The key aspects of Web 2.0 tools are blogs, wikis, social bookmarking and all those applications which allow the internet user to now be a creator. Moving from static Web 1.0 tools of websites you go looking for to satisfy your information needs, Web 2.0 tools offer easy ways for anyone to post content for others to not only read, but comment on and add to.
As a teacher or teacher librarian you can hardly afford to ignore the Web 2.0 tools, in fact they are a new and exciting way to enhance learning. The use of them is only limited by our imagination (Herring, 2011, p52) and I would agree. The trick is in understanding their application and keeping on top of technology to be able to use it effectively in the classroom or library. In a constructivist classroom students can construct knowledge through web searches and can apply, synthesise and evaluate that knowledge in a blog or wiki.
I like the idea of using a blog to share lesson plans and great resources because I love it when someone shows me something I can use right away.
Other ways to blog could be:
- setting up a library newsletter
- students individual blogging sites linked to the school’s
- class journal publication
- sharing of lesson plans and evaluations
I have a class currently doing some research on natural disasters and extreme weather. They actually suggested the idea to me of creating a wiki although none of us know how or quite what it’s all about. I would be prepared to “look a little stupid” in order to learn together how to create one.
- More meaningful for them to have it as an end product for their learning.
- Have a purpose for the project eg. To investigate the world’s worst natural disasters (history), describe the factors (environmental and human) contributing to their impact, discuss and design early warning systems for future use, identify potentially dangerous weather patterns which could affect them in their lifetime.
- Accessing the wiki from anywhere (ie. at home, another classroom) makes it so useful.
- Story writing feature is great because it means other people can read kids stories.
- Real-world application where they need to have used editing skills before and after publishing and have a good sense of their reader.
- Tracking of student activity would be good for assessment and the blogging seems well suited to even younger primary students.
- Great for developing literacy skills in a digital context right from kindergarten.
Social bookmarking: I signed straight up to Delicious (having already tried in ETL401 but not quite getting there!).
- Saves trying to organize the bookmarks on your toolbar and not having space or effective folders.
- It saves wasting so much time with kids looking at irrelevant sites (or playing ‘cool maths games’ while they think you’re not looking).
- It’s the same as providing a text or resources for a topic. You can view it as a digital pile of books/ notes. It narrows it down for the students and points them in the right direction.
As with any new technology staying one step ahead takes time, learning and persistence. Yet the application of Web 2.0 tools is really open ended and some schools are already doing some fabulous things on their wikis and blogs. Embedding this into your program requires collaboration across the staff but is worth the effort as we, as teacher librarians, are at the leading edge of information literacy skill development in the twenty-first century.
Dukic, D. (2007). Wikis in school libraries. Retrieved August 27, 2012 from http://www.slideshare.net/dukicd/wikis-in-school-libraries-1053307
Herring, J. (2011) Web 2.0 and schools, in Improving students’ web use and information literacy: A guide for teachers and teacher librarians, pp. 35-46. London: Facet Publishing.
O’Connell, J. (2010) Transforming learning. ED – Online. Retrieved August 28, 2012 from http://edonline.wordpress.com/