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web 2.0

Elementary School 2.0

Buffy Hamilton (The Unquiet Librarian) posted some great examples today of how elementary schools are using social media to communicate with faculty, parents & students. Read her post!

I wanted to highlight two of her examples from Christina Bentheim at the Dickens Elementary School in North Las Vegas, NV.

1: A wiki page chock full of resources for teacher, parents & students and with a great Glogster graphic as an interactive front page.

2: Her NetVibes information portal full of subject resources, a parenting section, teaching resources and more.

How to Embed Almost Anything in your Website

digitalinspiration has a great post today listing  ways to add all sorts of content to your web pages – videos, audio, calendars, presentations, and more.

Learn how to embed almost anything in your HTML web pages from Flash videos to Spreadsheets to high resolution photographs to static images from Google Maps and more.

And while you’re there, check out their post on How to Insert YouTube Videos in PowerPoint Presentations. Another handy tutorial.

Bookmark them for future reference!

School Library Workshop

This past weekend, I had the great pleasure of teaching a workshop for school librarians in the Dutchess & Ulster BOCES School Library Systems. 14 librarians gave up the weekend to be locked away in a training room! We had some great discussions about technology and schools. And everyone went away having learned about some new tools and with plans in place to share what they learned with students and other teachers.

Everyone set up a delicious account and had instant network of colleagues. Throughout the weekend they all added links to their accounts. And they tagged them all with a unique tag for the group so they could create an RSS feed for that later in the day.

The group now has a wiki where eveyone introduced themselves and shared their plans and ideas that came out of the weekend. And they also set up a personal homepages using iGoogle and learned how to add RSS feeds from many different sources.

Amazingly everyone stayed awake for an after dinner session where we did some karaoke with Sims On Stage to get our blood flowing again. And everyone then joined Twitter!  I was just going to demo some social networking tools and suddenly everyone was twittering! Again, they had a built in instant network.

The session ended on Sunday with time for everyone to explore the resources in the class wiki, time to work on their own projects and to share ideas with each other.

I don’t know about everyone who participated, but I came away excited (AND exhausted!) Thanks so much to Danielle Boyea (Ulster BOCES SLS) and Rebecca Gerald (Dutchess BOCES SLS) for organizing the weekend. And to everyone who attended. It was an inspiring and fun weekend.

Wordia – a video dictionary

This is way more fun than the vocabulary flash cards we used back in 3rd grade. Wordia is a collection of short videos submitted that explain the meaning of a word. Anyone can submit a video, some are casual, some goofy, some are a bit serious. But most of the ones I watched really did help understand the meaning of a word.

Wouldn’t this be a great class project?

Take a look for yourself and then get out your video cam and explain your favorite word.

One of my favorites was “fermata”, which was a new word for me!

(via: Infodoodads)

2.0 in the Classroom & PBS Election Curriculum

Earlier tonight I received a note about a live webcast discussing the PBS multimedia Election 2008 curriculum and the Web 2.0 tools and resources that are part of the curriculum. Wow, I’m so glad I clicked through to it, even though I got there a bit late.

The material they’ve created is just terrific!  Access, Analyze, Act: A Blueprint for 21st Century Engagement will help you “discover the power of social media while promoting your students’ civic engagement.” This is a treasure trove of ideas, resources, interactive tools, lesson plans and more – all showing the enormous power and value of 2.0 tools. And what better context than this presidential election.

Use these resources to show the value of these tools and why we need to open our classrooms to them.

In addition to this terrific content, it was really interesting to see Elluminate in action.  (more…)

A Dozen Back to School Uses for Big Huge Labs Trading Card Generator

flickr toys trading card

In a class last week, someone suggested using the the free trading cards generator at as a ‘get to know you’ sort of exercise at the beginning of the school year.  That got me thinking about and looking for other back to school ideas for this fun tool.

Like all the tools at bighugelabs, this one is very easy to use. Upload a photo/graphic or grab one from your flickr or photobucket account, enter a title, caption and some text and shazam, you have a cool trading card. You can download the trading card to your own computer, post it your flickr account, copy html code to put it on a web/blog/wiki page or print it out.

Some ideas – please share your ideas in the comments!

  • Book Reviews – find a photo that expresses your feelings about a book you’ve read. Write a few lines about what the book meant to you.
  • Student book reports –  Use the 2-sided Character Trading Card generator from the ReadWriteThink to create a summary of the book, notes about the characters, plot and more.  (sample card)
  • “5 facts” reports – Find a photo or graphic of a topic. List 5 facts about that topic. Expand this to a podcast of the ‘5 facts’ (that idea from the Beverly (MI) Elementary School Podcasts) and use the trading card to illustrate the blog/web/wiki page listing the podcasts. (more…)