Web 2.0 in the Classroom: 5 Questions (and Answers)

1) What is Web 2.0?
The term web 2.0 applies to the “2nd edition” of the web, where web sites are participatory and users can create their own content. To create and publish to the web, people no longer have to learn complicated software, possess sophisticated hardware, or spend much besides having a computer and an Internet connection. This has an enormous implication for society, but also one directly for schools, since this new and powerful web is low-cost, easy to learn, and empowering to students.

However, this new “read/write web” is not without some cost and consideration. New issues come to the table, such as authority, safety, misinformation, security, privacy, authorship, and copyright–and how those issues translate into a classroom environment.

Let’s watch a video that explains a lot: “The Machine is Us/ing Us,” produced by Michael Wesch, from the Digital Ethnography program at Kansas State University.

2) What are some web 2.0 tools that can be effective in the classroom?

bloggingpodcastingwikisGoogle Docs (and other Google apps) • Google Earth FlickrSkypewebcastingsocial networkingIRCVoice Threadmicrobloggingsocial bookmarking • collaborative documents • mapping • digital storytelling

3) Are there any web 2.0 sites geared specifically for the classroom?

teacher tubeed tech talkYouth VoicesedublogsClass BlogmeisterEd.VoiceThreadEducation Podcast Networknicenetwikispaces for teachers

4) How can I learn how to use these tools?

Wikispaces tourBlogger.com tutorialWord Press FAQHow to Get the Most out of FlickrGoogle Earth tourWeb 2.0 tutorial for teachersDelicious help pageVoice Thread FAQ • Teachers Network’s How-to Use Technology page • Teachers Network’s videos on blogging & podcasting

5) What are some sites I should visit if I want to learn more after this workshop?

Teachers Teaching Teachers: Paul Allison, a Bronx middle school teacher, and a cadre of educators from around the world, regularly webcast on all things web 2.0 and their implications in the classroom.

Digital Ethnography: Great YouTube videos on technology in education (besides “The Machine is Us/ing Us,” be sure to check out “Information R/evolution” and “A Vision of Students Today.”), web 2.0 tools, and digital media. Visit their new Netvibes page for a list of web 2.0 tools they are currently using.

Classroom 2.0 on Ning: a social networking site devoted to the use of web 2.0 tools in K-12 learning

David Warlick’s “2 Cents Worth” blog is a great resource from a man at the top of this field, who is using several web 2.0 tools, and trains teachers how to use them as well.

Web 2.0 Primer for Newbies is an excellent overall introduction, with help and links to get started.

The Commoncraft Show creates short video explanations of web 2.0 tools such as photosharing, social bookmarking, blogging, Twitter, and more.

Web 2.0 is the Future of Education” post by Steve Hargadon. This blog post spells it all out, with a coherent rationale, clear explanations, links, and guidance.


1) Tom Burke, West Bronx Academy for the Future (photosharing, mapping, blogging and more)

2) Kevin Jackson, Newcomers High School (social networking)

3) Anne Kornfeld, Newcomers High School (blogging)

4) Annie Chien, School of the Future (podcasting)

5) Paul Allison, East Bronx Academy for the Future (blogging, wikis, Google Docs)



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2 responses to “Web 2.0 in the Classroom: 5 Questions (and Answers)

  1. Pingback: Technology Workshops @ NYC Conference

  2. wbalser

    Regarding question # 3, “Are there any great web 2.0 sites geared specifically for the classroom” I would recommend adding FatClass (www.fatclass.com) to this list. It is a social-academic network which allows students and teachers to blog, share files, communicate through forums, email and more. It is specifically designed for use in the classroom….and it is free.

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