Hilights & Lowlights of Learning 2.0
Rollercoaster? I wouldn’t necessarily say that. I’m not the type of person who gets overly worked up about things. Sure, I get agitated with the best of them, but I think I have a decent balance and background knowledge that I wasn’t “floored” by any of the web 2.0 tools that we explored. I guess that I could break down my learning into a few categories and sub categories.
New Tools for Bussiere
- This was certainly my favourite new web 2.0 tool that I explored this term. I was pretty hesitant when I first looked into it but after about 10 min. of exploring, I came to the conclusion that it really is as easy as it looks. The ease in which I set up an account and created my first voice thread wasn’t comparable to any other application I’d explored before. I can see the definite hook for students to create a voicethread. As an educator, it a simple application that could be used in nearly any subject. I am currently working with a gr. 6-8 Language Arts group and I have a few ideas on how students will be creating a voicethread in the near future.
- Social Networking with Facebook
- This was relatively new to me as I set up a facebook account in the summer knowing that I’d be exploring this in the fall for this class. If I didn’t have to become more familiar with it due to this class, I’m not sure I would have started an account. Now that I have an account, I periodically check my account to see what is going on but I would have to say that it’s not really something I’m “in” to. Facebook would have to be my least favourite of the web 2.0 tools that we explored in the course. I can see how social networking sites such as facebook can be used in and educational setting, however I won’t be spending any of my teaching time with students on this one. I guess I still see Facebook as a friend collection competition. The educational possibilities of other web 2.0 tools far outweigh those that I see with Facebook.
- RSS & Blog Aggregates
- Last year I set up Vienna as my RSS tool of choice. I did not use this very often and when I did, it was to catch up on personal interest websites. As I did some more investigating on this topic, I set up Google Reader as my new blog aggregate. I found this to be much more effective as I could customize my information more easily and access my RSS from any computer anywhere. I found this very helpful in following some of my new favourite blogs that pertain to web 2.0 tools and technology in education. This will definitely be something I will continue to use in the future both as a student and an educator.
- Social Bookmarking with del.icio.us
- First of all, I want to know why the heck they didn’t set the name up by syllables (de.lic.ious rather than del.icio.us)? I’m sure there is some logic to the name but I don’t get it! Anyhow…..This is the web 2.0 tool that I don’t think I spent enough time with. I kind of skimmed the surface of the idea of social bookmarking but I think that if I invest the time into better setting up my account, I will really find that I won’t be able to live without it. The way I have my bookmarks organized on my computer(s) is pretty good so I guess I was kind of thinking “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it”. However, I can definitely see the benefit of having access to my bookmarks anywhere in the world at any time. As well, I need to get into the habit of using “tags” to categorize and organize my electronic life a little better. Perhaps this is a Christmas Holiday project for when I feel I need to get away from family visits?
- Photo Sharing with Flickr
- This was the web 2.0 tool that really made me think about how and where I store items on my computer. What happens if my computer dies and I haven’t backed my information up recently? What if I can’t recover the pictures of my kids from Christmas? Here’s where Flickr (and photo sharing) made me think. I don’t have an external hard drive that I back my files up on regularly. I simply rely on my jump drive (which can only hold so much info). Not only can I safely store all my pictures online, but I can organized them by tags as well as make them available to others. I love the idea of doing this, now I just need to find the time to do it! Another Christmas holiday project!
Well, there you have it, the new tools and what I think in a nutshell. Overall, the learning curve was not that steep in any of these tools. Instead, I just need to make the time to invest in further exploring and playing with each of these tools to see how they can impact student learning as well as make my life a little easier!
Part II fini! Next, Part III!