Review: Web 2.0 How-to For Educators by Özge Karaoglu

I enjoy spending majority of my time online on social networks, reading blogs, going back and forth readingthe articles that I open in new tabs. Still, nothing can replace the comfy feel of books. I love holding the book on my hands and leafing through it.

I have just finished reading Web 2.0 How-to For Educators by Gwen Solomon and Lynne Schrum. This book has certainly become my favorite educational technology book that I have read recently.

Whether you are a beginner techie teacher or a more experienced one, there are great ideas that you can get from this book. It provides you with a practical guide to integrate Web 2.0 tools into the classroom, and it is filled with many ideas easy that are easy to implement in order for you to reach out and engage your learners in the 21st century. It also showcases other teachers who are using these tools in their classes with examples from the web including the analysis of the tools that educators use. This book certainly highlights the 21st century skills of the educators and the students.

The excellent organization of the book enables us to use for different purposes. Each chapter focuses on explaining the uses of the web tools that are considered to be the top tools that exist today. They are blogs, microblogs such as Twitter, podcasts and vodcasts, productivity applications such as spread sheet and presentation tools, social networks, visual learning tools such as video and photo sharing, virtual environments such as Second Life and wikis. I believe these are the most important and effective tools that every 21st century teacher should be aware of and navigate easily. And, they are certainly the stepping stones for building new and effective educational paradigm.

I liked how the authors divided each tool into different topics in each chapter. They give us a description of the tool, explain why it is useful, when to use it, showing examples of the people who have been using the tool, and showing you the steps of how to get started with the tool and tips on using it. I also liked how the authors devoted a chapter on some specific Web 2.0 tools. Each tool on this section was edited by some influential educators that most of us know such as Steven W. Anderson, Lisa Parisi, Kevin Jarrett and Bob Sprankle that most of us know of. These educators provide us with a clear and practical summary of different Web 2.0 tools along with the details of how to apply them in practice.

I also appreciated the last chapter where you can find 200 Web tools that are categorized in different titles. The authors gave me lots to think about and showed me many new tools that I can use in my classes and share with other educators on my blog.

Here are my favorite quotes from the book:

“When they (our students) go to work in the future, it will be in an environment where reliance on technology is a given and the skills they need are the ability to adapt, learn new skills, and work in ever-changing teams depending purpose…”

“Students need teachers’ guidance to do more than play with these tools and teachers need easy-to-use applications that are clear about when, why and how to use them…”

“Educators can use new tools so that students have new ways to learn both old and new skills…”

“Web tools can provide new opportunities. Students can learn the skills of communication, collaboration and creativity.”

“… but online tools can be used to transform both the process of working with others and the product that results"

I owe a big thanks to the authors as I have got new cognitive and practical roads to travel on my journey of this cyberland.

I find this work very impressive, successful and inspiring. This is the kind of a book which I would like to have written. I guess I can’t recommend it highly enough. You should read and see it yourself. The book certainly grows on you and I am absolutely pleased to award this book with five stars out of five.