Saturday, July 28, 2007

Maps anyone?

Another neat site my friend thought would be good to share would be Google Maps and their ability to share custom maps. Below is an example of a shared google map showing all of the restaurants he's frequented recently.,-77.056732&spn=0.371699,0.63858&z=11&om=1

Individuals can easily find places to eat, sleep, shop, and in the mean while, they can e-mail their friends these maps. Searches of local business can easily be conducted to specific geographic areas and vendors can put links to their establishments web sites, reservation pages, and phone and address info.

More Google Stuff....

Anyone can create a Google account for free, log in, and read and/or edit pages listed in google docs. Check out my document for a lesson plan I'm currently working on for my critical information literacy project:

Another cool thing to do with Google Docs would be having students use the spreadsheets section to upload information they are doing on a telecollborative project. The first thought that comes to mind, is that of comparing science investigation data. How great would it be for the students to enter their classrooms data, then review a different class's information and then do some analysis. The advantage of using this technology is that it would be "live" being saved and edited at the same time but from different locations.

Google Docs & Spreadsheets

I have found yet another Web 2.0 Technology that can be useful in the classroom. Google Docs & Spreadsheets (which I was totally unaware even existed) is a great way to post word documents or spreadsheets so that can anyone can view/edit them on the web. Documents are automatically saved, can be shared, opened, and edited by multiple users at the same time. It is a great tool for collaboration between multiple people (esp. by teachers), or if you are at varying locations throughout the day, but want to continue to work on an item. That was just finding out what they are, here are some sites I used to help further my learning:

Friday, July 27, 2007

My Wiki

So after taking a break from wiki information, I'm back with my own wiki that I created using:

Here's the link to my own wiki page Feel free to add/edit on my page, it's pretty basic right now.

Some other sites for creating free wikis are:

Thursday, July 26, 2007


What exactly is podcasting? I had head of ipods and just figured it has something to do with those lovely new technology devices. But after reading up on it a bit, I've learned a whole bunch more. As defined by Webster's New Millennium Dictionary of English, a podcast (in it's noun form) is a Web-based audio broadcast via an RSS feed, accessed by subscription over the Internet. As a verb it means to distribute (multimedia files) over the internet for playback on a mobile device or a personal computer. Ok, that last definition makes more sense to me as I'm not too familiar with what an RSS feed is. Basically it's like subscribing to a radio station that you can listen to wherever you can download the files and listen (or watch sometimes) for your enjoyment. They are not "live" rather pre-recorded files that the host has uploaded for others. A podcast is distinguished from other digital media formats by its ability to be syndicated, subscribed to, and downloaded automatically, using an aggregator or feed reader capable of reading feed formats such as RSS or Atom (according to Wikipedia).

This is a neat example of a podcast you can have your kids listen to learn more information about words:

Check out these sites (which helped me understand podcasting):
An example of an online podcasting video studio site to help you get started with your own podcast:

Podcasts could offer kids in classrooms the opportunity to listen to each others stories, share personal experiences about a shared topic of interest, or just give then another avenue to listen to information. Allowing kids the ability to hear or participate in a podcast, helps them realize that what goes onto the world wide web, really is indeed all over the world. Since there are 3 different types of podcasts (audio, video, and enhanced) you can offer your students a variety of new medias to learn.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

More on Social Networking

Ever been invited to an event electronically with an Evite? I know I have numerous times! As I continued my research on what social networking is, I discovered Evite was one of the very first examples. Evite started up in the late 1990s and boy has social networking grown since more came into cyberspace around 2003 when Friendster and others were created. Now, according to Wikipedia, there are over 200 different kinds of networks. Most of them are created for social purposes and I haven't found anything yet on how they could be useful in the classroom setting, but I'll get back to that later. Ok update, I did find sites that talk about use of social networks in the school setting (this is also where I found the YouTube video in my previous post)

To read more about social networks (and where I got a lot of my info)

See an example of an evite:

Social Networking

Without even knowing it, I was already using a form of Web 2.0 by having a Friendster page. Social Networking sites (MySpace, Friendster, Facebook, etc). are all ways of connecting to people for social purposes and all began in the late 1990s. See what Wikipedia says about social network services:

I began my journey of social networking by receiving an invitation to "be friends with" a buddy of mine who already had his own page (a few years ago). So i figured I should check it out (after finding out it was free to view/join/post page). Seemed like a neat idea to be able to post pictures of your friends, see how they're all connected, share information about yourself, what interests you have, etc. After checking out the site a bit and exploring my friends page ( I decided to say sure I'd "be a friend" with him on his page. And then I began to develop my own page.

The technical aspects were pretty easy. Fill out some basic personal information (up to your comfort level), add a picture if you want (easy uploading), list you hobbies, who you want to meet through the site, and start to invite your friends to view your site. It was really great to start to see how all my friends are connected and see who their friends are. Quite the purpose as the founder and CEO of Friendster writes on this page:
I also got the chance to find out about other groups my friends are involved with and read others blogs. Then I found the testimonial section, where friends of mine wrote something about me, I had to approve or deny it, and then let it be published on my site. One concern though is security and safety especially when children are involved. The incidents with MySpace and children meeting up with strangers makes me wonder how appropriate the use of social networking is for kids and how parents need to be strongly involved when their children are using the internet. One way I think social networking could be used with students would be that of a classroom sharing a page, each having their own section and sharing details about their class (somewhat like a blog). The teacher could be the moderator and share their class page with others.

Other examples and info about social networking:
Watch the video below about how posting (like on social networking) can be dangerous

Monday, July 23, 2007

More about wikis

Learned a new fact: a single page in a wiki is referred appropriately as a "wiki page" while the entire set of hyperlinked pages together creates the "wiki". It is starting to make a bit more sense to me now....but just browsing through the numerous pages out there about what a wiki is was a bit overwhelming to me and to try to begin was kinda scary.

As Ward said in the original description of a wiki,
"Allowing everyday users to create and edit any page in a Web site is exciting in that it encourages democratic use of the Web and promotes content composition by nontechnical users." A very good point for some of us nontechnical users in that we can go in and edit a web page without too many difficulties.

The technical aspects of doing a wiki are pretty basic once you get the hang of it. You simply log into one of the free sites, create a log in, space/page name, and begin typing whatever it is you want. You can easily come back to it to edit, can upload pictures, A pro and con at the same time about a wiki is it's security. It's great that anyone can edit it, but at the same time, one could destroy what you have created it with nasty vandalism quite easily; or add information that is incorrect (be sure to protect yours that way it doesn't happen).

A wiki can be used to send students to a particular page where you want them to read specific information and give them the opportunity to edit what has already been written (could be great for fixing math problems or correcting language mechanics errors in writing). It would be a wonderful place to put up class notes on a lecture and have the kids add their own personal notes. It also would be cool to share your page with other classes to be able to compare information or in conjunction with a telecollaborative project. Another way to use a wiki would be for students to share their writing with others, have other students edit it for content/mechanics and get feedback from their peers. I might even suggest this to some of the teachers I work with for a fun, interactive way to work on their students' writing. One last thought, for now, is that wikis could also be helpful with communicating and sharing with parents. Parents could view their own child's published work and let the teacher know any important information to share with the class.

One article (open as a pdf file) that I found helpful was the 7 Things You Should Know about Wikis (from a classmates blog):

What's a wiki?

So I've found out about what a wiki is on none other that the most popular wiki itself: wikipedia's website ( Basically, a wiki is website that any can view and edit who have access to it. It's basically, the simplest online database that can work. The word wiki itself is a shorter version of a Hawaiian word meaning quick; makes sense since it gets you information in a quick manner. The first time one appeared on the world wide web was in 1995 by Ward Cunningham. So now, that I know a bit more about it, let's find out how they are useful.

To check out more info about wikis see:

Web 2.0

Ok, so what the heck is Web2.0 anyways? As I find out more about the specifics, I'll update them on this blog. Please feel free to add/suggest information that will aid in my ongoing learning!

This site is where I begin my journey:

After reading a bit, Wikipedia says:
"... the phrase "Web 2.0" may hint at an improved form of the World Wide Web. Advocates of the concept suggest that technologies such as weblogs, social bookmarking, wikis, podcasts, RSS feeds (and other forms of many-to-many publishing), social software, Web APIs, Web standards and online Web services imply a significant change in web usage. Stephen Fry (actor, author and broadcaster) describes Web 2.0 as "an idea in people’s heads rather than a reality. It’s actually an idea that the reciprocity between the user and the provider is what’s emphasized. In other words, genuine interactivity if you like, simply because people can upload as well as download" .

Monday, July 16, 2007

More classmates Blogs

Check out other blogs from members of my class (we all had to do this as a class requirement) on the sidebar. They are great tools for learning more about Web 2.0 technologies and have some cool links and resources.

My first experience with a blog was through my friend Kevin (special K)'s page that he updates with funny or important information he feels like sharing. I often find his blogs to be humorous and hope you will too!


Welcome to my blog for my class on Telecommunications in the Classroom!
This will be where I post my thoughts about different Web 2.0 Technologies and how they can be useful in the classroom setting. Please feel free to add any comments or suggestions about any Web 2.0 technologies that you have had good experiences with.

Please be patient with me, as this is my first time doing a blog.