I love textbooks. I say this so you understand that I’m not some crazy teacher’s pet type when you read the rest of this post. In fact I’m a self-professed keener, for MY benefit though, not for the sake of praise from others. So when I found out what the text books were going to be for this course (EDES 501 Exploration of Web 2.0 for Teaching and Learning at the University of Alberta for those not in the class) I immediately went online to search them out, buy them and greedily examine them trying to glean every ounce of information I could (without actually reading them) before the class started. That would be why I’m a keener J.
Of course when Amazon.ca kindly showed me that I could get Richardson’s book (http://www.amazon.ca/gp/reader/1412927676/ref=sib_dp_pt#reader-link) as well as Brain Friendly Libraries by Judith Anne Sykes for the low low price of a gazillion dollars I leaped at the chance to have alternate sources of information. And then I also bought Web 2.0: New Tools New Schools by Gwen Solomon and Lynne Schrum and Classroom Blogging: 2nd Edition by David Warlick. Yes I am a sucker!
I have found Web 2.0 New Tools New Schools quite helpful and I recommend it to those of you in my class. It has a list of Web 2.0 tools in the Appendix (pgs 219-229) and lists where each tool can be found online. It also has a whole chapter of tutorials on some of these tools (Chapter 10, pgs 191-212) including Zoho Writer, Num Sum, Tux Paint, Audacity, del.icio.us bookmarks and others.
Logically then, I turned to the Appendix of Web 2.0 by Solomon and Schrum when I was told I had to set up a blog for this course (something I knew nothing about). There I found Blogger (also recommended by Richardson), Class Blogmeister, and Edublogs, among others. I then proceeded to find the sites, bookmark them and begin to investigate which of them was for me. Of course it was at exactly this point that both my girls awoke and my investigation had to wait. As this blog entry does right now . . . for the very same reasons!