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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I agree with you. I ran a list of the top 10-15 Web2.0 apps past my high school seniors today... and the average number they could even identify was 4.... skype, google earth, wiki, and a few knew twitter. Yet the iPhone was the most popular Christmas gadget of the year! They were blown away by GoogleDocs... I saw faces light up all over the room when I showed them how they could never be caught without a word processing option ever again!
Brian, I certainly agree, it's almost like two different skill sets--what we want them to do in the classroom (think, process, analyse, synthesize, debate, read critically, whatever) is the exact opposite from what many are doing with tech outside of school (talk in phrases, share bootlegged music, upload poor quality video, whatever). Are we the fools for expecting them to embrace tech in the classroom. It has completely different rules and used different parts of the brain!! Ha!
I'm experiencing the same thing you are, Brian. My students spend a great deal of time on social networking sites and photo sharing sites, but they aren't using other web 2.0 technologies. My classroom was recently equipped with MacBooks as part of Pennsylvania's Classrooms for the Future Grant, and I've been very surprised by how lacking many of my students are in basic computer skills. My plan is going to be similar to what you suggest. We have been using Moodle since the beginning of the year, and I'm going to start using blogs fairly soon. I have a wiki set up for the classes I teach, and I'm going to use it to complement what we do in Moodle. I'm hoping that once the students are used to seeing how I use my wiki, they will feel more comfortable creating their own.

There are so many web 2.0 tools out there, and I feel overwhelmed. I think your idea of offering them up as options is great. The last thing we want is for students to see these tools as more work and/or just another way to do homework, as many others have already mentioned.

I also think that we need to think of how some of these tools will benefit students in the long run (even though some of them will eventually disappear). I'm placing a higher priority on the tools that are relevant to my curriculum and are tools students are likely to continue to use for their other classes and in their personal lives. I've experienced the same reaction to Google Docs that Claudia described. Delicious is another site that blows them away.
Louis,
I had this same signing up and logging in issue with my college students (teacher education K-12) last semester. These were college students that I would have assumed were digital natives who were used to creating accounts, but they whined too.

Therefore, this semester we used all Google applications so that they only had to create one user name and password and all accounts were accessible from one location. So they could use blogger, picassa, google docs, reader, IM, gmail, etc. However, we still are using pbwiki so they had to create a different account there. They all seem to like this a lot better. Also, I give them just some general instructions (scaffolding for the expectations) and have them explore the settings and give them control over the design and delivery of the content. I realize that these are college students that I am preparing to be teachers, but they really seem to enjoy the "discovery" process and learn how to sort through and figure it out rather than having strict step-by-step procedures. IMHO, this leads to more higher order thinking and a transfer to long term memorization.

Unfortunately, the thing about the "signing up, signing in, uploading, tagging, sending..." is that they are all part of the necessary evils of using the web-based technology tools so they have to learn to do it some time. I also have three kids that are 10, 14, and 16 and it is funny that they will do whatever it takes to design and develop MySpace and Facebook sites that they are wanting to do, but will complain about an assignment like you mention. So, not sure I have the answer, but probably involves giving them more ownership and the feeling that it is their project and benefits them. I know that is an educational dilemma as well...

Hope this helps some, good luck!
Louis, I'm so glad you brought this up. I think everyone gets Web 2.0 fatique at times. I do, and it's my area of study. One thing that has helped me is developing a firm understanding of my Web 2.0 pedagogy, an undertaking advanced by lessons I've learned from Stuart Selber (who wrote Multiliteracies for a Digital Age). One point that Selber makes is that we can help students better use Web 2.0 technology by first teaching them to use the technology (i.e., uploading, tagging, sending, etc.), and then having them use the techology--once they are famililar with it--to complete assignments that involve critical thinking. Selber teaches us that we need to teach technological literacy (using the technology) hand-in-hand with critical technological literacy (using the brain), so that we avoid the instrumentalist mindset that we are merely teaching studnets how to use the technology. I don't know kids who don't like the "cool" stuff, but I do know many who think that because they can click a mouse they are smart! They are the first ones to get crabby!!!! I've started a discussion on using the wiki to teach composition. Please join me if you like. Mary
There are several issues here that have been pointed out. One is that most kids do not use web 2.0 tools in all of their classes so they are not as accustomed to using them as we teachers think. Secondly, we have to be careful to use the tools to improve instruction, not just for the WOW factor or the FUN factor. It has to fit into our curriculum otherwise it is a waste of time. Having said that, pick one or two that you can use--I have my students write the name of the web site/tool in the front of the textbook, with their password. (We write it in pencil so it can be erased.) That has made the password thing more manageable.
I also think this observation is astute.
One thing that has worked for me is to introduce a tool or two for a specific project.
For example, I have my students (I'm a 7th/8th grade science teacher) do what I refer to as a Weekly Science Article Report, which is a quick summary and then reflection on a science article of their choosing.
I don't talk about how it's a blog, and blogs are great. I just have them post their work there (and I show them how to use it of course).

When I use Google Docs, I do a similar thing. We use it for a project (or projects) and just convey that the tool is the tool.

This has worked really well.

Here's a link to my class blog:
http://pvcscience.blogspot.com/

This is a great conversation.
What I do is keep an eye out for applications that seem interesting throughout the school year using a feed coming from go2web2.0. At the end of the school year I pick 5 that make sense, train myself over the summer, and start using them in October after the meap and after I've had a time to settle in with the different sections I see.
big fan of go2web20.net also
Hi Louis and everyone,
I am a fifth grade teacher and have experienced some of the same frustrations. However, I have found a way to manage the Web 2.0 experiences for my students that seems to work for everyone from my newest students who speak only Spanish to my most websavy students. First, I demonstrate the steps, then I show the written directions and have another student demonstrate the steps while everyone else watches and I am there for support, finally, I post the step-by-step pictorial plus written directions that are to be followed. It has worked well this way.
Also, I agree that you should be sure to start with your content then look to see if a Web 2.0 tool can help your students learn it. For instance, I have two high-level reading groups who are involved in research projects right now. So when they started gathering information from the web and other sources, I introduced them to the tool, bibme. I followed my steps above and they quickly were up and running with it. They are now in the process of making their PowerPoint (Camtasia versions) and without even being shown, they figured out to go to bibme, copy their citations and paste them in their powerpoints.
Lastly, I have found that if I keep the tech. learning to a minimum - just a bit of learning there, and focus on the content, then I have success and they learn and add to their tech skill toolkit as we go through the year.
Let me know what other ideas you get and if any of this works for you.
Kathy,

I love what you have to say about this.
I think the analogy would be when we work with students in groups we generally don't explain collaborative learning to them. We just have them work together.
For a variety of reasons, we sometimes feel the need to be overt about the technology, even when we don't really have to be.
I've built in several steps like this myself, and I really like the idea of having a student demonstrate the steps.

One thing I had to break myself of was immediately coming to the rescue of the 10 to 20% of students who fall behind guided practice. It breaks up the demonstration too much, and the on-task students go off-task.

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