If you’re still not sure how to “break in” to the Web 2.0 world — through blogging, eNewsletters, social bookmarking, using online document systems or other ways — you might want to follow the advice that educational tech expert and blogger Wesley Fryer recently gave a group of teachers in a one-hour after-school staff development workshop. Realizing that many of the teachers in his audience had not heard of Web 2.0 technology and would be overwhelmed if he tried to cover it all in the time he had, Fryer suggested that they take small steps by investigating a few of Web 2.0 tools and using them “personally” over the summer. I like his suggestions, so I’m sharing them with you. If you’re a school official or a school communications professional, you might consider attacking it this way. Even if you’re a 12-month employee, summers provide most of us with time to catch up on some knowledge. (#3 and #5 are specifically geared toward teacher software, so you might want to skip those.)
1. Join a local (state) online learning community.
2. Learn about wikis and create one.
3. Create and share digital stories with VoiceThread.
4. Start using social bookmarking.
5. Join an online professional learning community like Classroom 2.0, and attend the 2007 K-12 Online Conference.
6. Share photos with family and friends on Flickr.
7. Watch and share outstanding videos online.
8. Videoconference with family and friends using Skype or iChat.
9. Create and read a customized digital “newspaper”. (With Google Reader.)
10. Learn to text message from a patient teenager.