SchoolArts Magazine

DEC 2008

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Technology Web 2.0: The Read Write Web Angela V. Christopher A few months ago, I could not have explained Web 2.0. If you had asked me how it would impact teaching and learning in the classroom, I might have struggled to give an intelligent answer. My ignorance has begun to fade with experiences associated with the instructional design and technology course I am taking. As a result, I can converse with some intelligence on the topics of wikis, blogs, web-based tools, office suites, social Illustration by Cindy Hasio bookmarking sites, and widgets. Best of all, I feel confident enough to blog about web-based office suites like Google Web 2.0. Docs (docs.google.com) or Zoho (zoho.com) to "peer edit" papers and Web 2.0 share data. The examples of Web 2.0 Just a few years ago, individuals technologies are growing daily, and I uploaded information to the Web have reviewed some of my favorites and the public retrieved information here. when it was needed—this is what we call Web 1.0, or information retrieval. Blogging In today's Web 2.0 world, individuals I have developed a blog, AestheTECH not only upload information to the (aesthetech.weebly.com/blog.html), Web, but they also share information using a web-based developer called and collaborate Weebly (www. freely. This is In today's Web 2.0 world, weebly.com). called the Read individuals not only upload Aside from being Write Web, or completely free, information to the Web, but the simplicity of Web 2.0. they also share information the development Today, individand collaborate freely. uals interested in tool is its best collaborating on a feature. The dragparticular topic are creating wikis to and-drop elements allow the user to encourage others to contribute to and add text and titles, video, audio, RSS edit the content of a site. People with feed, and other widgets—all without similar professional backgrounds or having to know how any of it works. interests are also forming groups in social networks and in social bookSocial Bookmarking marking sites like Diigo (www.diigo. Social bookmarking is also an awecom) or Del.icio.us (delicious.com). some technology. Sites like Diigo Professionals and students are using provide tools to highlight text, add 14 December 2008 SchoolArts sticky notes, and share your favorite pages with the general public, or with a particular group. Social and professional networks provide excellent avenues for professionals to collaborate, discuss, and share information. This spring, I joined Art Education 2.0 (arted20.ning.com), a social network developed by Craig Roland that aims to bring together art educators, particularly those who have a passion for new technology. The benefits of this type of membership are amazing: if I have a question, I just ask and a community of experts is available to guide me. I can post new tools, sources of information, or great lesson plans. For a teacher who is usually the only one in her content area (talk about feeling isolated) Art Education 2.0 provides an amazing amount of information and support. Finally, there are tools out there that are free and fun to use for students as well as teachers. Anyone can create slideshows in Zoho, Google Docs, or Slideshare (www.slideshare. net) and embed the slideshow directly into a webpage, e-mail, or document. Two of my most recent favorite freebees are Toondoo (www.toondoo. com) and Mr. Picasso Head (www. mrpicassohead.com). It seems that developers and the public have decided that the benefits of sharing information far outweigh the benefits of receiving 100% credit. New ideas tend to surface when debate and collaboration take place and Web 2.0 makes it possible to collaborate with anyone, anywhere, any time, about anything. Angela V. Christopher teaches art at Atoka Elementary School in Atoka, Tennessee. christopher.angela@gmail.com

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