I am a Middle School Science teacher in a rather rural community. I would love to start using some of the things that 2.0 has to offer but I am not sure where to start. Does anyone have any experience with this kind of community with some 2.0 stuff. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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Hi David,

We just rolled out Diigo Educator Account http://www.classroom20.com/forum/topic/show?id=649749%3ATopic%3A191499 you may wish to check it out.

In the education setting, we all know that project-based learning is an effective way to teach students and cultivate their skills of finding, organizing, synthesizing, and presenting information, as well as the social skills of working in groups, all of which are necessary in the knowledge-based economy. Among the web 2.0 technologies, Diigo is a great tool for this kind of exploratory and collaborative learning and for teaching as well.

Diigo is an effective tool for teaching as well. Diigo's features allow teachers to highlight critical features within text and images on web pages, to collect and organize series of web pages and web sites into coherent and thematic sets, and to facilitate online conversations within the context of the materials themselves. Diigo also allows teachers to collaborate and share resources among themselves.

Let me know if you need any assistance in getting started. Good luck!
David, may I ask if you are still in Boilermaker country?

If you're still in Indiana, keep your eye on your area service center newsletter. The state hired me out of my teaching position for one year to travel around the state and introduce these tools to teachers. I may be hitting an area near you very soon.
I teach middle school as well and approached my principal about using some of the available social software available. Between the two of us we saw some red flags about kids posting online and the potential dangers that occur. I'm in the process of trying to find some "safe" way of bringing more social technology into my classroom without putting my kids in any risk.
I am about to pilot a SchoolTown which our distric is looking at. Students have a login and can post to different social networking type areas of a secure site. I have a meeting ths afternoon to learn more about it. I'll let you know. If anyone uses or has used SchoolTown, I would love to hear about it.
I teach a class called Integration of Web 2.0 for 6-8 grades. We've decided not to call it a class; the students and I refer to it as a "happening." The course scheduler came to me and asked if I would teach an elective...... so I am learning by teaching. So far, we use the following tools in the class which I have not had any problems regarding negative contacts or outside interferences:

Gaggle (www.gaggle.com) -- you can get it free, or an annual subscription for a student is just $4.25. We used the free one a few years back -- the only drawback is that it is a little slower and you have advertiser pop-ups. Suggestion....try the free version this year and if you like it, have the students pay the fee next year (we just incorporate the cost into a technology fee we charge to cover mainly maintenance on our hardware). One beauty is the blogging feature and the messgage boards.

PBWiki (www.pbwiki.com) -- free and pay -- again, try the free version...you can lock out the public from editing the site and lock the students in through invites. They have lots of learning tools for teachers too.

Voice Thread (http://voicethread.com/) -- this had been a blast for the kids. You can make presentations private to select viewers and I have not seen any activity on this that would be alarming (yet!). This is a great site for presentations. Our students put up a voice thread of pictures after every school dance and start a social circle that way. It's safe because they know parents and teachers can see it.
The Blog is a great activity. You can design a blog with the theme genetics. Dominant or Recesive characteristics. The students can make photos about the blues eyes, brown eyes, etc. You can use the blogs to post your PowerPoint presentations (you need to save it in JPEG files and upload. You can use the embbed add og the you tube videos. The students only view the material that you choose. You can use the blog to post your assignment. If you like you can see my blogs , only is in spanish .I am a teacher in Puerto Rico.
http://bosquesoto.blogspot.com/
http://repasosjc.blogspot.com/
http://china2008pp.blogspot.com/
etc.
Hi David. I have updated resources for you. I recently presented the results of my class at a conference. I have links to everything at the following link. http://sites.google.com/site/learning21st/
hi yes i regulary write on my blog about technology that tecahers can use do read about it at www.tecaherswallet.com
there we have a category to web2.0
read about tools technolofy blogs
you get there what you are looking for and make a terrific start
iahe also uploaded a ppt on this for you

cheers
Attachments:
Perhaps a subtle paradigm shift is in order when it comes to discussing the "use" of social networks and middle schoolers. I have found MySpace to be an excellent tool to excite and motivate my students and allow them to communicate safely with a broader community of educators and musicians beyond our school.

Here's the catch, students do not have to become members of social networks to benefit from the positive/healthy interaction and collaboration they can facilitate.

I use popular music in my 7th and 8th grade social studies classes and MySpace is a virtual "home" to many of the recording artists my students listen to and look up to. Over a year ago I created a M.U.S.I.C. / Learning From Lyrics MySpace to try to "connect" with these artists and also promote media literacy and arts integration.

Since MySpace is blocked at my school, I will copy and paste comments into a word document several times a year and then share them with my students. I try to encourage "Friends" to leave advice for young people, to comment on their projects/essays or to simply express support for arts in education. Last school year and this year I created several assignments that were actually inspired by suggestions/comments from "Friends".

I am also a big advocate of social and emotional learning or character education and I use the Blog section near the top of the MySpace page to share information about latest classroom learning activities and examples of student media projects and writing. A former student of mine is also using the Blog section to communicate with my classes. Check it out...

http://www.myspace.com/learningfromlyrics

I have always believed that the best way to teach proper/safe behavior and conduct to young people is to model it. After all, we are in the business of educating young people, and that sure makes a lot more sense than just blocking these sites from schools and letting them figure it out on their own.
David - try my wikis - the-teacher.wikispaces.com or ict-in-science-education.wikispaces.com
Ta
Nick
Gapminder.org is amazing for analyzing health and population trends. It is interactive. Also, check out Hans Gosling, the creator on TED.

If anyone has a great site to recommend that would be close to the equivalent of Gapminder for showing the loss of habitats (trees, species, marshes, fertile soil, etc.)? If so, please share.

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