Activity 12.3a Evaluating Web 2.0 Tools
When considering the selection of a Web 2.0 tool for use in the classroom in is important to consider the appropriateness of the tool within the classroom context. In service of this goal I have created a 5-part evaluation checklist:
1) What is the task that you’re interested in your students doing?
I chose this criterion, as the WEB 2.0 tool I pick must match the task that I want to students to emphasize. For example, if I want my students to form a social network than tools such as twitter, facebook, and blogs would be a useful. If I wanted my students to make a presentation, then I would want them to use a tool such as Prezi. Whatever the task, the Web 2.0 tool must be the best fit for that task.
2) Is the tool widely accessible?
I chose this criterion because a selected tool is useless if your students can’t access it. Tools that are specific to operating systems or that are specific to web browsers are an immediate problem. A Web 2.0 resource should be free of any impediments to its access. Ideally, students should be able to access the resource both at school and from home. A student’s computer access should also be assessed; if the students’ machines are too old, or they don’t have Internet access, then use of a web 2.0 selection may need reconsideration.
3) How easy is it to use?
I chose this criterion because the tool shouldn’t get in the way of the students learning. Unless you are teaching a class on how to use that particular Web 2.0 tool, then the tool should remain a background feature of the lesson rather than dominating it. While some tools may be worth investing the time to teach the students how to use it, such as Kodu, others may not be worth the time investment.
4) What happens to the product and student information?
I chose this criterion as some Web 2.0 tools use database information for marketing and sharing purposes. This kind of information may violate the students right to privacy. For example, facebook shares demographic information so that students can be targeted for marketing purposes.
5) Is there an assessable product at the end?
I chose this criterion because, if the Web 2.0 tool is being used for a summative assignment, the creation of a product that can be assessed is essential. This may not always be the case but, if the intent is to mark a students work, it becomes important that the students to have a piece of work to hand-in. The work may not be a physical object but it must be something that can assessed by the teacher.