Tech Rav
Discussions of Jewish EdTech

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Web 2.0 is here!

I have talked many times about the virtues of Web 2.0. Web 2.0 also known as the Read/ Write Web is comprised of websites that allow the user to easily add content without any knowledge of code. Some of the most popular Web 2.o applications include Wikipedia, the online "encyclopedia", YouTube for sharing videos, and Facebook, the popular social networking tool. I recently wrote a posting about Web 2.0 for the Lookstein Center that can be accessed here: http://lookstein.org/lookjed/read.php?1,17505,17526#msg-17526.

One of the key features of these and other Web 2.0 applications is the ability to Embed Source Code from them directly into your website. What this means in English is that when you open up a file or video using a Web 2.0 service, it will often contain a dialog box that says Embed Source Code. If you copy this code, you can paste it into an HTML editor on a wiki or homework pages. The effect is that the video or file will play directly from your web page without needing to link it to any other website. This looks really amazing and guarantees that your students will watch the video or access the presentation that you want them to see in connection with your assignment.

I would like to share with you 4 lesser known Web 2.0 applications that you should find very useful for sharing in your classroom.
  1. The first is Scribd for document sharing. You can use this application to easily upload documents to share online with other users using Scribd's attractive document viewer.
  2. Flickr allows you to upload and share photos. You can then post them as a slideshow on the online homework system or the Wiki. This is also a great resource to find beautiful, royalty free, photographs to use in your own presentations.
  3. Slideshare is for uploading PowerPoint presentations and other slide presentations. Here is a link to the presentations that I have uploaded to slideshare for inclusion in The Frisch School 9th Grade Wiki: http://www.slideshare.net/frischintegration
  4. TeacherTube is like YouTube but it specializes in educational videos for Lesson Planning, Teacher Videos, Student Video Lessons, and Online Teacher Made Videos.
These are just a few of the Web 2.0 applications available. Experiment with them and they will greatly enrich the online educational experience for you and your students.


Bible Maps

Many of you have asked me for links to superior maps that project well on a white board or smart board. Here is the best website that I have found. It features maps of the biblical period and for ancient history through the Roman Empire (including great maps for Chanukah): http://searchingthescriptures.net/main_pages/maps.htm