Saturday, February 28, 2009

Virtual Offices

The world is moving on. There's no reason why virtual offices shouldn't exist (well, there certainly are a few reasons, but consider the potential!)

Google Docs is one cool way to get a Virtual Office going. All you need for it really is a gmail account. Google Docs - in common Microsoft language - is your Word, Excel and Powerpoint all on the internet. It additionally has the convenience of uploading docs from your browser (no need for USB keys) or getting direct URLs from the internet. It allows for sharing with other people or collaborate with others to create a project.

Educational implications are amazing. You can get your students to get together to work on one common task and then actually find out who contributed how much. They would need individual e-mail IDs though, so probably a good fit for intermediate and higher.

A social network for teachers

Classroom 2.0 is a social network blog for teachers interested in keeping up with what's going on in the world of instructional technology. I've been following it for some time now and find it quite effective. Even though it seems like a lot to assimilate, you can just take wat you like and leave the rest for later. You can join their forum and participate in various threaded discussions around the usage of technology in your classrooms. Being a member also gives you an opportunity to attend web seminars and hear what instructional technology leaders around the world are saying. Good!

Wow Web 2.0

Is Web 2.0 only for the smart, tech-savvy teachers who are really comfortable with using the latest softwares and are very sure of themselves? Yeah, right!! If it's for me, it's for anybody.

Web 2.0 - in the context of education - is really the name given to 21st century techonology tools used for instruction. Typically, they refer to methods in which cross-communication is possible. Web content (that was referred to as Web 1.0) is now no longer considered a product designed by a particular agency that sends out the message to consumers and that's the end of it. It has given way to Web 2.0 tools that let the consumers talk back as well. In fact, the upcoming Web 3.0 technologies are the true "web" concept with communication threads going over, under, across and through.

Some Web 2.0 examples are blogs, podcasts, social networks and wikis. The list will continue to grow with each passing day as more innovative software comes to be discovered. More importantly, there would also be additions to this list as we find innovative usages for existing (and even old) softwares and internet tools.