Social Technologies for the Classroom?

Presenter: Charlene Chausis, Technology Trainer
Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, IL
Apple Distinguished Educator 2003


School Website:


Presented at the IL-TCE Conference, March 2, 2006, and NICE Meeting 11/6/2006

Explore some of the popular Web 2.0 'social technologies' such as Furl,, Flickr, Wikipedia, and Writley.
Discover how these might be used in your classroom.

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Social Technologies

Web 2.0 --

From Wikepedia:

To some extent Web 2.0 has become a buzzword, incorporating whatever is newly popular on the Web (such as tags and podcasts). A consensus on its exact meaning has not yet been reached.

Social technologies --

From Wikepedia:

Social software enables people to rendezvous, connect or collaborate through computer-mediated communication and to form online communities. Broadly conceived, this term could encompass older media such as mailing lists and Usenet, but some would restrict its meaning to more recent software genres such as blogs and wikis. Others suggest that the term social software is best used not to refer to a single type of software, but rather to the use of two or more modes of computer-mediated communication to engage in community formation.[1] In this view, people form online communities by combining one-to-one (e.g., email and instant messaging), one-to-many (Web pages and blogs), and many-to-many (wikis) communication modes.[2] In many online communities, real life meetings become part of the communication repertoire. The more specific term collaborative software applies to cooperative work systems.

Social  Bookmarking

Furl --  (A social bookmarking site)

From Wikipedia:

Social bookmarking is an increasingly popular way to locate, classify, rank, and share Internet resources through the use of shared lists of user-created Internet bookmark, the practice of tagging, and inferences drawn from grouping and use of such tags.

Benefits of Furl: Webpages are cached for later retrieval. --

More social bookmarking. Does not archive like Furl. "Tag" your links and the URL becomes unique. A great way to share pre-selected resources (Example: for whatever topic your students are working on.
Ideas for educators: Create a account for your school. Organize bookmarks by grade level, and install the school account on all machines so that users can add to the list. network also allows users to tag websites for ot

Fun with  images

Flickr --

Photo-sharing. A tremendous resource for images. Many Flickr users have chosen to "protect" their work with a Creative Commons license, and you can browse or search through photos under each type of license Link to the Creative commons search.

Mac users: FlickrExport allows you to upload image files to Flickr from within iPhoto! Free!


Another Flash-based interface to Flickr -- use for quick searches.

BubbleShare  --

Share your photos and the stories that go with them. Create a new Album and receive a link in your email, no account required. Just free and private sharing, now with blog integration, audio captions, photocasts and more.

Woophy  --

Woophy stands for WOrld Of PHotographY, a website founded by a Dutch collective of photo aficionados and internet designers who believe navigation on internet can be more visual, logical and associative. The goal of Woophy's founders is to create an accessible, visual, current, democratic and collective work of art comprised of a database picturing our remarkable world.

Collaborating: Wikis and More (Google-mania)

PBWiki --

Advertised as: "Make a free, password-protected wiki as easily as a peanut butter sandwich."  -- Extend our conversation at -- and you will be a superstar (that's the pwd).

WikiSpaces --

Wikispaces lets you create simple web pages that groups, friends, and families can edit together. They're giving awasy 1000 ad-free wikis for educators!  Visit:

JotSpot --

FREE Personal plan allows you to invite up to 5 users and create up to 20 pages. Has tools for teamwork: Calendars, Polls, Blogging and more. Your JotSpot will remain free as long as you stay within these limits.  -- use Firefox. Try it:  -- login as "admin" pwd = jotspot   (Recently acquired by Google.)

Google Docs --

Collaborate on spreadsheets and documents -- use Firefox. You'll need to join Google.

Wikipedia --

From the website: Wikipedia (pronounced /ˌwɪkiˈpiːdi.ə/ or /ˌwiki-/) is a multilingual Web-based free-content encyclopedia wiki service. Wikipedia is written collaboratively by volunteers, allowing most articles to be changed by anyone with access to a web browser. The project began on January 15, 2001, as a complement to the expert-written Nupedia and is now operated by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Wikipedia has more than 3,380,000 articles, including more than 993,000 in the English-language version.

Blogs and RSS

Continue the converstation, or start your own! Be sure to check out the IL-TCE blog!

Subscribe to your favorite news sites, or blogs. Share your feeds with others.

From David Warlick: There are many freely available tools that facilitate blogging, but none seem especially suited for the classroom. That is the reason for BlogMeister. This online blogging tool is explicitly designed with teachers and students in mind, where the teacher can evaluate, comment on, and finally publish students' blog articles in a controlled environment.



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Last Updated: December 27, 2007