Web 2.0 Tools for Teaching

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This post is a survey of popular Web 2.0 applications that may assist faculty with teaching classes.

What is Web 2.0

The concept of “Web 2.0” began with a conference brainstorming session between O’Reilly and MediaLive International. Dale Dougherty, web pioneer and O’Reilly VP, noted that far from having “crashed”, the web was more important than ever, with exciting new applications and sites popping up with surprising regularity.



“A blog (a contraction of the term “weblog“) is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video.” – wikipedia (see their description here)

The Emily Carr University blogging website initiative is a blogging service for the Emily Carr community for faculty and departments to create individual or departmental blogs. Course blogs can also be setup as an alternative to using the Moodle online course management system. Faculty and students can login and upload content to the blogs using their regular Emily Carr user names and password for logging in.

If you are a faculty member and are interested in getting setup with a blog, please send an email to tlc@eciad.ca

See an example Emily Carr University course – Carol Gigliotti’s – Environmental Ethics course at http://blogs.eciad.ca/environmental-ethics/

See other Emily Carr blogs in our blog directory at http://blogs.eciad.ca/directory/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dnL00TdmLY (Wikis in Plain English – 4:00)

“A wiki is a website that uses wiki software, allowing the easy creation and editing of any number of interlinked Web pages, using a simplified markup language or a WYSIWYG text editor, within the browser. Wikis are often used to create collaborative websites, to power community websites, for personal note taking, in corporate intranets, and in knowledge management systems.” – wikipedia (see their description here)

There are currently no Emily Carr University wikis, but there is an initiative that is looking into it. One faculty member – Jody Baker setup his MHIS 429 – Topics in Film/Video Theory on a wiki which can be seen at http://mhis429.pbworks.com/ (Uses the Canadian Creative Commons license)

One of the most popular online wikis is Wikipedia – http://www.wikipedia.org/ – which most people are familiar with as an online collaborative encyclopedia.

See this next example of how a University of British Columbia course was setup and contributed to Wikipedi.

Murder, Madness, and Mayhem: Latin American Literature in Translation
The University of British Columbia’s class SPAN312 (“Murder, Madness, and Mayhem: Latin American Literature in Translation“) contributed to Wikipedia during Spring 2008. Our collective goals were to bring a selection of articles on Latin American literature to featured article status (or as near as possible). By project’s end, we had contributed three featured articles and eight good articles. None of these articles was a good article at the outset; two did not even exist.

Social Bookmarking
Social bookmarking is a method for Internet users to store, organize, search, and manage bookmarks of web pages on the Internet with the help of metadata, typically in the form of tags that collectively and/or collaboratively become a folksonomy. Folksonomy is also called social tagging, “the process by which many users add metadata in the form of keywords to shared content” – wikipedia (see their description here)

One such online bookmark organizer is called Delicious http://delicious.com/ See an example at http://delicious.com/ECIAD2.0

Photo Management

  • Flickr is a popular free online photo management and sharing application.
  • Picasa is a software download and an online service from Google that helps you organize, edit, and share your photos. It’s free, and easy to use.
  • CoolIris is a fast and stunning way to browse photos and videos from the Web or your desktop.

“RSS (most commonly translated as “Really Simple Syndication” but sometimes “Rich Site Summary”) is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format.[2] An RSS document (which is called a “feed”, “web feed”,[3] or “channel”) includes full or summarized text, plus metadata such as publishing dates and authorship.” – wikipedia (see their description here)

Example RSS Feed Readers

Social Media and Mashups

“Social media are media designed to be disseminated through social interaction, created using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. Social media supports the human need for social interaction, using Internet- and web-based technologies to transform broadcast media monologues (one to many) into social media dialogues (many to many). It supports the democratization of knowledge and information, transforming people from content consumers into content producers.” – wikipedia (see their description here)

In web development, a mashup is a web page or application that combines data or functionality from two or more external sources to create a new service. The term mashup implies easy, fast integration, frequently using open APIs and data sources to produce results that were not the original reason for producing the raw source data. – wikipedia (see their description here) (APIs are fastest growing application ecosystem in the world)

Here’s a video mashup called the Dark Bailout. You can see the possibilities of the form — and the tension with intellectual property law.

It’s by remix artist, Jonathan McIntosh – you’ll find his remixes and writings at Rebelliouspixels and Political Remix Video.

Other Web 2.0 Applications for Teaching

Google Docs – Docs and Spreadsheets is Google’s Web-based answer to Microsoft’s famous MS Office tools,

Zoho – offers a suite of online web applications geared towards increasing your productivity and offering easy collaboration, very like Google Docs.

Slideshare is a site where you can host your presentations and share them with others. Presentations can be linked to at the site itself or else embedded in a web page.

Zotero – is a free, easy-to-use Firefox extension to help you collect, manage, and cite your research sources. (The Emily Carr library can give you a tutorial)

YouSendIt – Send, receive and track large and important files. http://www.yousendit.com/

DropBox – access your files from anywhere

Octopz – allows you to work collaboratively on an unprecedented range of document types that includes static content (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and images such as jpgs) and rich digital media, such as videos, audio, animations, Flash files, and 360º panoramas.

Screencast – is an easy and affordable media hosting solution for business and academic professionals who want to share multimedia content on the Web.

Twitter – Microblogging communication tool

Pageflakes – Tool for managing content from many websites

Netvibes – Tool for managing content from many websites

Web Conferncing Tools
Skype – with Yugma – free web conferencing allows anyone, anywhere to instantly share their desktop and ideas online with others.
DimDim – lets anyone deliver synchronized live presentations, whiteboards and web pages and share their voice and video over the Internet
Wiggio –  – makes it easy to work in groups
VoiceThread – a way to share and talk about images, documents, etc

Good Web 2.0 Resource Links

Browse Web 2.0 Applications by Keyword with reviews http://www.listio.com/ and http://www.go2web20.net/
Also check out the Top 100 Tools for Learning 2009
Digital Research Tools (DiRT)

Emily Carr Web 2.0 Services

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