Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Using Web 2.0 Tools with University Students

Like a rainbowImage by Lillou Merlin via Flickr
Vinnie Vrotny recently asked me about how I use Web 2.0 tools with my students. I teach Instructional Technology courses at the University of Northern Iowa. I teach an Emerging Instructional Technologies course where I use many of these tools but we integrate them throughout the rest of the courses as well. Here is a list of links to examples of how we use these tools.

Wikibook - Instead of students writing individual research papers for the course, we created an on-line collaborative wikibook. We used the actual Wikimedia software. It was interesting to see that we needed to address topics differently when writing online than when writing on paper. How to determine the length of the paper? (Not pages, but words). How to cite (Reference list? URL? Both?)

RWLDs - The information that you want students to discuss is not always in the book. We have developed Readings, Watchings, Listenings and Doings (RWLD) pages where students can find links to readings, videos, podcasts and things to do. We have found that more students do their homework with RWLDs because they are in a media form that is more appealing. I might point out that we post thes in a Blog form so that the students can subscribe to them like any other blog. Here is an example of one that I used in my Emerging Instructional Technologies course last Fall.
Google Forms - Google forms is probably the most exciting collaborative opportunity that I have found. Google has simplified the prociess of creating an online form to not much more than defining the headings on a spreadsheet. We create and use these forms to elicit student input during and after class. One application that I found interesting was using a Google form to collect evaluation information after I gave a digital portfolio workshop.

Digital Portfolios on Google Sites - Google Sites has made creating digital portfolios a snap. 5 years ago, Andrew Krumm and I created some templates for creating professional digital portfolios. These are housed at http://dpme.org (Digital Portfolios Made Easy). Originally, we made them using Word or HTML templates. Lately, we have created Google Sites templates and all of our Educational Technology and Design students create their digital portfolios using these templates. Here are some examples Example 1 Example 2 Here is a link to an hour and 45 minute workshop on creating a digital portfolio using Google Sites

CoverItLive - Recently we have been experimenting with using an open chat line during lectures. We have been using CoverItLive.com. It is moderated by another professor to ensure that discussion stays on-topic. See the next blog posting down below to actually see the transcript for one of the sessions.

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