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.  Elluminate provides an environment for online learning and collaboration. Serendipitously, someone mentioned to me earlier today that they wanted me to help them test out this service later this week.

My experience tonight was quite positive. The software downloaded and installed easily without any thought on my part (always a good thing!) The interface was clear and intuitive. It included a list of the participants, a chat box, a video of the presenter and a large area where the live web pages were being broadcast. I’m sure I was seeing only a glimpse of the features available.

There were a few bumps here and there as a few web pages didn’t load right away or audio went a bit wonky, but in my experience that’s not unusual in these settings. For the most part, things ran smoothly.

If you’d like to see Elluminate in action yourself, there’s another live session scheduled for Thursday night (Sept 11), discussing Wikis in Education. Schedule and more information for these sessions is on the Classroom 2.0 Wiki

Thanks to Steve Hargadon for arranging these sessions and to all the presenters.

Here’s an example of a widget from “Ask Your Lawmaker”, one of the PBS interactive tools: