from a society of farmers to a society of factory workers to a society
of knowledge workers. And now we're progressing yet again to a society
of creators and empathizers, of pattern recognizers, and meaning makers.
Daniel Pink, 2006
A Whole New Mind
What is Web 2.0?
Web 2.0, also known as the interactive web, is a newer generation of web
technologies that allow for the all web users to also be content providers. It
provides for online productivity tools, forums and social networking among
communities of interested people. Blogs, Twitter, wikis, You Tube, Facebook are
some examples of Web 2.0 technologies. Web
3.0, dubbed the semantic web, is on the horizon and promises to feature more
intelligent searching, personalized content based on the technology’s ability
to learn about each user’s online behavior and much more.
What is Internet 2?
Internet2 is a high-speed computer network that uses a different
infrastructure and set of network connections than the public Internet used for
web browsing and email. It was constructed and is maintained by major research
institutions and is now available to the K-16 community through Internet2
regional member partners. The network is designed to transport high quality
images, sound and other media considered to bandwidth intensive to run reliably
over the public Internet. Pottsgrove is fortunate to be part of a consortium
with the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit, other Montgomery County school
districts and Montgomery County Community College to provide students and
faculty video conferencing and virtual field trips using video conferencing
hardware and Internet 2 connectivity.
What is a Ning?
A ning is an
online social network anybody can create that brings together people
with a common interest. A ning supports member only access, participant
profiles, online discussions, posting of resources, and more.
What is a Wiki?
Wiki is actually a Hawaiian word meaning quick. A wiki is a website
created using wiki software. The web software allows somebody without any
programming or web site design experience to create an interactive website
where content can be easily posted by anyone permitted by the wiki creator to
do so. The most popular example of a wiki is Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia where anyone with knowledge of a topic
can contribute to or edit a topic entry. Pottsgrove has its own private label wikispace at http://www.pottsgrove.wikispaces.net/. Membership to this wiki is limited to
Pottsgrove School District administrators, staff and students. Students
are provided usernames and passwords created by the school district. Please understand
that membership is closed to provide a safe, secure, moderated
environment in which our students and teachers can collaborate on
educational assignments and projects. Membership permits users to edit
content. You are able to view content
posted on most wikis without being a member.
What is RSS?
RSS is short for Really Simple Syndication and is a technology that
allows you to have information on a topic of interest collected from various
sources through a process of subscribing to a source such as a website or blog
and when content is published to that source it is automatically pushed (fed)
to you and read through software called an RSS reader or aggregator. There are
many aggregator programs available including those built into popular web
browsers. There are even online services available to forward subscription feeds directly to your email.
....And what about Voice Threads, Glogster, Wordle, Animoto and all these other
sites with funny names?
Resources to tell stories, combine graphics, text and sound
to create engaging presentations are created all of the time. We have dedicated
technology-using educators and students who find creative ways to use these web or cloud tools for self-expression and to demonstrate new learning. There are vast
networks of people who share ideas about how some of these tools can support
curriculum and enhance student engagement. Some members of the Pottsgrove staff
participate actively in these networks, bringing many new tools into the
classroom all of the time. In short, these tools share the qualities of anytime
access and ease of use, so the instruction is not about the tool but student
expression and curricular content.
With all these tools and social networking sites, does the School
District teach web safety?
Yes. Our K-7 technology curriculum is aligning with National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS)
and stresses web safety and the
importance of making intelligent and ethical choices while working and
communicating online. Good cyber-citizenship is addressed in the upper
grades in age appropriate ways through special programs and in the
context of class discussion. Teachers who facilitate parts of their
class online using Wikis, for example, focus on
the importance of appropriate etiquette and hold students accountable
way they communicate through this tool. Cyber-bullying, which can take
forms, is addressed in a variety of ways throughout the district.
we stress critical thinking across the curriculum and focus on the
of being critical consumers of information retrieved from the Internet.