I have been trying out various 2.0 and other computer tech tools in my 3rd and 4th grade classes for several years and will be using a class blog and wikispace this coming year. I had previously done these types of interactive applications on a local computer basis using just word processing software. Now that we have "reliable" internet access on site, we are ready to move up to the web-based versions. I've also used Photostory for digital storytelling/reports. Now I'd like to try Voicethread too.

This is the first year I'll officially be serving 1/2 time as a site technology integration mentor. No one else is doing this in my district so I'm hoping to get a few ideas from the many of you who much more experience. Many colleagues would like to begin using web based tools with elementary students and want to know where to start. I started with non web-based applications out of necessity, but I don't think is necessary now for others.

I have two main questions and would greatly appreciate your feedback.

1) For those who are ready to start, where do you think they should begin? Wiki? Blog? Digital storytelling? Other???

2) Do you have favorite 2.0 applications that are fairly easy for a beginner with basic computer skills to use?

Thanks!!!

Tags: blogging, elementary, getting_started, pd, wikis

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Hi Adina

I'm an ICT lead teacher at my school in Auckland, New Zealand. We are playing around with all of the above, and maybe you can have a look at our class blog, and follow the links to our wiki. I absolutely love Voicethread, and except for not being able to upload images (this is just at our school - I can do it from home -our firewall is blocking it) it works wonderfully. Have a look!
Our wiki: http://khanye.wetpaint.com/
Our blog: http://sparkle24.edublogs.org/

Let us know what you think! We have a look at our blog every morning during circle time, and the kids love comments!
If you have a look at my blog, you'll find links and posts to all sorts of interesting and useful applications. http://raenettesblog.blogspot.com/ Hope this helps!
Adina,
I just blogged about this!

I notice you asked this question more than a year ago. How did your year go? What did you end up doing? I would love to hear an update.
Consider downloading the free CyberSmart Educator Toolbar from www.cybersmart.org
It has direct links to carefully selected web 2.0 tools and simple descriptive categories to get
directly to great stuff when you want it. Just in time. It can be downloaded both to school and home
desktop. It's an easy start to begin finding out how much is out there.

I'd also like to point to our [full disclosure - I am co-founder of this company] CyberSmart Online Workshops -they
are designed to give educators a hands-on experience in 21st century skills—the new basic skills—to meet the learning needs of today's students. www.cybersmart.org
As I've mentioned before in a similar post, you should try using Mixbook.com

I have actually got more feedback from teachers who used it in their classroom to create projects and yearbooks.

It's free, no download required and has collaborative features for the classroom.

Check out http://www.mixbook.com/photo-books/education/san-jose-episcopal-day...

Great example!
Marcel, Your Egypt book is great, what a fun thing to send to parents. I forgot to check, does Mixbook offer a printed book?
Yup they do. Much cheaper than similar services.
Hi Adina,

I think blogs are very easy to get started with for both teachers getting started and students. Students are always eager to try new things. Edublog is an easy tool to use and designed specially for educators. Ning is another platform to use. I work with teachers learning to use these technologies and we have had much success with Edublog. There is just enough there and not to overwhelming.

As to favorite applications- Google docs has become where my team does most of our shared work. VoiceThread and Animoto are two other favorites. Visit my blog sometime.
Three different tools that I've used have been pretty easy.

•For wikis, I like using wikispaces. I have a personal one linked to others that I've created. http://shanson.wikispaces.com
•For bookmarking, I like portaportal. It doesn't have some of the social aspect that I've heard about with del.icio.us, but it's easy to use. My page is located at http://guest.portaportal.com/smhanson
•For blogging, I like Blogger. It's easy enough to use for me with some easy-to-use options.

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