Thursday, December 11, 2008

Web 2.0 for Grade 7-12 Mathematics Leaders and Teachers

Jeff, Greg, Frank and I are presenting Web 2.0 to a group of Mathematics Leaders for a full day in February. We have been thinking about how to introduce them to the Web 2.0 world and make connections to their personal learning (easy) and their classroom practice (harder).

Here is a test of the strength of my professional network:

What topics, concepts, exercises, or messages would you see as vital for such a day? What pitfalls should be avoided? What is the elevator pitch for Web 2.0 to Math teachers?


Maria H. Andersen said...

I've done a LOT of presentations on this topic for the community college level (which is at least 50% of what you would teach in 7-12 since we do a lot of developmental work).

The most effective presentation I give on adopting the Internet for classroom use is by doing an interactive mindmap presentation.

Here's a link to one from a past presentation. It needs to be updated to include some more recent discoveries, and you'd need to modify to make sure all the content could get through the Internet filters in public schools.

Room full of computers + instructors + play time with a mind map of resources = a lot of excited teachers!

Anonymous said...

A couple of pointers to materials you may wish to leverage.
See the attachment at the bottom of the home page

Here is another great site

And a link to an interesting web2.0 presentation

Ross Isenegger said...

@Maria I love both the content and the format of the presentation. A gem! Thanks for sharing.

@Vic Tons of Depth here! The categorized list of tools at is a treasure trove.

Sort of begs the question about where to start. The presentation tools might be one place since both teachers and students do so much of this...

Anonymous said...

Ross, I tend to agree with your 'where to start' comment. When we started on the Charlotte Area wiki the intent was to catalog some tools and then try to integrate a few. Then select a few sets and say 'try these'. What has happened thus far is - I keep adding new goodies as I find them. I use a few together. But the rate at which new stuff comes out and the different ways folks figure out how to use them sort of makes a 'recommended set' something that limits eventual usage. Couple that with the fact thayt I am not a teacher, and you have a recipe for stagnation :(

It would be nice to 'rate' the various tools. But that presupposes we have a large enough user base to provide good input. And THAT is where the Charlotte area wiki is still falling short. Frankly, I think that is where most of the math/teaching technology wikis are falling short. We have far more info that we know how to effectively use. Worse, we have far too few folks trying to use them.

Not sure how to make those two problems go away. I recently gave a presentation at North Carolina Math Teacher Conference. The folks attending my session were happy with the info. I was surprised that so many teachers do not know what RSS is or how to use it. I think we are trying to provide insight into tooling that is years ahead of where most teachers are. The sad part is, their students are already there.

How do we fix that?

Terry said...

Web2.0 is a very broad topic and I might be further handicapped by not being a teacher.

One angle you might wish to explore is how the cadre of web2.0 technologies affect the way the current generation learns and views the world.

I recently heard about a round-table session that was held for an IT conference where the panel were 'digital natives' ( ).

An example was highlighted to me was how one young man who had felt a sharp a disconnect upon entering the workforce since all of the web20 support he was used to in his educational and personal life were gone. He felt very alone and isolated.

Another angle one might look at is the wikipedia concept. Maybe a worn out topic in the educational field. Not a reliable source, etc. However, the IT world views it quite differently. Efficient and effective sharing of information is of high importance and the wikipedia model is something we struggle to recreate internally. Those efforts are challenged because of the relatively small population - even in my company of 70,000 people. An excellent case study of the effectiveness of wikipedia is the Sarah Palin article which grew very rapidly once she was announced as the VP candidate. It reportedly converge on a very detailed but accurate story quite quickly.

What role should web20 play for teachers? In my limited observations many teachers are very possessive of the materials - yes their are exceptions, but generally not a highly sharing environment. Completely the opposite behaviour from what I expect in my profession where information hoarding would be strongly degrade our performance appraisals and creating reusable materials directly impacts the size of bonuses. Is there a cultural change required in the teaching profession? How will things change when digital natives begin to populate the teaching ranks?

Anonymous said...

Great concept, Ross. Given the audience, you may wish to take a tack that gives immediate results. That was the strategy that I took in my "8 Weeks to Web 2.0" at

How's that for a self-serving plug, but it's already done and you might find parts of it helpful.

If you get a chance to go hands-on, I'd have them each create a delicious account and add each other to their network. Then, do a "search and find" session and have them bookmark and tag things in a consistent manner. i.e. DM, NSN, etc. Add yourself to the network and after a half an hour of them bookmarking and tagging, stop to show how to put the power of this new network to good use by showing the aggregation of their results by their tags.

Once you can demonstrate immediate results, some of the more abstract concepts will be easier to sell.

Where will you be doing this?

Anonymous said...

Doug, thanks for the pointer. Great stuff. Your suggestion of an tagging workshop is super.