Web 2.0 Tools in Education: A Quick Guide is an open source textbook that affords users insight into how to create and use 20 different web tools.
To utilize Web 2.0 tools that allow students to collaborate, organize material, communicate, and create products as part of the learning process.
Target Student Population:
While this site is designed for teachers others who are interested in Web 2.0 tools could also benefit.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
A computer is required that allows access to Web 2.0 tools. This may not be allowed in some school districts.
Type of Material:
Open source textbook
Teachers who wish to incorporate Web 2.0 tools into their classes will find a discussion of the tool, its use in education, and explicit directions on how to access and use the tool. It can be used as part of professional development (individual or group setting).
To download the book the user must sign up and pay a fee. For one day the fee is $9.00. However, the entire book is available on the site for viewing. It works on any device with internet access.
Evaluation and Observation
The strength of this site is the excellent directions for implementing each Web 2.0 tool. The illustrations contain red arrows that show the user how to go step by step to access and use the web site. There are references for each of the tools. This site can be used during the introduction of a new concept, as application of material already presented, and/or topics for discussion/debate. The how-to portions of the guide are set up in a logical manner with visuals to aid the reader.
It is a shame that users must sign up to download the book, but $9.00 is not a lot of money.
WIthout paying, you are able to copy the directions for one of the multimedia tools, but the course material could not be copied. Of course, when the material is used there should be an attribution. The material is released under a Creative Commons attribution license.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
After viewing the book the teacher should be able to decide whether a particular Web 2.0 tool will be useful in the classroom. If they decided to try the tool the directions are excellent and will help the teacher go step-by-step. Some teachers may prefer this type of directions to video because it can be printed and follow step by step.
Other then the requirement to sign up for Premium Access to Scribd.com and pay the small fee there are no concerns.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The step-by-step directions make the material in this site easy to use. If the book is purchased for $9.00 it can be saved and the pages used can be printed. The major tools, and even some of the less well known tools are included.
Other Issues and Comments:
This is a good text for introducing some popular web 2.0 tools. It provides links to sites to create accounts as well as pros and cons of the tools and educational usage ideas. Included at the end are links to other open source texts to help educators interested in the use of other digital tools.