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

(complete before, during, and/or after webinar)

Blogging - for Creative Writing Club students to share their work. We also work on a collaborative story with each member of the club adding a line or two at a time.

Blogs - I read several blogs about libraries and technology.

Google Apps - We have our own private Google network called CavalierMail. Students and faculty have e-mail, sites, and docs.
  • Sites -
  • Google Mail -
  • Google Docs -
  • Google Alerts -
  • Google Books -
  • Google Calendar -
  • Google Maps -
  • Google Toolbar -
  • Google Earth -

Podcasting - I haven't done a lot of this, but keep thinking this is the year we're going to podcast some book reviews.

Polling Tools - I used to use Survey Monkey or Poll Daddy to survey patrons, but now I use Google forms because it's within our private network.

Social Networking - I promised my daughter who is in college that I'd stay off social networking sites, though I do often check the sites of my favorite bands. I also participate in a Ning for Bay Area Librarians.

Animoto - 30-second videos. We use them for book trailers.

Picasa - great way to share photos and it works with Animoto if I need extra photos for a video.

RSS feeds - I keep my favorite blogs on a toolbar so I can easily locate them (and remember to look at them!)

Social bookmarking - My favorites are Diigo (love the sticky notes and highlighting features) and Delicious (less emphasis on the social networking part makes this more appropriate for my middle school students). I used to use Delicious to gather links for my middle school students, but now that we have Google sites, I just add the links to a page on the site instead.

Wordle - I used this to figure out the top 50 words in Woman in White. I expanded it to the top 100 when white wasn't in the top 50.

YouTube - our kids are blocked from using this site, but my computer isn't so we use my computer when we need them for research.'

Draw Anywhere - I used this site to create a library map that we incorporated into our library brochure. I project the map on the screen during middle school library orientation and have the kids split into teams and use a red or green pointer to locate for instance the science books or the copier.

EasyBib - I recommend that the kids use this for their works cited lists. I also like Knight Cite, but the last time I checked EasyBib had more source choices. I always remind the kids to fix the formatting when they're done and to double check that they have the correct sources as no citation generator is infallible.

xtranormal.com - I have a funny story about this text-to-movie website. Our students are not allowed to play any games on library computers, but I have a group of boys who tease me all the time that they're coming in to play games. One of them created a cartoon video on this site that was a conversation between the two of us where I told him he was such a "bright young lad" that I thought he should play games on the library computers and that I thought he should also be able to ask his friend to leave the library anytime he wanted. It was pretty funny. I'm planning to add something like this to the library orientation classes.

piclits - a fun site that allows you to write poems on and inspired by photographs on the site. I have only used this with my 12-year-old niece, but plan on showing it to the creative writing class and maybe the 6th grade English classes.

These are probably the applications I use most. I'm sure with more time I could think of others that I've used. It's fun to play around with some of them. One of my sources for Web 2.0 applications is GotoWeb20.net

The two biggest impacts of Web 2.0 technologies for us have been improving efficiency/making things easier and making things more fun/interesting. Some questions I consider before using a web 2.0 application are: How easy is this to integrate into the lesson? How useful is it? Will the application itself distract from the lesson being learned? How much time will we need to spend learning the application and is it worth it? Interestingly enough I find that my middle school students are more fearless than my high school students when it comes to learning something new on the computer. This makes it much easier to introduce an application to them.

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

(complete during and/or after webinar)