Category Archives: technology

Getting started with Web 2.0 tools

It can seem a little overwhelming knowing where to start with facilitating Web 2.0 tools in the classroom for teachers who are trying to embrace 21st century learning. I was so captured by this wiki: Webtools4u2se that I thought it would be a great tool to introduce teachers to cool tools and what is great about the wiki is that it gives lots of ideas for using the tools. Designed for school library media specialists, it is an ideal starting place for all educators.  It is very informative with a bright inviting home page (this is created using Glogster). It also has a page dedicated to Why Web 2.0 tools? Tools include:

  • audio and podcasting
  • blogs
  • calendars, task management and to do lists
  • drawing, charting and mapping tools
  • portal and web page starting tools
  • photo and photo sharing tools
  • presentation tools
  • quiz and polling tools
  • news feeds and aggregators
  • social networks
  • video tools and video sharing
  • wikis
  • productivity tools

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Another great starting place for teachers wanting to know how to start or where, is Anne Mirtschin and Jess McCulloch’s project and wiki for laying the foundations for using Web 2.0 technologies for teaching and learning. Visit their wiki at: Laying the e-planks for a Web 2.0 school. Anne and Jess are embracing 21st century literacies at their Hawkesdale P-12 College (a small rural p12 school, educating 5 – 18 year old students om Victoria, Australia) and are documenting what they have achieved as well as their goals on the wiki.

In the Planks page, they have resources to important issues related to Web 2.0 use, such as cybersafety, digital media and copyright, joining networks and creating an online space. To follow their journey you can subscribe to their eplanks podcasts.

Here is a great  wiki, 23 Things introducing Web 2.0 tools to teachers. It is a 10 week course for teachers. Although it cannot be joined it gives a list of resources that are to be covered in the course. If you are interested in learning more about the course, participating in a future course session, facilitating the course at your own school or adapting the content under Creative Commons, please email Shelley Paul @ k12learning20@gmail.com

3D printing: build a design

A new technology tool for 21st Century classrooms in the not-too-distant future are  3D printers (called fabbers).  Michael Simpkins from Technology and Learning, described the new design printers being  developed by researchers: “Instead of using ink or toner, the printer uses a variety of gooey substances that harden when exposed to air.”  The printer then builds a 3-dimensional object as you watch, based on  input substances such as clay and food (such as peanut butter, chocolate and cheese!)   Although fabbers are probably more suited for industrial design objects, they are being considered a suitable addition to any K-12 classroom for a variety of learning experiences. They are proposed to be safe and inexpensive.

The fabber is transparent therefore it is possible to see all the workings.  Hod Simpson (one of the creative minds behind the fabber) sees it as a great fun tool for children to see technology in a new realm – by being able to see what is going on before their eyes.  Learning experiences  include robotics, engineering and manufacturing.  

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