Saturday, September 6, 2008

uncommon craftsmanship

So you're a teacher and you're a techie. But do you really feel comfortable teaching your students how to use all those Web 2.0 tools that you want them to become familiar with?

Of course, their tech expertise was nurtured in the womb. Kids and teens just seem to get it, when it comes to figuring out how to use applications. However, they may not fully understand the purpose of the tool or why they should use it. They will look to your for that explanation.

Fortunately, you can look to Common Craft, which claims that their "product is explanation." And their language is "plain English." Using conspicuously non-techie graphics, Common Craft explains the why? of web 2.0 tools. Two of their most popular videos explain how to use RSS (my personal favorite) and wikis, both of which are common tools for the classroom.

Whew! I can hear those sighs of relief all over.

Even if you don't use any of their videos (many are freely available), you'll want to watch one for a tutorial in how to give a concise and comprehesible presentation. This one explains, in plain English, how to use Google Docs:


lhuff said...

Lee and Melinda LeFevers, the duo behind Common Craft are exceptional. I'm mourning their decision to stop making videos and pursue another direction. I'm hoping their new direction will yield more goodies we all can use.

Tammy Gillmore said...

Thank you for these links! You just saved me a lot time...of which I have little extra!

These will be quite helpful as I am using...or at least use all these Web 2.0 tools you listed.

Nowadays the favorite question isn't "What are we doing today?"'s "Are we going to the computer lab to work?"

Having "computer" and "work" in the same sentence from a student...well, that is inspiring!