New tools workshop wiki

Joyce Valenza has done it again. This time she and David Warlick have created a vibrant and informative wiki that showcases new social media tools for learning.

Screen shot 2010-07-29 at 11.08.27 AM

With pages covering topics such as:

  • WallWisherIdeas
  • Backchannel
  • PlayaroundPage
  • What is 2.0?
  • Learning more
  • Fair Use and InfoEthics
  • Curriculum and Standards
  • Playing with images
  • Wikis
  • Blogs
  • Digital storytelling
  • Avatar Making
  • Podcasting
  • Video Tools
  • Writing Tools
  • Twitter
  • Nings, Social Networking, PLNs
  • Book Publishing
  • Social Bookmarking
  • Polling Quizzing tools
  • Interactive calendars
  • Personal information portals
  • Skype & Webinar Stuff
  • Search Tools
  • Assorted Widgets
  • Cartoon Generators
  • BackChannel and Chat
  • Map Apps
  • URL Shorteners
  • Media Literacy
  • On evaluating information
  • Game Generators
  • PowerPoint Reform Tools
  • Media parking lots
  • Feeds and aggregators
  • Miscellaneous other goodies
  • Mind Mapping, timelining, outlining, graphing, visualizing
  • Reading
  • ebook pathfinder
  • Screen Capture Apps
  • Interactive Whiteboards
  • iphoneapps
  • iPad
  • Privacy safety identity
  • To get you organized
  • Springfield Township High School Library
  • Teacher Tools

there is something for everyone interested in educational technology. As with any wiki, the New Tools Workshop wiki is a work in progress that will grow and evolve over time. Congratulations to Joyce and David on a wonderful site.

Feature blog – Glenys Lowden’s tech blog

Regular readers of Bright Ideas will recognise Lowther Hall AGS‘s Glenys Lowden as an avid developer of Web 2.0 tools for learning and teaching. This time Glenys shares her new tech blog, the cleverly named Lowd en clear.


Glenys explains why the blog was born:

I decided to also set up my own blog for practising new tech and including other things that might be relevant. I am trying to consolidate all the things I have been learning from so many sources. I thought that if I practised in this space using different tools then this would help my learning. I am currently Head of Library and have been a teacher since 1977. Phew that is a long time. I only moved into the Library field in recent years and prior to that had been Head of Welfare and Head of Humanities at a number of different schools. I am not quite sure yet how I will set out the blog but I will start with this format and see how I go.

I have an introductory activity that I used with Year 7 orientation in the first week of term on there. It is very short but I didn’t have much time with the class. The IWB section of the activity is not there but I have tried to briefly explain what I did. They really enjoyed using the mobile phone as the source to photograph and record their answers.

Glenys has started her blog in a brilliant way by sharing her year 7 orientation lessons. The RevolverMaps widget is a nice addition. Looking forward to seeing the blog develop and evolve. Well done again Glenys.

The Amazing Web 2.0 Projects Book

This free eBook written by Terry Freedman address the challenges facing anyone introducing web 2.0 into schools and then proceeds to showcase a number of web 2.0 projects that have been developed and implemented successfully into schools. Although written for a UK audience, there is an enormous amount that is applicable to Australian (and international) schools.

The are hyperlinks to the projects that have been developed so that readers can get a real feel for the teaching and learning that occurred within each project. Each project also contains:

  • Age range
  • Applications used
  • Description of the project
  • Project URL
  • Challenges that had to be overcome and
  • Reactions and outcomes (including quotes from students).

Full reviews of each project enables interested parties to assess if they could use or adapt projects for their own schools. Solutions to cybersafety are also addressed.

If you are wanting to address the use of (or lack thereof) web 2.0 tools in your school, The Amazing Web 2.0 Projects Book is an excellent beginning.

Thanks to Richard Byrne from Free Technology for Teachers for leading me to this resource!

Technology and education box of tricks

The Technology and education box of tricks is a multi award winning website. The A-Z internet resources for education page lists numerous tools while briefly outlining their uses.

box of tricks

The creator of the site is Jose Picardo who is the

Head of Modern Foreign Languages at Nottingham High School, where I teach Spanish and German, and I believe fervently in making education compatible with the needs and expectations of our students through the effective use of technology.

LOTE teachers will also find lots of interest on the site.

“School Libraries Seek Relevance Through Virtual Access”

The article “School Libraries Seek Relevance Through Virtual Access“, in which US school libraries are the subject, appeared on the Education Week website a few days ago and is certainly worth a read.

Some readers may know of the funding issues that have hit US school libraries in the last few weeks. This article, which quotes Buffy Hamilton and Joyce Valenza, outlines how some proactive school librarians have been changing the use and vision of school libraries and as such, how libraries are viewed by students, teachers and parents.

The advent of Web 2.0 tools and the way that some school librarians have embraced them are discussed, particularly with the view that these school librarians have kept their library relevant to their students:

In addition to teaching students and teachers how to navigate information, libraries have now become a place where students go to create and produce, said Carolyn Foote, the district librarian who works at the 2,500-student Westlake High School in Austin, Texas.

“Students are producing all sorts of products—YouTube videos, PowerPoint presentations, online slideshows, podcasts—and so as librarians, we need to have the skills to work with all those different formats and help students learn how to produce in those formats,” she said.

Consequently, it’s increasingly important for librarians to be familiar with new technologies and Web 2.0 tools, she said.

“There’s a lot of debate in the library field about whether you can even be a 21st-century librarian if you aren’t willing to embrace some of those Web 2.0 tools and be very proficient in them,” Ms. Foote said. “There’s a real need for us to be participating all the way through the [creation] process, and we need the skills to be able to do that.”

The library as both a place and a service, or a state of mind is discussed; the importance of a flexible, attractive physical space as well as the Web 2.0 tools which can connect students to the world through the library are vital. A great article advocating the excellent work many school librarians do.

f2m: a collaborative project

Quentaris author and Ford Street Publishing representative Paul Collins recently sent Bright Ideas some information on an interesting way the new YA book f2m was written.

Authors Hazel Edwards and Ryan Kennedy co-wrote the novel and collaborated via Skype using a webcam. By writing together online and using online conferencing, they developed the entire novel using web 2.0 tools. This is a great example of the power of online collaboration for our students. The result is that the writing is seamless; readers cannot tell which author wrote which pages or chapters.

f2m will be launched on 14 February in Melbourne. A media release about the book is available here. The novel is aimed at students aged 15+, it deals with female to male gender transitioning.

Ford Street Publishing also have a number of book trailers on their website.

Web 2.0 Guru

The Web 2.0 Guru wiki is worth a visit. With the top 10 Web 2.0 tools for classes listed as well as all tools broken down into categories, this is a handy site.

Top 10 Web 2.0 Must Haves for Every 21st Century Classroom

  1. Class Blogs – WordPress or Blogger
  2. Class Wiki or Website – Wikispaces, Wetpaint, Webnode, Wix, Glogster WikiMatrix – compare and contrast
  3. Virtual or a Cloud Office – Docs, Google Docs, Zoho, Thinkfree
  4. Online Classroom Environments/Networks/Forums – Ning, Neetz, Lefora Backchannels – tinychat, backnoise, coveritlive
  5. Audio Channel – Podcasts or recordings – evoca,podbean, gabcast, gcast, odeo
  6. Teacher Tube create a free account for uploading demonstrations
  7. Private Videocast or TV Channel – Ustream Mogulus., Youcastr
  8. Online Assessment tools – Thatquiz. , rubrics – Tech4Learning
  9. Online Grade book –Engrade
  10. Online storage – file storage – Adrive , 4shared, Flickr for pics,

 Web 2.0 categories include:

  • Animation
  • Assessment and Evaluation
  • Blogging
  • Charts and Spreadsheets
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Conversion Tools
  • Celebration of Success – Award and Certificate Makers
  • Desktop Publishing
  • Dictionaries/Glossaries/Data
  • Digital Storytelling
  • Disposable Email Accounts for Site Registration
  •  Ebooks or Audio Books
  • Games for Education
  • Virtual Games in Education
  • Global Connections in the Classroom
  • Keyboarding
  • Mobile Tools
  • Multimedia
  • Networking and Online Communities
  • Note Taking, Concept Mapping and Flow Chart Tools
  • Online Interactive Classroom Environments
  • Personalized Web Browser Pages
  • Podcasting
  • Polls/Surveys
  • Presentations
  • Professional Networks
  • Research
  • RSS Aggregators
  • Search Engines
  • Social Bookmarking
  • Storage – online storage and for files
  • Studying and Help
  • Text <>Speech
  • The “Tubes”
  • Virtual Field Trips
  • Virtual Worlds in Education
  • Vodcasting – Video Broadcasting
  • Web Design
  • Webinars
  • WebQuests
  • Wikis
  • Word Processing

Each category has many tools listed and a brief spiel about each one’s strengths or differences. A good place to find the right tool for the job!

Web 2.0: Cool tools for schools

Web 2.0 Cool tools for schools is a terrific wiki that groups Web 2.0 tools into categories such as:

  • videos
  • slideshows
  • presentations
  • widgets
  • research
  • image
  • audio
  • mapping
  • drawing
  • organising
  • music
  • writing and more.

Most of the tools have examples or tutorials as well as a short comment about the individual site.

So if you have a task in mind, check this wiki out and you are sure to find the right tool for the job! Thanks to Jennifer Frisardi for the link.