Technology Integration is a four part series on essential questions, technology integration resources, web page design, and multimedia in projects. Sections contain relevant opening essays and resources.
Part 1: Essential Questions
Essential Questions (Page 3):
Part 2: Technology Integration Resources
Part 3: Web Page Design
Part 4: Multimedia in Projects
The dynamics of the learning process are influenced in turn by the ways people think: rational versus creative; deductive versus inductive; logic versus perception; analysis versus synthesis. Our thinking is both individual and social. It is also affected by our emotional state, attitudes, and experiences. With the rise of artificial intelligence, some of that thinking is offloaded to machines.
According to Rupert Wegerif (2002), "[T]he kinds of thinking that people value most depend on the cultural and historical context and particularly upon the kind of technology that people have at their disposal to help them think” (p. 11). “Technology, in various forms from language to the internet, carries the external form of thinking. Technology therefore has a role to play through supporting improved social thinking (e.g. providing systems to mediate decision making and collective reasoning) and also through providing tools to help individuals externalize their thinking and so to shape their own social worlds” (p. 15).
Robert Kuhn (2000), an expert in brain research, indicated that few people really understand the complex nature of how technology is transforming thinking. “The change in mental process is nothing less than a shift in worldview. Technology is radically transforming our thinking in at least three new ways:
(1) information is freely available, and therefore interdisciplinary ideas and cross-cultural communication are widely accessible;
(2) time is compressed, and therefore reflection is condensed and decision-making is compacted;
(3) individuals are empowered, and therefore private choice and reach are strengthened and one person can have the presence of an institution.
So what kind of new thinking is technology engendering? Notice what happens. With an increasing number of diverse ideas circulating freely and widely, and with people more empowered but with less time to assess value, and with vast communications amplifying opinions, this new thinking is at once creative and innovative, volatile and turbulent.” (Kuhn, 2000, sec: Concluding Remarks).
The new tools for communication that have become part of the 21st century no doubt contribute to thinking and that creativity, innovation, volatility, and turbulence that Kuhn indicates. Hence, the glossary that follows takes a further look at some of those.
Initially the Internet was characterized as a place to go to find information, associated with acquiring knowledge. It was linked with the term "Web 1.0," a read-only one-way medium. However, Web 2.0 is an evolution to a read/write medium and is the new expectation enabling anyone to participate, collaborate, and share information online using many of the tools listed in the glossary below. As Todd Lucier (2009) noted, "Web 1.0 was the content Web; Web 2.0 has generally been regarded as the social Web" (Let's Look Back section).
Yet, some educators have concerns about the affect on learning when using Web 2.0 tools and other digital tools. Where do they fit in the hierarchy of Bloom's Taxonomy? Recall that Benjamin Bloom first developed his Taxonomy of the Cognitive Domain in 1956 to include six levels, which from low to high are knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. These were later revised in 2001 to be in verb, rather than noun form: remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating (Churches, 2008). Andrew Churches (2008) added new digital verbs to each of the levels in the taxonomy, reflecting where the use of Web 2.0 and other digital tools fit into the learning process. He calls it Bloom's Digital Taxonomy Map. Drawing from that, consider the following additional verbs associated with digital content:
View Jeff Utecht's Web 2.0 video on YouTube to learn more about Web 2.0 and how it differs from Web 1.0. If you need some “Explanations in Plain English“ on several on the new Web 2.0 tools (e.g., blogs--and microblogs like Twitter, wikis, webcasts, podcasts, social networks, and social bookmarks), view Lee LeFever’s short video clips on those topics at YouTube. Then to get started with Web 2.0, visit Classroom 2.0, the social network for educators using collaborative technologies. Also visit the wiki: Web 2.0: Cool Tools for Schools.
A Taste of Web 2.0--and mostly free, too!
Here's a primer for the unknowing and those who want to take their technology use to the next level. Read Dr. Patricia Deubel's A Taste of Web 2.0 in T.H.E. Journal Collaboration 2.0 (2008, Mar 19).
Issues for Web 2.0, Social Software, and Digital Tools
Advancements in technology, principally Web 2.0, social software, and digital tools, have challenged what it means to be educated and how we proceed to educate our youth in a culture where innovation and creativity, lifelong learning, personalization (my own learning space), and knowledge from and with the collective vie for a rightful place. Read Dr. Patricia Deubel's Crossroads in Education: Issues for Web 2.0, Social Software, and Digital Tools in T.H.E. Journal Collaboration 2.0 (2008, Apr 16).
As technology is continually evolving with new tools and their applications, new terms like "Web 3.0" and "Web 4.0" have emerged with various definitions of them.
Lucier (2009) discussed the rise of Web 3.0 and provided his own definition: "the location-aware and moment-relevant Internet." The phrase makes it relatively easy for anyone to grasp the concept. Consider, "Content relevance in Web 3.0 is heightened by location and time. Intimate connections are made between the real world and the Web, often with the use of handheld data-enabled phones like iphone and other devices" (Web 3.0 Defined section). Think of applications like Twitter, GPS triggered multimedia tools (from where you are find your location and get directions, local maps, phone numbers, or find local restaurants, movies, points of interest, TV listings), online storage sites that can be accessed from anywhere, real-time communications such as video calling; cell phone video broadcasting or instant photos, and instant uploading of those to the internet.
Web 3.0 has been called the semantic web, defined as a "web of data." The term was coined by Tim-Berners Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web. "The aim of design web of data is machines first, humans later. Primary objects are things so links are between things" (Aghaei, Nematbakhsh, & Farsani, 2012, p. 5). "The main difference between web 2.0 and web 3.0 is that web 2.0 targets on content creativity of users and producers while web 3.0 targets on linked data sets" (p. 6). Think of Web 2.0 as the Read/Write Web and Web 3.0 as the Portable Personal Web.
Per Aghaei, Nematbakhsh, and Farsani (2012), "Web 4.0 is also known as symbiotic web. The dream behind of the symbiotic web is interaction between humans and machines in symbiosis. It will be possible to build more powerful interfaces such as mind controlled interfaces using web 4.0. ... Web 4.0 will be the read-write-execution-concurrency web" (p. 8).
Aggregator: "A website or software program that gathers (aggregates) and displays web content such as news headlines, blogs, and podcasts from multiple websites to a single location. It allows searches by keyword and provides summaries for browsing. It uses RSS or other types of feeds to find the content, and allows subscribing to feeds, allowing new content to be automatically downloaded when it is available. Also known as a feed reader" (PodcastFAQ, glossary). An aggregator is a time saver. Think of it as your personal collection agency. Rather than going out to search multiple sites individually, the aggregator will do it for you and deposit current information from favorite blogs and news sites directly in a central location.
Aggregators work together with RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds. Look for an RSS icon on your favorite sites and subscribe to them. Aggregator tools include:
The following are tutorials and information about setting up your aggregator and working with RSS:
Augmented Reality: "Augmented reality (AR) is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. It is related to a more general concept called mediated reality, in which a view of reality is modified (possibly even diminished rather than augmented) by a computer. As a result, the technology functions by enhancing one’s current perception of reality" (Wikipedia). It is not the same a virtual reality.
The following provide additional information about augmented reality:
Augmented Reality Apps:
Blended Learning: Blended learning combines online delivery and learning, at least in part, at a brick-and-mortar facility. The student has control over time, place, path, or pace. There are six classification forms currently in use: the teacher as face-to-face driver of the curriculum; rotation in which the student rotates on a fixed schedule between self-paced online learning and sitting in the classroom with the face-to-face teacher; online lab in which the online platform delivers an entire course, but in the brick-and-mortar facility; self-blend in which students take a remote online course to supplement the school's traditional curriculum; flex in which the online platform delivers most of the curriculum and the teacher provides on-site support as needed; and online driver in which the online platform and teacher deliver all the curriculum; students work in a remote location and face-to-face check-ins are either available or mandatory (Knewton, Inc., Blended Learning Infographic, 2011).
Mike Gorman (2014) provided the following ideas for using one-to-one initiatives for blended learning. Use technology to:
- Reach beyond the classroom walls for learning opportunities, collaboration, and audience
- Create a student driven/centered learning environment
- Allow for collaborative experiences in and out of the classroom
- Permit student control over learning, allowing for important voice and choice
- Provide opportunities for remixing of information leading to innovation and creativity
- Give opportunities for personalized and differentiated learning
- Promote convergent and divergent thinking in order to promote inquiry and critical thinking
- Encourage student invention of new products and possibilities to demonstrate learning
- Explore authentic and real learning experiences.
- Establish opportunities for anytime/anywhere learning. (Gorman, 2014)
Elizabeth Brooke (2015, pp. 3-5) of Lexia Learning identified four success factors that have the potential to accelerate the benefits of a blended learning implementation and also minimize frustration in both teachers and students when doing so:
The following provide additional information about blended learning and how to implement it:
iNACOL Blended Learning Teacher Competency Framework by Powell, Rabbitt, and Kennedy (2014) elaborates on 12 key competencies that teachers need to be successful with blended learning. These are organized into four domains: mindsets, qualities, adaptive skills, and technical skills.
The Blended Learning Implementation Guide 2.0 (2013, September) from Digital Learning Now. A video overview of this guide, published November 6, 2013 at YouTube, is also available. Per the video, "A successful transition to blended learning includes these key phases: creating the conditions for success, planning, implementation, and continuous improvement."
What is Blended Learning? from the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation includes a series of resources and publications on this topic. For example, Blended Learning Definitions and Models elaborates on the definitions within their taxonomy for blended learning noted in the following image.
In Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools, Michael Horn and Heather Staker (2015) of the Clayton Christensen Institute present a step-by-step framework and advice for implementing blended learning techniques in K-12.
Blended Learning 101: Handbook (2013) from Aspire Public Schools defines blended learning, illustrates blended learning models of implementation, best practices and lessons learned from case studies, and includes online resources and sample lessons, and student preparation tips. It concludes with K-8 media curricula, organized in grade bands, suggested by Common Sense Media to help students to use computers safely, effectively, and appropriately.
iNACOL (International Association of K-12 Online Learning) Resources include blended learning with books, reports, handouts, webinars, and a web resource on this topic: Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute – Research Clearinghouse for K-12 Blended and Online Learning.
Here's an idea! If you plan on using blended learning, survey parents on the resources and technology they have available at home that learners can use. A survey might be performed at the beginning of the school year, perhaps using Google Docs as one example.
Blog: short for Web log, "a website for which an individual or a group frequently generates text, photographs, video, or audio files, and/or links, typically (but not always) on a daily basis" (Wikipedia). Postings are chronological, and unlike wikis, cannot be edited by others (Fountain, n.d.)
Blogs in the classroom:
Dan McDowell (2004) proposed blogging techniques for the K-12 classroom and provided links to examples of each. Educators can use blogs as administrative tools for one-way delivery of information to students and parents. Blogs can be used as discussion tools. A teacher might post a discussion question or topic on a single blog, and students post their responses. Or, teachers can allow students to not only respond, but to post their own comments. Blogs can also be used as publication tools. Students each have their own blog on which they post assignments, projects, digital portfolios, reflections, and so on.
Microblogging is on the rise using tools such as Twitter, which limits messages to just 140 characters. In 7 things you should know about Twitter, Twitter is described as "an online application that is part blog, part social networking site, and part cell phone/IM tool" (Educause Learning Initiative, 2007, p. 1). Ron Jones (2008) described Using Twitter as an Educational Tool.
Here's an idea! If students each have their own blog, consider setting up a blog aggregator, so that you as the teacher can read the blogs and comment to the group without having to go to each blog separately. Demski (2012) suggested simplifying navigation by "having students subscribe to each other's blogs via RSS feeds, dividing students into small groups to comment on each other's work, or building a mother blog--a front page for the course that aggregates recent blog posts, comments, updates from course-related websites, and social-networking feeds" (p. 19).
Note: Learners will appreciate adding authenticity to their blogging efforts. Comments4Kids "is a way for students and teachers to find blogs to comment on and to get their own posts commented on" (Welcome section).
Blogs can serve a personal agenda or be journalistic in nature. Educators might need to justify that using a blog will contribute to helping students reach instructional objectives, as it should have a clear pedagogical purpose. When used in K-12, they might need to justify their use to master standards, so that they perform well on state-mandated tests. But, consider that blogs offer the collaboration so important in a learner-centered instructional environment.
If you use a blog, it should be an integral part of your instruction and a graded element of the course, so that students will not view it as just another thing to do. According to Ruth Reynard (2007), each student develops his/her own voice in the process. "Student response statements really cover a wide variety of "types" that reflect the instructional goals of the course. That is, when developing individual voice throughout a learning process, each stage of that process is often reflected in the students' comments." When a blog is used throughout a course, the statements that students make can be categorized into reflective, commentary, new idea, or application statements to demonstrate their learning (online p. 1, Statement categories).
Reynard (2008b) noted five common mistakes when using blogs in instruction and how to avoid those:
Advance preparation is needed, including preparing students for how to write to a blog so that what they say is LARK, the acronym for Legal, Appropriate, Responsible, and Kind (Sturgeon, 2008). Advance preparation might include practical aspects such as "uploading images and videos, embedding text links, and writing constructive comments on peer blogs ... before content-specific blog entries are due" (Demski, 2012, p. 19).
Julie Sturgeon (2008) also provided some pitfalls to avoid when using blogs in the classroom:
There is no doubt that blogging takes time. In this regard, Bill Ferriter (2013) provided three valuable tips for teachers using classroom blogs:
Moderating and Ethics for the Classroom Instructional Blog
For how to's on moderating and using a classroom instructional blog, read Dr. Patricia Deubel's Moderating and Ethics for the Classroom Instructional Blog in K-12 Tech Trends (2007, February 21).
Blogging tools and tips:
The number of blogging tools for classroom use is increasing. See examples and get the how to's using the following resources:
b2evolution: a free blogging open source platform that can run on your website. It has additional features beyond those of traditional blogs, such as file and photo management.
Blog Basics: A resource from TeachersFirst.com
Blogger is a free Google tool that comes with many features including templates, access controls, and help. You can customize your blog, add pages, add photos and videos, and post to it from a mobile phone, and more.
Blogging in Classroom: How to Get Started is an excellent resource by Mike Wallagher. His website, Start Blogging Online, has the step-by-step tutorial that you need to get started.
Blogging in the Classroom: How to Get Started is another valuable resource, this one by Matt Banner of OnBlastBlog.com. He elaborates on uses of classroom blogs, benefits to students, starting a blog, free blogs, educational blogging services, self-hosted blogs, and ways to promote your blog.
Build Your Own Blog by Matthew Loomis features a step-by-step guide for starting a blog, including videos. For example, there's 30 videos for learning the platform Wordpress. How to Start an Educational Blog is among 22 blog types noted.
Class BlogMeister by David Warlick is for teachers interesting in using blogging to publish their own articles and those of their students. After setting up a class account, teachers can then set up student accounts and maintain control of content that students wish to publish.
Edublogs.org provides free blogs for teachers, researchers, other educational professionals and students. Teachers can control settings to ensure privacy of student accounts.
Kidblog.org is designed for K-12 teachers who want to provide each student with their own, unique blog in a safe controlled environment. Note: IT Babble posted some help for kidblog. See the Teacher Guide for Kidblog for some steps to create and manage a kidblog. Use the Student Guide for Kidblog to help learners get started.
Learning About Blogs FOR your Students (2011) by Sylvia Tolisano is a seven-part series on the issues: reading blogs, writing, student writing, commenting, connecting, reciprocating, consistency, and quality. In part 7 quality, blogging rubrics are also discussed. Per Tolisano, "The guide will be based on the assumption, that in order for a teacher to facilitate quality student blogs, the teacher needs to have their own understanding of quality blog writing."
21classes.com provides free blogs for teachers. "Once the teacher has set up her Teacher Blog, she can set up the student accounts for commenting and reading. [A] comprehensive group management allows the teacher to separate students into various groups, and make entries visible to only specific groups. On a per-entry level, the teacher can also decide whether comments are allowed or not" (Teacher Blog Description section).
StartABlog123.com features How to Start a Blog: A Step-by-Step Guide, a very helpful resource for building a personal or professional blog.
Using Blogs to Integrate Technology in the Classroom: A resource from Glencoe.com
WebsiteSetup.org: How to Create a Blog using WordPress by Robert Mening. Mening also provides free guides for how to make a website.
WordPress.com offers multiple themes to help you get started with blogging. The basic service is free.
Voki is a free service that allows you to create customized speaking avatars (text to speech or recorded speech), which you can add to your blog, social profile, and email.
Edmodo: Twitter for Education, which enables privacy. Teachers can use it to communicate with groups of students.
Patrick Cauley of itbabble.com has developed a user guide
for Edmodo, which he describes as an online learning
Edmodo: A guide to explain it all.
Note: The CK-12 Math Practice App is available on Edmodo. Per the description: "Quickly and easily assign Common Core-aligned math practice to your students with the CK-12 Math Practice app. Choose from a comprehensive library of middle and high school math concepts, or search by keyword. This free, time-saving app seamlessly integrates with Edmodo – practice quizzes are posted as assignments and student scores automatically show up in your Edmodo Gradebook. Subjects include: Algebra, Geometry, Arithmetic, Statistics, Probability, Measurement, Trigonometry, and Calculus. ... Students can take practice quizzes as many times as they like, and learn more about any given topic with videos, real world applications, and reading resources."
Twitter: You can make your "Tweets" public or protect them. If you would like to learn how to use Twitter, consider the Twitter Guide Book – How To, Tips and Instructions by Mashable.
Some blogs for math educators:
K-12 educators in all content areas who are interested in educational technology blogs might consider the collection of 50 Must-Read K-12 Educational IT Blogs, as recommended by EdTech Magazine, June11, 2012. In addition, the following focus on math:
BetterExplained can benefit math educators, and anyone interested in those ah-ha moments in which you finally gained better insight into understanding a topic. In this blog by Kalid Azad, a Princeton grad who has also worked at Microsoft, you'll get his insights into several math and number concepts, programming and web development, business, writing, and communication. For example, there are posts on mental math, how to learn math, number systems, prime numbers, permutations and combinations, uses of the Pythagorean theorem, exponents, logs, complex numbers, and calculus topics.
Blog on Math Blogs from the American Mathematical Society "is a tour of the mathematical blogosphere" that will capture your attention for its relevance, humor, and practical insights. For example, among posts in March-April, 2016, you'll find "Packing Heat: The World of Sphere Packings is on Fire," "How to Celebrate Square Root Day," "A conversation with The Accidental Mathematician," and "Algebra: It's More than just Parabolas." There are 19 categories for easy retrieval of posts. Among those are Applied Math, Biomath, History of Mathematics, K-12 Mathematics, Events, Math Education, Mathematics and the Arts, Recreational Mathematics, and more.
Casting Out Nines is from The Chronicle of Higher Education: The theme of this blog is "Where mathematics, technology and education cross." Dr. Robert Talbert's posts are featured. For example, his series of posts on "Flipped Learning Skepticism" and reader responses provide food for thought on using this method.
Dy/Dan: Dan Meyer's blog has a following of educators who share his interest in using dynamic math and Web 2.0 tools creatively for teaching and learning math. As one example, view one of his application videos in which he relates playing volleyball to the maximum height in meters of the ball in play according to the given equation of parabolic motion. You can then access other videos he has done.
Edublogs.org hosts blogs for teachers and students. Within the community section are numerous blogs listed in the directory by subject area, which also includes mathematics/sciences. Free and paid versions are available.
emergent math is a blog that has some great ideas for introducing students to inquiry-based learning. Begin your exploration with A Problem Based Learning Starter Kit, posted October 30, 2013. You will also find a set of Common Core Problem Based Curriculum Maps for grades 3-11, algebra 1, geometry, and algebra 2.
Habits of Mind Blog from the Education Development Center's Mathematical Practice Institute began January 2014 and is intended to explore mathematical habits of mind or ways of thinking about mathematics in K-16. Such habits are "also recognizable today in the Standards for Mathematical Practice." The goal is to provide a vehicle for exploring ideas "to bring serious mathematics to all learners" (Welcome post, January 15, 2014).
Mathematics for Teaching by Erlina Ronda is for K-12 math educators to help their learners develop mathematical thinking and understanding and "narrowing the gap between theory and practice in mathematics teaching and learning." There are multiple categories, such as teaching math in elementary grades and high school (e.g., algebra, geometry, calculus, trig, etc.), number sense, math lessons, math videos, math research, curriculum reform, using GeoGebra, and posts addressing "What is mathematics?" You'll also find sections on math-ed studies, and K-12 math problems for students with solutions, explanations, and common errors.
Learner Log, a blog to explore teaching and learning from Annenberg Learner, features posts categorized in multiple areas. To illustrate, read posts under the category "mathematics" such as: You have to speak, listen, read, and write to teach and learn math (2015, October 28).
Marilyn Burns Math Blog: Created in 2015, this blog focuses on K-8 math teaching. Burns is a highly regarded math educator and author of more than a dozen books for children. In her welcome post of January 2, 2015, she stated, "I plan to offer thoughts about teaching math, suggestions from my past and present classroom experiences, links to resources I’ve found useful, problems to solve that interest me, and more."
MathNotations: Developer Dave Marain said his blog contains "fully developed math investigations that are more than one inch deep, math challenges, Problems of the Day and standardized test practice. The emphasis will always be on developing conceptual understanding in mathematics. There will also be dialogue on issues in mathematics education with a focus on standards, assessment, and pedagogy primarily at the 7-12 level through AP Calculus."
Mathtwitterblogosphere is a collection of math educators who twitter and blog. They are sharing some great ideas to enhance your teaching. You can also join. Under the section "How to Take the Leap," you will find recommendations on who to follow listed by academic content level (middle school, algebra 1 and 2, geometry, precalculus, calculus, statistics) and interest. Interest categories include arts and crafts in math, games, interdisciplinary work, classroom organization and management, modeling approach to teaching, standards-based grading, projects and rich tasks, technology in the math classroom.
MisterTeacher: Grade 5 teacher Jamie Tubbs blogs on math, science, and social studies and provides additional teaching resources.
NCTM Journal Blogs: Each of three NCTM journals has a blog in which guest math educators contribute posts. Math Tasks to Talk About is in Teaching Children Mathematics; Blogarithm: Standards of Mathematical Practice is in the Middle Grades in Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School; and Joy and Inspiration in the Mathematics Classroom is in Mathematics Teacher.
On Teaching and Learning Mathematics from the American Mathematical Society includes articles "written either by the editors or by a contributing author following an invitation from the editorial board." You'll find "practical "teaching tips,” commentary on current mathematics education research, discussions of social/curricular educational policy, and more" (About This Blog section).
HOT!: Solve My Maths by Ed Southall is a must see site. More than a blog, it contains math problems posted by Southall and others, specific math subject resources organized by topic, a collection of animations sure to engage your learners on the beauty of math, and a section on math humor.
squareCircleZ: You'll also find interactive mathematics resources.
Tap Tap Math is a blog about how the iPod Touch and iPhone can be used to support learning math.
Wild About Math! by Sol Lederman is all about making math accessible and fun. He also has a list of fun articles related to math and a series of links to math contest problems from various math competitions in the U.S.
Blog Safety and Ethics:
Online safety and ethics must be considered; students should sign a code of conduct. In general, any blogging code of ethics should strike a balance between free expression with factual truth. Ethical considerations, which students must be taught, include the need for truth, accuracy, and accountability for what they say, and respect for others even when students might disagree. There is also need to ensure that bloggers keep private issues private to minimize potential harm to others. Consider the following for online safety and sample contracts for bloggers:
Cloud Computing: "Cloud computing is a general term for anything that involves delivering hosted services over the Internet. These services are broadly divided into three categories: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)" (TechTarget.com, 2009). The term is often associated with Web 2.0 applications. Johnson, Levine, Smith, and Smythe (2009) stated, “Collaborative work, research, social networking, media sharing, virtual computers: all are enabled by applications that live in the cloud” (p. 5). Services delivered over the internet, such as Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail or other Web-based email, Flickr, Google Apps, YouTube, TeacherTube and Amazon Web Services are examples.
The use of cloud services is making it fairly easy technologically to implement "digital strategies such as BYOD, the flipped classroom, and personalized and collaborative learning environments" (Johnson, Adams Becker, Estrada, and Freeman, 2014, p. 36).
There are other "cloud" examples, which can be used on a school curricular level. Programming languages such as ScratchJr for kids ages 5-7 and Scratch for kids ages 8 and up, developed by MIT Media Lab, can be used for free to create animations, interactive stories, games, music, and art. Vendors of commercial products are also providing online data storage. Consider Renaissance Learning's Accelerated Reader, an online supplementary reading program providing guided reading instruction, or First in Math, an online skill building program aligned with Common Core math standards for grades K-8 that uses games and offers pre- and post tests to assist with learning.
For more on what cloud computing is all about, see the following resources:
For concerns about protecting data in the cloud, see the following:
Note: if you wish to take advantage of 3GB of free online storage for your documents, images, and other files, visit icloud. Access files from any computer. You can also use the service to collaborate with others.
Folksonomy: The word is derived from "folk" and "taxonomy." As opposed to taxonomy, which is a predefined traditional classification scheme created by authors of content for their own works or by professionals for the work of others, this is a new concept in which users (sometimes called amateurs) of social bookmarking systems on the Web categorize their own information for later retrieval. Users add their own keywords or tags to content they save, creating personalized or community-based organizational systems. In time the community develops its own structure of keyword descriptors to define its resources.
In Folksonomies - Cooperative Classification and Communication Through Shared Metadata, Adam Mathes (2004) discussed the advantages and disadvantages of folksonomies and their potential impact on information retrieval systems. He elaborated on their nature by discussing two popular sites for sharing digital content: Del.icio.us (tool for organizing web pages) and Flickr (tool for photo management and sharing). Note: Educators should exercise caution if using Flickr, as some content might not be appropriate for K-12 learners. There are alternatives for Web site photo management for student projects, which include log-in and password features.
Wikipedia also discusses folksonomies and provides additional resources.
More on social bookmarking:
Mashup: This term has more than one meaning. It is often associated with mixing music or other media from more than one source to become a new unified whole. However, in terms of the web and web applications, it is mixing content from more than one source to become a new, integrated whole. Marshall Kirkpatrick (2006, October 17) discussed Web 2.0: What is a mashup? in a video interview.
Modding: "a slang expression for the act of modifying a piece of hardware or software to perform a function not intended by someone with legal rights concerning that modification" (Wikipedia).
Podcast: Podcasting "stands for Portable On Demand Broadcasting. Podcasts were originally audio-only but may now contain still images, video, and chapters identifying major sections or ideas. An iPod is not needed to listen to a Podcast. You can listen to a podcast using any computer connected to the Internet that also has the capability of playing standard MP3 audio files. Once a podcast is downloaded it can be listened to at any time on the computer. Many people also like to copy the podcast to a portable device for playback on the go." (Educational Podcasting at Middle Tennessee State University, What is a Podcast?). The file can be created using a computer, microphone, free software, and posted to a web site.
Podcasts and learning:
Other podcast examples, how to's, copyright/legal info:
Social Network: A "map of the relationships between individuals, indicating the ways in which they are connected through various social familiarities ranging from casual acquaintance to close familial bonds" (Wikipedia).
Note: In 2006, a nationally representative telephone survey was conducted for the Pew Internet & American Life Project using a sample of 935 teens, ages 12-17, including a parent or guardian. Results indicated that 55% of the online teens have their profiles online and are using social networks to communicate with current friends and to make new friends. The majority of those only post their first names (81%), but they have included pictures of themselves (79%) and friends (66%), information about where they live (61%) and share their school name (41%) (Lenhart & Madden, 2007, pp. ii-iii).
In its 2007 survey of about 1000 9-17 year olds, Kids' Social Networking Study, the research firm Grunwald Associates in cooperation with the National School Boards Association found popular social networking activities, which students engaged in at least weekly, were predominantly unidirectional. Those included posting messages (41%), downloading music (32%) and videos (30%), uploading music (29%), updating personal websites or online profiles (25%), posting photos (24%), creating and sharing virtual objects (16%), and creating new characters (14%). Collaborative events and reaching out to others were engaged in to lesser degrees, as evidenced by blogging (17%), participating in collaborative projects (10%), sending suggestions or ideas to websites (10%), submitting articles to websites (9%), and creating polls, quizzes, or surveys (9%) (Reynard, 2008a, online p. 1).
The implication for schools is that if we want social networking to make a difference in instruction and learning, the medium should also be used for its publishing and production aspects, reaching higher levels of collaboration and creativity, and for enabling learners to network with experts and peers in a manner where their work gains legitimacy within the larger community of experts in various fields. It also makes learning more interesting. Teachers will need to be more creative "to model the same skills they are looking for in their students" (Reynard, 2008a, online p. 3).
Learn More about Social Networking in Education: Many probably need additional information, advice, ideas and examples, and resources for using social networking services with young people, which is available at Digizen.org from Childnet International, a London (UK) based company. The wiki, Social Networks in Education, contains an expansive listing of social networks used in a variety of educational environments or for educational purposes.
Social Network Tools: When you think about it, the telephone is a social networking tool, as is group or individual email, or a face-to-face meeting (with or without notes to document what happened or what was said). However, below might be more in line with thoughts on newer tools.
Safe Social Networking Sites: Social networks are a source of concern for parents and schools because of the online safety issues for students who use them. Sites like Flickr, MySpace, YouTube, Del.icio.us, and Facebook might be among those, as they are open to anyone to use. However, there are social networks that parents with their kids and educators can use in which they can create a private, protected environment for learning, and which have been rated as safe. There are also social networking sites that would be of principal interest to educators. Examples:
Algebra 4 All (A4A) Social Network is a "community of educators committed to sharing resources and supporting one another in the practice of teaching Algebra." A4A is sponsored by the Michigan Learnport. You'll find a group discussion forum, a project and lesson sharing area, blog posts, videos on multiple topics, an extensive collection of resources organized by function families, and more.
Celly is a tool for creating your own social networks, a "private version of Twitter," according to developers. This app is designed for use on Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch devices, and can also work on Web platforms. Suggestions for using Celly in K-12 education are noted at the website.
Classroom 2.0 is a social networking site for educators interested in Web 2.0 and collaboration.
Elgg (named after a town in Switzerland) is free open-source social networking software for educators and their students to create a secure "personal learning landscape. "It offers blogging, networking, community, collecting of news using feeds aggregation and file sharing features. Everything can be shared among users with access controls and everything can be cataloged by tags as well." If you are concerned about its use in K-12, consider that you can install it on your own servers and have complete control over it.
Future of Education is an interview series and discussion community open to all. A huge benefit is the regular series of interviews with innovative leaders who are making a difference in learning. Highly recommended.
K12 Advantage has a set of forums for collaborating on issues related to curriculum, technology, administration, finance, and facilities. There are also blog categories by grade and content area. There are conference rooms for live collaboration, too.
Ning: [An interesting FYI: Ning means "peace" in Chinese.] Networks can be public or private. Math educators might be interested in a ning for their own professional development, such as The Educator's PLN (Personal Learning Network) or Math Educators Learning Network. Sam Gliksman has created a Ning Network called iPads in Education, which is free and explores the use of iPads and mobile devices in education.
Schoology is free for your digital classroom and contains academic features, social networking features for private spaces, management, and administrative features.
Technology Integration in Education is a "professional networking group. The intent of this site is to supply a place where educators and professionals alike learn about what is happening in technology in the classroom by following the latest news in Ed Tech, sharing content such as favorite webpages, Webinars, lesson plans, video, audio, as well as supplying a place to collaborate using blogs and discussions," according to its developer, Greg Limperis (About Us section).
TIGed (TakingITGlobal) offers a collaborative environment in which students gain access to global perspectives on global issues and new options for expressing their creativity. They can engage in project-based learning. A database of lessons is included. The environment is under control of the teacher, making safe social networking possible. TakingITGlobal.org membership is free, but small fees are attached for TIGed virtual classrooms, activity database, and teacher discussion boards.
Twiducate is a free social networking site for schools, developed by teachers. Per the website, "only teachers and students may view classroom posts, thus creating a private network for you and your students and a safer online learning environment" (About section).
We Are Teachers is a social network for educators, which contains thousands of teaching ideas and best practices in multiple categories.
Whyville is for 8-15 year olds. In 2006, Whyville received iParenting's award for its safety features.
Software as a Service: (SaaS-pronounced like "sass") is a general name for software that is internet-based, rather than being software that is installed and resides on the end-user's computer. Google Apps is an example.
Vodcast or Vidcast: a video podcast
VoIP: (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a technology that "allows you to make telephone calls using a broadband Internet connection instead of a regular (or analog) phone line" (Federal Communications Commission). Example:
Webcast: A program combining audio and video that is delivered live or played back on demand over the Internet.
You might begin your exploration of webcasts with the following:
Wiki: Hawaiian for quick, "a type of website that allows users to add and edit content and is especially suited for constructive collaborative authoring" (Wikipedia). Wikis can be organized many ways (e.g., subjects, categories, hierarchies). They often contain a search engine, unlike many blogs.
For more on the role of wikis in education, see:
Educause Learning Initiative (2005, July). 7 things you should know about Wikis.
EducationalWikis: http://educationalwikis.wikispaces.com/ contains information on how to use wikis in education and a collection of examples of educational wikis with links to them that you can learn from.
Wikis in the Classroom: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3MTJ5rz8Cc Victoria Davis of Westwood Schools (GA) has a video explaining how she uses wikis in the classroom. This is a very instructive video on the process. Highly recommended.
50 Ways to Use Wikis for a More Collaborative and Interactive Classroom (2008, August 4). Some great ideas here!
Teacher Tips for Wiki Projects at Digitally Speaking. See the other resources on wikis in the classroom: http://digitallyspeaking.pbworks.com/w/page/17791586/Wikis
Here's an idea! Use a wiki to have learners create their own lexicon of key math words in a unit or lesson.
PBwiki.com: As one example, educators might appreciate Teach Digital at PBwiki. This is Wesley Fryer's workshop and curriculum resources on blended learning, digital story telling, conversations, and collaboration. The focus is on Web 2.0.
Wikispaces provides public wikis for free.
Wikispaces for Educators offers K-12 educators space to create their wikis--all for free and without advertising. You can designate your wiki as public, protected, or private. Public wikis can be viewed and edited by anyone. Protected wikis can be viewed by anyone, but only members can edit content. Private wikis might be preferred by educators, as only members can view and edit pages.
Will Richardson (2005) provided a cautionary statement about the use of wikis: "There are no technological safeguards against a user putting bogus information into the site or vandalizing an entry; the community of people using the wiki keeps the information accurate by policing itself" (p. 25). On the positive side, however, best practices for using wikis in both business and educational environments include for project management, reducing email overload, and building a dynamic intranet, according to Jeff Brainard of Socialtext.net (Kane, Reingold, Brainard, 2007).
Classroom wikis are great educational tools for student collaboration and note taking as teachers can track student postings. However, public wikis (e.g., Wikipedia) can pose a problem when used as research tools. Users don't necessarily know anything about the authors of the content, their credibility, and validity of the content posted. We need to encourage students to use primary and secondary sources when conducting research, and to teach students critical evaluation skills for what they read. As educators, we are faced with the dilemma of using public wikis as "sources consulted" but not "sources cited" (Schrock, 2007, pp. 38-39). In fairness, however, Wikipedia is making greater effort to ensure credibility and reliability of its content (e.g., see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia: Citing_sources). You’ll see lists of references at the bottom of pages. Imbedded within content, citations are numbered and you will see the phrase “citation needed” next to unreferenced content. For example, look for those as you read about Web 2.0 at Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2.0).
For those who don't mind listening to a longer debate (about 1 hour) on Web 2.0, you might listen to the Jimmy Wales and Andrew Keen Debate on Web 2.0 at FORA.tv (2008, Feb. 28). They begin with a discussion of Wikipedia, which is a thread throughout the debate, and proceed to discuss recent research, free access to knowledge, loss of newspapers, the accuracy of Wikipedia, hierarchy of knowledge, and anonymity. Wikipedia was founded by Jimmy Wales. Keen, a critic of Wikipedia, is concerned that the Web 2.0 movement is linked to intelligentsia giving their labors away for free. People who contribute their knowledge are essentially unknown. Keen, unlike Wales, does not view Wikipedia as an encyclopedia. How can you interpret the social-cultural context of the knowledge? All information comes with baggage and to understand that knowledge, we need to understand who contributed it without having to search for the authorship.
Some wikis for math educators:
HOT! Need more inspiration to try Web 2.0 tools?
Check out the Edublog Awards in best of everything categories (e.g., individual, group, new, and teacher blogs; best educational use of audio, video, social networking service, virtual world, wiki and more). Of course, you can then visit those sites.
The Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies is a must see site to learn about teaching with new technology. The Top 100 Tools for Learning include many Web 2.0 tools for collaboration and communication, and multimedia development tools.
Read Web 2.0 Coming of Age: An introduction to the NEW worldwide web edited by Terry Freedman (2006). This free 93-page booklet, also available in audio format, provides more practical advice on how to get going and applications in education.
HOT! Need help with keeping up with Web 2.0 and emerging technologies?
The Horizon Project from the New Media Consortium (NMC) focuses on emerging technologies and how to use them. The purpose is to stimulate systematic thinking about the future and its possible impacts. The NMC is composed of hundreds of universities, colleges, museums, and research centers. The Horizon Project is their centerpiece and its annual Horizon Reports for K-12 and higher education is read extensively by thousands.
The K-12 Online Conference is a free, online, annual professional development conference offering opportunities for educators around the globe to share innovative ways web 2.0 tools and technologies can be used to improve learning. Presentations are archived since 2006. Look for the upcoming conference.
The Social Media Classroom was initiated by Howard Rheingold. It "includes a free and open-source (Drupal-based) web service that provides teachers and learners with an integrated set of social media that each course can use for its own purposes—integrated forum, blog, comment, wiki, chat, social bookmarking, RSS, microblogging, widgets , and video commenting are the first set of tools. The Classroom also includes curricular material: syllabi, lesson plans, resource repositories, screencasts and videos" (Website description).
Webopedia Web 2.0 terms will help you expand your vocabulary. Webopedia is online dictionary and search engine for computer and Internet technology definitions.
Sources for above definitions:
Federal Communications Commission: http://www.fcc.gov/voip/
Knewton, Inc. (2011, June 16). Blended learning infographic. Retrieved from http://www.knewton.com/blended-learning/
PodcastFAQ: glossary: http://www.podcastfaq.com/glossary/blogging-and-podcasting-terms/
TechTarget.com (2009, May 21). Cloud computing. Retrieved from http://searchcloudcomputing.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0,,sid201_gci1287881,00.html
Any innovation, including the implementation of Web 2.0 tools and mobile devices, must become part of a school's culture to be sustained. According to David Jakes (2006):
In support of and extending Jakes' (2006) view, Dian Schaffhauser (2009) noted six dimensions for scaling an innovation, which are in a framework developed by Chris Dede of Harvard University and Allyson Knox of Microsoft. The traditional way to look at an innovation is spread. However, a successful innovation program involves more than just adding users. It involves depth, sustainability, shift, evolution, and emotion. Depth produces transformative change and leads to improved educational outcomes; Sustainability, as the name suggests, means that the changes in practice are maintained over time; Shift refers to the users of the innovation assuming ownership of it and spreading its impact to others; Evolution means that those who adopt the innovation make revisions to it as an ongoing process (p. 32). Emotion comes into play when asking people to try something new. While those who are struggling might be eager, those who believe themselves operating at high quality might not be so willing (p. 33). The key to remember is that significant changes in classroom instruction brought about by a sustained innovation might not be realized for two or three years.
In terms of sustaining technology in schools, a more concentrated effort is needed to use technology to customize learning. According to the Digital Learning Council (2011), an initiative of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, "Today, less than 10 percent of students around the nation are experiencing the benefits of digital learning. States must advance bold reforms to make systemic changes in education to extend this option to all students" (p. 3). Digital reform in education is needed to better meet needs of students who are already using technology out of school for such things as texting, gaming, posting on the internet, and exercising their own creativity using technology tools. Ten elements for high quality digital learning are included within its Roadmap for Reform:
There must also be a change in the teacher's paradigm for teaching and learning, according to Gary Shattuck (2013). His Six Laws for the Adoption of Technology in Education also relate to sustaining an innovation. If an innovation is considered, educators must also deal with the laws of scarcity, change, beliefs, perception, diffusion, and leadership, which he proposed:
Next, what goes on in the classroom level is at the root of sustaining innovation. Teachers need to be able to foster innovation and creativity in the classroom so that students become inspired. Trevor Shaw (2015) outlined eight principles for the innovative classroom:
Teachers might also need innovative ideas to try with their learners. For this, Carl Hooker at HookED on Innovation provided 36 Weeks of Innovation for Your Classroom (2015) with innovations listed in order of difficulty ranging from using selfies to creating a start-up incubator.
Finally, as leadership matters per Shattuck (2013), districts should share their success stories as a means for sustaining a technology innovation and promoting technology integration, particularly for people who are still non-believers. As suggested by The League of Innovative Schools (2014):
- Ask community partners to help. The district tells the story first and then others repeat it. That is an effective way to spread positive messaging.
- Have students tell the story at the local level by creating videos and other multimedia content to show how they’re using technology in the classroom. Host a student film festival in your district on how students are using technology to learn.
- Find comparable districts that will help you tell your district’s story. Identify "doppelganger districts" - districts that look like your district - and share stories of their success until you have your own stories to tell.
- Bring in business leaders from the local community to be "principals for a day" in technology rich schools. This would cultivate partnerships, create a culture of understanding and collaboration, and enable business and education leaders to learn from each other. Invite the local media to cover the event. (p. 4)
Aghaei, S., Nematbakhsh, M. A., & Farsani, H. K. (2012). Evolution of the World Wide Web: From web 1.0 to web 4.0. International Journal of Web & Semantic Technology (IJWesT), 3(1), 1-10. Retrieved from http://airccse.org/journal/ijwest/papers/3112ijwest01.pdf
Boettcher, J. (2007, July 18). iPod course design. Campus Technology. Retrieved from http://campustechnology.com/articles/2007/07/ipod-course-design.aspx
Brooke, E. (2015). Blended learning: A basic overview of typical implementation models and four keys to success. Concord, MA: Lexia Learning. Retrieved from http://lexialearning.com/uploads/page-body/WhitePaper-Blended-Learning-Overview.pdf
Churches, A. (2008, April 1). Bloom's taxonomy blooms digitally. Retrieved from http://www.techlearning.com/article/8670
Deal, A. (2007, June). Podcasting: A teaching with technology white paper. Carnegie Mellon University. Retrieved from http://www.cmu.edu/teaching/resources/PublicationsArchives/StudiesWhitepapers/Podcasting_Jun07.pdf
Demski, J. (2012, January). Strategies for blog-powered instruction. Campus Technology, 25(5), 18-19.
Digital Learning Council. (2011). Digital learning now: Roadmap for reform. Retrieved from http://www.digitallearningnow.com/about-the-roadmap-for-reform/
Dlott, A. M. (2007). A (pod)cast of thousands. Educational Leadership, 64(7), 80-82.
Ferriter, W. (2013, March 17). Three classroom blogging tips for teachers [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://blog.williamferriter.com/2013/03/17/classroom-blogging-tips-for-teachers/
Freedman, T. (Ed.) (2006). Web 2.0 coming of age: An introduction to the NEW worldwide web. Retrieved from http://www.shambles.net/web2/comingofage/index.htm
Gorman, M. (2014, October 12). Ten ideas to move classroom technology closer to blended learning [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.k12blueprint.com/content/ten-ideas-move-classroom-technology-closer-blended-learning
Hooker, C. (2015, September 1). 36 weeks of innovation for your classroom [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://hookedoninnovation.com/2015/09/01/36innovate/
Jakes, D. (2006, October 27). Making IT stick. Austin, TX: Presentation at Tech Forum: Insight and Innovation for Technology Leaders. Retrieved from http://makingitstick.pbworks.com/w/page/20142281/FrontPage [Note: also see http://www.jakesonline.org/presentations.htm]
Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Estrada, V., and Freeman, A. (2014). The NMC Horizon Report: 2014 K-12 Edition. Austin, TX: The New Media Consortium. Retrieved from http://www.nmc.org/nmc-horizon/
Johnson, L., Levine, A., Smith, R., & Smythe, T. (2009). 2009 Horizon Report: K-12 Edition. Austin, TX: The New Media Consortium. Retrieved from http://www.nmc.org/nmc-horizon/
Kane, J., Reingold, H., & Brainard, J. (2007, September 6). Wikis and emerging Web 2.0 e-learning communities. Campus Technology Webinar Series. Retrieved from http://campustechnology.com/articles/2007/08/webinar-wikis-and-web-20.aspx [Note: register to view.]
Kuhn, R. (2000, July). How does technology transform thinking? [Show 111 transcript]. Closer to the Truth. Retrieved from http://season1.closertotruth.com/topics/creativitythinking/111/index.html [Note, June 4, 2014: Original URL no longer active. See http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1323982/?ref_=ttep_ep11 for availability. See http://www.closertotruth.com/about/tv-program for more on Robert Kuhn.]
League of Innovative Schools. (2014). Spring 2014 meeting summary. Retrieved from http://digitalpromise.org/initiative/league-of-innovative-schools/biannual-meetings/
Lenhart, A., & Madden, M. (2007, April 18). Teens, privacy, and online social networks. Pew Internet & American Life Project. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2007/Teens-Privacy-and-Online-Social-Networks.aspx
Lucier, T. (2009, January 25). What is Web 3.0 Definition? [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.tourismkeys.ca/blog/2009/01/what-is-web-30-definition/ [Note: account no longer exists.]
Mathes, A. (2004, December). Folksonomies - Cooperative classification and communication through shared metadata. University of Illinois-Urbana, Graduate School, LIS590CMC. Retrieved from http://www.adammathes.com/academic/computer-mediated-communication/folksonomies.html
McDowell, D. (2004). Blogging techniques for the K12 classroom. In B. Hoffman (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Educational Technology. Retrieved from http://edweb.sdsu.edu/eet/articles/bloggingtech/start.htm [Note Dec. 31, 2011: URL is no longer available.]
Ramaswami, R., & Schaffhauser, D. (2011, October 31). Diving into the cloud. Campus Technology. Retrieved from http://campustechnology.com/articles/2011/10/31/diving-into-the-cloud.aspx
Reynard, R. (2007, May 9). Instructional strategies for blogging. Campus Technology. Retrieved from http://campustechnology.com/articles/2007/05/instructional-strategies-for-blogging.aspx
Reynard, R. (2008a, May 28). Social networking: Learning theory in action. Campus Technology. Retrieved from http://campustechnology.com/articles/2008/05/social-networking-learning-theory-in-action.aspx
Reynard, R. (2008b, October 1). Avoiding the 5 most common mistakes in using blogs with students. Campus Technology. Retrieved from http://campustechnology.com/articles/2008/10/avoiding-the-5-most-common-mistakes-in-using-blogs-with-students.aspx
Richardson, W. (2005). The educator's guide to the read/write web. Educational Leadership, 63(4), 24-27.
Schrock, K. (2007, October). Critical evaluation in the collaborative era. Technology & Learning, 28(3), 38-39.
Schaffhauser, D. (2009, June/July). Scale. T.H.E. Journal, 36(6), 31-36.
Shattuck, G. (2013, September 17). Six laws for tech adoption [Web log post]. Tech & Learning, School CIO. Retrieved from http://www.schoolcio.com/Default.aspx?tabid=136&entryid=6459
Shaw, T. (2015, August/September). Eight ideas for the innovative classroom. eSchoolNews,18(5), 26. Retrieved from http://www.eSchoolNews.com
Sturgeon, J. (2008, February). Five don'ts of classroom blogging. T.H.E. Journal, 35(2), 26-30. Retrieved from http://thejournal.com/articles/2008/02/01/five-donts-of-classroom-blogging.aspx
Wegerif, R. (2002, September). Literature review in thinking skills, technology and learning. Bristol, UK: Futurelab Series. Retrieved from http://www.scribd.com/doc/12831545/Thinking-Skills-Review
See other Technology Integration pages: