When it comes to technology, I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer (not to mention being sort of a Luddite). I need things very, very simple.
I thought it would be helpful to share a list of the sites that I’ve found most helpful and accessible in explaining how to use key Web 2.0 tools like blogs, wikis, Flickr, social bookmarking, RSS readers, etc.
You can also find links to the sites I list here, and many more, on the Teachers’ Page on my website.
There are three sites that I think stand above all the others. They all provide very understandable step-by-step explanations for a variety of key tools. And I think all three are equally good.
It would probably be okay to stop reading right here, since these three sites more than likely can provide you with all the information you need.
However, there are a few more excellent resources you might want to check-out if you have the time.
There are two other places that offer exceptional information on a number of Web 2.0 tools. One is Common Craft, which makes simple explanatory videos. The other is Tim Davies’ blog, where you can print-out a series of one-page guides he wrote about Web 2.0 resources.
Other sites have good resources for specific tools.
I’d like to mention an exceptional slideshow developed by Vicki Davis and many others that explains how to use Google Doc’s new Presentations tool.
The best explanation I’ve seen about what a wiki is and how it works has been posted by the Ask Auntie Web blog.
Feel free to make suggestions of other sites you’ve found useful.
(Editor’s Note: Since this list was originally posted, I’ve found and decided to add Liz Davis excellent screencasts called 21st Century Tools)
(I’m also adding John Pearce’s Tutorials)
Webware has posted online videos and links to more that give tutorials on how to use Google Reader.Even though all the videos focus on only one tool, I’m still adding the post to this list. Using RSS is probably one of the first things new to Web 2.0 will want to learn, and the videos incorporate some of the recent changes to Google Reader.
Sue Waters has created a wiki called PLN Yourself that’s designed to help people create their own Personal Learning Networks. She basically provides how-to guides that people can follow to start their own blogs, subscribe to others, use social bookmarking, join a “Ning” community, and use Twitter.
Tom Barrett is known for his “Interesting Ways” series, which include numerous ideas on how to use Web 2.0 applications (including Wordle, iPod, Google Wave, Prezi, etc.) in the classroom. The series, however, is not only limited to technology, and also includes topics like supporting reading comprehension and spelling. He’s put them all in one place now. You definitely want to bookmark his Interesting Ways page.
Educational Origami has several very nice printable Starter Sheets on using different Web 2.0 tools.
Here are several Common Craft videos that simply explain several Web 2.0 tools. I’ve mentioned these before, but it’s possible that these versions might be more likely to get through some school content filters.
Miguel Guhlin has put together an excellent collection of useful videos.
“The Amazing Web 2.0 Projects Book,” edited by Terry Freedman, is a must-read for anybody who wants to use Web 2.0 applications with their students.
Here is how Terry describes the free book:
# 87 projects.
# 10 further resources.
# 52 applications.
# 94 contributors.
# The benefits of using Web 2.0 applications.
# The challenges of using Web 2.0 applications.
# How the folk who ran these projects handled the issues…
# … And what they recommend you do if you run them.
# What were the learning outcomes?
Google Documents For Teachers is a new free eBook from Richard Byrne.
Richard Byrne has done it again with his new guide to “Making Videos On The Web.”
Well-known education blogger and twitterer Lee Kolbert has been hosting a regular short video series on using educational technology for quite awhile, and I just haven’t made a point of spending much time checking it out before today. I was finally prompted to do so by hearing that she had done a show about my blog, which you can see here (who could resist? ). While I was there, I was amazed to see all of the previous programs they’ve done. It’s an obvious addition to The Best Places To Learn Web 2.0 Basics list, and probably a few more. Here’s is how the show is described:
Palm Breeze CAFE is a weekly show in the School District of Palm Beach County. Hosted by Lee Keller and Kim Cavanaugh, it presents an informal look at technology in education, often as it applies to this school district. The show is aired online every Wednesday, locally on Comcast channel 19 many times each week, and features snippets for on demand viewing.
The shows are short, accessible to those experienced in ed tech and to novices, and engaging. The site is definitely worth a visit.
Connect, Collaborate, Create was created by Pip Cleaves, and has step-by-step instructions on how to use some of the best Web 2.0 tools out there for educational use. You really need to visit it. If at some point you are prompted to log-in, all you have to do is click “Login as Guest.”
Learn It In Five provides short videos teaching teachers how to use various Web 2.0 tools.
A teacher’s guide to using audio and podcasting in the classroom is a nice overview of applications to use in the classroom, including videos. It was created by Kit Hard.
“The Super Book Of Web Tools For Educators” is a seventy page free eBook co-written by many popular education bloggers and organized by Richard Byrne. It’s embedded below (Richard has links to versions hosted on other document sites if my embed is blocked by your district — just go to his link). I was honored to ask to write the section on tools for English Language Learners. There’s a lot of great stuff in it!
Social Brite has a series of tutorials on how to use social media tools.
Social Media Quickstarter is a very helpful series of videos from a group called Constant Contact. Some of the videos relate to business use of social media, but most provide the basics to everybody about Twitter, Linked In, YouTube, Blogging, Facebook, etc.
Richard Byrne has created a bunch of useful tutorials on how to use various Google tools.
The Complete Educator’s Guide to Using Google Reader is another great post by Sue Waters.
Teacher Tech Vids by Steve Johnson is a must-see site for the novice to the advanced tech user.
Social Networking 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, & LinkedIn is from PC Magazine.
Magic in Education! has nice tutorials on Web 2.0 applications.
Google Gooru has lots of videos explaining how to use Google products.
12 Essential Social Media Cheat Sheets is from Mashable.
Under Ten Minutes showcases short videos showing teachers how to use new tech tools.
All of my recent lists can be found at Websites Of The Year.