If you are looking to add technology into your classroom, Will Richardson's book, Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms, is a good place to start. The book takes the reader through a journey of possibilities to using web 2.0 tools in education. Each chapter was dedicated to a web 2.0 tool, from Weblogs to Social Networks (and many in-between)! Each chapter describes the web 2.0 tool and then gives examples of how others have used the tool in their classroom. On top of that Richardson also has examples you can actually go to on the Internet! I found that the real life examples reinforced the idea that teachers all over the world are incorporating technology into their classrooms. And it was nice to see how others were doing that.
I like how Richardson wrote the book for educators and he understands that not everyone is an expert at using technology. He constantly is mentioning that before jumping into using this in the classroom, you must first become involved yourself in the technology. Which is so true; you must first understand how to use technology and what this all means in the education world before expecting your students to. He provides guidelines and steps of how to incorporate web 2.0 tools into your classroom.
From this book I have built upon what I already know about web 2.0 tools and learned some new things. In fact while reading this book, a colleague of mine should be how to use Jing and Screencast to record and share a video from my computer. When I went home to read the next chapter of Will's book I learned even more about Jing and Screencast and how other teachers were using it. There was however one chapter that was completely new to me which was chapter five RSS. Like the other chapters in this book, Will starts off by explaining what RSS is and then gives suggestions of how to get involved with RSS. I have not had a chance to try setting up an RSS feed for myself, however it is something that I will be doing in the near future.
I do not consider myself an expert on technology, however I do feel comfortable using it, and believe one hundred percent that my students need to be taught how to use the technology we have available to their advantage. As Richardson points out in his book, we need to prepare our students for their future, they need to learn to read, write, and collaborate using the web. The web is a place that Richardson defines as a Read/Reflect/Write/Participate Web. Another point Richardson makes is that students are using these tools at home and they may not be using them properly. If taught in the classroom how to read, write, and collaborate with others properly, students are going to be successful in the future. Teachers do not need to become experts but they should have a general idea of the tools out there and how to use them in the classroom to benefit students.
This book is a great resource to build upon what you are already doing in the classroom or for teachers who are just starting to incorporate technology. I hope that you read this book and find at least one web 2.0 tool that you find so incredible that you want to try and then you will bring to your classroom and use with your students.