Thursday, September 2, 2010

Technology: It's Simple

The other day I recommended that a client of mine consider asking participants to develop their own blogs, wikis, podcasts, or videocasts in a professional development workshop that she is developing. I believe that this suggestion made the client think that I was asking workshop participants to do too much.

People who have never set up their own Web 2.0 applications don't know how easy it is to do. (I'd like to tell them that if I can do it anybody can do it but that might weaken my pitch to do work for them. LOL!!)

In reality, however, WYSIWYG has made it very easy to develop personal web tools. It has made it very easy to publish to the web. I suspect many readers of this blog know that WYSIWYG is an acronym for "What you see is what you get." If you haven't thought about WYSIWYG think of a word processing tool, such as Microsoft Word. You don't have to use code to tell the word processor what to do. You just point and click and you can easily see what your text looks like - because it appears the way that it will look after you print it or email it to somebody else to see.

The second great characteristic about many web applications is that they are free. Anybody, for example, can set up their own blog on Google's blogger. Word press also makes a blogging platform available for free.

If I could make just one suggestion to educational publishers in this blog post, I would recommend thinking about ways to challenge students to take advantage of free web resources. The applications are available for free. However, publishers could earn significant revenue by selling educational resources that require students to use these applications. Just think: "100 Blogging Activities to Improve Writing."

Just a thought!!

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