Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms
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Product Description

For both novice and experienced "techies," this practical resource shows how to use blogs and other new Web tools for innovative, interactive teaching and motivated learning.

Customer Reviews:

  • Great for Educators!
    I am an elementary school teacher who values technology integration in classrooms. Initially, the book begins slow with an overabundant amount of details about the simplicity of blogging. Some advice is given to lead novices in the right direction tailored to their blogging interests.

    An aside: As I was searching on the Internet for safe and secure blog sites for young students, I found this website: http://mhetherington.net/blogs/?p=8 which was created by a middle school teacher with similar interests in student technology involvement. It details steps that can lead any teacher into a free (yet time consuming) setup for students to use. (I used this website to create my own blog site for my 32 fourth grade students and it worked marvelously!)

    The author then introduced the power of wikis. I really appreciated the real-life accounts from actual educators who use wikis for group projects with students. I did feel a like the examples came mostly from secondary education and did not focus heavily on primary student possibilities with wikis. PB wiki (peanut butter wiki) for educators was explained and the book offered some great resources for teachers on a low budget with wiki interests.

    Next, RSS feeds were explained. Although much of the explanations of RSS feeds were still above my head in understanding, I learned a number of values in using RSS feeds with the Web. One of the examples used in the book was that one could subscribe to all RSS feeds in Cyberspace about a topic of interest. If a person is interested in "Global Warming in California," they can subscribe to any place on the Internet that may use those words as an update when stories or writing is produced and submitted on websites you may not know existed. RSS feeding is a promising method of allowing the computer to do the searching for you.

    During my reading of this book, I posted two blogs (on blogger.com) about my reflections. Within 3 days of my writing, the author of this book, Will Richardson, posted a comment on my blog thanking me for reading his book. My inferences told me he may have an RSS feed in Cyberspace that brings him news about whenever information is posted about himself or his book. I was impressed by his comment as this showed me he practiced what he preached in his book and really values the technology he promotes.

    By the end of the book, podcasting, screencasting, and videos were introduced as well. In all, the book catered more toward novices and technology learners, not experts. Experts may find this book a bit juvenile, while I enjoyed it for its practicality and rapid information. My favorite part of the book stands at the providing of websites and tools that can be searched just seconds after reading about them. I found that using this book as a user's manual was helpful for technology novices on the go.
    ...more info
  • Good introduction to the subject, needs a better publisher
    This book was published in 2006 by Corwin Press. To me a new publisher not very well known. I mostly read fiction or computer books. I am also a teacher in a large university hospital, at least to Dutch standards. Education is progressing and the use of the web with students becomes common sense. Besides Blackboard the use of wikis in educating medical students recently started in our curriculum. Since I am interested in computer, software and the web this urged me to look for books that are about web tools and integration of these techniques in education.

    This book is a good starter. It has 9 chapters. The first chapter is about the web and how it is changing life. Skipped it, not much news here. The following 2 chapters are about blogs. Followed by chapters about wikis, RSS, social bookmarking, Flickr and podcasting and screencasting. The chapters become shorter in this order. Probably because the later chapters describe newer technologies with less educational experience. The chapters usually describe the tool and simple howto's for choosing and using the free variants of the software. I find the software described very usefull and up to date. The author Will Richardson is obviously a very experienced educator. His examples are very good. Example websites and blogs are presented in all chapters. The only problem is that these links are difficult to type in your browser and sometimes outdated.

    Conclusion

    A very good introductory book for integration of new web technology in education. The examples are illustrative allthough mainly for high school students. The main critique is the lay out of the book. Next edition I suggest a lay out comparable to O'Reilly's books. This editor obviously is more used to publishing IT books. Another suggestion would be an accompanying website for errata's, links, updated links, and new links....more info
  • An excellent resource!
    Finally a book all about how to incorporate the newest in technology in the classroom. Combines info that's been floating around on the internet into a concise book and an easy read. Many great ideas....more info
  • A Book To Remember
    "Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms" by Will Richardson is a good starter and a great resource for any teacher who wants to integrate technology into the classroom. I believe technology plays a significant role in how students receive and process information. I believe that technology has more and more influence on education and the direction it would take depends wholly on teachers. Will Richardson encourages teachers to explore the powerful tools he describes in his book and not to be afraid to encounter difficulties. In this book a teacher can find useful recommendations on how to use such tools as Wikis, RSS, Podcasts, etc. The author gives an explanation of how the tools work avoiding the technical details. He provides a number of examples from actual classrooms as well as some easy tips for the tools' application which makes this book an easy read and makes the readers eager to get started. It would be very interesting for me to take up the challenge of motivating my students to "getting started" with blogs, wikis, podcasts, etc. Having read this inspiring book, I will be looking forward to read other books written by Will Richardson....more info
  • Awesome!
    This is a great book. I am thoroughly enjoying every page! It is giving me so much inspiration and instruction on how to use these tools. Great examples and resources too....more info
  • classroom teacher review
    This book has excellent ideas for a classroom teacher trying to be innovative and generating students' interest. I am finding wikis and blogs both particularly useful with my students.
    ...more info
  • Exactly what I was looking for!
    Thank you to Will Richardson for providing us with a book that is filled with practical information on blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful tech tools. When I purchased my book, I found that I couldn't put it down. There were ideas that I could try immediately to helped me begin my journey of implementation. So many books only talk about theory, but this book gives you tips on what to do right now to get started on these topics. I found the book to be refreshing and exciting, and one that I reference often. Highly recommended....more info
  • Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and other Powerful Tools for Classrooms
    This book explains what blogs, wikis, and podcasts are as well as other new technology innovations. It also goes further to explain how these things can be used in the classroom. It references various websites that could be helpful to teachers....more info
  • Great practical ideas and resources for teachers
    I started reading Will Richardson's book to educate myself about how teachers and instructors have been utilizing web tools into their curriculum. In October 2007, I attended the Computers in Libraries conference and participated in a workshop called "New Research Tools" where they discussed practical and successful cases of educators using various online tools, like Flickr, Clipmarks, or RSS readers.

    As a librarian, a 2nd year educator, and one who personally uses these different tools, I really am interested in incorporating these tools into the curriculum.

    During the course of reading this book, I have started reading Will Richardson's blog - Web-logged - as well as other educator and librarian blogs. This book has inspired me to try to incorporate the different tools that I enjoy using personally into the curriculum.

    Richardson's enthusiasm for these various web tools is conveyed through each chapter. He devotes chapters to each tool. For example, there is a chapter on Blogs, one on RSS and one on wikis. It is easily explained and whether you use these tools already or not, his writing is easily accessible. I have been promoting this book to my colleagues and have also pointed some of them to his blog.

    His chapter on Wikis has caused me to reassess my hesitance towards utilizing Wikipedia as a valid source of information. I am still skeptical but one should be skeptical when approaching print media as well.

    The chapters are short and easy to understand. He has an excellent list of resources and great examples of people who are already incorporating the read/write web into their classrooms. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in Web 2.0, education and technology....more info
  • Excellent Resource!
    Richardson's Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms is a great resource for the twenty-first century teacher. His recognition of the changing and evolving learner in an increasingly technological world sets the stage for the excellent step-by-step directions with defined vocabulary. It is easy to navigate, and written at a level appropriate for beginning or advanced users of technology.
    This text has been an excellent resource for both my graduate work in Educational Technology, as well as implementing new technology and web 2.0 resources in the classroom. It opens up a whole new door to collaborative learning, incorporating the tools that not only are useful, but will peak the interest of a new generation of learners.
    Along with the step-by-step directions with defined vocabulary, there are other resources useful for the classroom teacher including sample letters home to parents explaining the use of numerous technologies in the classroom, and how it will help prepare students for the future.
    This is not only a how to text, it is an idea resource tied to pedagogy and learning goals for using the mentioned tools. Richardson discusses weblogs and student blogging. This is a tool many use in education currently. Richardson brings the RSS (Real Simple Syndication) and the blog together or education. He suggests using blogging and RSS feeds to collect projects and homework electronically. His ideas are practical, and ready for immediate implementation. Even social networking sites are analyzed and aligned with educational goals.
    In the end, Richardson introduces the new kind of literacy to the classroom. There is no longer one way to write or contribute using technology; there are thousands of tools available. Richardson sets educators up for success in using new and innovative tools in the classroom in order to foster a positive and collaborative learning community. - Rick DeCarr, 5th Grade Teacher, Educational Technology Specialist...more info
  • A good user guide for Teachers and Students
    Relevant informations about Web 2.0, RSS, Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, Share Images and share technical informations for teachers and students use in classroom.

    Fullfiled of complementary information. I liked so much! Very cool!...more info
  • Welcome to Web 2.0
    I read Will's book out by my pool this summer and had it full of highlights and post-its marking the things that I must try! He welcomed me to a whole new world of blogging and wikis, and I can not thank him enough for that. I bought this book for colleagues. They, too, see the importance of us knowing what Web 2.0 is bringing to our chidren. Thanks, Will, for this book that is clear and concise and perfect for us beginners. ...more info
  • A Must Have
    If you are a teacher who has any interest whatsoever in using technology in the classroom then this is a book that you must have. The book is well written and does a great job of explaining issues such as blogging, wikis, podcasting, and more. It explains the how-to's as well as the why's of using technology in the classroom. While I would highly recommend this book, do note that it is mostly meant for beginners. If you consider yourself any kind of expert on these tools, you may want to look at another book. ...more info
  • Extremely Useful Resource for 21st Century Educators!
    As a future educator, I thought this book was stocked full of useful information and ideas regarding ways to harness the immense capabilities of the "Read/Write Web" and bring them into the classroom. I found myself inspired by these suggestions and constantly making notes to myself of ways to incorporate these tools into my future classroom, especially the tools I was unaware of before reading this book.

    The most current tools of the "Read/Write Web" are discussed throughout the book by chapter, such as Weblogs, Wikis, Real Simple Syndication (RSS), the Social Web including Twitter, social bookmarking websites, Flickr, and Podcasting/Video and Screencasting/Live Streaming, all of which are currently being used by today's students. Each topic is discussed by defining it in general terms, then by discussing ways that it can be incorporated into the classroom as well as precautions that should be taken before its use. Will Richardson also encourages teachers to first become fully familiar with these tools before exploring its capabilities with students. He also discusses along with each tool how to check for credibility or reliability before usage and how to convey these techniques to students.

    Other features that are particularly functional in this book are the abundance of examples on how to use these tools in the classroom, including an array of detailed subject area examples. Richardson also includes an immense amount of visuals displaying the examples he discusses. He also gives the reader links to resources or examples on the Web for further investigation. Lastly, for some of the tools like Weblogs, he takes the reader step by step through the process of successfully incorporating these tools into their curriculum.

    All in all, Richardson does a wonderful job of opening a new door for educators that will help us to reach out to our students on new and exciting levels!
    ...more info
  • Student work that transcends classroom walls
    "The social connections that students are now making on the Web, the ability to share and contribute ideas and work, the new expectation of collaboration, the ability to truly extend the walls of our classrooms. . . these ideas are at the core of the Read / Write Web," says Will Richardson. "As educators, it's imperative we understand the implications of these capabilities for our classrooms."

    A classroom teacher for more than 20 years, Richardson recently integrated weblogs, RSS, and related internet technologies into his curricula and is now an evangelist for the teaching and learning potential in what he calls "the Read / Write Web."

    In "Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms," Richardson shares first hand classroom experience of how the read / write web opens up new possibilities for students to learn from each other and from authors and scientists and other professionals.

    Blogging is fun, but student work can still be held to high standards. Richardson evaluates the quality of student blogging in terms of the intellectual depth of the posts, the effectiveness of the writing, the level of reflection regarding the ideas expressed, and the willingness to contribute to and collaborate with the work of others.

    Richardson does not sidestep the risks involved in the opening up students and their work to the world via the Web. He explains how to create and communicate policies for security and safety. For teachers hesitant to begin using classroom weblogs and wikis Richardson suggests that a good entry point is to build a class portal to communicate information about the class and to archive course materials.

    Students love an audience, and that potential online audience is one of he most important aspects of the read / write web. "The idea that the relevance of student work no longer ends at the classroom door can not only be a powerful motivator but can also create a significant short in the way we think about the assignments and work we ask of our students in the first place," he says.

    "Teachers are tapping into the potential of a World Wide Web that is a conversation, not a lecture, where knowledge is shaped and acquired through a social process, and where ideas are presented as a starting point for dialogue, not an ending point."...more info
  • A Must-Have Text for Educators
    This gentleman is a great teacher who clearly and simply explains the topics at hand - blog,wiki, podcast,social bookmarking, aggregators, RSS feeds, etc. A wonderful book for educators and everyone else! I am now using most of his suggestions and I just bought the book in February. If you want to blog, podcast, contribute to wikis, participate in social bookmarking and understand how it can benefit your endeavors, see how you can find the most popular sites for the day, and understand news better than you ever did before and be able to digest 100% more than you did before, then this book is for you.

    He uses examples directly from his classroom experience and gives teachers great suggestions in how this can be used to differentiate education for the many students they have. Students can sign up for RSS (real simple syndication) feeds of the teacher's blog (concerning classroom and assignments) and keep up with all classroom requirements and classroom news(so can their parents). The teacher could sign up for student blogs, just like students can sign up for the teacher's. Students can sign up for each others. Then all of the students information would be delivered in one place every day for the teacher. Students could use their blogs as portfolios of their work, musings about projects, questions they have, up-to-the-minute thoughts, comments to groups with whom they are working, etc. With social bookmarking (explained in book), you can add a code to your bookmarks and your students can search for those with just that code and create an RSS feed to be sent to their individual aggregators. In this way, if you have six students working on a project for Egypt and you, the teacher, bookmark and save five good Websites the students would find helpful to their project, if you add the code while bookmarking the site, the students will have those delivered to their aggregators automatically and will see your notes that accompany them on a daily basis. The teacher could note in his or her blog what codes would be used for which project, so the appropriate students would sign up for the RSS feed to be sent to their aggregator. This may sound complicated but Will Richardson makes it extremely easy. This book apparently comes in a paperback form as well, which is about half the price of the hardbound copy. I thought it was rather pricey at first (I bought the hardbound copy not knowing about the paperback) but after reading it and using it, it's worth ten times its price. I think that it would be beneficial for college professors in education to recommend this to their students or use it as one of their required texts. Thanks to Will Richardson for writing such a great and useful book. ...more info
  • An excellent primer for technology integration
    I found this book to be extremely helpful in not only explaining the technical processes of using the Read/Write Web in the classroom but also discussing the pedagogical advantages for engaging with these new technologies. Richardson has done his homework. He uses evidence to support his advocation of technology integration to strengthen critical thinking in classrooms. Because his language is so easy to comprehend and because he wrote this book primarily as an educator (not an IT wiz), I highly recommend this book to any teacher wanting to begin using new web technologies but not knowing where to begin....more info
  • ETEC 551
    Very cool stuff! This book inspires me to want to use more technology in the classroom. Having been out of the classroom for a few years, I have not had the opportunity to practice what I preach. Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms has got me excited about teaching again.

    Overall, I feel that this book was everything it was supposed to be. Although not geared towards the novice, it was easy to read and therefore could be beneficial to a wide range of people, especially educators. The author covered a good range of tools and practices well with good examples. Certainly a book to have in your library.
    ...more info
  • Just do it
    Not wanting to label myself as a complete luddite, but not really knowing where to start either, I was really grateful that this book came along. Aimed at teachers of primary and secondary students (I am a tertiary level teacher), it has many examples of Web tools that could be easily implemented in the classroom. More than that, though, it lists technologically efficient ways of organising information for students. Since reading this book, I have created a blog for myself, organised an aggregator and thought seriously about podcasting and RSS feeds. Now I'm on a crusade to utilise these Web tools into learning and teaching activities to make the most of current forms of communication and improve engagement of students. Theses tools aren't just another way of presenting information; they can be incorporated into a curriculum to enhance learning. To do that, though, teachers need to be comfortable and convinced about their use. I suggest you use this book as a learning tool for yourselves first....more info
  • Good Book For Teachers
    Will Richardson's blogs wiki's and podcasts is a good book for
    teachers who are looking for ways to be creative with technology. Will
    Richardson breaks down Web tools for teachers to understand and helps
    them seek out ways to be creative inside of the classroom. The book is
    not filled with a bunch of technological jargon; Richardson takes his
    time in each chapter to make the content digestible for beginning
    techies....more info
  • Great Introduction to Web Tools
    I would highly recommend this book to educators looking for an introduction to many the more powerful tools of the Read/Write Web. On top of blogs, wikis, and podcasts, they will also learn about RSS, Flicker, Twitter, social bookmarking, and streaming video. Author Will Richardson does a fantastic job of describing each of these tools and provides simple directions about how to begin using them; readers should be able to get themselves started without ever feeling overwhelmed in details.

    Richardson's passion for using the Read/Write Web in education shines through, making the book fun to read. He does occasionally overuse parenthesis, which gets a little annoying, but overall the book is well written and easy to read.

    Where the book falls a little bit short is in describing how to use the Read/Write Web in the classroom. Richardson does mention how he and others are making use of the tools in their classrooms and he does throw out some additional suggested uses, but he doesn't go into much detail. While readers should be coming up with their own use, it would have been nice for him to mention a few simple projects to help readers get started.

    To sum up, if you are an educator looking for an introduction to the Read/Write Web, this book is an excellent resource. It provides excellent descriptions, simple directions to get started, and a few ideas for potential projects. If you are more experienced and are looking for ideas about how to really get your students using these tools, you may want to look elsewhere; it is not the focus of this book....more info
  • Waste of money
    Do not waste your money on this book. I was able ro read a friend's copy (which he paid $3 at a garage sale). This book was obviously done as a self-promotional tool.

    Instead of buying this book, Google search the items in the table of contents which are provided for you by Amazon. You will gain a lot more knowledge than what is in this rag. What really gets me, is that he is charging a large amount of money for a book that has readily available information on the Internet.

    If you want to waste $27, buy this book. Otherwise, do some basic research on the Internet and gain more knowledge than this book or its author has to offer....more info
  • OK for teachers, great for everyone else.
    This book is excellent for anyone interested in the basics internet technology. It is pitched at teachers, but actually I felt that most of the recommended teaching practices were impractical. I used to teach at a laptop school, and I wouldn't be able to implement most of them there, let alone at a school with only a computer lap. However, teachers can use these techniques to stay up to date in their subject area and to learn about new teaching practices. That alone makes this book worthwhile. ...more info
  • Great ideas - helpful resource
    As with any tech manual - things change quickly - and you have a wide-variety of audience skill levels. However, this is a great book for those who are used to dabbling about on their own.

    I appreciated the resource lists and ideas beyond the basics (Flickr ideas got things popping for me beyond what is mentioned in the text).

    I wish more time and details were spent beyond the basics of how to set up a blog, etc. but more about student application in the classroom (or out), etc.

    ...more info
  • A wonderful, 'easy', technology resource for educators
    "Read/Write Web is a seamless highway of information, collaborated, individualized, by active participants, who are passionate concerning the process of creating and sharing content with wide audiences"...(para-phrased)...Will Richardson. Just a great way to sum up how technology in the classroom is (can) be utilized in the classroom today.

    Richardson's "Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts" is a wonderful resource that is an easy read for the educator who might just be scratching the surface of bringing technology into the classroom. Mr. Richardson's highlights many 'tools' concerning technology which include RSS, (real simple syndication), a utility that solidifies the use of technology. The reader may consume as little or as much as desired concerning each topic and Will specifies a road map of content, so the reader can just grab the URL, research or follow the marked details within the book.

    I found it quite amazing that a simple blog utilized by a recent Presidential Candidate suddenly spawned a massive amount of support, (money). Of course once the method caught on, several candidates were utilizing the same method, all as a result of technology...blogging.

    In a similar fashion Will Richardson takes us on a journey of examples and details of just how several (thousands) educators are utilizing some of these resources in the classroom. Wikis and blogs are just the beginning but a great place to start when sharing with students and encouraging feedback. With this resource, the reader will realize an opportunity to 'build' a school web-blog, to upload and receive assignments but also an electronic resource for each student to read others' contributions.

    Other resources discussed within the book include podcasts, social web, and several utilities, applications, websites (Furl IT, Flickr, Twitter) that encourage students to 'want' to utilize technology. Richardson highlights how multimedia and pod-casts seem to be an area that many students like to 'dabble' create montages...etc. All of which could be tastefully added to individual or group assignments.

    With the use of Real Simple Syndication (RSS), the educator could set up web-blogs, and/or wikis...where hours of research could be reduced and information would automatically be directed back to a single website. The power of technology and RSS are endless and of course Richardson's resource goes into great detail of how RSS brings it all together.

    Too much to try and capture all of the details of excitement here but Richardson does a fantastic job for spelling it out for the reader, specifically the educator. The single drawback I would mention (today) is that this resource is already 3 years old but if a current publication exists, I would enthusiastically encourage any educator to purchase! I know that anyone who spends a bit of time with Will Richarson's "Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts" will not be disappointed!...more info
  • Good intro to the tools for the classroom
    This book gives an introduction to a number of Internet-based tools and how they can be used by teachers. The focus tends to be on K-12, but the principles are applicable (generally) to other settings, including higher education.

    The author covers blogs, wikis, RSS, social bookmarking, Flickr, and podcasting. Some strengths of this book include:
    -Solid introduction to each tool for those not familiar
    -Simple "how to" to get started with each tool
    -Good pointers to resources, especially the free ones
    -Some commentary on the significance of these tools that goes beyond "gee whiz"

    Some weaknesses:
    -In spite of a focus on K-12, there was little discussion of how to use these tools to support specific educational standards. Granted, that's a huge task, but some examples would be nice. Then again, if you "get" the tools, that exercise is for the reader.
    -Huge emphasis on blogs, much shorter entry on podcasting. I can only guess that the author wrote about what he knew most about.

    The physical paperback itself is ok. Mine definitely shows the wear and tear of being carried around in my bag.

    Overall: if you're a teacher (or technology coordinator) and are a relative newcomer to these tools, this is a very good place to start....more info