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MOFET International

​Using Web 2.0 Tools to Transform Teaching and Learning

This is a required course in the program: Studies toward a Specialization Certificate in The Educational Use of Information & Communication Technologies.

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Course Description:

This course is largely “hands-on” with the goal of learning various Web 2.0 technological tools for teaching and learning. The course will focus on free Web 2.0 tools for furthering communication, collaboration, constructivist and project-based learning, and the creation of compelling course content. Some examples of web-based tools that will be utilized include WebQuests, blogs, wikis, Voicethread, Google Apps for Education, and PollEverywhere. The application of advanced presentation tools like Smart Notebook, PowerPoint, and Prezi will also be discussed. The usefulness of cutting-edge technology models and general instruction will be debated. By the end of this course, participants should have created a number of project-based mini-learning assignments as well as one larger project to share with their colleagues and students. The tools and methods studies in this framework, are relevant to all subject matters from Judaic studies to General ones, and participants can apply them to fit their own fields of work. Example and reference will be made to both Judaic and General studies.

Learning Outcomes:

At the conclusion of this course, the learner will be able to:
  1. demonstrate facility in using Web 2.0 communication and collaboration tools for student discussion and knowledge sharing; 
  2. design and facilitate asynchronous discussion forums, audio and video group conversations, and opportunities for real-time student response that promote student interaction, reading comprehension, and critical thinking skills;
  3. create compelling course content using various technological tools;
  4. construct engaging projects utilizing various technologies to help students develop in-depth knowledge and important skills.

Specific Course Requirements:

  1. Ability to create basic word-processing documents and presentations.
  2. You will need to create a Google account and accounts with other free Web 2.0 services for this course.   

Hardware and Software Requirements:

  1. Any computer that can run a minimum of Windows XP, a Mac with an Intel processor, or a comparable Linux-based machine should be adequate.
  2. You should be running Chrome, Chromium, or Firefox web browsers (all free installs) for this course. 

Assessment and Grading

  1. Weekly forum assignments after each lesson (30% of the grade).
  2. Mini project-based learning assignments after many lessons (30% of the grade).
  3. A term project utilizing a number of tools learned over the course of the semester to create a rich instructional unit for students (40% of the grade).

Course Outline:

  1. Introduction – We will try to get to know each other in this online community in order to create a collaborative and mutually supportive learning environment. Our curricular focus will be on the rationale for using educational technology.
  2. Web 2.0 Tools: Twitter – In this lesson, we will learn how to use Twitter for online professional development by creating personal learning networks. Students will learn about some of the most significant educators to follow on Twitter and how to utilize Twitter in creative ways in the classroom as well. The pros and cons of Twitter vs. the Facebook, the most popular social media platform, will be discussed.
  3. Web 2.0 Tools: Blogs – In this lesson, we will learn how to use blogs for student communication and collaboration, and as a platform for asynchronous online discussion forums. Students will create their own blog postings using Blogger and interact with their classmate’s blogs as well.
  4. Web 2.0 Tools: Wikis – In this lesson, we will learn about the Wiki model by analyzing Wikipedia, a free, web-based collaboratively created encyclopedia. Students will then learn how to create their own wikis to design rich online course materials and as a platform for asynchronous online discussion forums using Wikispaces, a free online wiki platform. The pros and cons of blogs vs. wikis will be discussed. Specific examples will be presented.
  5. Web 2.0 Tools: Google Apps for Education for Student Projects – In this lesson, we will learn how to use Google Apps for Education such as Google Docs, Presentation, and Forms in order to collaboratively create meaningful assignments.
  6. Other Web 2.0 Tools – In this lesson, we will learn about educational applications for other Web 2.0 tools for sharing resources, documents, video, pictures, and much more. Specific examples of tools discussed include Diigo, Delicious, Scribd, Flickr, Tumblr, and YouTube.
  7. Asynchronous Online Discussion Forums – In this lesson, we will discuss the advantages of creating an online discussion forum to promote student interaction, debate, reflection, and critical thinking skills, and present best practices for facilitating meaningful discussions.
  8. Voicethread – In this lesson, we will learn about Voicethread, an online tool to promote audio and video conversations and discuss its application for promoting reading skills.
  9. Real-Time Student Response Systems – In this lesson, we will discuss the use of real-time student response systems that teachers can utilize in order to obtain instant student feedback using smartphones as a formative assessment and to facilitate 100% classroom participation.
  10. Creating Compelling Course Content – In this lesson, we will learn how to create compelling course content using presentation tools like Google Docs, PowerPoint, Prezi, and Smart Notebook. Research-based best practices for presentations will be presented.
  11. Engaging Project-Based Learning – In this lesson, we will learn the theory and practice of using project-based learning and think of its application. At this point, we will also begin to create our own term projects using various tools that were learned over the course of the semester. 
  12. The Khan Academy Model: To Flip or Not to Flip – In this lesson, we will present the Khan Academy model of using technology to “flip the classroom”. We will debate the value of this model, discuss whether it promotes project-based learning, and present examples of its use.
  13. WebQuests to support Project-Based Learning – In this lesson, we will learn about the WebQuest, which is one model for Internet-based Project-Based Learning, and we will see examples of WebQuests.
  14. Presentation of Term Projects – In this lesson, as a summation of the course, students will post their completed projects incorporating themes from the course and give constructive feedback to others on the various strategies utilized for Web 2.0 tools throughout the semester. 

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