I have been asked to conduct an in-service this summer on Web 2.0 tools. Please help me formulate a list of essential tools that I can introduce to these teachers. Most do not use much if ANY technology in their rooms currently so I need to keep it very simple. I want to really drill into five or six things that they will immediately want to use. I don't want to overwhelm them and have them go away thinking they could never use any of it. I plan to introduce them to the Ning of course as a venue for great ideas and possibly Twitter. I want to show them Skype because I've used it so much this year. Would love to get into blogs and wikis. What else do you all think and what clients are most user friendly?

Tags: 20, teachers, tools, training, web

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I think you already have a good base with the ning, blogs, wikis, and skype. Much more would be to overwhelming and you wouldn't have the time to teach them how to use these tools in the classroom. What I've run into this year is that most teachers, especially those that don't use technology a lot, need more than an introduction. They need step-by-step instructions and some practice with web 2.0 tools. Good luck with your training and try not to overwhelm them!!
Thanks, Matthew. I thought I would walk them through setting up accounts and then let them see Skype in action. I also wanted to try to set up a wiki that they could edit there. I want to give them hands on practice with everything.
I would skip Twitter (we are ADD enough) and Skype for now but introduce them to simple things they can use in the classroom like Wordle, Animoto, blogs or VoiceThreads. For their professional development and to help them manage all ot the technology coming at them, I would set them up on something like IGoogle and Google Feeds.
Very good suggestions, Pat. I love VoiceThread also, but had forgotten to mention that one earlier. I'm not familiar with Wordle and Animoto, but can look into them. Definitely think an iGoogle page is a great idea. Thanks so much!
I did a 1/2 day workshop on Web 2.0 tools in the fall. Here are the handouts:


Please feel free to use anything you find on my wiki:

Wow! Great ideas and handouts. Thanks so much! That's why I love this Ning...great resources!

Teaching a course like this is no easy task. Last summer I taught a grad level class for teachers. As for how you approach this, using the tools is just one piece of it. If the teachers are total newbies, the reflection aspect of what they are doing will help them wrap their heads around how these tools add value to their curriculum and their craft. Maybe host the class information on a wiki, then have them set-up a blog to reflect on the various exercises you have them do. This way they can see what everyone else is thinking and feeling which adds another whole level to collaboration. Another task is you could have them create in small groups a wiki page on safety and security listing resources (links, videos, etc). This exercise will allow them to understand what group collaboration using these tools really feels like while gathering important information on all the great resources that are out there.

I find that until they start playing and experiencing these tools it is hard for them to integrate them thoughtfully into their classes.

Good luck,
This is exactly what I had in mind. I love the hands on ideas here. I think that is the only way that they will leave the session and actually use the tools.
You didn't mention the age of the students. I agree with the commentors--I'd start small--I'd start with an overview--just talk and tell them what is going on in the Web 2.0 world. I'd then have them start a blog using Blogger---. Have them write a blog post about ways they could use the blog in their classrooms--reflections, book reviews, etc. Have them set up a feed reader like Bloglines, so they understand how all of the blog world is connected.

Unless your customers are high school teachers I'd skip ning (you have to be 13) and there are lots of nooks and crannies that a teacher would have to monitor constantly. It would take hours to go through all the ins and outs of a platform like ning. I'm not a fan of Twitter. Skype is good if you want to collaborate but it takes better than 'beginner' skills. I have 'wiki' issues, so I won't comment on that.

You could have them discuss things they do in the classroom and offer them a Web 2.0 tool that may help.

I've presented nationally (NECC 7 years) and locally for 20 years. I have huge problems with traditional summer staff dev. Be careful to give them what they can handle and might use. Don't overwhelm them with all the gizmos and gadgets. If you could offer followup in the fall or they will forget all their good intentions. Finished whining, N.
All valid points, Nancy and I appreciate your input. My "customers" will actually be teachers from a variety of grade levels (k-12). This inservice is offered county wide. The reason that I had mentioned the Ning and Twitter is because I spend a lot of my time sifting through information that I get from people through both of these resources. I have discovered countless contacts (for Skype and classroom collaboration) through Classroom 2.0. I wouldn't recommend it for a student to use directly, but for a teacher to use for ideas and collaboration.

I certainly hope I don't overwhelm them. I'd love for them to take away tools that they can use with their students directly (blogs and skype) and then tools for their own professional development (Ning, etc.) I'm new to wikis myself, but did allow my fifth graders to create one this year. I'm sure there are plenty of issues out there:)

Thanks again for your input!
Hi Tamra:

I just did a full day Web 2.0 workshop today and covered a lot of ground. Many of the teachers could have spent the entire day on Goggle Docs- it was a real eye opener for them. Here is a the PDF that I used- you will need Acrobat 9.0 to open it.

Great! I don't have 9.0 on this computer right now, but will have ASAP. Thanks so much!



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