Professional Development Topics

for later inclusion on Benfer Library Wiki
My initial thought is that, in a web2 pd course, we should introduce topics in this order:
  • rss
  • social bookmarking
  • sharetabs /

Web 2.0 Tools

What's RSS?

Have you ever seen this?

Teacher Training Videos, from England, is a great site for Professional Development videos--this one, explaining RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a good example.

CommonCraft's RSS in Plain English
CommonCraft is one of the best sources of video for tech PD. We can no longer embed these videos legally, but tchrs can individually watch them. They are a must.

From a previous PD page:

Here are some ideas for a Basic School2.0 Teacher/Librarian Professional Development.

My thoughts are that this might be a 2-part session, with the first part being about School 2.0 and blogs and the second part being about podcasts and maybe touching on wikis. ???
???Need to think about this timeline.
The goal is to get tchrs to think about these tools and to be aware of them. The tools are not so difficult to use that they can't figure them out. People just may not know about them and what to do with them! Let's just take some of the mystery away with this training.


Did you Know 2.0 should preface the discussion so that the point can be made that our students will face a "flat world" when they grow up. These tools enable users by letting information "find them" and by connecting them to the global discussion. The web is now 2-way: read-write web!
What does 2.0 mean? How does it apply to schools?
it's about COMMUNICATION--Dialog!

What is 2.0? What does that mean?
  • Came from the business world--web 2.0.
  • It has also been called the Read/Write Web, Interactive Web, etc.

Consider this:

  • At first (Web 1.0), users could lookat pages that others put on the web.
      • They could access information if they already knew where they needed to look.
      • People who had special knowledge such as how to write HTML code or how to use fairly complicated software packages such as Dreamweaver or Front Page could create web sites on their own.
      • People who owned fairly expensive software (WordPerfect, Office, etc) could create documents. A new pheonomenon was born: desktop publishing!
      • People with other specialized knowledge could connect with each other in "real time" through IRC chats, etc. This was cool and useful and wonderful at the time.
      • Web space could be expensive, so storing things online wasn't feasible for everyone.
  • Now, Web 2.0 has emerged. It's been around for a while now, but we're just now beginning to understand its implications for educators & students. With Web 2.0,
      • People can easily put their own words, photos, scapbooks, music & videos on the web for all to see.
      • It doesn't take much specialized knowledge to do these things--basic word processing skills will get you a long way on Web 2.0!
      • It is easy to find shows you like to listen to, articles you are interested in reading, information about your favorite band (or whatever)--and you can make all the information come TO YOU rather than you needing to know where to go to find the information.
      • People with common interests can easily find each other and interact (or not) with each other. Communities/relationships can be formed. Eg: I feel like I know David Warlick because I've spent the last 2 years reading his blogs and listening to his podcast. I've corresponded with other people whom I "know" from reading the comments to his blogs. These are people "like" me in all parts of the world whom I would never have known but for web 2.0
      • People can communicate both synchronously (real time) and asynchronously (comments left on a web site, twitter, etc) much more easily now.
      • Online storage is ubiquitous. Hundreds of sites offer free storage of your content--either items that you create on their site (, or digital items that you create in any program (google docs,, flickr, etc).
      • MOST of these things happen now on the web FOR FREE. You may be surprised to see what you can do for free these days.

Define a blog?

Do I have to have an Ipod? Does it matter?

Why should I care about this technology?
  • ubiquitous--you've seen these things on lots of websites you go to regularly already! Figure out what to do with them!
  • great for your own professional development
  • noticed the 2.0 elements of the news biz lately?

First step is to get familiar with some yourself--then think of how these can be used in a classroom.

How do I find them/get them?
RSS made easy: show video Learning 2.0 Tip of the Week: RSS in Plain English
ITunes: But I don't have an Ipod! I don't want to download music, and I don't want to pay for anything!
Download it anyway. It's a great tool for getting podcasts (called an aggregator), and most edtech/library podcasts are listed here.
Many, many podcasts have a little button on their page (widget) that will subscribe you to the podcast in itunes. Very handy. Once you start looking, you'll see the itunes widget all over the place.
It's a good player for audio and video files. Nice to have it all in one place.

Suggest Podcasts
Colonial Williamsburg Podcasts This regularly updated podcast is presented by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and is a treasure trove of interesting stories and information--especially for 5th grade or for 11th grade history classes (isn't that right? the grades that teach Amer. Hist?). These stories really help this historical era come alive--example episode titles/topics: Clothing Speaks, We Are Starved, A Revolutionary Christmas, Chapters in the Soil. Episode topics deal with historical events as well as details of the renovations, preservation efforts and archeological studies going on in Williamsburg. Really fantastic resource! The ghost stories they put up in the fall each year are fun too! I can't find the link right now--maybe they're not up all year long. ??

Connect Learning David Warlick's podcast. At many of his presentations, Warlick will tape as he talks to the audience and these eventually come around as a podcast. Sometimes the audio is not great, and this is not a weekly show, but Warlick is so good at pulling ideas together, that I think it's worth subscribing to!

Just One More Book In this podcast, Mark and Andrea, parents of 2 young girls, discuss children's books, make book suggestions, discuss the writing process, interview children's authors, etc. This podcast is recorded in their favorite coffee shop several days a week after they drop their daughters off at school. Fun and interesting!

Suggest blogs
2 Cents Worth --David Warlick's blog--he is great at pulling lots of other people's ideas together and synthesizing them to see overall trends. You'll get lots of other blog links from him! If you just read one education blog, I think David's is the one to read.
Cool Cat Teacher Vicki Davis' Blog. She is a teacher in Georgia and she uses Web 2.0 applications extensively in the classroom. She's enthusiastic and smart. You'll get good ideas from her!
Mighty Writers 2006-07 --an example of a blog being used in the classroom by a 3rd grade teacher. He uses a special wikispace called ClassBlogmeister
School Zone --Blog by the education staff at the Houston Chronicle

2 Cents Worth --David Warlick's blog--he is great at pulling lots of other people's ideas together and synthesizing them to see overall trends. You'll get lots of other blog links from him! If you just read one education blog, I think David's is the one to read.
Blue Skunk Blog --this is Doug Johnson's blog
Joyce Valenza's Neverending Search --this is her log at School Library Journal
SLJ's Breaking News --this is a news feed rather than a blog. You get a bit of school library news every day when you subscribe to this feed.
TLC=Tech+Learning+Classroom --a blog by an American teacher-librarian in Shanghai, China

2 Cents Worth --David Warlick's blog--he is great at pulling lots of other people's ideas together and synthesizing them to see overall trends. You'll get lots of other blog links from him! If you just read one education blog, I think David's is the one to read.
LeaderTalk --a blog created by Scott McLeod for administrators. Each day 1-2 administrators from a selected group blog about educational leadership topics. Thoughts about leadership and technology by leaders. Very thought-provoking.