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Tips for Leveraging Web 2.0 in the Classroom

from Educators' eZine

Educate Parents—There are sometimes negative connotations associated with using the Internet in the classroom and concerns can arise over posing risks to students. However when appropriate tools are used in a supervised environment, the Internet can enhance learning and remain safe. To help foster safety, share projects and approved sites with parents and encourage students to work on sites with parents at home if possible.

Ask for Help—many sites are happy to provide technical support to users. Oftentimes there are even blog or forum postings of users ready to answer functionality questions. Delving into the blogosphere will open a whole new door to a community of educators using technology in the classroom who are ready to share their ideas and experiences on what works and what doesn't work.

Be Engaging—use tools that appeal to your students' interests, tastes and styles – there are many tools out there that mirror the way teens interact on the web but also provide great functionality for the classroom.

Integrate Web tools Across Subjects—don't just use interesting web tools with students during computer class; use the tools for a science project, to create a book report or to look at math in a whole new way. Today there are tools out there for every subject and full classroom integration is the best way to fully take advantage of the power of the web.

Encourage Community Building—in the true spirit of Web 2.0, build your technology uses around community building in the classroom—encourage students to share and comment on each others web-created content, to post and comment on classroom websites and to help each other. This will reinforce classroom unity and foster excitement over the projects at hand.

Share and Open the Conversation—be sure to share all new knowledge gained through your internet explorations with your colleagues, the more you share, the more engaged the community will be and then the conversation will truly open up and even more discoveries will be made.

Practice Trial and Error—make sure that you have used the tools and fully understand their nuances before presenting them for student use. This will ensure a successful classroom experience and best capitalize on the time invested in web projects.

About Glogster/edu

Glogster/edu is the education platform from Glogster.com. On Glogster/edu, students and educators can access free, dynamic web-building tools to create virtual posters using text, images, voice, video, special effects, links, sounds, designs and more. Glogster.com's education platform presents these tools in a private web environment specifically geared toward education and presents educators with the opportunity for discussion and feedback to create a productive and collaborative environment. For more information on Glogster/edu, visit www.glogster.com/edu.

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