Using Web 2.0 Technologies in the Classroom

students using technology in lab classroom

Recently I was invited by Chicago State University Center for Teaching & Research Excellence to lead a workshop for CSU faculty on the use of Web 2.0 technologies in the classroom. To accompany this hands-on workshop titled Using Web 2.0 Tools in the Classroom to Engage and Inspire Students offered August 28, 2012, I prepared an online interactive handout with links to many samples and online resources. During this session, several common Web 2.0 technologies were introduced and participants were then given the opportunity to further explore selected technologies and begin designing an activity that leverages chosen technology.

If interested in taking a closer look, the handout is available at

Photo courtesy jeremywilburn on Flickr

Google Social Search

Google has unveiled a new experiment called “Social Search” that adds results from members of one’s public “social graph” to search results. This video explains how this new, experimental feature works:

Sound intriguing? Take a look at this demo video:

I’ve created my Google profile and have joined the Google experiment. I’ll no doubt be tweeting my experience in the days ahead. How might Google Social Search impact teaching and learning?

Feed My Inbox: RSS to Email

While RSS is nearly ubiquitous across the Web today, many people unfortunately are still unfamiliar with how feed readers can save time and be used to stay updated on news from favorite sites. For those who aren’t ready to use a feed reader, they can still reap the benefits of having news from RSS-enabled sites delivered to them via email using a free service like FeedMyInbox.

FeedMyInbox is a very simple service that attempts to bridge the gap between feeds (RSS, XML, Atom) and email. Click here to read more how it works.

I’ve signed my 87 year old grandma up to receive updates from our family blog to her email address using FeedMyInbox. For anyone who isn’t yet ready to make the jump to an RSS reader, give FeedMyInbox a try.

Have you found another RSS to email tool that you recommend? Leave a comment with your suggestion!

Using Forms in Google Docs

Google Docs includes a very easy-to-use forms tool that can be used for simple online surveys or other basic data collection activities. Here’s a quick introduction to using forms in Google Docs:

How might use of the data collection features of the Forms tool in Google Docs be helpful in an education context? Beyond online surveys, what other applications come to mind? When would you not want to use a Google Form? Leave a comment with your ideas!