No Such Thing as Best

The list of Web 2.0 tools grows exponentially day by day it seems.  In almost every workshop I facilitate lately, one of the most frequently asked questions is, “Which Web 2.0 tool(s) do you like best?”  That’s like asking me, “Which tool do you like best when building a house?”  The answer all depends on what task Iam trying to accomplish.  I never use a hammer when welding plumbing pipes together, just as I never use a screwdriver to nail boards together.  The same should be true when deciding which tools to use in our classrooms.  Voicethread is a great tool for encouraging conversation around a topic, but I don’t think I would use it as a presentation tool.  Prezi is a great presentation tool, but I don’t think I would use it when writing a research paper.

My point is this, many people are so overwhelmed with the choices available, they want to focus on one or two Web 2.0 tools, and use them all the time.  Do you have your students use their calculators for a history report?  Of course not.  Calculators are great for working with numbers, but not so great at finding out about the Battle of the Bulge.  Just like there are proper tools for construction, there are proper Web 2.0 tools for different applications in learning.  I would encourage everyone to try to become familiar with some of these tools (please note I am not encouraging you to become experts in them all!!!).  At least be aware of them and some of their capabilities so that you can point your students towards them.  That is usually all they will need to grab ahold of them.

Comments

  1. Betsy DeBiase

    Joe,
    Great insight to today’s overwhelmed teachers who often teach Web 2.0 tool once in their class, but some students need repetion to achieve mastery. Many students fear the technology offered because they do do experience these tools with constant and consistent modeling (by teacher or peers) and practice (both in groups and independently).

    The students we are teaching have always been exposed to technology of some sort. Teachers need to remember some students have no access (to practice) at home and provide sufficint time(s) in the classroom.

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