Web 2.0: Collaboration Explosion

The Web 2.0 revolution has changed the way we interact with computers. The web is no longer one-dimensional; content is not just received by the viewer. Instead, we have the ability to interact, persuade, modify, collaborate and participate in the creation of content that we experience.

Many tools have been developed for social collaboration on the web. These tools enable us to improve communication with many groups of people including our students and fellow professionals. With this increased access to create and publish content on the web, we can give students authentic audiences and experiences through their interaction on the web. We can also stay connected to other professionals and learn from each other.

In education the possiblities that web 2.0 tools offer is endless read the following article Day in the Life of Web 2.0 and how these tools could impact education.

Blogs: To Persuade

A blog is short for weblog which is a user-generated website that usually reflects the opinions of that user. The author of the blog determines the content and the reader can share opinions through the comment feature about the author's ideas. A blog is most like a journal in that the author's thoughts or "posts" are generally listed in chronological order.

Additional tools can be incorporated into a blog including widgets or plugins that provide additional information for the reader. Videos, images, and internet links to other sites can also be added to a blog.

Blogging Sites:

Blogging Tips:
  • Start small, think big. Begin with a class blog; invite outside collaboration; extend to student blogs.
  • Class Blog ideas:
    • Classroom information and communication
    • Classroom learning log
    • Discussion questions for class topics
    • Survey the class
    • Sharing class work/projects for discussion
  • Student Blog ideas:
    • collaborating with other students globally
    • writing workshops
    • literature circles
    • Individual learning log on research topics - portfolio
    • practice writing skills
  • Remember to contact parents and discuss safety and expectations.

More information:

Sample Blogs:

Wikis: To Inform

A wiki is a web page that allows for collaboration from a number of different people. The primary difference between a wiki and a blog is that a wiki can be edited and changed. Posts on a blog cannot be changed, only commented on. But a wiki can be left completely open to any user to change or add content.

A blog is often used for individual expression whereas a wiki is used for group collaboration.

This video does a great job of explaining wikis in plain English:

Wiki Sites:

More Information:

Sample Wikis:

This article by an educational blogger, Kim Cofino, attempts to diffentiate between these two tools to help educators decide on which tool to use. The Technology Toolbox: Choosing the Right Tool for the Task

Social Bookingmarking: To Share and Access Valuable Resources

Social bookmarking allows one to access favourite sites from any computer with Internet access (not tied to your favourites or bookmarks on your browser at home or school), but what really makes social bookmarking rock is that you can share bookmarks with others with similiar interests (so if I find a great site you'd know about it and if you found a great site I'd be in on it too) . One of the keys of social bookmarking is tagging sites which makes it easier to find that needle in a haystack.

This video does a great job of explaining social bookmarking in plain English

Here is a list of the top 20 social bookmarking sites

I use delicious and also have my new media students sharing on this too here is a link to My Bookmarks

EtherPad: To Communicate in Real Time

There are services out there that allow people to communicate in real time. One of these services is Etherpad. This service allows multiple people edit the same document simultaneously, any changes are instantly reflected on everyone's screen. The result is a new and productive way to collaborate on text documents, useful for meeting notes, drafting sessions, education, team programming, and more.


Telecollaborative Projects

There are many opportunities for educators to participate in collaborative online projects. These are a few tips to getting started. Many of these projects utilize either email, blogs, or wikis to assist in the collaborative element between students globally.

Flat Classroom Project
Global SchoolNet
1001 Flat World Tales
Global eLearners
Technospud Collaborative Projects
ePals Classroom Exchange

This is an EXCELLENT, current resource with many tips for finding or beginning a global telecollaborative project.
Connecting Across Continents