MET:Ways to Integrate Web 2.0 Technologies to Enhance Classroom Instruction
This page originally created by Ernie Pao and Ryan Edgar (2010) This page was edited by Angela Novoa (2011)
Integrating technology into the classroom may be difficult or time-consuming, particularly if technological resources or funding are limited. Teachers may have limited time, ideas or knowledge on how to effectively incorporate technology to support and enhance classroom instruction. However, with computer and Internet access becoming more prevalent in modern schools, teachers have greater opportunities to use technologies with their students. Pallof and Pratt (1999) posit that a transition from the conventional classroom space to a new classroom in cyberspace is taking place. New learning environments are challenging traditional methods of instruction. Learners are every day more familiar with a diverse spectrum of online environments. Schools can take this situation to improve and encourage collaborative learning, through flexible environments. Web 2.0 tools may be used in blended learning environments, which combines different learning environments such as face-to-face instruction and computer mediated learning, affording collaborative learning opportunities and further support of classroom instructions.
Uses of Web 2.0 Tools to Support Classroom Instruction
Web 2.0 tools may be integrated into classrooms in various field areas to support instruction. These applications facilitate interaction and collaboration through the web and provide asynchronous and synchronous communication. Both kinds of interaction have advantages and disadvantages:
The following is a list of possible (but not limited to) ideas on how Web 2.0 technologies may be used in blended learning environments.
Learning Management Systems
A Learning Management System (LMS), or Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), is a software application that automates the administration, tracking, and reporting of training events (Ellis, 2009). Popular LMS platforms include Moodle, Blackboard Learn Platform, and Desire2Learn Learning Environment, though there are currently hundreds of commercial and open source solutions available (Bersin & Associates, 2009). Below is a figure illustrating the top 30 LMS providers according to Bersin & Associates (2009).
For a comparison of various LMS software applications, click here.
A LMS can potentially be used in a blended learning environment in a variety of ways. Most typically, it may be used as an interactive course website to which both students and teachers have log-in access. LMSs include many of the web 2.0 tools listed in the next section. Ways that LMSs could be used include, but are not limited to:
|LMS Affordances and Tools||notes, textual information, pertinent web links, online videos|
|Content Delivery||students can submit assignments online|
|Online Assignment Collection||students have access to assigned work from class (even when absent)|
|Course Calendar||communicate test dates, deadlines and other important dates|
|Enhanced Communication||greater communication between teacher-student, student-student, and teacher-parent|
|Discussion Forums||see Discussion Forums below|
|Displaying Student Work||digital projects such as multimedia-based presentations could be presented online, thus providing student-created resources that are permanently accessible to others|
|Parental Access||parents can be provided with 'guest' access thus could provide extra support at home and keep students accountable for assigned tasks and deadlines|
An example of integrating the Moodle LMS in a blended learning environment is found in the following video.
Blog websites such as Wordpress or Blogger.com can be used as individual paperless student learning journals. These could replace traditional paper-based journals but could be made visible to other students to create a collaborative learning environment. Students may be given the opportunity to provide each other with constructive comments and feedback.
Alternatively, blog sites could be used as course websites where classroom supporting content (course information, assignment criteria, homework tasks) is delivered. Students may also be given access to post and share information with their classmates.
Blog sites can also be used by students (individual or groups) to host project presentation materials and content. Textual information and media could be combined into effective web-based presentations. Importantly, these presentations are not singular events, thus may be viewed and reviewed by other students as resource materials at later times.
A Wiki (hawaian term for ‘quick’, ‘fast’) is a socially oriented software based on editable websites where users can visit, read, reorganize and update its structure and content. Ward Cunningham, who created the first wiki (WikiWikiWeb), proposed the term in 1995. It can be used as a gathering point for the collaboration of ideas, thoughts, assignments, topics, etc. for a collective group. Classes can collaboratively create wikis on a given subject or topic that may later be used as an information resource. Wikis could potentially provide a structure supported on social constructivism and a community of practice model of learning. Through a wiki, individuals are able to develop sharing practices, bringing new experiences to the group and learning from it.
Examples of wikis:
A Discussion Forum may be used to extend class discussions and topics, or as supplemental enrichment dialogues, outside the classroom environment. They may be designed as spaces for students to share common interests, problems, or concerns about course materials so that they may assist each other in the learning process and allowing a greater number of students to participate.
Chat Room Forums
Chat forums allow for students and teachers to interact and discuss course content outside of the classroom setting (synchronous conferencing). Students could potentially use chat forums to collaborate on course activities, assignments and projects without having to meet in the same physical space.
Elluminate Live!® is a powerful tool that allows teachers to display information in a virtual environment to student users. Students and teachers can communicate online and collaborate on projects.
Both of these tools allow for the potential to bring in guest speakers or field experts to speak with students in a virtual environment. Prospectively, appropriate speakers could be found from distant geographical locations thus opening the possibilities and opportunities for students to interact with experts in other parts of the world.
An ePortfolio (electronic portfolio) is similar to a traditional portfolio except in electronic form. It is usually in the form of a website and is used to manage and collect documents, files, images, etc. ePortfolios serve many purposes ranging from education (evidence of learning) to presentations and applications. They are particularly useful to display summative work.
Concept Maps are visual tools used often to show how ideas, topics and themes are interconnected. The visual organization of the ideas, topics and themes are done in such a way that the creator(s) can easily recall important and meaningful information without having to read long documents. Can help students recall information easily when studying for tests
Social bookmarking is a way for users to share bookmarks for web resources. It allows users to tag web resources and organize them in such a way that others will be able to benefit from their prior research. It is beneficial for students doing any project where research is required as students will be able to share the links to web resources already discovered by classmates.
Social Networking Websites
Social Networking Sites require individuals to create an internet profile that others will be able to communicate, follow and share. Through their sites, users would be able to share, present and deliver course content, materials and assignments, including media such as videos or pictures. As well, students and teachers could use these sites to collaborate with others or even classes in different communities (often in real time).
For a list of social networking websites, click here.
Online presentational tools are websites that enable users to create presentations in an interactive and creative manner. These websites has features that promote collaborative knowledge building. Users can build a presentation and invite other friends to edit it through the web. Also, they can share presentations and embed them in a blog or a wiki. Usually through these sites users can upload images, embed videos and insert text.
An animation is a visual display that explicitly depicts movement, changes, and object trajectories. An animation per se does not necessarily enhance the learning process. These tools could support deep understanding and problem-solving transfer through the connections between pictoral and verbal learning.
Through the Web there are lots of sites that enable users to build animations. Through these sites users are usually able to create characters (or use the ones provided by the site), create a narration, use different scenes, and add music and noises to support the visual and narrative component of the animation. Examples of these sites are:
Streaming video is a website that enable users to upload, share and view videos. The users do not need to download the entire video as it is being played out while parts of the content are being received and decoded.
Streaming video provide the chance to add and share commentary and links, through a web-based feature known as annotations. That is how the website is transformed into an interactive space. Users can share annotations with each other.
The most common site of streaming video is Youtube. It is a web site were anyone can view and share videos. Members of Youtube can upoload videos and use other features free of charge. Youtube videos are also available to anyone not only in its web site (www.youtube.com) but also across de Internet.
Main features of Youtube:
Upload, tag and share videos worldwide for free. Browse millions of original videos uploaded by community members. Find, join and create video groups to connect with people who have similar interests. Customize the experience by subscribing to member videos, saving favorites, and creating playlists. Integrate YouTube videos on websites using video embeds or APIs. Make videos public or private users can elect to broadcast their videos publicly or share them privately with friends and family upon upload.
It is an online application that enable students to create multimedia albums where users can embed images, text, audio and video. Visitors can record their commentaries through microphones, webcams, or text. VoiceThread enables students to create high quality multimedia presentation.
Stop Motion Animation
Bersin & Associates. (2009). Learning Management Systems 2009: Executive Summary. Retrieved February 23, 2010, from http://www.bersin.com/uploadedFiles/041409_ES_LMS2009_DM_Final.pdf
Ellis, Ryann K. (2009). Field Guide to Learning Management Systems, ASTD Learning Circuits. Retrieved February 23, 2010, from http://www.astd.org/NR/rdonlyres/12ECDB99-3B91-403E-9B15-7E597444645D/23395/LMS_fieldguide_20091.pdf
Fryer, W. A. (2007). Mobile Digital Storytelling. Retrieved February 24, 2010, from: http://www.wtvi.com/TEKS/07_08_articles/mobile-digital-storytelling.pdf
Fryer, W. A. (2007). Social Bookmarks 101. Retrieved February 24, 2010, from: http://www.wtvi.com/teks/07_08_articles/socialbookmarking101.pdf
Höffler, T, Leutner, D (2007). Instructional Animation versus static pictures: A meta-analysis. Learning and Instruction 17, 722-738, Retrieved February 11, 2010 from http://www.mendeley.com/research/instructional-animation-versus-static-pictures-a-metaanalysis/
Kelly, M. (n.d.) Integrating Technology Into the Classroom: Methods and Means. Retrieved Feb 15, 2010, from: http://712educators.about.com/cs/technology/a/integratetech.htm
Kelly, M. (n.d.) Integrating the Internet: Concerns and Issues. Retrieved February 15, 2010, from: http://712educators.about.com/cs/technology/a/integratetech_2.htm
Mayer, R., Moreno, R (2002). Animation as an Aid to Multimedia Learning. Educational Psychology Review. 14(1), 87-99. Retrieved February 11, 2010 from http://scienceview.berkeley.edu/research/agents/02.Mayer.Moreno.EPR.pdf
Moodle (n.d.). Retrieved February 23, 2010, from http://moodle.org/about/
Pallof, R; Pratt, K (1999). Building Learning Communities in Cyberspace: Effective Strategies for Online Classroom. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Moodle Presentation - Video created by Moodle explaining its features and uses
How to Get on Facebook For Dummies - Video on how to create a Facebook account
How to Get on MySpace For Dummies - Video on how to join Myspace
How to Create a Blog Post in WordPress For Dummies - Video on how to create a blog using Wordpress
How to Create a Blog Post in Blogger For Dummies - Video on how create a blog using Blogger.com