Very cool! Steve Dembo joined us this morning to talk a little about the BIG subject of Web 2.0 tools. (That’s Steve and I to the left.) His presentation was two fold; 1. Discovery and Second Life and 2. the Top 10 Free Sites to use.
I have a log in for Second Life (SL) but I have really never used it. Steve took us on a virtual tour of Eduisland II and the Discovery Education Building in SL. It is really hard to get my mind around a virtual world that you can do anything in that you can do in the ‘real’ world. So why would you like to do it? Well, after the presentation I can see how it is a world that can bring greater collaboration. One of the neat locations Steve showed us was Genome Island. You can visit this location in SL and actually step inside cells and see how the cell works. Could you imagine the type of learning that can take place with this "virtual experience?" Of course there are non-educational areas in SL but I think if we as educators learn to grasp this virtual world we could bring so much more to learning.
During the second part of Steve’s presentation we looked at great Web 2.0 sites. Check out his wiki with the Top 10 Free sites. I am so impressed with the Web 2.0 tools that are out there. Of the sites we looked at I was really impressed with Picnik. Who needs Photoshop if you can do all of your editing online for FREE. You can upload photos or pull them in from Picasa, Flickr, or Facebook to edit out red eye, crop, adjust the coloring, anything you need!
JumpCut is a great way to create and share videos online. Could you imagine asking your students to create a movie for homework? Of course again… not all content on this site is educational using the site in an educational atmosphere could be just what your students need to really get in to your content.
The mac daddy web site for me this morning was ZamZar. ZamZar lets you upload and convert any program. You can convert a Word Document to a pdf, an .wmv to .mov, ANYTHING at all! After you upload the file, ZamZar then sends you an email letting you know the new converted file is ready to be downloaded.
I just want to thank Steve for all of the wonderful information! This is the type of session that a teacher can immediately use in their classroom.