It's great to be able to announce the arrival of this book. Like any birth process, or so I'm given to understand, the moment of conception was ecstatic, the birth itself greeted with tears of joy. It was just the middle bit that was worrying at times!
Anyway, this has been a fantastic project to work on, for the following reasons:
1. The idea was great. OK, I know that may sound egotistical, since it was my idea, but it was great, because it was timely. The idea was, in fact, very simple: to demystify "Web 2" and terms like blogging, wikis, and social bookmarking, which most teachers haven't heard of, whilst of those who have, the majority are too busy worrying about so-called achievement targets to have the time, energy or, dare I say it, bravery to investigate something new and different.
2. So, what the book tries to do is get away from all the theory and hype, and bring it all right down to the classroom level: how have teachers actually used podcasting in their classrooms? How did their pupils respond to the use of blogs? What do you have to be wary of if you're sharing photos on the net?
3. If you have any doubt at all about the value for learning of collaborating with others, I strongly recommend that you embark on a project like this! Each participant not only knows different things, but has different skills and different experiences. The result has been that many of the people involved have said that they learnt a great deal from it.
The learning is, in a sense, exponential. When you read a book, unless you're skilled reader, you just soak up (or, more than likely, fail to soak up) whatever it is the author is telling you. It's difficult to be that passive if you're meant to be collaborating with 13 other people!
4. Finally, what gives me personally the biggest buzz of all: it brought together people who may otherwise not have "met", some of whom have developed working relationships outside of this particular project.
OK, so who are these people? I'll come back to that soon. Now, though, let's focus on the much more important issue of what the book actually contains. Believe it or not, 40 (yes, four-zero) topics are dealt with, covering blogging, podcasting, photo-sharing, wikis and other "cool tools", with a few book reviews thrown in for good measure. Here's the full list of chapters:
1. Preliminary Information
2. The Contributors: Quick Reference Guide
4. Glossary Of Terms Used
5. Book Review: Redefining Literacy For The 21St Century
6. Effective E-Learning Through Collaboration
7. What Are Rss Feeds And Why Haven'T I Heard About It?(Rss Feeds From An Educator'S Perspective)
8. Blogging: Shift Of Control
9. Photo-Sharing And Clip-Art
10. Factoring Web Logs To Their Fundamentals
11. Virtual Support Via The Blogosphere
12. The International Edublog Awards
13. Blogs You Must Read!
14. Elgg And Blogging In Primary Education
15. Using Blogs In School
16. Thinking About Creativity, Thinking About Blogs!
17. Book Review: Classroom Blogging: A Teacher'S Guide To The Blogosphere
18. Book Review: New Tools For Learning
19. Diary Of A Potential Podcasting Junkie
20. Finding Good Podcasts
21. Podcasting Resources
23. Finding And Subscribing To A Podcast Via Itunes
24. Obtaining Information About A Podcast In Itunes
25. Giving Students A Second Listen
26. Podcasting: A Review Of Recording Devices
27. Other Useful Websites
28. Create An Rss Feed For Your Podcast
29. List Your Podcast And Find Others'
30. Podcasting And Wikis
31. Recording A Podcast On A Computer
32. Uses Of Podcasting In Schools
33. Video Blogging: Terry Freedman Interviews Paul Knight
34. Video Blogging In Schools
35. Wikis: An Introduction
36. Wikipedia Vs Britannica
37. Setting Up A Wiki
38. Wikiville: An Interview With John Bidder
39. Social Bookmarking
40. Forums, Instant Messaging And Other Ways To Participate
Brilliant! And not only is it free, we actually want you to give it away to as many people as possible! Email it to colleagues. Print it off for your friends as birthday presents. (OK, perhaps not...). Post it on your website. And, once we've sorted out the technicalities and the logistics, contribute to an online version of it!
"But what about the people involved", I hear you ask. Well, there were 13 besides myself, and you may have heard of one or two, or more. Here's the list:
Miles is a deputy headteacher in an English primary school, a Moodle and Elgg enthusiast and the winner of a best practice award. He also gives keynote presentations to conferences.
John is the Head of Curriculum ICT strategy in Bolton, England, and gives keynote presentations about best practice.
Mechelle De Craene
Mechelle is a special education teacher in Florida and undertakes research in the development of educational technology skills in children, and gives presentations on her findings at international conferences.
John Evans is principal of St. Fran�ois Xavier Community School in St. Fran�ois Xavier, Manitoba, Canada, and gives conference presentations on the subject of teacher wellness.
Peter Ford is a teacher and educational consultant based in Nottingham in the UK, spcialising in the use of internet technologies to enhance teaching and learning.
Terry Freedman (Ed)
Terry is an educationalist who provides practical and strategic consultancy services to educational institutions, and provides a range of subscription-based services.
Based in England, Josie is an educational technologist and works as a freelance consultant and speaker, mainly around emerging technologies and staff development.
Steve Lee is a Senior Software Developer, who is uses various techniques for customising �off-the-shelf' software to meet individual accessibility needs. He is also interested in how Open Collaborative Communities can help and involve disabled people.
Ewan is the Development Officer for the Modern Languages Virtual Environment, a pilot programme for the Scottish Schools Digital Network. He also speaks internationally about using Web 2.0 tools in education and educational management.
Alan November is an international leader in education technology, and runs the annual Building Learning Communities Summer Conference in Boston, USA.
Based in Thailand, Chris runs a consultancy designed to offer support to International Schools across S.E. Asia, especially in the area of "ICT Across the Curriculum, and maintains an internationally-acclaimed website.
Dai is Director of ICT at Warden Park Specialist School in West Sussex and a research Fellow of Mirandanet.
David is an internationally-renowned writer, blogger and Podcaster who provides consulting and public speaking services to education associations and agencies around the world.
Shawn is the Director of IMT -- Services & Training for the Peoria Unified School District in Glendale, Arizona, and the founder of Adventures in Podcasting.
You know, even if all you use in the book is the glossary, it will still be worth downloading! So what are you waiting for?
If you subscribe to Computers in Classrooms, download it directly from this page. Or have it emailed to you whether you're a subscriber or not, by going here.