I am just getting started in my teaching career, and am curious to know which of these has the most practical use in the classroom, or in expanding the classroom.  I am looking for ideas in how these have been used, or if a combination of a couple of these will be best. 



Tags: blogs, classroom20, ning, websites, wikis

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1) I would try out Ning--I think the forums function is critical to creating conversation.

2) If you want collaborative editing...you want a wiki....if you don't--perhaps thats not what you want.

3) I would look into Skype for two purposes
a) for checking out experts/interviewees
b) for connecting students similar to them with (from different geographies, cultures)
c) there is a possibility for service learning via Skype (ie teaching younger kids)

I don't know much about #3, but this should get you started: http://www.skypeforeducators.com/educators.htm

I don't think there is any "risk" in the traditional sense with trying out different technolgies, when there isn't a monetary cost. (don't get me wrong--there are risks...) You can make it part of the class--turn the exploration of the wiki technology and the blog technology into a scientific experiment. We're going to test one and were're going to survey the class (with a Google Docs custom development) or Survey Monkey or the like.
I agree with what you said here. I seriously went into wikispaces over the last few years and highly recommend them as a collaborative tool. Students also use them as simple (not so simple) personal web pages. My classes have learned a great deal with them. Skype (or Skype-like applications) are becoming important as well. We need these sorts of connections. I am just getting into NING and like it very much. I expect to develop that further in the second half of this year,
I am a graduate student in ECE. I use all of these avenues including skype for various classes. I really like the pbwiki sites because of the constant editing factor from anyone I invite. Recently read in the NYT that the next generation did not like blogs, they liked the idea of social networking sites. I have seen some very good ECE facebook pages lately. What do you think, education lessons via social networking with facebook?
There is a useful one page wiki called Blogs, Wikis, Google Docs. It lays out the nature, benefits, drawbacks, and examples for each category.



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