I often experience student web 2.0 fatigue in my classes because students have a tough time following multi-step directions. It's difficult to take kids through a step-by-step process of getting signed up to multiple sites, like flickr, twitter, blogger, edublogs, wikispaces... after a while they get burned out.

Anyone having this experience? Have you figured out ways to simplify the "instructional" process of trying to take kids through this without losing their interest?
Each time I want to embark on a networking project (like remote phone-blogging) it requires so much signing up, signing in, uploading, tagging, sending... the kids get impatient and crabby. Some DON'T WANT TO use the tools.
I thought the social network was supposed to make learning fun!
Anyone have kids who don't like all this "cool" stuff?

Tags: 2.0, digital, digitalnatives, learning, natives, students, teens, web, web2.0

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Hi Louis,

I think you've make an astute observation, and I've gotten the same feedback from some of my college students.

In addition to the signon hassle and browser/platform idiosyncrasies, I would expect some students to balk at the level work that is required, e.g. being expected to repeatedly revise a wikipage because they can receive feedback from several editors, etc.

What do you think? Should we prepare ourselves for the day went the "neat" wears off and Web 2.0 becomes just "harder work?"
They were once complaining about how difficult and user - unfriendly the book was!

As to student reticence. I would suggest that this might stem from not giving them enough control over the design and delivery of the content. Too much explanation kills. Create an environment where the students are teaching/showing each other. Also, that they have say over the planning of what they are expected to do and learn. Another solution is to have a generic ID/PW for the whole group. Most applications allow for multiple logins with the same ID/PW . Ning does and you could have a hundred people logged in with the same ID.


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What's your grade level?

Perhaps you could think in terms of groups and group leaders. Group leaders (who recieve small group direct intensive training) are given more responsibilities and more freedom.
I've said this before and I'll say it again--in a year or so many of the sites will be gone and the rest will charge a fee so signing up will be moot! I saw this with all the neat Web 1.0 stuff in the late 90s. That didn't answer your question--I don't mean to be so contrary but maybe they don't need all these tools to learn. Ask yourself--is this tool making the teaching and learning richer, deeper, more complexed? Sometimes I get the feeling that "the tool's the thing" and not the knowledge.
...but there is very little available that they will not tire of eventually. How many podcasts, collaborative timelines, wikis, amateur videos, comic strips, online scrapbooks, powerpoints do you do before you bore of it?
If read/write web tools are not used to produce truly unique learning experiences, then we run the risk of making web2 entities into the "latest way to turn in the same old homework assignments."

My experiences with talking to kids who feel burn out are burned out due to this fact. If blogs are simply the newest way to "turn in" their work, it will lose its luster and fall flat in a whirlwind. Good teaching is good teaching whether or not the web is present. Good teaching... when fueled by the web... is inspiring. Poor teaching is only magnified and made transparent by the web.
Ditto. N.
Here's the view from the other side of the fence (or rather the login...). We hit this problem with Yacapaca, and have tried several approaches with varying success:

  1. We recommended students reset their IDs and passwords to the same ones they use for their school networks. I got hatemail from the "protect our children with military-grade security" crowd for this, but actually the main limitation was that kids could not be bothered to change passwords anyway.
  2. Teachers can print out 'ID cards' for the students with their ID & password. Kids leave them on their desks after the session, so this approach is less secure than we had hoped.
  3. We implemented OpenID but nobody used it.
  4. We implemented Shibboleth and were met by a deafening silence, even from its most vocal supporters.
  5. The latest feature is that we allow students to sign up (not sign in) by simply selecting their names from a list. They then have to enter an ID and password, but as this is a process familiar to them from outside school, I hope we will hit less resistance. However, we may find that teachers simply create a new account every lesson, and trade the convenience against the ability to track progress. Time will tell.

If someone were to come up with a solution to this that could be implemented in the real world, it would be an absolute godsend!
We usually think alike--maybe kids don't want to do the same stuff at school that they do a home. Just a thought.
Indigo, I keep thinking of Ben Bloom and the old taxonomy. So much of what kids do in their social lives and what some are asked to do in school are really low level skills--no brainers. I saw a guy on Dr Phil yesterday that had wracked up 150,000 txt messages in three months and I thought "what a waste of time?" Am I getting old? (Don't answer that)
Nancy makes the point that students' use of online tools can be at a low level. It is still the role of the teacher to extend students' capabilities.

A lesson I (re)learned from my high school students when I was having them do project-based science in the 90s: Tools have to provide an authentic enhancement to learning/doing in order to be "keepers." The tool's payoff had to be worth the time students spend on the learning curve.

I think the self-expression that Web 2.0 tools support meets this criterion, but I believe that eventually quality standards for students' work (and the effort required) have to exceed what can be done without the tool for the tool to be worth the trouble.
I agree that different students will see the utility of a particular tool differently. Someone with an interest in graphic arts will take to a drawing program with a different perspective than someone without this interest. Having access to multiple tools has the effect of extending the capabilities of a class as a whole. Has this been others' experience?

Isn't deciding how to measure quality mostly up to the teacher? It helps if the teacher knows (or can learn) in what directions to stretch their students' capabilities. I was only able to help my students engage in engineering-type projects after consulting a group of engineers who helped me understand how teams do this type of problem solving.

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