I received an email from a person teaching in Tucson, AZ about programs/examples of using Web 2.0 tools (wikis, blogs, digital storytelling, podcasting, distance learning) to meet the needs of students who might be classified as "at-risk" (i.e. not succeeding academically) or gifted students who might not be challenged.

Are there any programs or examples that you are aware of and can point me towards? (I'm sure there are, but just haven't come across examples that specifically target a group of students instead of a whole class :)

Any examples are appreciated!

Tags: gifted, specialneeds

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I teach elementary gifted kids, not "at risk". We are doing several things I think un-challenged kids would like. The Tucson teacher can check here for all the stuff we've done in the last year. Two things that would definately be a hit would be blogging and online discussions. We use Moodle for online book discussions (could be movies, too) and have recently started a Philosopher's Club using the book Philosophy for Kids by David White, we discuss a weekly question--this week Aristotle --"How Do You Know Who Your Friends Are?" students then reflect on the question using a Moodle forum.

There are other tools that would be a hit, we've used Floorplanner, Voki, BeFunky, Scrapblog, Alice, Scratch, cartoon generators, Artpad, Sketchup, Google Earth, Google Maps, Slideshare, Hyperscore, Circavie, Zip Skinny, Gamemaker. One of the beauties of Web 2.0 is there is something for everyone. The key is to figure out an authentic way to use the tools, and get past the "fluff" stage. Good Luck, N.
Anything I'm doing is with high-risk students:

http://mizmercer.edublogs.org is where I reflect. Class blogs for 4-6th grade are in the blogroll there.

The school is 83% in poverty, 95% non-white; over 50% language learners. The 28% of students who are Asian are all Southeast Asian refugees.

You might want to check out http://inpractice.edublogs.org, where are group of us who teach at Title One schools share what we are doing including Larry Ferlazzo, Doug Noon, and Brian Crosby.
I co-teach in an inclusion class where we differentiate instruction for students with special needs, the gifted and those students who fall in between. Here is a link to our blog.

You could also encourage the teacher to join this ning: http://www.classroom20.com/group/technologyinspecialeducation
Thanks for some of the great links and information about the things you are doing in your classroom. I've posted the link to the forum in an email I sent to the teacher and I'm sure she'll find a number of things to look at. Thanks again!
Hi Brett!

I teach at risk high school students and exclusively inclusion classes. To help my special education students, I have started podcasting. I create review podcasts for my students and use many other tools as well. You can see these "masterycasts" in the history subjects sections of my site, which I created to host my podcasts so they may be used by anyone. Our school site is password protected. Feel free to explore and use all of the materials on the site. I also blog on topics and tools relevant to teachers and students to improve mastery of school subjects. I have found podcasting to be very helpful for my students. You can see the philosophy, etc on the site. I think you have to be creative and willing to differentiate!


Whats the URL for the project you were refering to?

It actually wasn't a project of mine, but simply a request from one of the school districts that I work with (I'm at the state department of ed currently). Some ed tech folks from a district just asked generically about web 2.0 tools and at-risk/special ed students so I'm not sure they had a specific project in mind.
I enjoyed the technology suggestions in the Enrichment 2.0 presentation on slideshare. (Apparently there is a Ning + a Enrichment 2.0 wiki)

I recently checked out Wesch's youtube presentation to teachers called a Portal to Media Literacy, where he shows how he integrates blogs and wikis in the Netvibes aggregator. I think this is a great model to tweak for all levels. He also points to a simulation he does surrounding culture (he's a Anthropology professor). It reminds me a lot of a simulation we did in the 5th or 6th grade where we created a country and a culture and then:
1) got to do anthropology on other teams "artifacts"
2) played a game like Risk--but more educationally oriented at the end.

After watching the ex-CEO of Kinkos speak to the Library of Congress today on the way that using current events going back to reach history (or any other subject) this tactic seems parallel. I think it used a high level of identity and creation to ground us in the peculiarities, individualities, and uniqueness of global cultures.

My random 2 cents..



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