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Getting Started with the Web Tools Collective

Eric Brunsell

Asst Professor of Science Education @ UW-Oshkosh
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A few weeks ago, I introduced the Edutopia Summer Professional Development Series' Web Tools Collective. Over the next two months, you will have the ability to participate in a collective -- an informal group of "like-minded" individuals learning together -- to explore a variety of web tools and how they can be applied to the classroom.


Randy Nelson, the former dean of Pixar University, describes four key aspects that employees in "innovative" companies need to have. Individuals need to show persistence as they develop mastery -- or depth of knowledge -- in an area that they are passionate about. They need to be curious and have a breadth of knowledge. In other words, they need to "be interested, not interesting." Individuals need to be good communicators with the ability to translate complex ideas into something understandable and engaging. Finally, they need to understand collaboration as a way to amplify the ideas and expertise of a group. As a team, these individuals need to take each others' ideas as a starting point and "plus" them. When given a piece of work, instead of judging, they take it as a starting point and ask, "What can we do with this?"

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As educators, we should be providing opportunities for our students to develop these same characteristics. Just as importantly, as professionals we should be developing these characteristics in ourselves.

Participation in the Web Tools Collective

Participation is simple; there is no need to register. You can learn and share at your pace and on your schedule. I will be writing three posts to provide a loose framework for exploration:

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