Web 2.0 and Learning

Exploring 21st Century tools to support you and your curriculum

Developing a Professional Learning Environment with Web 2.0 Tools

  • 'Digital Portfolio Wiki': The central focus of the PLE. It is the core of all other activity with elements revolving around it.
  • Blogs and Educational wikis: Both professional and classroom blogs and wikis are represented to show professional development and involvement in education
  • Online Educational/Social Networking Tools: This includes spaces for sharing images and bookmarks, interacting and collaborating with others
  • Web 2.0 Productivity Tools: These are often used on a daily basis to find information and create interfaces for personal or shared use
  • Other Online Areas: Online storage and sharing for podcasts, videos and other media e.g. Teacher Tube, Google docs, Evoca

Anatomy of a wiki

external image wiki_anatomy.JPGWatch: Wiki's in Plain English
A wiki is a web site that allows for instant publication. It also has the following features:

  • The ability to upload and embed multimedia and other widgets therefore creating media-rich pages that include videos, slideshows, RSS feeds, audio files, images etc
  • A 'discussion' tab that allows users and viewers of the wiki to leave threaded messages
  • A 'history' tab showing every edit to the page. This also has the facility to revert to a previously saved version.
  • A 'notify me' tab that allows the user or viewer to subscribe via email or RSS to all changes made on the page
  • A search feature for the entire wiki
  • A tagging facility for easy gathering of pages
  • A template facility for pre-loading content

Starting a wiki

For these sessions we will focus on Wikispaces as the platform for wiki creation. Others include PBwiki and WetPaint. They all work in similar ways.
There are 3 different ways you can access a wiki with Wikispaces. Each of these requires you to become a member of wikispaces. Go to wikispaces.com and join.
Once you are a member:
  1. You can create a new space anytime with Wikispaces. Note that the free spaces do have advertising. (Google Adsense)
  2. If you go to this site: http://www.wikispaces.com/site/for/teachers100K you can create a free wiki that does not have advertising (for educational purposes only)

For more features (lots of great images and more!) and info about wikispaces see the Features wiki.
Also, read the FAQ for K-12 teachers wiki.
Watch the teacher presentation PPT from wikispaces for a review of wikis.

Editing a Wiki

Join our Sandbox wiki and get yo ur hands dirty while practicing how to edit and navigate a wiki.
Make sure you have joined wikispaces.com and then request to join the sandbox wiki.
Create your own sandbox page by selecting 'New Page' (top left hand). Call it your name.
Play around with:

  • Text styles and sizes
  • Inserting an image
  • Adding a hyperlink

Advanced Wiki Work

Starting your own wiki

If the wiki is for K-12 educational purposes Wikispaces will allow you to create it with no advertising.
Go to K-12 Wikis and complete the online wiki-creation form to get started!
Managing your wiki:
  • Privacy settings
  • Look and feel - select a theme and colour scheme
  • Invitations and hierarchy of users (organisers and members)
Creating a 'digital portfolio' or a 'wiki-centric' classroom using a wiki.
Example Portfolio: Julie Lindsay
Example wiki-centric classroom: Ray Jones, Stephen Rhodes
Example student digital portfolio: Lara D
This is a sample teacher wikispace: QA Teacher
The teacher can communicate with their colleagues, their students and parents by uploading current course requirements, planning and homework.

Blogs and Blogging

E-Learning Journeys- example of a professional educators blog

Web Productivity Tools

Social Bookmarking

Watch:Social Bookmarking in Plain English
Delicious is a bookmarking tool that will change the way you locate and retrieve online resources. It is also a collaborative tool with excellent following and sharing facilities. Connect with other educators and like-minded people around the world through your bookmarks.
A system of tagging using 'folksonomy' is used to help store and retrieve bookmarked sites.

Starting Social Bookmarking

Create an account with delicious.com. Add favourite websites using appropriate tags. Find colleagues and add them to your network. Share resources with people in your network.

RSS: Really Simple Syndication

Watch: RSS in Plain English
RSS is a commonly used protocol for syndication and sharing of content that allows users to subscribe to their favorite websites. It is not necessary to go out and find the information you want all the time. With RSS you make the information come to you.

Creating an RSS Reader

Create an account with Netvibes. Find websites and feed information into the reader eg News, blogs, wikis, social bookmarks. Add widgets eg weather, time and date, notes

Educational Networking

Microblogging: Twitter

Watch: Twitter in Plain English
Twitter is an online networking tool. It is called 'micro-blogging' as it allows users to share what they are doing, new ideas and resources in 140 characters or less.

Join Twitter

Create a Twitter account. Follow other people and share your ID for them to follow you.


One good way to network with other education professionals is to join educational networks. Online, free, with opportunities to share discussions, blogs posts, multimedia etc across the world are available in many curriculum areas.
Here are some examples using the Ning platform:

Just for Fun

Wordle from ELearning Blog

Lots of resources on Cool Tools For Schools

Common Craft: 'In Plain English' videos