I'm just curious what web 2.0 tools are allowed or prohibited in your district/school. I'm pretty lucky to have a supportive tech director who is willing to let us explore the benefits of any tool with students, but social networking is not allowed (I'm working on that, though). All teachers do have access to YouTube, which has almost diminished the use of Discovery Education Streaming in grades 6-12. What happens in your area?
In our school disrict we have allowed the use of several web 2.0 tools such as most educational wiki sites, some blog sites such as Blogger, and most online collaboration sites such as Zoho and Google. However, we have not ventured into allowing teachers to use social bookmarking sites like Delicious or video sites like YouTube. As some of these tools prove to be valuable in the classroom with minimum distraction and liability issues, our district leaders have been more willing to unblock them and allow access.
I would have to say my district is one of the "stricter" ones. Everytime I find a good site, I try to view it at work only to get the dreaded black screen. But, I am very excited that our technology director is willing to listen to your ideas for the site and considers it. I also know that he sees the importance of these web 2.0 tools and knows this is the way that we will have to go in the future.
My district has quite strict blocking for most Web 2.0 tools. This past year, I was able to "pilot" a project using several sites that are normally blocked. I personally met with our district's technology director to plan and later report on the project's success. I have been able to get a few (emphasis on <few>) Web 2.0 sites unblocked but most remain in the category of "inappropriate." I've volunteered to be on a new district committee to review and discuss our current policies. I'm hopeful, but not expecting, that changes can be made in these policies. In fact, I plan to drop by the district technology office tomorrow and see where the current discussion and plans are headed. (Nothing like enjoying a break from school.)
My district has some problem regarding power cut during school hours that's why It is not possible always to use web 2.0 in each and every class. In-spite of non availability of LCD projectors I am still taking classes on my Lab with the use of web 2.0. Since I have a small group of students near about 15 to 20 I can manage the classes.
But yes use of youTube will definitely distract the attention of the students while teaching in the classroom.
Dyane, unfortunately, many of the districts I work with have a strict blocking policy. I have even talked with the IT department to have a couple of sites unblocked that I needed for a training, but, the reply was "there is a virus attached to it" and they would not open them. In fact, no matter what I tried to get, I got the same answer, even when I needed Photo Story 3 downloaded to a PC. Frustrating.
As I look at the districts that haven't blocked everything on the planet, those are the ones whose kids are starting to achieve great things...not so much for the others.
I can so relate to what everyone is sharing. Some schools will not open any web 2.0 tools at all. Yet, they are still wanting to have ipads. Without the apps piece, those ipads are just glorified pieces of paper. What a shame and feel that that's a very large waste of money. Why get ipads without training? Some of these schools are even doing online education yet when it coming to incorporating some additonal web tools, they are saying no to that.
It's so important for teachers and principals who are taking the Intel courses to share what they have gleaned and to share that with everyone including making presentations to the IT people and also the district's board of education and Supt.
We have had some administration involved with our courses here in Colorado and we have really opened their eyes as to the great resources there are. I know of two personally and they have shared that they will be spearheading some changes to take place in their district.
With the online resources (no virus') that are available and the number of teachers that are now aware of those great resources, they become spokespeople for their schools in leading trainiings themselves or strongly encourage their principals, administration, and IT people to take the Elements Intel courses as well as check those online resources themselves. It's that educational piece that everyone needs to be a part of.
I think our district is pretty liberal when it comes to using web 2.0 tools. The one area that frustrates me is that anything with "game" attached to it is blocked.
And, Dyane, you mention that the use of You Tube has almost diminished the use of Discovery Streaming. For me, it has diminished its use. There are a few Discovery Streaming videos that I use religiously, but I use You Tube the vast majority of the time.
Eric and Smoke,
YouTube continues to be blocked in my district. Discovery Education does not have financial support in the district either. Science teachers must find their own funding source to enjoy these videos. Other web 2.0 tools are on a roller-coaster basis. I can access a tool one week (and plan a lesson for it.) The tool may be blocked when I go to use it one or two weeks later. I can request access and it may or may not be allowed (no reasoning given for blocked sites.) Frustration will continue until conversations begin.
Glen, it's frustrating to never know what might or might not be blocked on any given day. One district I work with simply blocks everything until someone requests access. Sigh.
Have you tried viewing YouTube videos in SafeShare.tv? Depending on how your district has configured proxy filtering, you may (or may not) be able to view YouTube videos by using this tool. I love it simply because you can trim to the specific portion of the YouTube video you want to show. Another benefit is that you don't have all of the related videos and sometimes questionable comments.
In districts where I cannot show YouTube videos even on SafeShare, I download them at home using Zamzar.
I have not tried SafeShare.tv. I will attempt it when I am again behind the district firewall and see what happens. I also must use Zamzar or similar program to access the YouTube content.
It would be easier if things were blocked until a request was made to unblock them. It, however, is frustrating when something is blocked, opened up, blocked again, and no communication on the change is ever given. If I request a site be opened up for student use, it is reviewed (I have no idea how many people check the site) and is either opened or not. No feedback on the process is given; making it frustrating because different plans must be made for a lesson. While I change with the situations more quickly than most, some teachers just "stop" asking or attempting to use sites. I am concerned for their students.
Thank you for your suggestion. I have also used keepvid.com to download the youtube video so that I could use in my teaching. I know that it downloads as a flash. If also then put within vimeo.com. It does require alot of pre-work before even using with students or even teachers if you are training within a district.
We already know that students know how to find proxies for getting into facebook within the district walls, I'm betting they also know of proxies to use youtube as well. Wouldn't it be just easier for teachers to be more diligent and to go over with the students about what is acceptable and what is not. It is just a piece of classroom management in my thinking.
Hi Debbie, Glen and other zamzar users
I just read that zamzar will not allow Youtube downloads Downloading YouTube videos – no longer supported « Zamzar thanks to Google - so other sites like Keepvid will be worth investigating.
Being a true geek, several years ago, I read the YouTube terms of service. I have enjoyed how Zamzar allowed teachers to convert and use YouTube videos in their classrooms. This has been a great benefit for many who are unable to access YouTube because of district policies. It is unfortunate that this ability to use Zamzar is no longer available. I will find many other uses for Zamzar in the future. (My favorite use is to convert documents such as WordPerfect or Microsoft Works. Some teachers in my district refuse to update their software.)
Besides converting YouTube videos, how do you use Zamzar in education?
Zamzar is great any time I need to convert a file to a different format. One way is when I want to actually embed a video in a SMART Notebook file rather than just inserting a link, so I convert the video to an flv format, add it as an attachment and then embed.
For students' electronic portfolios, it helps to save files in a format parents can view at home. Normally, students just save as pdfs, but if they want to have the ability to edit files, they might convert a Publisher file to a doc file in Zamzar. It will be interesting to hear how others use Zamzar.
Wow. Thanks for the update, Susan. I had not heard this about Zamar. Sometimes tools change quickly in all things tech. You're right; KeepVid is a great alternative! You can also just type "kick" in front of the YouTube URL of the video you want to download. Here are some directions from Tammy Worcester.
Since moving to the district I'm in now, we've been beyond blessed to have a forward thinker in the tech department. He really tries to provide for us any tool/resource we feel helps students become great online communicators, collaborators, and thinkers.
That being said, students do not have access to YouTube within the district, but teachers do. What I've found is the best option is the KeepVid if I need to save a video or place it inside of Edmodo for class discussions. Often, students do these discussions away from school, so I can put in YouTube links, but there is an occasion that doesn't always work.
I actually teach a Web 2.0 Computer Ap Class. The students love it and so do the teachers in our school. The students are always teaching their teachers what they learn in my room. We teach tons of Google Aps (Calendar, sites, searches, docs, sketch, etc), Wikis, conversions of videos, Cloud storage, facebook security and many HTML creating tools for their websites.
The students in college come back and say they use this class all the time--it is all free software so in college that is handy!
Your Web 2.0 class sounds very interesting. Can you tell us more about the process you use of helping students use these tools? Is this class assignment or project driven? Are tools assigned to projects or is it more open-ended?
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