The original deadline was 30 September, but last night I received some news which has led me to extend it until the 31st October.
Diane Brooks, who writes the ICT in Education blog in New Zealand (no connection with this website) very kindly posted a message about the book on her blog. However, she informed me privately that schools in New Zealand are currently on holiday.
Also, and more importantly, many New Zealanders, including some of her colleagues and students, have family in Samoa. They will obviously have more pressing concerns than a book about Web 2.0, so it seemed only right and sensible to extend the deadline for everyone because of the troubles in Samoa, Indonesia and that general area of the world.
So what is the state of play so far? I've received over 60 new projects, and they all look really interesting. The applications used include e-portfolios, social networking, video Es and the 'usual suspects': blogs, wikis and a fresh-faced arrival, Twitter!
Many, if not most, of the ideas are as simple as they are exciting. For example (and it's hard to single out just one or two from this cornucopia), Nancy Raff says:
"We're creating a virtual ribbon of 6 pieces with a photo showing why a student loves the earth and a statement of why they love it and what they will do to protect it. Many schools have joined this project and people from 59 countries. Spans all grades."
Or take this one, from Tom Daccord:
"The "Great Debate of 2008" is a collaborative project providing 130+ students from 8 states with an opportunity to lead an exploration and discussion of issues and candidates surrounding the 2008 presidential election."
I think you'd agree that these ideas are not only simple but also scaleable in either direction. For example, the Great Debate wiki could be run with just one class, and the virtual ribbon project could be run with classes in the same school or neighbouring schools rather than across 59 countries.
That's the whole idea of this ebook: to share ideas, rather than to share 'best practice'. So if you have been running an educational project with Web 2.0 tools, no matter how humble you think it is, please share!
Just one thing, though: some of the URLs provided by people in their submissions are passworded, or are to a general website or blog rather than a specific post or area about the project concerned. In order to make the ebook as useful as possible to others, please provide a useful and pertinent URL. Ideally, if the site is passworded, perhaps you could provide a guest login. Alternatively, if that would be problematic in terms of e-safety concerns, send me a screenshot or two which will at least give people an idea of what's behind the firewall. Thanks for your co-operation in this!
The online form should take you only a few minutes to complete.
I'm really pleased: I have received over 80 submissions, which I am now going through. Some of them will be published on this website (and some already have been) each weekday at 16:30 UTC, at least until 6 November 2009.
I think it would be really nice to have 100 projects, so I've extended the deadline once again, this time to 15 November 2009. I may decide to extend it yet again at that time, if either I have not received enough submissions, or if I am so inspired by the quantity and quality of the new submissions that I won't want to cut off the flow! However, I cannot guarantee that, so if you are thinking of submitting an idea, it would be better to do so sooner rather than later.
Update: I've had over 100 submissions and I've been so inspired that I have decided to extend the invitation to submit a project until 30th November 2009.
If a sticking point for you is that you can't provide a URL for people to look at, please send a screenshot or two of the site instead.
On the basis of some of the ones I've received, I'd just like to offer some clarification:
- Submitting something! Don't worry if you think your project sucks: let me be the judge of that!
- An interesting idea. It doesn't have to be 'earth-shattering'. Quite often, the simplest ideas are actually the best, because they make sense and can be implemented very quickly. Have a look at the ideas posted so far, and over the next week: I don't think the people concerned will mind my saying that they're pretty straightforward. In fact, that is part of their appeal as far as I'm concerned, and that was what many people found useful in the first edition of the book.
- A focus on what the users did, and how they benefitted, rather than (just) the features of the application.
What doesn't work so well
- The focus of the ebook will be the user, not the application. If you have a great application you'd like to tell people about, don't just send me a link to, say, Skype. Send me a link to, and a description of, a project in which children or teachers used Skype in an educational context. In the spirit of Web 2.0, the product should be free, or at least have a feature-packed free version.
- The URL should be one that anyone can access. If this is not possible because of child safety or data protection issues, please send a screenshot or two of the site instead. The purpose is to give people an idea of what the environment is like so that have a better understanding of your project.
- If the website at the URL is quite extensive, it would be really helpful if you could drill down to a specific area or even page that visitors go to as a starting point.
Thanks! I look forward to receiving your submission soon!