Saturday, January 8, 2011

AGTA Conference - Using Web 2.0 Technology in the Geography Classroom

Web 2.0 technology and social media are now a large part of our everyday lives. The challenge as educators is to use these tools effectively in the classroom, so that they enhance current teaching practice.

In the words of Ken Robinson....

His previous talk - Do School's Kill Creativity? can be viewed by clicking on the link.

Today's workshop will provide a very very quick overview of some of the many tools that are available online (and mostly for free) to use in the classroom. Before we start, we should consider the impact that Web2.0 technology and social media have had on the way we live.

What is Web 2.0 Technology?
What is Web 2.0?
View more presentations from Rebecca Nicholas.

Web2.0 or social media will allow you to innovate in your teaching practice. Here are some examples of how.

1. Providing an Online Resource for your Class


Bec's Classes 2010

Creating an blog is not difficult. The video below shows a step by step instruction on how to create a blog using Edublogs or Global Teacher.

And this shows you how to embed a Youtube video (or any video) into your blog.

New blogging sites are popping up every day. Another you can use with the advantage of not having an email to sign up with is 21 Classes.


Unit Four Geography Climate Change Wiki

The following video provides a step-by-step guide on setting up your first wiki. This video uses wikispaces however there are other options, such as pbwiki.

Adding to Your Blog or Wiki


Slideshare allows you to upload powerpoint or keynote presentations and then embed them into a wiki or blog.


Drag on Tape - This is a site that allows you to create mixtapes of your favourite Youtube videos. A demo is outlined below...

Dragontape Demo Video from Dragontape on Vimeo.

Xtranormal - This is a great site that allows students to make their own digital animations by typing in text.

Collaborating with Images

Shwup - Allows students to collaborate and share photos and vidoes online in a secure environment. The answer to the problems associated with different students taking photos on a fieldtrip.

Jaycut - An online tool that allows students to create their own movies using images, video footage and sound. It is very similar to iMovie but you don't need the software...


Bec's Race Class

This is a great tool, similar to facebook, that allows students to collaborate online. The best way to use a ning is to ensure that you have a purpose and understand what you want out of the technology.

2. Tools to Collaborate in the Classroom


This is a great site that allows you to post and brainstorm information. It is very handy when watching videos or discussing a topic. I used it specifically to diamond rank factors associated with issues.

EdModo - Like Twitter, but can be used in the classroom. Something to consider trialling as you watch a video or discussion in class.

Another example uses the same idea as Twitter - TodaysMeet.
TodaysMeet - Here is an example I put together for the AGTA conference.

Wordle - A brainstorming tool that allows students to create and determine the importance of words associated with a concept.
For example, an article from the New Scientist on the Cancun Climate Change talks can be converted to something like this for discussion.

3. Excellent Links to Provide the Content and Activities on Blogs and Wikis

Geography Animated - is a geography teacher's internet site with all things Geography. In particular, the site has links to animations on everything that you can think of. Here is just one example on the formation of meanders and ox-bow lakes.

BBC Dimensions - How Big Is It Really?

Scribble Maps

Gapminder - One of my favourite sites for the year. The best tool to compare data on most gobal topics - more than just population and development.

CIA Factbook in Google Earth

Population and Migration - Flight and Expulsion


Other Resources

Education Eye - A search engine that maps educational innovation and categorises news sites by research and practice. A great teacher resource to remain up-to-date.

We are Teachers
- A collaborative site where teachers share innovative ideas and teaching practice.