Block 5 - Tools in the Sandbox - Let's Play!


crane_sand.jpg
Flickr CC: octopushat

You may feel that you are trying to operate a crane in your sandbox and move mountains of sand, but keep in mind, the purpose here is not to overwhelm you, but equip you with some new tools and have you consdier their possibilities.
Remember to focus on tools for a specific purpose, with a learning goal in mind.
Here are some possible areas of focus:
o digital storytelling tools
o networking tools
o video production tools



Know your context - Many of the Web 2.0 tools are online and require you to create free account to access and use. There are some tools that require a download and installation on your computer. Many of your work/learning environments may not support downloads of software so you may want to steer clear of these.

As you experiment and build, share the product on your blog. Learning how to post is another part of the learning journey – if you need help, post your questions in the HELP tab of the wiki discussion.
Also remember that if you are not sure where to dig, get some help by asking for ideas in the HELP discussion forum. I want you to use your time as effectively as possible.

Resources

a.) Best of the free Web 2.0 Tools – A Slideshare Presentation by Dr. S. Yuen from the University of Southern Mississippi and P. Yuen, from William Carey University
This is a good introduction to some of the free tools as the slideshow provides some background on the authors' favourite tools.

b.) Web 2.0 Technology Tools Kyle is compiling a collection of resources and some classroom examples of how they can be used. Again, this is a good starting point.

c.) WebTools4U2Use - This wiki of Web 2.0 tools, created by a Teacher Librarian is so well done that I can only honour her work and include it as a key resource for this block. What I love about this resource is that the author has grouped the technology tools for easy exploration and has provided ideas on how they could be used for media centers. Examine the ideas and make connections to your role and your learning environment.

The author then suggests Five to Test Drive and follows these up with More to Explore
Do not feel you have to explore all categories and all tools. Think about your ICT project and your learning goals for this course. Focus on those tools and play with and build with the ones that might be most useful to you.

d.) Writing on the Web – A 13 minute podcast created by Marnie for the Apple Distinguished Educator forum in the Apple Learning Interchange.
This work represented content from workshop presentations I gave at various conferences in 2008.
Wiki resources for podcast
(The ALI (Apple Learning Interchange) is a great resource and community - anyone can join this network and access the ideas and resources developed by educators around the world. Yes, many of the examples are specific to the Mac platform, but there are ideas and lessons that can be adapted for your context and platform.)

e.) Digital Storytelling resources and classroom examples (from Marnie's RBE site). Again, while some examples are platform specific, take the ideas and apply them to the tools and resources you have available in your context.
Digital Stories - This wiki workshop is created by Dean Shareski, Educational Technology Consultant from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

e.) Go2Web2.0 – The complete Web 2.0 Site Directory
WARNING! This site is not for the faint of heart! This is for those that want to see the “big” picture. Click on the arrow at the bottom of the page to scroll and view more. Click on the “Select” tag at the top to see a “categories” chart, which may help you choose and explore in the area of your interest.

e.) Use Social Network Bookmarks to Find People’s Favourite Web 2.0 Tools
You can search everyone’s Delicious or Diigo tags for sites that have been bookmarked with the Web2.0 tag.
Delicious
Diigo

sand_hills.jpg
Flickr CC; namlhots

Remember - we don't want you to feel that you are trying to operate a crane in your sandbox,
or that you are lost in a sand dune. This 2-week block will be an exciting exploration if you take a few risks,
try something new, ask for help when needed, and laugh along the way.

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