On August 2nd, I had the honor to present at the EDU 140 Characters Conference: Exploring the State of Education Now in New York City. My talk was titled Get Wiki With It and addressed what innovation looks like in the classroom. Many of the speakers at the conference talked about throwing out textbooks and breaking down the walls of the classroom, but can that be a reality in education today?
For the past ten years I have been teaching without textbooks and have founds that Wikis are one technology tool to help classroom teachers move towards innovative learning experiences that are paperless, tap into social media and engage students in authentic learning experiences. Wikis are transparent for teachers, students and parents and at the same time catalogue student learning and understanding. Wikis can be student centered and student driven. The projects that my students post on the wikis are not the typical poster or book report, rather they are inspired by real world ideas and work. Students have posted their own RadioLab podcasts after studying the craft of NPR’s RadioLab reporting. This past spring students collaborated online using Google Docs to write opening statements and research evidence files for debates on controversial topics in education. Students have written their own supplemental chapters to The Yale Anthology of Rap (2010) which were posted on the Wiki. Students created their own Glogsters on careers that were of interest to them which we embedded on to the Wiki. When I find a new technology tool or program I think how can I use it in my classroom to help my students showcase what they know and what they have learned.
Throughout my talk I mentioned lots of additional tech tools and widgets that can be used with wikis as well as on their own. Rather than list all the web 2.0 tools mentioned throughout the talk, I have created Web 2.0 Bingo listing twenty-five of my favorite (and free) web 2.0 tools that I use in my classroom with my students. How many do you already know? Do you have Bingo (complete an entire row or column or diagonally across)? For more of a challenge, can you complete the entire Bingo board? Also, please feel free to share any additional Web 2.0 tools that I might have left off by posting a comment below so we can continue to compile more great tools for teachers.