Wednesday, May 18, 2011

webdoc - Like Glogster, But Not....

webdoc, which is currently in beta, is a possible replacement/competitor to Glogster...although it does not have an education based theme or offering.  The concept is similar and provides many of the same options, just in a different format.  One aspect that is different is that users have the ability to reply to a webdoc by creating their own webdoc about the topic.  One feature is a "This or That" where users can discuss and interact between two things, or provide their own "This or That" argument.  It has the feel of a Point-Counterpoint type theme.
Users can put almost anything into a webdoc: pictures, videos and music from all over the web, but also interactive applications like games, polls, slideshows or web services such as Google Maps and Twitter. Anyone can start a conversation naturally with just one friend or all of them, and users can both friend people and follow conversations.

webdoc in action from webdoc on Vimeo.

The webdocs can be published publicly or privately which is a good option to have for educators.  However, I am still uncertain as to using it in the classroom because of several in the gallery that I don't think are appropriate.  I could really see it being used as a method of discussion or a great way to incorporate debate topics into the classroom.  Students could easily post links, pictures, videos, etc for the purpose of debating them.  webdoc is an interesting concept, but needs a more education based option to be completely adaptable in the classroom.

Here is a fun sample: Which 90's Dude Duo Was Cooler??

An Ed Tech Tip for Administrators - School Twitter Feed

A lot of people in the education world still wonder about Twitter and what it is all about.  They can't quite grasp the concept.  In reality, Twitter is gaining a lot of steam in the social media and education world.  Several educators are using Twitter to connect with other educators.  Teachers are using it to connect with students to provide an avenue of communication for homework assignments, extra credit, and reminders.  It is simple to use and with so many students having access to Smartphones and iPod Touches, it makes sense to use Twitter, which can easily be accessed through an App...for free.

What about using it at the school level?  Most administrators will tell you that visitor statistics to their school website is probably low.  It is a long URL address to provide to parents and sometimes can be hard to navigate for the average user.  Twitter can be the connection you need to bridge the gap between your school webpage and your parents.

The best way to use Twitter is to create an account for your school.  Students, parents, teachers, and community members could follow the school account.  Through this account you could share so much information:   School closings, sports scores, announcements, scheduling changes, etc.  The best part is that the messages are short (140) characters and it takes very little time to sit down and type the message.  Using an App or 3rd Party Software like Tweetdeck, you could easily share stories and links from your school website, thus increasing visitor traffic.

Often it is tough for an administrator to always know everything that is going on and be at every event.  You could easily provide the Username and Password to fellow administrators, Athletic Directors, coaches, and teacher leaders, and make it a collaborative effort to share information with parents and the community.  Therefore the school Twitter account does become a school wide effort. 

More Twitter Resources:
10 Tips for Twitter in the Classroom
So You Are New to Twitter
Twitter Chats

Previous Ed Tech Tip for Administrators Blog Posts