I have been asked to conduct an in-service this summer on Web 2.0 tools. Please help me formulate a list of essential tools that I can introduce to these teachers. Most do not use much if ANY technology in their rooms currently so I need to keep it very simple. I want to really drill into five or six things that they will immediately want to use. I don't want to overwhelm them and have them go away thinking they could never use any of it. I plan to introduce them to the Ning of course as a venue for great ideas and possibly Twitter. I want to show them Skype because I've used it so much this year. Would love to get into blogs and wikis. What else do you all think and what clients are most user friendly?

Tags: 20, teachers, tools, training, web

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Why not conceive of a series of in-services, each with a separate web 2.0 focus? (for example, Blogs and ePortfolios, Collaboration and Presentations, eWriting, Research, Digital Storytelling.)

Focusing on just five or six apps is a good idea (judging from experience with colleagues who move...um...at a more pedestrian pace with technology. (Since I am in the same boat, I am curious what has been suggested here!). I am thinking a general introduction to something bigger, like blogs and wikis as you have suggested, but then some simpler apps, like timelines, graphing apps, surveys/polls, and maybe social bookmarking...or online word processors (or presentation apps).
Although I am from a small Catholic Elementary School we have been offering 4 - 1 hour workshops over the summer to introduce teachers to the technology they can use in the classroom. There favorites have been portaportal.com, Itunes, and our CMS. This summer we are going to really push the Web 2.0 and interactive tools so students have multiple ways to express themselves for differentiated learning.
I started my faculty with blogging this year. It helped a lot having the support of the Administration. I set up a wordpress blog for every teacher near the beginning of the year and a few teachers really took off with it. Then the Administration said beginning January 1 every teacher will be required to update their blog every week using it to post homework and a weekly newsletter. Once they started using it, they loved it! It's great to check the sites and see how some teachers have changed the themes, embedded pictures, etc.

I want to do some workshops this summer too. I'm still trying to decide what to start with.
It may not be on the same level as Twitter, Skype, or blogs; but if you are going to introduce blogs or wikis you got to have Glogster EDU. It will provide some creative excitement and allow them to integrate multi-sensory teaching experiences into traditionally text-oriented subjects. Once you have captured their attention with this tool of endless possibilities, introduce Animoto, Voicethread, etc. See some of the exciting things that Traci is doing!
Tamra - My list of "10 Internet Technologies That Educators Should Be Informed About" may provide some additional recommendations you might find useful.
Great blog..thanks!
It's interesting to read everyone's response to your question. I agree that Skype would be right up there at the top of the list since it is very easy to use for short interviews with experts, in calls to other classrooms as in Sylvia Tolisano's excellent program: Skype Around the World. Voicethread is another favorite of mine since it is also very easy to use across the grade levels, is easily edited, and can be shared across the globe either privately or publicly almost instantly. The third tool that I use is simply a digital recorder where students can sing, respond to questions, engage in interviews, and read stories to create mp3 files that can easily be shared via email, in a blogpost, in a podcast, or right within the classroom in iTunes.
Great ideas...I have used all of those things in my classroom. Boy it is so hard to narrow down all of the great tools that I WANT to show them. I've decided on no more than five and have gotten some really fantastic ideas from this thread.
google docs! Collaborative writing assignments - and the forms can be used to collect data..
there are lots of resources out there: try these: http://www.google.com/educators/index.html and http://docs.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=134592
These are great resources. I had looked at google for educators a while back and meant to do more with it, but...you know how that goes:-). I'm really glad you brought this to my attention again.
Google Wave is a new tool for communication and collaboration on the web, coming later this year. The potential for classroom use, student collaboration, teacher input, ongoing assessment and immediate feedback is a tool that may interest teachers.
Will certainly check this out..thanks!



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