Precious Web 2.0 Gems

Photo by Pierangelo Rosati
Photo by Pierangelo Rosati
Hardly anything conjures up more than a sense of technology hype than the phrase "Web 2.0". In this workshop we are not going to try and define it, we will not display inscrutable diagrams jam full of web logos, and most importantly, we are not going to try and overwhelm you by volume of "cool" things. You will not see The Machine is Us'/ng Us video.

My idea for this workshop came form looking at a lot of web sites, workshops that aim to win over audiences by the Web 2.0 Fire Hose effect. What I see when I scan for resources are in fact hitting poor audiences over the heads with a giant, logo colored stick — the usual mega laundry list of “Arent These Cool Things to Do On The Web.


Web 2.0 logos flickr set
Don’t get me wrong- Big Lists are great resources, references… but let’s say, I want you to help me write a poem. Do you just toss me a dictionary and say, “Look at all these great words! Just use them!”? If I want to visit an exotic part of the world, do you bing me with a map and say, “Just pick a country!”? My hunch is for someone new to web tools, leery of using web sites, mildly skeptical, just hitting them over head with a pile of web sites is not very effective. In fact, it might hurt.

So in this session, you will have an opportunity to pick from a smaller set, not to be mesmerized into becoming a Web 2.0 Evangelist, but to expose yourself to something a bit more practical. The starter set include just a few tools I have selected; the bulk of them were ones suggested by comments by educators when I blogged this as Fishing for Web 2.0 Gems, Not Laundry Lists

What You Will Do

This is hopefully a rather simple set of instructions.
  1. Scan the list of Web 2.0 Gem Starters. Pick something you have never heard of, or has an interesting description, or heck, maybe it just has an interesting name or a cool logo. For these, I will have created demo accounts you can use right away, or you can create your own If none strike your fancy, then find another from the Web 2.0 Laundry Lists. Just pick one, and try and do so in 5-10 minutes.
  2. Give it a quick test run. Take mental note of how easy or not it was to figure out (a) what it does; (b) what it takes to use it, and (c) what limitations it might have for your own (or your students') use.
  3. Share what you found. Using the discussion tab at the top of these pages, takes some time toshare:
    • The tool (and its URL) that you used.
    • Why you chose it.
    • Link to anything you constructed, created, performed with this tool.
    • What potential does it have for the subjects you teach or are interested in.
    • What might prevent you from using it.

That's it! Some gems you discover are truly precious treasures, others may just be ordinary quartz or worse, Fools Gold. Let us know. Leave some feedback on this workshop on the discussion pages.