What is Web 2.0?

According to Wikipedia, perhaps the most widely used example of Web 2.0, "Web 2.0 is a term describing the trend in the use of World

Wide Web technology and web design that aims to enhance creativity, information sharing, and, most notably, collaboration

among users." The Internet has progressed beyond just an "information superhighway" and become a social platform for sharing, creating

and collaborating. Web design, once a complicated process, has been greatly simplified as Web 2.0 tools make it fast and easy for almost

anyone with basic computer knowledge to create, maintain and contribute to a website. These tools are taking education in exciting new

directions as teachers explore their potential. Students can now use web tools to create and collaborate on multimedia projects, discuss

classroom topics beyond classroom walls, and even connect with the global community to solve problems and answer questions.


Social Networking and Wikis

Students are already using this type of technology if they have a Myspace or a Facebook page. These websites allow users to
upload music, pictures, videos and other file types. They can also make their site available to anyone online and create a
network of "friends" that can communicate any time and anywhere. For educators, the value of social networking goes well
beyond "chatting" and making new friends. It provides a platform for collaboration and cooperative learning that extends
outside the classroom setting and into student homes.

Other Web 2.0 Tools and Resources

Check out http://www.go2web20.net/ --this site contains the most comprehensive list of Web 2.0 tools available. Spend
some time browsing and find something new and exciting!

Web 2.0
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: 2.0 web)

These top sites of 2008 come from http://www.freetech4teachers.com 1.Drop.io - The first time I saw Drop.io I knew that it would be a very useful tool for teachers. Drop.io was launched in the fall of 2007 and continuously add new, free, features throughout 2008. Some of things that I've done with Drop.io in the last year include recording podcasts, posting slide shows, posting lecture outlines, posting rubrics, posting links for my students, leaving voice messages for my students on the days that I'm out of the classroom, and collecting students' assignments without cluttering my inbox. Getting started with Drop.io is extremely quick and easy. In fact, it's easier than setting up a blog. To read more about how Drop.io can be used in the classroom click here, here, or here. To see just how useful Drop.io can be when you're short on time read How Drop.io Saved My Morning.

2.Google Docs - I used Google Docs off and on last year as a collaboration tool with my co-workers and administrators last year. Then my hard drive unexpectedly failed (I was less than six months old) in May taking a lot of files with it. That's when I decided that I trust Google's servers a lot more than my local hard drive or my school district's servers (which failed the prior year and took a lot of my files with it). Since May, every document that I have created has been created in my Google Docs account.

Many of my students are now using Google Docs for their word processing tasks. I encourage all of my students and colleagues to use Google Docs because it eliminates the "I forgot my flash drive" and "my printer is broken" excuses.

Here are a few previous posts about using Google Docs in education.
Eight Ways to Use Google Docs
Bibliography Templates for Google Docs
Projects Using Google Docs

3. Zoho Show - Zoho Show is part of a suite of free web based tools offered by Zoho. There are many free slide show creation tools available on the Internet and I've tried a lot of them, but every time I need to create a slide show, I find myself using Zoho Show. I find myself using Zoho Show because it offers more editing options and templates than those found on Google Presentation. Zoho Show presentations can easily be embedded in a blog or shared via email. I also like Zoho Show because my students can work collaboratively to create group presentations. Interestingly, when my students have to create a presentation I give them the choice of Google Presentation or Zoho Show and most end up using Zoho. Click here or here to see a couple of previous blog posts about Zoho Show.

4. Jing Project - Jing is a free screencasting tool available for Mac and Windows. Jing allows me to make short screencasts to explain to students and colleagues how to perform a function on the computer. I used Jing numerous times this year to produce screencasts for my colleagues that had to learn how to use Mac.

5. Google Maps & Google Earth - As a Social Studies teacher I teach and have taught history, geography, and economics. Google Maps and Google Earth can be used to teach all three of these topics. Google Maps and Google Earth can be used by students to create content like virtual tours or as research tools. A few of my favorite uses for Google Maps and Google Earth can be found here, here, or here.

6. Zamzar - Zamzar is a free resource that allows me to convert YouTube videos into a number of different formats to download, save, and playback on my local computer. This is a particularly useful tool if you're in a school district that doesn't allow access to YouTube. You can download videos at home, save them on your laptop, flash drive, or email them to yourself to use in the classroom. You can read about Zamzar and other ways to save YouTube videos in Can't Use YouTube? Try This.

7. Animoto - Animoto's tagline is "the end of slide shows" and while Animoto has not stopped the creation of boring slide shows, it certainly has provided a great alternative to slide shows. Animoto allows students to create great looking videos without the need for any editing skills. The process of using Animoto is simple, select images, select music, click go, and Animoto does the rest. You can read my initial review of Animoto here and two additional ideas for using Animoto in the classroom here and here. Make sure you check out Animoto for education and register as a teacher because that will allow you to create videos longer than 30 seconds for free as opposed to paying the fee Animoto charges customers.
**Using Animoto (and Glogster and Wordle) to LEARN**
**A Great Glogster Tutorial**

8. Viddler - Viddler is a user-generated video website that I would like to see more teachers be able to use in 2009. Viddler is an excellent alternative to YouTube for a number of reasons, not the least of which being they seem to strictly enforce their rules against posting inappropriate and copyrighted material. There are some technical reasons that I think Viddler has great potential in education. First you can record and post videos directly to your Viddler channel using a web cam. Second, the commenting system on Viddler allows users to comment on videos directly within video. For example, while I was watching this video of Chris Lehman I was able to post a comment in response to something he said, exactly where he said it in the video. Using Viddler's easy recording service and commenting system could help teachers and students create an online video discussions to supplement classroom discussions.

9. Snag Films - The collection of free high-quality documentary films on Snag Films continues to grow every month. The total is now up to 510 films. Since Snag Films launched in the (Northern Hemisphere) summer of 2008 I have been able to watch dozens of NOVA and National Geographic films that I otherwise would have had to buy or rent. As I wrote in my initial review of Snag Films, Snag Films can solve two problems for me. The first problem is overcoming a limited budget. The second problem is providing a way for a student that is absent from class to watch the film I showed in class without having to lend out a dvd. My personal favorite film on Snag Films is this movie about Reinhold Messner.

10. The Kids Know It Network - The Kids Know It Network makes my list of favorite resources because of the variety of educational videos and educational games it provides for elementary school students. Teachers and parents can find games and videos for mathematics, history, science, and language arts.

11. Real World Math and Math Dictionary for Kids - When I talk with my colleagues that teach mathematics about technology integration, they always mention how difficult it is to incorporate technology and real-world problems into instruction. Real World Math, created by Thomas Petra, incorporates Google Earth into mathematics problem solving. You can read more about some Real World Math projects here. Math Dictionary for Kids makes my list because of clear and concise visual and text explanations of mathematics terminology.

12. Twitter and Education Bloggers - The twelfth resource on this list really should have been the first because as I was looking back over the year I realized just how much I learned from my network of connections on Twitter and in the edu-blog-o-sphere. Without Twitter and without all of the great teachers writing blogs, I wouldn't have learned nearly as much as I have this year. I'm looking forward to learning more from all of you in 2009. Happy Holidays and best wishes for a great New Year.

Additional Reading on Web 2.0

Locations of visitors to this page
Make a Clustr Map to show where your visitors are from.

The Complete Web 2.0 Directory





Web 2.0 Tutorials

Without a doubt one of the best resources on the web for web2.0 Technologies is the commoncraft show. Lee LeFever's productions
are clear, simple and to the point; most of all they are "In Plain English" Here are the links:
external image commoncraft_logo.gif
external image commoncraft_logo.gif

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