Thursday, February 07, 2008

Another way of learning (and teaching)

One of the things that I find challenging when supporting the development of teachers understandings of ICT and their applications in the classroom is offering simple explanations of what many of the applications are. It's all very well to suggest that a teacher create a blog to get their students to record a project, or create a wiki so that they can collaborate. Harder still is to explain how RSS feeds might be a very effective way to track how students are working on their digital portfolios or why podcasts might be a new way to let parents know about the history of their school community. I constantly have to remind myself that wikis, blogs, RSS, podcasts and many more are for many teachers still techno gobbledy gook and as such, cause angst and feelings of unnecessary inadequacy.
Today via a mailing list, I came across a very cool site called CommonCraft that explains Web 2.0 applications in simple yet entertaining. The appealing thing for me I think is that it uses little props such as drawings and cutouts to visually represent a group of ideas. Very useful for both teachers and students. They are even available for downloading onto the school's local server from Bliptv or YouTube.
Here's one that explains RSS.