Monday, April 2, 2012
Keeping up with Web 2.0 Tools
Web 2.0 is about revolutionary new ways of creating, collaborating, editing and sharing user-generated content online. It's also about ease of use. There's no need to download, and teachers and students can master many of these tools in minutes. Technology has never been easier or more accessible to everyone. The Web 2.0 tools directory Go2web20 publishes over 3,000 services and uploads more everyday. EduTecher, founded by Adam Bellow, boasts a library of over 1500 tools that he keeps up to date on a regular basis. With technology tools and services on the rise, particularly in the field of education, can someone please tell me how I am supposed to keep up with all of these tools!!! Technology is changing at such a rapid rate that it is difficult for educators to keep up with the latest digital tools.
I am learning quickly that when you teach technology or coordinate technology for your school, “keeping up” is part of your job. As educators, we need to rise to the challenge of providing our students with the technology tools they need to be successful in the classroom and beyond. I have looked around at some blogs and wikispaces to see how other educators keep up with the tools and the common response is that the only way to stay afloat is to be organized. And the only way to be organized is to use Web 2.0 tools! Some examples include, bookmarking sites of interest in Delicious or saving lists in Diigo. Using RSS feeds and using a personalized page like iGoogle or Netvibes with different categories. Checking Twitter and Facebook on a regular basis is a must in the educational technology world. Once you spend enough time social networking and developing your PLN you will start to recognize leaders in Web 2.0 and follow or like them as well as review their blogs. You may also want to become a member of ISTE forums and Technology educator sites like Discovery Education, Edudemic, and TeachersFirst.
Technology is advancing by leaps and bounds these days and keeping up can be a challenge. But it’s important that teachers find the most effective ways to keep students engaged and interested in learning. It’s also important for educators to teach our students life-long lessons of learning, research, organization and how to “keep up.” It seems, though, that perhaps our students might end up teaching us how to keep up!