OETC professional development cadre

Today I participated in the OETC professional development cadre. We spent the afternoon discovering some Web 2.0 technologies. Yes, most of these tools are online, free and can be embedded in websites – but only a handful would actually be useful in the classroom. The others are just for fun – or another scheme to get you to register and capture your email address. Here is a list of some of them that were shared:

Voki – create your own talking avatar. I’m not quite sure how to use this in education or how it qualifies as a Web 2.0 tool – but it’s fun thing to have on your blog or website.

PhotoShowonline free version of Photoshow5 software. Upload photos from your computer, any MySpace account, or photo URL. After uploading photos, you can customize your music, captions and transition styles.

VoicethreadUpload photos and record narration for a photo story. Allows viewers to record their comment to show. Very easy to use and allows multiple user to comment on each account. Of the list here, probably the most useful in the classroom. Updated version coming October 10th.

PollDaddyCreate free polls for your website. Easy to make and easy to embed.

Toondoo – Cartoon strip creator. Fun and easy to make. Better for younger kids.

Slide.com – Slide widgets — including Slideshows, Guestbooks, SkinFlix and FunPix — are popular on top social networking and blog platforms.

Sitekreator You can build your own professional site with page and navigation management, add an unlimited number of pages, and maintain a unified appearance and consistent navigation structure. The folks that evaluated it were not that impressed.

OurStory Save stories, photos, and videos on a collaborative timeline. Has potential – need to check it out more.

Bubbl.usBubbl.us is a simple and free web application that lets you brainstorm online. you can create mind maps online, share and work with friends, and embed your mind map in your blog or website.

kSolo – Online karaoke!

I loved the networking and sharing of the professional development cadre and they modeled some great techniques for presenting professional devleopment with technology, but I was concerned about their choice of Web 2.0 tools. Since over 1/2 of the members of the cadre were new – why weren’t tools like del.icio.us, blogs, wikis, podcasting, Google docs, Moodle, flickr, etc reviewed (or at least introduced to the newbies!). I’m concerned about the explosion of “free” online tools that can be embedded on websites tooted as the latest Web 2.0 tools. Most of them are geared towards the Myspace crowd and don’t have a place in the classroom.

I am glad we watched the new Did you know? video and visited the ShiftHappens wiki at: http://shifthappens.wikispaces.com/Suggestions+for+Using+the+Presentation

Other tools that were shared that I didn’t get a chance to check out yet:

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