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What Web 2.0 tool(s) have you used and how has it (have they) impacted student learning?

I use wikis for hosting my Library Orientation and all of my content pathfinders are now posted on the library research wiki. These used to be printed out, so now they are always up to date and available. They are so much easier to update and it saves paper as well.

Our senior English project is now on the research wiki as well. I created a Google custom search engine for career sites. The senior English teachers now post info on the page and created their own page for communicating with each other and with me. I have also created custom search engines for Greek mythology and for Medieval and Renaissance sources. The teachers really appreciate these custom search engines as it focuses the students on good sources for their research.

I enjoy using SlideShare, SlideRocket, GoAnimate and my favorite, Animoto. A big hit was my Animoto "Happy Holidays from the Library" digital video "card" I sent out to the district and school administration and teachers.

I like to use Typogenerator (recommended by Joyce in her blog) to create eye-catching graphics for my wiki pages. Delicious is a great personal tool for so many reasons. I use it for classes, school projects and personal research.

I've tried to encourage and model better story telling with presentations, and not just presentations with heavy text and lots of bullet points. There are several good short videos that I use with classes to remind of what they can do and what they shouldn't do with PowerPoint.

After attending a Discovery Education National Training event, I took Hall Davidson's advice and now I save all of my PowerPoint slides as JPG files so I can use them in all of the fun tools I've learned about from Joyce and from finishing School Library Learning 2.0. I also save my presentations as PDF files, so if I do need to post them online, they are much smaller and easier for users to load.

I haven't had formal feedback on student use of these tools in my research lessons, but from student and teacher comments in class, they all find them to be much more accessible. The pathfinders and Google custom search engines contain live links that can be easily accessed and kept up to date. By putting the pathfinders on one site, on separate pages, students really only need to remember to go the the library research page and then look for their project.

We are under construction now at the school and all over the district, and having the research links on a web-hosted site has improved access for students and teachers. We have district supported teacher sites that are hosted on district servers, but there have been occasional weekends when all of the power and data have been cut off and students and teachers do not have access to their files. It's been good to have an "outside" place to host this information.

How have you implemented any of Dr. Valenza's Top Tools?




Other notes:

I am interested in learning how to use PageFlakes. The ones that Joyce uses on her school site are impressive.

I also want to learn to use Twitter effectively. I follow Joyce Valenza, Buffy Hamilton, Doug Johnson, David Warlick and Marie Slim, among others, on Twitter, but I'm not really confident about tweeting much myself.