- Blogs – I had not used blogs as a teacher or student prior to these courses. I am a little overwhelmed at how helpful the use of blogging could be to me, particularly when used as an assignment for students. It is a good way to get a collaborative discussion going. I have learned a great deal from reading other student’s blogs. It has led me in some instances to approach my schoolwork from a different angle. The ability to comment on blogs allows for social interaction even in an online environment. Blogs are also very easy to work with. There are handy guides. You can make your blog personal to you by incorporating pictures. Blogging is a wonderful tool for education and for sharing ideas.
- Google Docs – I used this for my other class with a group of students and I was shocked at how easy it was to use. I also found the ability for each of us to get on and make changes to be a remarkable time-saver. This was helpful too, in that, we had to collaborate via Skype in order to make sure that the changes were accepted by the group. It was a great way to build a document. For the class, we built a report. It allowed for input from everyone. We each had clearly defined tasks that we were to do, but we were also able to provide input into the work done by others. It was wonderfully useful, and I would absolutely use it for a class.
- Camtasia – Screen capture and recordings. I have used these in my work as a librarian to provide short video clips to help my students with research. There is a fee for the technology, but I have found that students like the short tutorials that allow them to follow along step-by-step. It is particularly useful when instructing students in how to use a database as there are often a number of small details that make a large difference in the search results.
I decided to use a blog for my Web 2.0 tool and to use it for teaching my Education students. I want to develop a course for these students on how to construct literature reviews. The blog that I developed has a variety of sources, and I would use it for an assignment for students on how to distinguish between different types of resources. Determining whether a source is scholarly and when government documents can be used is often a challenge for students. They also sometimes struggle with determining the difference between primary and secondary research.