Social Networking For Educators Workshop

Web 2.0 Playground Workshop

Lisa Thumann
Kevin Jarrett
NJDOE 21st Century Schools
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Interactive Websites Workshop

These links are from a workshop presented at a Montclair Staff Development Workshop on July 10, 2009. It is also posted on the Ning I created for my staff. (I am very protective of the Ning and I am only allowing Montclair Public School Staff to join.) I am posting it here to share with my PLN and get comments and suggestions

I am looking at alternatives to paper handouts and PowerPoint type presentations. I am hoping to create conversations around these topics and allow for playback and feedback.

This posting is on my Ning before the workshop and I am using it the way I would use Google Sites to present. example

Most of the teachers in the workshop tomorrow will be new to the Ning so I may no ask them to sign up until the lunch break so I can walk each person through it.

I created the Ning last summer and over 50 staff members have joined. It has been “resting” most of the year. Now my district is looking at it and teachers are starting to use it unprompted.

I am hoping that by posting my resources on the Ning they will be able to “playback” the information, give feedback to the information and add some of their expertise.

Please feel free to share your thoughts.

Interactive Websites
Interactive websites are sites where users are actively engaged in acquiring information, creating a product, or practicing multiple scenarios.
Most Web 2.0 sites are interactive.
Not all interactive sites are Web 2.0 sites.
They often look like they are playing games.
Questions to ask:
Will I achieve the objective of the lesson?
Are some elements too distracting?
How well does it work?
How interesting is the simulation?
Is is blocked?
What kinds of conversations will the students engage in?
What will the students walk away with?
Let’s take a look at one:
Some good features:
Multiple Responses
Report Upon Completion
Solo or in Cooperative Groups
You walk away with something
Some favorites:
Spelling City
National Library of Virtual Manipulatives
KidWings-Owl Pellet Dissection
Human Body
Annenberg Media
A Day in the Life
The Renaissance Connection
Incredible Human Machine
Professor Garfield
My bookmarks for interactive sites:
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Wikipedia- Friend or Foe

I remember when Wikipedia first came out and teachers were told to not use it and to not allow their students to use it. I recently overheard a social studies teacher talking to our librarian about her students researching in the library. She said, “Just make sure they stay away from Wikipedia.”

I think this is great disservice to our students. Wikipedia is of great value in education. Here are a few reasons I share with educators when I run workshops:

1. You don’t trust it. This is a good thing. You need to validate information on this site. Guess what? You should validate all information you find. We are on our toes with Wikipedia, but completely let our guard down on other sources.

2. Many people contribute. Articles tend to remain objective. Some interesting facts show up, again validate from other resources.

3. The outline. Have you ever noticed the outline on most articles? This helps my students tremendously to organize their research. We sometime take the outline and create a web.

4. Images. When you click on an image you get so much information. I use this for lessons on copyright. Also, if you search Wikimedia Commons, you can find some copyright friendly images that you can use in projects.

Wikipedia is a reflection of how we currently and authentically acquire and share information. It is radically democratic, social, and dynamic.