I was having a Google Email Conversation with another educator the other day and we were talking about Web 2.0 features and how the new tools sure do make it easier to network with each other and to share resources.
Now before we get started on my comment back to the above thought, I want to also say I am not a geek. I wish I was. I admire those who can talk the talk. I am not the first to use the latest technology tool, only because there are so many things out there and I look at how they are being used before I put them in my toolbox. One way of keeping up with what's out there is by reading blogs by the masters, such as Steve Dembo, and reading eSchool News.
Okay, so back to my Google discussion. What I find amazing is that I have belonged to a network of teachers from all over the United States without corporate sponsorship since 1999. I had just left elementary school and was going into middle school. I wanted to find some guidance on how to handle these loveable hormonal students. I searched through various lesson plan pages and then I searched for other topics. Then someone emailed me to join them in a Yahoo Group and from there I was able to find "I Must Be Crazy, I Teach Middle School." In the early days, this group was active. We shared ideas via the discussion boards. I believe some even posted resources on the Group Site. I even started one for my students and used it to post homework, photos from the classroom, have a discussion on topics from class and so forth. They had to be invited in so we didn't get the spam that we sometimes got from the Middle School group. As my master's classes came to an end, we started a group as well in order to keep in touch. My high school reunion was also planned via a Yahoo Group.
But alas, the groups are not what they use to be. They took something that was easy to use and practically destroyed it. The only people still on the Middle School group are over powered by the spammers. It's a sad world. But now we have discussion boards, sharing of resources thanks to organizations like the Discovery Educator Network.
Or could always make use of the Web 2.0 tools and create your own community using Drupal.
The other tool I used a lot was BackFlip. I was never on the same computer twice and was always needed a site that I had found at another point. I enjoyed sharing bookmarks with other educators this way as well. Now, we use a new tool called del.icio.us . It's a neat tool and I have enjoyed the other bookmarks I have found from there.
I'll admit that I like the new Web 2.0 and the fun things that it brought, but some of this hype's been around for awhile. Just a new approach to grab your interest.