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Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms

4.4 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1412927673
ISBN-10: 1412927676
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Editorial Reviews


"This book deals with such a hot topic in a wonderfully practical way. We need a solid book explaining and illustrating and letting teachers know about these powerful tools. This book meets the need in an awesome way!" (Mike Muir, Director, Maine Center for Meaningful Engaged Learning 2005-11-21)

"This author is a gem! It startles me to be 'pulled' so happily through a text about these new Web tools in the context of good literacy instruction." (Gary Graves, Senior Research and Evaluation Advisor, Technology in Education 2005-11-21)

"Richardson shares first hand classroom experience of how the read / write web opens up new possibilities for students to learn from each other and from authors, scientists, and other professionals."

(EducationPR, wordpress.com 2006-03-22)

"Whether it’s blogs, or wikis, or RSS, all roads now point to a Web where little is done in isolation . . . That’s not to say that in this new world students don’t do their own work. But it does mean that responsibility for that work is in some way shared. Learning is a continuous conversation among many participants."

(techLearning 2006-03-15)

"Shows teachers how to integrate new Web tools into their instruction to both enhance their practice and foster student learning. Gives guidance on teaching students how to use the Internet responsibly."

(Education Week, April 26, 2006 2006-04-26)

"This comprehensive guide on how to incorporate podcasts, screen-casting, blogs and other multimedia features into today's journalism brings convergence to the classroom." (Melanie Lo Communicator 2006-07-05)

"Richardson understands digital tools and is able to translate that understanding to his readers. He writes about teens using the software in appropriate and innovative ways to illustrate what can and should be occurring in classrooms." (Teachers College Record, June 2006 2006-06-01)

"Very user-friendly. Gives a step-by-step method through which students can maximize their learning strengths and transform into engaging, successful learners." (Magdalena M. C. Mok 2006-07-26)

"An absolute must for anyone attempting to keep up-to-date with Web tools for the classroom. Preservice or practicing educators, teachers, administrators, parents, or interested parties can find all they want to know about the new tools of the Read/Write Web, including what they are, what they do, how teachers use them, and the first steps to take toward using them." (CHOICE, September 2006 2007-04-01)

"Clearly and persuasively written, the book is loaded with information about the cutting-edge Internet features that make up so-called Web 2.0. Richardson meticulously makes connections between these tools and the classroom. He is comfortable writing about both the pedagogical implications of the technologies and also the directions for using them." (Los Angeles Times, 6 March 2007 2007-09-11)

"This is the book to read if you are keen to use Web tools in your classroom but aren't quite sure where to start. Richardson's book makes clear not just how to integrate such tools in your classroom, but why you should and what difference it can make in your teaching." (New Zealand Studies of Applied Linguistics, July 2007 2007-10-12)

About the Author

A parent of two middle-school-aged children, Will Richardson has been writing about the intersection of social online learning networks and education for the past 10 years at Weblogg-ed.com and in numerous journals and magazines such as Ed Leadership, Education Week, and English Journal. Recently, he shifted his blogging emphasis to willrichardson.com. Formerly a public school educator for 22 years, he is a co-founder of Powerful Learning Practice (plpnetwork.com), a unique professional development program that has mentored over 3,000 teachers worldwide in the last three years. His first book, Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms (Corwin, 3rd Edition 2010) has sold over 80,000 copies and has impacted classroom practice around the world. His second book, Personal Learning Networks: Using the Power of Connections to Transform Education, was released in May, 2011. His articles have appeared in Educational Leadership, EdWeek, English Journal, Edutopia, and Principal Leadership, among others, and over the past six years, he has spoken to tens of thousands of educators in more than a dozen countries about the merits of learning networks for personal and professional growth. He is a national advisory board member of the George Lucas Education Foundation and a regular columnist for District Administration Magazine. Will lives in rural New Jersey with his wife, Wendy, and his children Tess and Tucker.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Corwin (March 6, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1412927676
  • ISBN-13: 978-1412927673
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 7.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,758,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Note: while there are some spoilers here, I will deliberately LEAVE THINGS OUT so you will have no choice to read his great book. I could not put it down and I learned so much, even though I've been Podcasting since September and Blogging (sort of) for two years.

Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms by Will Richardson is a great resource for any teacher or instructional technologist who wants to integrate technology into the classroom. Will begins by quoting Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web - the vision was that it was a "read-write web" - with web users not only collecting information but creating it as well. In his book, Will gives many examples of how to do this:

Blogs: great for class portals, an online filing cabinet, e-portfolios... but better: a collaborative space for students and teachers to react to questions and scenarios - all online where Will has arranged for his students to meet authors or students from other schools to discuss a topic. Student writing becomes authentic, relevant. Will recommends that teachers blog themselves before introducing blogs to their students (just like a teacher of writing should be a writer himself, or a reading teacher should read on her own). Will dedicates an entire chapter to "getting started" with blogs - with juicy tips and tricks, as well as resources for new bloggers.

Wikis: after a discussion of the origin of the wiki (wiki-wiki - Hawaiian for "quick") and a discussion of the most well-known wiki, Wikipedia, Will discusses the uses for wikis in school: you can create an online text for your classroom, a lesson plan exchange for teachers, and he gives a good introduction to creating your own wiki using PBWiki.
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Format: Paperback
I'm not someone who necessarily "loves" technology, but with so many of my high school students using blogs and just spending so much of their time on the Internet, I decided to get up to speed. This book was recommended to me by friends who had seen the author speak, and I have to say that I'm simply amazed by how well this book lays the groundwork for these technologies and how clearly it points the way to get started. I've decided to start a blog to use as a place to reflect about my teaching, and I'm already looking forward to this fall to try some of the other great ideas in the book. Whatever you do, don't believe the one negative review in this list. This book is aimed at classroom educators who need to start understanding how important the Web is becoming to all of us. It's a great book, one that every single teacher should read.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a mixed bag. The entry blurb says it was published in 2006 but page 112 of this very very short book has the author telling us he expects podcasting to be big in 2005. just as blogs were big in 2004, the year he probably wrote this very very small book.

The book is sometimes useful in giving out some urls so we can look at what others are doing or what is available out there. However, a common problem with all these entry level books is they lack focus and a targeted audience. Is the book for teachers from grade school up to university level? This is an important question as it would dictate what approach to take.

For the hefty price of this book, I got to look at a few new sites. But that happens most days when someone puts me on to a new thread for free. Other than that, I got very little out of it beyond a broad brush approach of what the author is doing, which is relevant to him but not to me or you.

I use Wordpress which gets only passing mention in this shallow book. I was considering buying the Wordpress Quickstart book which comes out at the end of June. But that version is already out of date and the Wordpress site has enough supporting documents to fill a small library. So why either the book when Google is better?

And why buy another geewhizz book, which has one shallow chapter on Flickr ( google it if you don't know what it is, visit the site, save a few photos and you have what is in the Flickr chapter).

Most books like this agree books are going out of fashion. But they keep spewing out over priced books like this. Still the big font was easy on the eyes.

Also, teachers have to generally work to a platform, a curriculum that has been externally set.
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Format: Paperback
I've dabbled with blogs and wikis for about a year now, but can honestly say I didn't see why everyone in Educational Technology was getting so excited. Now I understand! Will Richardson quickly turned me into a Read/Write web evangelist! He gives wonderful recommendations for good tools, excellent examples of use and a steady stream of ideas for how to best utilize these POWERFUL tools in classrooms.

The book is a quick read, written by someone with a blog mentality. A chapter might take 20 minutes to read, but the additional, fabulous collection of well-research links takes another two hours to explore!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am an elementary school teacher who values technology integration in classrooms. Initially, the book begins slow with an overabundant amount of details about the simplicity of blogging. Some advice is given to lead novices in the right direction tailored to their blogging interests.

An aside: As I was searching on the Internet for safe and secure blog sites for young students, I found this website: [...] which was created by a middle school teacher with similar interests in student technology involvement. It details steps that can lead any teacher into a free (yet time consuming) setup for students to use. (I used this website to create my own blog site for my 32 fourth grade students and it worked marvelously!)

The author then introduced the power of wikis. I really appreciated the real-life accounts from actual educators who use wikis for group projects with students. I did feel a like the examples came mostly from secondary education and did not focus heavily on primary student possibilities with wikis. PB wiki (peanut butter wiki) for educators was explained and the book offered some great resources for teachers on a low budget with wiki interests.

Next, RSS feeds were explained. Although much of the explanations of RSS feeds were still above my head in understanding, I learned a number of values in using RSS feeds with the Web. One of the examples used in the book was that one could subscribe to all RSS feeds in Cyberspace about a topic of interest. If a person is interested in "Global Warming in California," they can subscribe to any place on the Internet that may use those words as an update when stories or writing is produced and submitted on websites you may not know existed.
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