to take kids through this without losing their interest?
Each time I want to embark on a networking project (like remote phone-blogging) it requires so much signing up, signing in, uploading, tagging, sending... the kids get impatient and crabby. Some DON'T WANT TO use the tools.
I thought the social network was supposed to make learning fun!
Anyone have kids who don't like all this "cool" stuff?

Tags: 2.0, digital, digitalnatives, learning, natives, students, teens, web, web2.0

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Fair enough - to extend the students' capabilities as long as we ask ourselves capabilities for what? If most of what happens in class is students become better bloggers, socialbookmarkers, twits, wikifiers, ningers etc, or become dismayed by the richness and relative inaccessibility of web 2.0 tools the question is what learning is happening? What are they flickring, tweeting, blogging, wikiing and ninging about.. Is there personal, conceptual, social, cultural, etc growth happening? If the answer is no, students are just doing busy-work web 2.0 style, then our collective time has been wasted and we should wait for the next bright shiny object to dazzle us.
Like Lance Armstrong's book It's not about the bike, I think at root, it's not about the tools - except for what they can build and how they can help old important activities grow, and allow new important dimensions of growth.

Will you let your microchip industry fly you to the moon with their products, or will you power poker machines with them?

If we just use web 2.0 tools to let the students do in class what they do at home, then I'm with good ol' Nancy up there: perhaps they don't want a repeat opportunity.

Of course, if we as teachers are being irrelevant, the students would probably rather be at home, and will spend every opportunity living their home life in the classroom.
Ian, I noticed you didn't actually call me 'old' :) even though my hair color matches your beard! Great weekend to you.
I can be subtle, Nancy. And I do recommend the beard colour rinse - it lends an air of maturity.
I'm running into this problem too. And then the whole password/user name issue! I still have kids who need their user name for a site we use at least every other week. The more familiar they become with the tools, the easier it gets. I assumed they were "tech-savvy", and could figure it out quickly, but they still require that step-by-step instruction for some very basic processes, and some really don't have any experience at all with these tools (and will need it).
Anybody who buys the digital native-super tech savvy line is getting sold a bill of goods--they can do what they do IM, txt, video, ipod---
Ah, Nancy, you're at the sharp end yet again. They can't do what they can't do, so let's open some windows as to what can be done above and beyond the digital native skill-set. So they can build a canoe to paddle. What would they need to do to build an aeroplane?
And next, how much is enough? Let me go back in technology time. to calculators - remember when they were 4-function devices, then you could go to trig, now there's hundreds of functions, and grapics calculators, and CAS calculators - how many really need to be utilised, and how many instantiations of the same tool do we need, Casio, Sharp, Texas...and how much classroom time do we need to consume facilitating calculator capabilities?
Only enough to allow students to carry out routine calculations, numerical investigations and analysis, surely? And so it is with Web 2.0 I suspect.
Agree Ian I always say "how many collaboration-online timeline makers does one need?"
Ian, I'm in a different position from most of the people here who I assume are IT, computer teachers, or classroom teachers. I have had the privledge over the last 25 years to teach gifted kids so I know what all kids are capable of doing and many times not asked to do. I am definately OLD school when it come to what I want for my students, my own sons and myself. I think a grown up should be interested in politics and the world around them, be able to identify a painting by its artist, know what the great philosophers think, read a book and discuss it, write a cohesive essay (I don't do that), be able to defend their beliefs, travel all over the world, speak a foreign language. I don't really care if they have an ipod playlist, can upload a video, play World of Warcraft, or have 800 Facebook friends. Later, N.

PS I would love for my students to build an airplane or a canoe--just hope they don't expect me to paddle.
Let's throw some of this responsibility back on the tools. Are they designed for children to use? A lot of web 2.0 tools are aimed at adults; specifically intelligent and structured adults. I think it is up to those of us who make the tools to ensure that they fit the mindset of the age of child/teenager they are intended for.
That was my exact point - appropriate interface and logic for the level of the user.

> On more reflection it also depends on the student.

When we started Yacapaca, we built the quiz template with fun avatars that did things in response to the student's answers. We got feedback from some teachers that they felt this was too childish for the older students, so we produced a plainer template for them. The mistake was that we put the content author in charge of which template was displayed, not the student. Looking back, I can't believe I was so stupid.

The point I'm trying to make is that software can actually adapt to the user, if it is properly designed. The same back end can have many interfaces.

That said, I'm not sure I would allow my daughter to access the command-line console on my Mac just yet - but then she somewhat younger than yours.
Over the last two years I have had this problem. My solution has been to really slim down the tools I use in my classroom. A blog, a wiki, and that's about it. Like anything, we can get totally caught up in the newest thing (as most of us here fall into that "early adopter" crowd, we are always onto the next big thing) and miss the forest while we stare at individual trees.

What I have done to address this is to open the format for project based learning units. If there is a funky web 2.0 tool out there that may serve the purpose for that particular project, I "suggest" it, along with 10 other ways of doing the same project. I'll get one or two groups that serve as takers for the new tool, but the reality is they have chosen that path and the burden of sign up and web 2.0 hangups is on them. The frustration can still exist for the kids, but they are driven to solve the problem as they have chosen that path. Often their end product turns out so much better that it tends to encourage others to try out the new tool next time.

Perhaps this is a comment that is something of a tangent, but there is one on-going question in this vein that I continually come to and hang up on. When I listen to the Ed Tech gurus, they constantly mention the belief that our kids are using these emerging technologies every day and that it is second nature to them. While I agree with that in many ways, I constantly encounter the reality that the majority of my students aren't regularly blogging, aren't participating in wiki creation, and really aren't "remixing content" or "creating content" to the web the way the gurus suggest they are. While I believe with all my being it is our job to lead them to these technologies to help them actively participate in creating content and engaging productively online, I am not convinced that the masses of students are really doing much with these web 2.0 technologies beyond social networking on Facebook and MySpace.

Is it just my kids, or the kids in my region of the world, or are others of you experiencing the same reality? It just seems that kids are not actually using web 2.0 technologies (beyond social networking) in their spare time as regularly as the ed tech gurus suggest they are.



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