Professional Learning

Web 2.0 Tools, and Keeping Up with the Internet’s Evolution

February 12, 2009

This morning, I got an email -- from a wonderful fourth-grade teacher in Vermont -- that passed along a recommendation about a Web site called So I went poking around and found that I had written a post about a year ago. But something has changed.

When I checked out the site, I found a much better design than I remembered the last time I was there. I found a wonderfully simple site -- an easy-to-browse catalog of Web 2.0 tools that is even richer than before. If you ever needed to be convinced there is more out there than you knew existed, here you go. Hold on to your hat.

Seeing this huge collection again made me think about how hard it would be for a novice to choose a place to start, how they -- like I do -- have to count on the experience of others to tell them what might be effective in their classrooms. It is the experience of others that informs all of us.

We cannot be expected -- and cannot expect ourselves -- to know where to find the best stuff, especially when "best" depends on the student, the lesson, the teacher, the grade level, the location, and technology access.

Looking at my earlier post, I saw that it ended with these words: "So, how about it -- take a look at the directory and see if you might not discover something that could help. And then come on back to the good old Spiral Notebook and let the rest of us know what you're going to do."

But only a handful shared. So I am wondering if we were just a tad too early. Maybe Web 2.0 stuff was too edgy then. But I know there are tons of teachers doing lots of great things now.

So, here I go again: Given the specifics of your situation, and if you had to make a choice, what is the Web 2.0 tool that is making the biggest difference for you and your kids, and why? Can you link us to what you've done with it?

Thanks for sharing and for helping a novice begin thinking about the possibilities and the purposes!

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