Exploring Web 2.0 For The Classroom

Posts Tagged ‘classroom

When I first signed up for this class I expected just to learn a bunch of tools such as Twitter, TimeToast, Google Docs, etc. I was pretty excited about finding more to use for secondary social studies but I was also hoping we got into some deeper technology. I ended up learning a lot! I love technology classes because it is SO important to use technology in the classroom now. Kids are attached to technology like its a life source, so what better way to keep them engaged in school? I can’t think of any. I would have loved to use technology when I was in high school…it just makes learning more fun and interesting. For social studies, many students find it boring, which makes me sad. But who can blame them when some teachers will just lecture to them and make them memorize facts and dates? By integrating technology into my classroom I hope to make learning actually fun for my students.

My favorite aspect of this class was learning how to make podcasts and enhanced podcasts. I love the idea of using this in the classroom. There is so much information about social studies and when we are in the classroom we are crunched for time so we can’t cover everything. This is a great tool to extend the learning at home. Also, it’s great for a little extra help! My favorite idea for these is using them in a flipped classroom. I think the idea of flipping the classroom is very interesting and seems to work. Rather than just reading at home, students can watch an enhanced podcast or listen to a podcast to learn the information. A lot of students have trouble reading textbooks. 

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I also really like QR codes, it was a quick lesson but that was all that was needed. I never had any idea what these codes exactly were and what the point of them was. So I was amazed at how awesome they are! I think they are great for providing online worksheets and activities. You can put almost everything into a code. I plan on using them to provide extra help if students need it by placing one on the bottom of printed notes or assignments. These codes can take them to videos, help pages, definitions, and so much more.

I really enjoyed this class but there were some aspects that I didn’t like. One thing I didn’t like was learning about Twitter. I’m pretty sure everyone knows Twitter very well. I did enjoy the video that was shown and I think just showing that video would all that was necessary. Another aspect of the class that made it difficult was obviously that it was crunched into a month’s time. It was very hard to understand what exactly we were supposed to do and when it would be due. I got confused often. The rubrics were nice and helpful, but I think adding clear directions and especially a due date would help. I also felt the class could have been a little more time efficient. A lot of time was spend heavily explaining a project or topic when it really wasn’t necessary. I think it would be better to explain the basics and if some students need more help they could get it. But thats just my opinion…I’m a pretty fast worker with technology and honestly I’m glued to technology almost all day so much of it was easy to figure out myself.

I felt as though our teacher was very knowledgable about the subject and had a bunch of great ideas of how to use everything in the classroom. It was so helpful that for everything we did in the class she would think of ways you could use it in every subject. Some times it is very hard to recognize the potential of a tool on your own. Overall, I really enjoyed this class and I plan on continuing to learn more about technology that is useful in the classroom! I will definitely by using my Google Reader!

For my technology class, we had to research, learn to use, and create an artifact of another Web 2.0 tool. We chose to do Google Earth, which is a web-based tool that is downloadable onto your computer that allows you to explore the Earth, Moon, Mars and the Sky in many different ways. Since my partner and I are going to be secondary social studies teachers, we thought this would be a great tool to learn how to use. I had played around with it before but never with the idea of using it in a classroom setting. I had just searched around looking for past houses and towns I had lived in. It sure is great to remember a place you used to live!

Google Earth is definitely amazing and is the top of its class, but it is nowhere near perfect and takes time to figure out. Google is very helpful with learning how to use this application. There are many forums, guides, examples and tips that are easily accessible through the program itself or by Google Search. I was pretty disappointed with the program not being user friendly. I had to search how to do things many times just to make a simple tour. Now that I know how it is somewhat easier but it just didn’t turn out that great. The 3D view is my favorite. It is so cool that you can explore different places as if you were walking down the street. Although, you must be careful because it is just as easy to get lost in Google Earth as if you were there in person! Hopefully you have a good sense of direction. Another really annoying thing was that the program would randomly shut down and you would lose your work…big bummer. I hope soon in the future Google perfects this wonderful application!

There is a limitless number of things you can do with Google Earth in the classroom. Just by doing some quick research I found a bunch of great ideas! The only problem is it’s a lot harder than you think to actually use them. But, once I become comfortable with Google Earth, I will definitely use it in my classroom. It works wonders for social studies lessons. For a government class, we could explore Washington DC. For a history class, students could explore how places they learn about look today. And obviously Google Earth is great for geography classes. I would have to spend a lot of time to actually figure out what and how I wanted to use it in class. I think students would really enjoy exploring on their own and not just watching what the teacher did. A great idea is to create a scavenger hunt and have the kids explore to find everything. Overall, even though it’s difficult, Google Earth is a great tool to use to integrate technology into the classroom.

I found these sites below to be helpful for ideas and tips:

Google Earth Blog

Google Earth by Google –> this site has some issues, such as missing pages, but it is still helpful.

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Below is the artifact I made on Kerpoof, which is a drawing site for kids: