Have you been thinking about doing something new and different with technology this year in your classroom or professional life? Are you daunted by the overwhelming choices of Web 2.0 tools out there? Should you start blogging—or using a wiki (whatever that is) or a Ning (now there’s a name for you)—or what about this Moodle thing everyone is talking about? What if you make the wrong choice and invest hours and hours only to discover this is taking way too much time for what you’re getting out of it? You decide to search the internet for ideas and land on Cool Tools for Schools and it just reinforces how overwhelming making a choice is going to be!
I’d like to think that you might start with this blog to get some ideas! A colleague recently sent me a fascinating Edutopia article entitled Ten Top Tips for Teaching with New Media loaded with some of the best tools and wonderful ideas for implementing them in the classroom.
Now, I consider myself somewhat savvy when it comes to Web 2.0 tools—my job as an instructional technology specialist demands that—but I was excited as I read Ten Top Tips to discover several tools that were new to me combined with creative ideas for using them with teachers and students. Yes, the article did confirm many that I have already been using, like Voicethread, but then it went on to describe ways to use Voicethread that I had never even dreamed of!
If a Web 2.0 tool is new to you, Ten Top Tips helps you understand what it is and how it might be used. For example, social bookmarking is popular, but what is it? And why should you care? How can you use “delicious” or “diigo” professionally or instructionally? (See Tip #10, Use the Buddy System).
Or maybe you have wanted to start a collaborative project with another school but didn’t have any idea where to start? Tip #4 Think Globally will get you thinking outside the box.
Are you still intimidated by the idea of trying something new! In the end, you just might want to corral that tech-savvy friend over lunch and see what they are using. After all, the buddy system isn’t a bad way to start!