All this talk about technology in the classroom means nothing if the tools aren't actually being used, and in a way that really supports the teaching and learning process. I conducted a quick search for comments about uses of collaboration tools in the classroom this morning in the forums on Classroom20.com (an excellent social network for educators focused on the use of Web 2.0 technologies in the classroom – I highly recommend it – click here to learn more). Here are a couple (abbreviated versions of) comments that I came across:
From Leigh Newton (bubbl.us which is a free mindmapping site. It takes one lesson to get their heads around it and then they can map their questions for research or what they already know. “Don't teach because it's in the curriculum. Teach because it's useful for the kids. Talk to the teachers, find out what applications will be useful for the students now (just in time – not just in case), and teach how to use them so that it will help things in class. My recent favourite site is
From Dave Garland (July '07): “I used a similar site www.mindmeister.com with good success for 16/17 year old Physics students who were studying different methods of measuring the distance to the stars. They were learning on behalf of one another in effect and found the experience of being online and watching their colleagues contribute to the growing pool of content a very interesting experience.”
A growing number of instructors have been using Web 2.0 technologies in the classroom to engage students and facilitate the learning experience. How about you – how have you used internet technologies to support the teaching process? Please comment and share your successes, or your struggles! Thanks.