Twitter: An evaluation

Amazing Web 2.0 ProjectsBack in August 2007 I wrote the following article about Twitter:

When Twitter first appeared on the scene, I thought it sounded like a complete waste of time.

But as more and people I respect started singing its praises, I thought I ought to give it a whirl.

That was a couple of months ago, and here are my conclusions.

Read More

Update on the Amazing Web 2.0 Projects Book

amazing-cvr

As featured in the TES!

Find out all about the book from here. It’s free!

In case you already know about it, I have a confession:

Thanks to Nyree Scott, of Christ Church University, Canterbury, for pointing out an error to me: Year 1 is 5-6 year olds, not 6-7 year olds. Don't know how I came to make such a daft mistake, but it's all corrected now!

And now for some up-to-date stats:

The Myebook version has been read 2,759 times.

The Slideshare version has been read 625 times.

The Scribd version has been read 586 times.

The YouPublish version has been read 14 times. (Come on, be fair: I only published it there properly last night, and I haven’t even told anyone about until now!)

It has been downloaded 15,143 times.

Some Statistics about the Amazing Web 2.0 Projects Book

The Amazing book.

Since its publication in March 2010, the Amazing Web 2.0 projects book has been:

  • Downloaded 14,770 times.
  • Viewed 2,748 times in Myebook.
  • Vewed 544 times in SlideShare.
  • Viewed 429 times in Scribd.

Read more about it here.

Download it by clicking on the link below:

oops!

Thanks to Nyree Scott, of the University of Canterbury, for pointing out an error to me: Year 1 is 5-6 year olds, not 6-7 year olds. Don't know how I came to make such a daft mistake, but it's all corrected now!

Amazing Web 2.0 Projects Book Update

A couple of days ago I posted a short article about this free book, and where you can find it. There is now another location. Thanks to Peter Twining and his colleagues at OU Vital, it's now available online in HTML format (though you have to register -- free -- on the Vital website to access it).

 

Peter informs me that people can link to individual sections of the book within the vital community by copying the link for the section in question from the menu that is visible on the left of each page when you are looking at the book.

e.g. http://www.vital.ac.uk/community/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=4286&section=8.10 links to the Global Penpals case study (if you are logged into the Vital Community).
It's quite a nice, easy to use interface, with an index of projects down the left-hand side, as you can see from this screenshot.
The Amazing HTML version

The Amazing Web 2.0 Projects Book

The Amazing Web 2.0 Projects Book

Amazing projects at an amazing price

This is an updated version of a news item published on 21st April 2010.

This fantastically useful and free book has now been downloaded 12,972 13,068 times, and that only tells part of the story. Others have made it available on their own websites, and I obviously cannot know how many downloads they've enjoyed. Also, some people have passed it on to many others.

Going by the poll I set up, the 40 people who have responded so far sent it out to an average of 77 people each, which if true of everyone would mean that over a million people have seen it so far. It's rather too small a sample to draw such conclusions though, and that mean figure hides a wide range. UNESCO, for example, has sent information about to to 5,000 people as well as placing a note about it on their website.

If you have downloaded and looked through the book, please complete the survey, which comprises three questions and involves hardly any typing!

If you like, you can access the contents of the book in three other ways, and even embed it on your own website. Firstly, there is a SlideShare  option.  The links are live, ie you can click on them and they work. Also, the subject-project  list near the beginning of the book now contains hyperlinks to the projects cited. You’ll see the embed code near the top right-hand side of the screen.

Secondly, I have created a Myebook version. To obtain the embed code, you will need to open the book and then click on the Info tab. The advantage of this over the SlideShare version is that it looks and sounds like a real book, and you can zoom in to read it more clearly. Also, you can grab parts of the screen and email it to a friend. Unfortunately, though, the links don’t work, simply because I don’t have time to create them all manually - I’m waiting for a forthcoming automated version of the book builder to do that for me!

Thirdly, there is now a Scribd version. This, too, can be embedded in a web page or blog post, and shared over social networks.

You can download it from the Free Stuff page on the ICT in Education website, where you will also be able to read a sample of the nice things people have been saying about it.

Amazing News About the Amazing Web 2.0 Projects Book

I thought you might be interested in some news about the Amazing Web 2.0 Projects Book.

As of 5 minutes ago, it had been downloaded at least 11,928 times since the 14th March.

I’ve received and read some great comments about the book. You can view them here:

http://www.ictineducation.org/free-stuff/

If you can spare three minutes, please give me some feedback via a poll I’ve set up:

http://www.terry-freedman.org.uk/cgi-script/csPoller/csPoller.cgi?cid=1&t=1&pid=70

(This is the link behind the 'Take our poll' text over on the right-hand side.)

It consists of just three questions, so won’t take you long! Thanks.

If you like, place a link to the poll from your own website or, even better, embed the poll using this code:

<span id="poll_70_1_v">

<script src="http://www.terry-freedman.org.uk/cgi-script/csPoller/csPoller.cgi?cid=1&t=1&pid=70&js=1">

</script>

</span>

All you do is go into the HTML view of your blog post or web page, and put that code within the Body section, ie between the tags <body></body>. You should see the questions as they appear on the link above once you have done that. Once someone has voted, they will be able to see the results of the poll so far.

As the poll is actually hosted on my site, it won’t use up valuable real estate on yours.

New developments

I’m going to be announcing some exciting developments in relation to the book, and the contributors to it and the subscribers to my newsletter, Computers in Classrooms, will be the first to know about them. Here is one for starters:

I’ve set up two methods whereby you can embed the book on your own website or blog if you want to.

Firstly, there is a SlideShare option.  The links are live, ie you can click on them and they work. Also, the subject-project  list near the beginning of the book now contains hyperlinks to the projects cited. You’ll see the embed code near the top right-hand side of the screen.

Secondly, I have created a Myebook version. To obtain the embed code, you will need to open the book and then click on the Info tab. The advantage of this over the SlideShare version is that it looks and sounds like a real book, and you can zoom in to read it more clearly. Also, you can grab parts of the screen and email it to a friend. Unfortunately, though, the links don’t work, simply because I don’t have time to create them all manually – I’m waiting for the automated version of the book builder to do that for me!

Here's what it looks like:

 

Thanks again for contributing to this ebook, and for spreading the word about it. Judging from the number of downloads and the comments written about it, I think a lot of people have found it very useful so far.



The Amazing Web 2.0 Projects Book: An Update On Downloads

This ebook has now been downloaded at least 10,056 times. Why the lack of precision? Because lots of people Over 10,000 downloads in less than 3 weeks! Woo hoo!have put it on their own websites or VLEs, and obviously I can't track the downloads from 3rd party sites. Also, some folk have linked directly to the file on my site -- in which case I still can't track the number of downloads. Much better to link to the download page, and let people click the link there.

In case you've missed it, the book contains details of 87 projects involving Web 2.0 applications in the classroom. It's methodical, inspirational, fun, moving (to quote Gerald Haigh) and free!

Go to the download page just mentioned to find out what others have said about the book and, erm, download it!

Here's the spec:

87 projects.
10 further resources.
52 applications.
94 contributors.
The benefits of using Web 2.0 applications.
The challenges of using Web 2.0 applications.
How the folk who ran these projects handled the issues...
... And what they recommend you do if you run them.
What were the learning outcomes?

Download!

Enjoy!

Encouraging Digital Access to Culture

well worth readingThis looks like an interesting document. I've literally just skimmed through it in nanoseconds, but it contains nuggets like:

A culture of playful, rapid small-scale experimentation needs to be fostered, complementing the desire for quality and integrity which already exists. Inappropriate governance is often stifling innovation and rapid expansion of digital access. Encouraging digital access means a radically different approach to managing technology from the way that large-scale legacy systems have been managed. Technology needs to be better integrated into creative processes.

Hear hear to that! That's exactly what we need in education too: a culture in which experimentation is encouraged, without fear of punishment if it doesn't quite pan out. Obviously there needs to be standards, and kids shouldn't be used as guinea pigs for every new half-baked idea that pops into people's heads. But hasn't it gone too far the other way?

That's what's so refreshing about the projects described in The Amazing Web 2.0 Projects Book (8,895 downloads at least, by the way, as of 5 minutes ago; and that's in just over two weeks!). They are small-scale, and driven by educational aims rather than technological ones. They were experimental; and they were undertaken in a spirit of playfulness.

Read the 10 Essential Things To Do. It's excellent advice, and transfers easily to an educational context.

You can download this free publication from here:

http://www.culture.gov.uk/images/publications/DCMS_Encouraging_Digital_Access_to_Culture.pdf

 

Web 2.0 For Rookies: Projects to Try Out

So far in this series we've looked at various types of application that fall under the Web 2.0 umbrella. But what does a Web 2.0 activity actually look like, and how can you go about setting one up?

Those were the kinds of questions I set out to answer when I embarked on the Amazing Web 2.0 Projects Book activity. Previously, I had compiled a list of around 60 projects that teachers had undertaken, using Web 2.0 applications. That proved to be quite popular, and it met my aim of wanting to spread ideas and practice.

A truly amazing collection of project ideasNotice that I didn't say 'spread good practice'. Clearly, it is not my intention to spread bad practice, or even mediocre practice. But it seems to me that the very terms 'good practice' and 'best practice' are value-laden. What I, in my circumstances, may regard as 'good' may, given your students and school set-up, be fairly pedestrian as far as you're concerned.

So, this updated collection of projects are largely self-selected. I invited contributions, and    quite a few came in. I asked would-be contributors for answers to specific questions, such as 'What challenges did you face in introducing this project into your school, and how did you overcome them?'

Where necessary, I emailed people individually to obtain further information. I was very clear in my mind that I wanted the projects to be replicable. So, even if providing a website for people to look was out of the question for safety reasons, I made sure that the description of the project, preferably with accompanying screenshots, made it possible for the reader to get a very good idea of what it was about, and what it looked like.

Although the book is arranged in order of student age, starting with All Ages and then from  Primary to Adult, I believe that any project can be used at any age, with a bit of tweaking obviously.

Certainly, the challenges people faced, the concerns people had, and the contributors' recommendations are not differentiated by age group.

I hope you will find this resource useful. If nothing else, it will give you a good idea of how some of the applications we've looked at in an abstract sort of way have been put to use by real teachers, in real classrooms, with real kids.

Enjoy!

You can find out more about this free resource by going to our Free Stuff page, from where you may download it.

Stop Press! At the time of writing this, the Amazing Web 2.0 Projects Book has been downloaded by 2,142 people.



Free Web 2.0 Projects Book Now Available!

At last! The Amazing Web 2.0 Projects Book!

  • 87 projects.
  • 10 further resources.
  • 52 applications.
  • 94 contributors.
  • The benefits of using Web 2.0 applications.
  • The challenges of using Web 2.0 applications.
  • How the folk who ran these projects handled the issues...
  • ... And what they recommend you do if you run them.
  • What were the learning outcomes?
  • And did I mention that this is free?!

To download it now, and to pick up a badge you can use to promote it (if you want to), please go to the Free Stuff page.