Volume 8, Issue 1|
What is Web
Everyone's talking and writing about
it, but there is no widespread agreement on what it means. After all, the term "Web
2.0" was born and adopted by users to mean whatever they wanted.
The term, Web 2.0, arose at a
2003 conference brainstorming session between Dale Dougherty and Tim
O'Reilly, after the dot-com supposed crash in 2001. In examining the
phenomena, they "noted that far from having 'crashed,' the web was more
important than ever, with exciting new applications and sites popping up
with surprising regularity... Could it be that the dot-com collapse
marked some kind of turning point for the web...?" They agreed that it
did, and so the first Web 2.0 Conference was born.
The following image was taken from
, where O'Reilly attempts to define the term. It shows a center set of
principles, surrounded by applications of those principles in various
Simply put, Web 2.0 joins numerous sites to offer a collaborative
environment, where users have dozens of tools available to share in the
creation and exchange of ideas, resources, talents and products. Ideal
Web 2.0 tools for education include blogs, wikis, podcasting, document and media
sharing, and much, much more. And then there's YouTube, Second Life,
Flicker, and, and, and.
Initially, online teachers had to use many different resources and
software to teach an online class: discussion software, websites, search
engines, on and on. Then, the classroom management system (CMS) began to
show up: Blackboard, WebCT, D2L, and others. Now, the tendency is to use
the CMS as a spring board, adding the resources of Web 2.0 to enrich the
"classroom" experience. From many, to one, to many again! What is wonderful
about most of the tools available to teachers are free.
Please take the time to go to
http://www.downes.ca/. Stephen Downes works at the National Research
Council, Institute for Information Technology, in Moncton, New
Brunswick, Canada. He specializes in online learning, content
syndication, and new media. Scroll down the page to Stephen's Usability:
Guerilla Tactics video
clip (about 20 minutes), where he discusses the tools in Web 2.0. He
goes over some of the resources rather quickly, but his talk will
definitely pique your curiosity about what's out there for you and for
students. "Information is a flow, not a static collection of objects,"
It is an exciting time for learning, and the new generation needs
new tools. Let's learn about them enough to use those that fit our
TechBeat will be discussing several Web 2.0 tools, beginning with blogs,
and following with several more. I'll also have a dynamite
clip for you next time, describing the needs of our new
Blog is an
abbreviation for Web Log. Blogging means Web Logging.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog (By the way, wikipedia.org is
a wiki, which means that you can open the site and edit any of its
information. That's what a wiki does, and you can get your very own
for free! That will be in our next issue.) What is a blog? - "A blog is a website where
entries are written in chronological order and displayed in reverse
chronological order. "Blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning
to maintain or add content to a blog... A typical blog combines
text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media
related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in
an interactive format is an important part of many blogs."
(Take a peek at his information.)
Blogs represent a perfect medium for literacy. Authors
must read and write as they would on paper, while increasing
their comfort with computers and the Internet. Because blogs do
not require exceptional technical skills, but still offer the
opportunity to "tinker" using Web programming languages for
customization, blogs remain equitable for all age groups and
both genders, and still provide a medium for learning
programmatic skills. (David Huffaker:
Want some ideas for blogging??
Go to http://awd.cl.uh.edu/blog/.
The following PDF file has oodles of great
uses for blogs. It's a K-12 list, but so many of the concepts apply
to us in adult ed! Go to
Check out these 59 writing prompts for math teachers
to use in a blog or anywhere else:
. This site also has 38 things you can do with digital images in a
OK, so these are not about blogs, but I thought I would throw in the
resource on the same site.
Want to see a couple of blogs? Just follow the black link
Blogs are very personal. They can work as diaries
for others to see. They engage people of similar interests and are
perfect vehicles for building communities. Blogs can be free. Every
student can have a blog. Every teacher can have a blog. You don't
have to know more than how to click a button to open and use your
own blog, following very simple directions. Try it. You will
definitely like it.
Blogs can be used for inter-departmental
communication, but email is often a better options for that. Go to
http://4cornersonline.blogspot.com if you want to see a blog
that did not thrive. Out project opted for group emails instead so that
people could get immediate notification when info was given.
However, go to
the top of that page, and click on NEXT BLOG to see several samples.
All of those are created in Google.
Explore blogging, and enjoy it for what if can give
your students. There are blogs out there that have created business
and other major outcomes, but they can stay very simple, as simple
as a journal.
To create your own blog, go to Google. You will see a
number of links on the top left corner, followed by a down-arrow.
Click on that arrow if you need, and select BLOGGER. Follow the
options you are given, exploring and experimenting. When you are ready, follow the three simple steps in the
right hand column. After you create your own blog, have your students start their
own. Have blogs set up so that students will each respond to a
prompt, and idea, news, a picture, whatever you like.
Hope you enjoy this Web 2.0 tool!
Hybrid Instruction for Your Professional Health
We still have "seats" in our
Using Technology with
Adult Learners session, which will start this next Monday
(7/30-8/5). The session is free to AEFLA-supported programs and will offer PD points for
participation. I am negotiating one graduate-credit hour from
Adams State for anyone completing the six sessions. Details
follow, as taken from the course
syllabus. (Check the two preceding Tech Beat issues for details on this
project.) You will have three hours of participation.
Except for the half-hour phone conference that we will
schedule together, when you participate is up to
you. No firm schedules in online learning!
Reading (1 hour)
Activity (.5 hour)
Open a Google account.
Create and share a document with a colleague under the
Shared Documents area, following instructions given.
Online Discussion Forum
Participation (1 hour):
Prompt: Based on your
reading, activities, and experience, provide a response
to the questions listed. Return at least twice during the week
to thoughtfully respond to comments made by your
colleagues. Be sure to reference your reading
material to support your views.
Web Conference (0.5
GotoMeeting information will be sent to your email
address with instructions on how to join the online
meeting and what number to call to join the
conversation. You will pay your regular long-distance
charge for this call. You may call as individuals or as
a program if you have a good phone pod. You will need Internet
connectivity. If in a group, I suggest having only one
computer online connected to an LCD projector for all to see.
firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up and receive
instructions for entering our Classroom Management System
where all course content and discussion forums reside.
Internet Phone Service
Skype, http://www.skype.com/, is one of several phone services
available online. I have used it with great success. For an
incredibly low yearly fee of $29.95, you can call anyone in the
US or Canada at no additional cost. International calls are as
low as 2.1 cents a minute. I have a cheap little camera on my
computer ($50 or less), which lets anyone I connect with to see
me. If the other person has a camera, I can also have full video
contact. No need for expensive distance ed cameras for
conferencing or tutoring! Get those head phones on and call
someone. You may call any number anywhere even if the person
does not have Skype. They will answer on their own phone where
you will be on your computer. You can also get local numbers for foreign
countries so that your foreign friends can call you with a local
Please send me
your ideas for future issues!