Archive for category web 2.0
A student of mine contacted me the other day and asked if he could use Quizilla to complete a compare and contrast assignment by making a quiz. It seemed like a really interesting method for a student to demonstrate a higher level of thinking so I said “go for it” before I even looked at the site. When I pulled up the site the next day, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it offered 5 ways to create:
A student could use any of those creative options to demonstrate learning for most of my lessons. I sent this out to my kids and told them to feel free to develop and publish their own story as a replacement for any writing assignment as long as they cover the basic lesson requirements. Meaning, if their story shows me they understand my objectives then they can be as creative as they want in how they turn work in.
They could also create a poll and publish it. If its interesting enough people will take the poll and they could share the results as part of the assignment.
Your first thought might be, how are these all connected? They’re not. I was just playing with them last night so decided to put them all together. I know, not my greatest show of deduction.
Wordle is one of those sites where you can enter in text and it gets turned into a word cloud. You can copy your url, a blog post feed, your delicious account or just simply paste some text. I came across it here, and after reading Karen’s post wanted to try out my own blog to see if my ideas were being backed up by my words. Glad to see they are.
I’m always looking for little quirky Web 2.0 programs that I can introduce to my students so really enjoyed coming across Stripgenerator in one of Larry Ferlazzo’s many posts about about web tools. I see it as a tool kids can use for making introductions to unit projects or spicing up presentations.
At NECC Week, I had been playing with a Flip Cam that my work bought for students taking my Web 2.0 class next semester. I needed to learn how to use it in case kids had questions :), so brought it along and recorded a few short clips. I was more interested in playing with the camera rather than making a video, but decided to put together a pretty disjointed compilation of what I was able to record. It has a few highlights though, some scenes from EBC including, Ewan Macintosh’s request for Pearson Learning to turn off their cameras (he was intimidating so I did too after that). It also has a bit from David Warlick’s session, from Steve Hargadon’s Social Networking in Education session, and a few other snippets if you’re interested.
A friend tweeted out the above noted video for the Diigo Beta V3 this week and it kicked off a firestorm. I’ve been playing with Diigo all week, just like the rest of the Twitter Freaks, and am really intrigued. While most of my friends in the network are excited at how Diigo combines the tools from Delicious, Facebook, and Zotero, I’m just ecstatic about annotated url’s. Sounds a little strange to say outloud but let me explain.
I hate textbooks. I don’t use them, and so far have been lucky enough to avoid them in my four years of teaching. I’ve always known there was a reason I didn’t like them. Used to think it was because they only promoted rich white men, and were super boring, but besides that couldn’t put my finger on why they made me so uncomfortable. Then I read James Loewen’s book called Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong and it all made sense. Between him and Howard Zinn, I decided that I would do my best to avoid textbooks during my teaching career.
Normally I research sites on the web and then direct kids to those sites when I want them to get a piece of info. Sometimes its complicated because I say things like, “click here, read the 3rd and 7th paragraphs.” That’s pretty silly but without cutting and pasting to create a new document, that was my only option. Enter Diigo. I can go to a site, highlight the passages I think are the most relevant, comment (sticky note) on those passages and produce an annotated url that I can give to my students. That special url comes complete with highlights and comments from me or from everyone who has annotated that page if I wish.
I teach online. Only online. So every lesson I create for my students, whether its for the Web 2.0 class I’m developing for next year, or the Travel course I made last year, all my resources come from searching the Internet. Diigo is a one stop solution to including that material in my courses. There are still some pretty gnarly quirks they have to figure out (annotations don’t work all the time, ‘twitter this’ function is spotty, and lots of stalls in application processing) the potential is ridiculous. And thats after only one week of playing, there is still way more to learn.
For a comprehensive analysis of the social networking benefits of Diigo, check out Kristin Hokanson’s blog from earlier this week.