I firmly believe that blogging is a wonderful way to introduce students to so many other Web 2.0 tools. Here's why and here's a slideshow of all Web 2.0 applications and sources mentioned below.
- - If you have to research for a blog post, RSS via Google Reader and bookmarking via Delicious are a dynamic combo.
- - If you want to interview an expert for your blog, Audacity, Gabcast and podcasting become important.
- - If you want to create a video/audio-visual on your blog topic, Animoto and VoiceThread then becomes meaningful.
- - Need a unique, visually striking image for your blog? Students then learn the value of digital creation/manipulation via Picnik, Splashup, Flauntr or Adobe Photoshop Express, as well as the importance of understanding copyright.
- - Need a one stop location where each student can provide a link to his/her blog so others can comment on them? Wikis get it done.
- - Additionally, along the way you could discuss how the "world is flat" and how this all ties into what skills students need with people - here and abroad, and with all things digital for a successful tomorrow (T. Friedman and D. Pink material). In the end, students end up getting exposure to a variety of online apps/services/technologies!
I know at least where I'm at, the high school class called "computer applications" used to be the standard MS Office class; however, students are really getting lots of this at the late elementary and middle school level. Two semesters ago I changed my approach and offer this same class as an introduction to Web 2.0 technologies. I want students to walk away with so much more than just knowledge of how to use a software suite. In changing the class, my primary focus has become showing students the immense power shift that has occurred with these tools; before, they were only consumers of what others wanted them to know and think, but now they can be intelligent, saavy consumers AND producers of original and remixed information/content.