#11 (WEEK 5) Explore Web 2.0 award-winning applications and Ning

Throughout the course of the Classroom Learning 2.0 program we’ve explored just a small sampling of the new internet technologies and websites that are empowering users with the ability to create and share content. But given time there are so many more we could explore! There are hundreds of Web 2.0 tools, with only a handful emerging as market dominators. And although time will only tell which of these new collaborative, social networking and information tools will remain on top, one thing is for sure, they're not going to go away anytime soon.

For this discovery exercise, participants are asked to select any site from this "webware" list of CNET Award Winners and explore it. With so many to choose from, it might be handy to first select a category that interests you and then select a tool/site to explore. Be careful to select a tool that is free and that doesn't require a plug-in or download. The majority of these are free, so this shouldn’t be a problem. Another site that is gaining in popularity is the social networking site called Ning. With Ning, you can set up your own social network such as an after school or book club. This used to be free, but to curb misuse of the network it will eliminate anonymity by requiring a small service fee for educators, individuals, and small non-profits. To learn more about Ning, join one of the Ning Social Networking groups or search for an area of interest:
Classroom 2. 0; School 2.0; Teacher-Librarian; The CUE Community. Of course, there is intense competition with other social networking sites like Facebook, one of the largest social networks. Many have personal Facebook accounts for networking with friends and family. Public and commercial organizations also have Facebook accounts. It is more and more common for an organization to have a Facebook and Twitter account in addition to its website because it is an easy way to instantly update or provide new information from anywhere, anytime. There are applications like "share" that automatically post your Facebook message to your Twitter (and other social networking sites) so you only need to post once to communicate your message.

To see an example of the "Share this" feature, see Advocate4Libraries and look at the bottom of each post. "ShareThis" automatically re-posts to the author's Facebook and Twitter accounts. Readers can move their computer mouse over the icon and a pop-up menu appears with options for the reader to also "Share with Friends" via Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, Google Buzz, Blogger, MySpace, Digg, LinkedIn, Text, and more. Get the idea?

Discovery Exercises:
  1. Select any site/tool from the list of CNET Award Winners.
  2. Explore the site you selected.
  3. Create a post about your discovery. What did you like or dislike about the tool? What were the site’s useful features? Could you see any applications for its use in a classroom or library setting? Web 2.0 – with so much to explore, just start with ONE. :)
We hope you're having fun with the exercises.

Suggested "tags" or labels: web 2.0 awards, technology trends