Sunday, October 9, 2011

Review: Choosing Web 2.0 Tools for Learning and Teaching in a Digital World (


Title: Choosing Web 2.0 Tools for Learning and Teaching in a Digital World
Author: Pam Berger and Sally Trexler
Genre: Non-fiction
Pages: 221
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Challenges
FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my school's library
Summary (from the inside flap of the book): This book provides practical strategies and examples to effectively integrate Web 2.0 tools to support the inquiry process in the school library program and the classroom curriculum. Targeted for school librarians, this book addresses the questions, "what is digital literacy?," "how is learning different in a digital world?," and the most important question, "what are the best strategies, resources, and tools to support effective teaching and learning in a digital environment?"

Review: I love technology so this book seemed like it would be right up my alley. I am forever trying to convince classroom teachers at my school to integrate technology into their lessons. By that I mean go beyond the teacher using the technology (PowerPoints, etc) and let the students use it. Many teachers are fearful that they don't know enough, but they don't realize that the teacher needs to know the content, the students can figure out the technology very quickly and easily. The idea that students power down when they come to school just seems wrong.

Here are some of the benefits that the authors list for classroom use of web 2.0 tools. The authors (and I) believe that technology in education should not be an "extra", but part of the every day curriculum

  • User participation--students share ideas, opinions, content and more
  • Harnessing collective intelligence--the basic set up of the web is that we share, link, connect, and "tag" information
  • Collaboration--free, flexible, and server-based programs are readily available to collaborate (blogs, wikis, email, Google docs and more)
This book covers really important topics that I think are useful for parents, classroom teachers, and teacher librarians:
  • How to best search the web
  • Social bookmarking (I use Diigo, but certainly not to its fullest potential). I especially like that one can annotate bookmarks in Diigo
  • Creating a personal space. This is a term I didn't know, but it's like having a personal iGoogle home page with RSS feeds, your news stations, productivity links, etc all in one place
  • Online collaboration--blogs, wikis, Google Docs, note taking, 
  • Media sharing such as podcasts, glogster (online interactive posters), teacher tube, photo sharing, 
  • Social networking--talk about opening a can of worms!
Most of you are pretty savvy online, what are some of your favorite online tools or tricks?


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