Computing Technology for Math Excellence Logo









Black line

Technology Integration:
Essential Questions (Page 3 of 3)

Animated boy working at a computer

Technology Integration is a four part series on essential questions, technology integration resources, web page design, and multimedia in projects.  Sections contain relevant opening essays and resources.

  • Part 2: Technology Integration Resources

    • Page 1: Best Practices for Teaching and Learning with Technology
    • Page 2: Building Internet, Search and Citation Skills, including some Web 2.0 resources that make conducting research easier.
    • Page 3: Online Student and Computer Safety
    • Page 4: Grants, Other Funding, Grant Writing, and Free Resources

  • Part 3: Web Page Design

  • Part 4: Multimedia in Projects

    • Page 1: About Multimedia and Project Development
    • Page 2: Tools for Viewing and Creating Media
    • Page 3: Copyright, Fair Use, Plagiarism

Black line


Small question mark How does technology change thinking?

Technology use changes thinkingThe dynamics of the learning process are influenced in turn by the ways people think: rational versus creative; deductive versus inductive; logic versus perception; analysis versus synthesis.  Our thinking is both individual and social.  It is also affected by our emotional state, attitudes, and experiences.  With the rise of artificial intelligence, some of that thinking is offloaded to machines.

According to Rupert Wegerif (2002),  "[T]he kinds of thinking that people value most depend on the cultural and historical context and particularly upon the kind of technology that people have at their disposal to help them think” (p. 11).  “Technology, in various forms from language to the internet, carries the external form of thinking. Technology therefore has a role to play through supporting improved social thinking (e.g. providing systems to mediate decision making and collective reasoning) and also through providing tools to help individuals externalize their thinking and so to shape their own social worlds” (p. 15).

Robert Kuhn (2000), an expert in brain research, indicated that few people really understand the complex nature of how technology is transforming thinking.  “The change in mental process is nothing less than a shift in worldview. Technology is radically transforming our thinking in at least three new ways:

(1) information is freely available, and therefore interdisciplinary ideas and cross-cultural communication are widely accessible;

(2) time is compressed, and therefore reflection is condensed and decision-making is compacted;

(3) individuals are empowered, and therefore private choice and reach are strengthened and one person can have the presence of an institution.

So what kind of new thinking is technology engendering? Notice what happens. With an increasing number of diverse ideas circulating freely and widely, and with people more empowered but with less time to assess value, and with vast communications amplifying opinions, this new thinking is at once creative and innovative, volatile and turbulent.” (Kuhn, 2000, Concluding Remarks section).


What should students know about artificial intelligence?

Artificial intelligence incorporates things, people, data, and processes.

Question markIn Envisioning AI for K-12: What should every child know about AI? authors David Touretsky, Christina Gardner-McCune, Fred Martin, and Deborah Seehorn (2019) identified and elaborated on five big ideas in AI for K-12 learners:

  1. Computers perceive the world using sensors.
  2. Agents maintain models/representations of the world and use them for reasoning.
  3. Computers can learn from data.
  4. Making agents interact comfortably with humans is a substantial challenge for AI developers.
  5. AI applications can impact society in both positive and negative ways.

They also noted key concepts to address with students in K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12 within each idea above.  Some tools and resources for AI in K-12, and efforts to develop curriculum resources are presented.

Teaching AI: Exploring New Frontiers for Learning

Teaching AI: Exploring New Frontiers for Learning by Michelle Zimmerman (2018) is a publication of the International Society for Technology in Education.  Per its description, the book includes "perspectives from educators and industry experts on how they are using AI; approaches to teaching about AI, including design thinking, project-based learning and STEM connections; tools for exploring AI and sharing it with your students; and activities to introduce AI concepts, reflection questions and lesson ideas."

Also see Google's Collection: AI Experiments, "a showcase for simple experiments that make it easier for anyone to start exploring machine learning, through pictures, drawings, language, music, and more."


The new tools for communication that have become part of the 21st century no doubt contribute to thinking and that creativity, innovation, volatility, and turbulence that Kuhn indicates.  Hence, the glossary that follows takes a further look at some of those.


Back to top


Glossary of Web 2.0 and Beyond
Terms, Tools and Concerns: What are all these?


Question markInitially the Internet was characterized as a place to go to find information, associated with acquiring knowledge.  It was linked with the term "Web 1.0," a read-only one-way medium.  However,  Web 2.0 is an evolution to a read/write medium and is the new expectation enabling anyone to participate, collaborate, and share information online using many of the tools listed in the glossary below.  As Todd Lucier (2009) noted, "Web 1.0 was the content Web; Web 2.0 has generally been regarded as the social Web" (Let's Look Back section).

Yet, some educators have concerns about the affect on learning when using Web 2.0 tools and other digital tools.  Where do they fit in the hierarchy of Bloom's Taxonomy?  Recall that Benjamin Bloom first developed his Taxonomy of the Cognitive Domain in 1956 to include six levels, which from low to high are knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.  These were later revised in 2001 to be in verb, rather than noun form: remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating (Churches, 2008).  Andrew Churches (2008) added new digital verbs to each of the levels in the taxonomy, reflecting where the use of Web 2.0 and other digital tools fit into the learning process. He calls it "Bloom's Digital Taxonomy Map."  Drawing from that, consider the following additional verbs associated with digital content:

View Jeff Utecht's Web 2.0 video on YouTube to learn more about Web 2.0 and how it differs from Web 1.0. If you need some “Explanations in Plain English“ on several on the new Web 2.0 tools (e.g., blogs--and microblogs like Twitter, wikis, webcasts, podcasts, social networks, and social bookmarks), view Lee LeFever’s short video clips on those topics at YouTube.  Then to get started with Web 2.0, visit Classroom 2.0, the social network for educators using collaborative technologies.


A Taste of Web 2.0--and mostly free, too!

Here's a primer for the unknowing and those who want to take their technology use to the next level.  Read Dr. Patricia Deubel's A Taste of Web 2.0 in T.H.E. Journal Collaboration 2.0 (2008, Mar 19).

Issues for Web 2.0, Social Software, and Digital Tools

Advancements in technology, principally Web 2.0, social software, and digital tools, have challenged what it means to be educated and how we proceed to educate our youth in a culture where innovation and creativity, lifelong learning, personalization (my own learning space), and knowledge from and with the collective vie for a rightful place. Read Dr. Patricia Deubel's  Crossroads in Education: Issues for Web 2.0, Social Software, and Digital Tools in T.H.E. Journal Collaboration 2.0 (2008, April 16).


World Wide Web 1.0 to 4.0 EvolutionAs technology is continually evolving with new tools and their applications, new terms like "Web 3.0" and "Web 4.0" have emerged with various definitions of them.

Lucier (2009) discussed the rise of Web 3.0 and provided his own definition: "the location-aware and moment-relevant Internet."  The phrase makes it relatively easy for anyone to grasp the concept.  Consider, "Content relevance in Web 3.0 is heightened by location and time. Intimate connections are made between the real world and the Web, often with the use of handheld data-enabled phones like iphone and other devices" (Web 3.0 Defined section).  Think of applications like Twitter, GPS triggered multimedia tools (from where you are find your location and get directions, local maps, phone numbers, or find local restaurants, movies, points of interest, TV listings), online storage sites that can be accessed from anywhere, real-time communications such as video calling; cell phone video broadcasting or instant photos, and instant uploading of those to the internet.

Web 3.0 has been called the semantic web, defined as a "web of data."  The term was coined by Tim-Berners Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web.  "The aim of design web of data is machines first, humans later. Primary objects are things so links are between things" (Aghaei, Nematbakhsh, & Farsani, 2012, p. 5).  "The main difference between web 2.0 and web 3.0 is that web 2.0 targets on content creativity of users and producers while web 3.0 targets on linked data sets" (p. 6).  Think of Web 2.0 as the Read/Write Web and Web 3.0 as the Portable Personal Web.

Per Aghaei, Nematbakhsh, and Farsani (2012), "Web 4.0 is also known as symbiotic web. The dream behind of the symbiotic web is interaction between humans and machines in symbiosis. It will be possible to build more powerful interfaces such as mind controlled interfaces using web 4.0. ... Web 4.0 will be the read-write-execution-concurrency web" (p. 8).


Aggregator: "A website or software program that gathers (aggregates) and displays web content such as news headlines, blogs, and podcasts from multiple websites to a single location. It allows searches by keyword and provides summaries for browsing. It uses RSS or other types of feeds to find the content, and allows subscribing to feeds, allowing new content to be automatically downloaded when it is available. Also known as a feed reader" (Blubrry: Blogging and Podcasting Terms section). An aggregator is a time saver.  Think of it as your personal collection agency. Rather than going out to search multiple sites individually, the aggregator will do it for you and deposit current information from favorite blogs and news sites directly in a central location.

Aggregators work together with RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds.  Look for an RSS icon on your favorite sites and subscribe to them.  Aggregator tools include:

The following are tutorials and information about setting up your aggregator and working with RSS:

Augmented Reality: "Augmented reality (AR) is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. It is related to a more general concept called mediated reality, in which a view of reality is modified (possibly even diminished rather than augmented) by a computer. As a result, the technology functions by enhancing one’s current perception of reality" (Wikipedia).  It is not the same a virtual reality.

The following provide additional information about augmented reality:

Augmented Reality Resources and Apps:

Blended Learning: Blended learning combines online delivery and learning, at least in part, at a brick-and-mortar facility.  The student has control over time, place, path, or pace.  There are six classification forms currently in use: the teacher as face-to-face driver of the curriculum; rotation in which the student rotates on a fixed schedule between self-paced online learning and sitting in the classroom with the face-to-face teacher; online lab in which the online platform delivers an entire course, but in the brick-and-mortar facility; self-blend in which students take a remote online course to supplement the school's traditional curriculum; flex in which the online platform delivers most of the curriculum and the teacher provides on-site support as needed; and online driver in which the online platform and teacher deliver all the curriculum; students work in a remote location and face-to-face check-ins are either available or mandatory (Knewton, Inc., Blended Learning Infographic, n.d.).

Mike Gorman (2014) provided the following ideas for using one-to-one initiatives for blended learning.  Use technology to:

  1. Reach beyond the classroom walls for learning opportunities, collaboration, and audience
  2. Create a student driven/centered learning environment
  3. Allow for collaborative experiences in and out of the classroom
  4. Permit student control over learning, allowing for important voice and choice
  5. Provide opportunities for remixing of information leading to innovation and creativity
  6. Give opportunities for personalized and differentiated learning
  7. Promote convergent and divergent thinking in order to promote inquiry and critical thinking
  8. Encourage student invention of new products and possibilities to demonstrate learning
  9. Explore authentic and real learning experiences.
  10. Establish opportunities for anytime/anywhere learning.  (Gorman, 2014)

Elizabeth Brooke (2015, pp. 3-5) identified four success factors that have the potential to accelerate the benefits of a blended learning implementation and also minimize frustration in both teachers and students when doing so:

  1. Select a technology tool that adapts to each student's abilities.  Look for scaffolding and adaptive technology, including both adaptive assessment and adaptive instruction.
  2. The instructional program should capture student data at a "fairly granular level."  According to Brooke, "When the right technology tools are used, the student experience is monitored in real-time—without administering a test. Teachers can view data showing which students have completed each skill area, and which students have encountered an obstacle and require individual or small group direct instruction" (p. 4).
  3. The program should recommend next steps for the teacher.  "Schools can dramatically improve their levels of teacher effectiveness if they implement technology that provides recommendations for teacher intervention—connecting personalized learning, embedded assessment and teacher-led instruction" (p. 5).
  4. The program should provide resources for teacher-led instruction.  Such instructional resources "help the teacher to connect performance data to instructional strategies. Some technology programs analyze and connect student data to the school’s existing basal program, while others provide customized strategies for direct instruction by a teacher or paraprofessional" (p. 5).

The following provide additional information about blended learning and how to implement it:


Good IdeaHere's an idea! If you plan on using blended learning, survey parents/students on the type of technology with internet access they have available at home that learners can use.  If they do not have such technology, ask where they access or could access a computer or internet (e.g., a neighbor, friend, relative, public library, etc.), and ease of doing so.  A survey might be performed at the beginning of the school year, perhaps using Google Docs or Survey Monkey as examples. 


Blog: short for Web log, is a website for which an individual or a group frequently generates text, photographs, video, or audio files, and/or links, typically (but not always) on a daily basis.  Posts appear in reverse chronological order, and unlike wikis, cannot be edited by others. (Wikipedia)

Blogs in the classroom:

Dan McDowell (2004) proposed blogging techniques for the K-12 classroom and provided links to examples of each.  Educators can use blogs as administrative tools for one-way delivery of information to students and parents.  Blogs can be used as discussion tools.  A teacher might post a discussion question or topic on a single blog, and students post their responses.  Or, teachers can allow students to not only respond, but to post their own comments.  Blogs can also be used as publication tools.  Students each have their own blog on which they post assignments, projects, digital portfolios, reflections, and so on.

Microblogging is on the rise using tools such as Twitter, which limits messages to just 140 characters.  In 7 things you should know about Twitter, Twitter is described as "an online application that is part blog, part social networking site, and part cell phone/IM tool" (Educause Learning Initiative, 2007, p. 1).  Janelle Cox (2020, February 3) noted 10 ways for how twitter can be used in the classroom.


Good IdeaHere's an idea! If students each have their own blog, consider setting up a blog aggregator, so that you as the teacher can read the blogs and comment to the group without having to go to each blog separately.  Demski (2012) suggested simplifying navigation by "having students subscribe to each other's blogs via RSS feeds, dividing students into small groups to comment on each other's work, or building a mother blog--a front page for the course that aggregates recent blog posts, comments, updates from course-related websites, and social-networking feeds" (p. 19).

Note:  Learners will appreciate adding authenticity to their blogging efforts.  Comments4Kids "is a way for students and teachers to find blogs to comment on and to get their own posts commented on" (Welcome section).


Blogs can serve a personal agenda or be journalistic in nature. Educators might need to justify that using a blog will contribute to helping students reach instructional objectives, as it should have a clear pedagogical purpose. When used in K-12, they might need to justify their use to master standards, so that they perform well on state-mandated tests.  But, consider that blogs offer the collaboration so important in a learner-centered instructional environment.

If you use a blog, it should be an integral part of your instruction and a graded element of the course, so that students will not view it as just another thing to do.  According to Ruth Reynard (2007), each student develops his/her own voice in the process.  "Student response statements really cover a wide variety of "types" that reflect the instructional goals of the course. That is, when developing individual voice throughout a learning process, each stage of that process is often reflected in the students' comments."  When a blog is used throughout a course, the statements that students make can be categorized into reflective, commentary, new idea, or application statements to demonstrate their learning (online p. 1, Statement categories).

Reynard (2008b) noted five common mistakes when using blogs in instruction and how to avoid those:

  1. Ineffective contextualization:  For students to benefit, instructors must have clear planning as to "exactly where the tool will be used in the flow of the course, how often the tool will or might be used, and how necessary the tool is to the learning process. In the case of blogging, the most effective use of this tool is in the area of self reflection or thought processing" (online p. 1).
  2. Unclear learning outcomes: Learning outcomes are more than course objectives.  "If the instructor is unclear as to what the learning outcomes of the course are and is focused only on course objectives, the potential of the blog tool may not be maximized."  A blog can be a place to help students process their thoughts and ideas for analysis and synthesis, capture new ideas well for others to view and absorb, and a place where they can articulate how new ideas they've acquired can be directly applied in real life contexts of practice and use (online p. 2).
  3. Misuse of the environment: What is the purpose intended for using the blog?  Blogs are not the same as wikis.  Reynard believes "The essential difference between a blog and other online tools is that it is intended to be an individual publication: a one-way monologue or self-post to which others may comment but do not contribute" (online p. 3).  The blog entry remains as originally posted.
  4. Illusive grading practices.  Students need rubrics to know how they will be graded.  As blogs contain a series of statements, an assessment rubric might address specific statement types such as reflective statements, commentary statements, new idea statements and application statements (online p. 3).
  5. Inadequate time allocation: Students need adequate time to process information and then post to a blog.  Reynard recommends the blog remain open throughout a course (online p. 4).

Advance preparation is needed, including preparing students for how to write to a blog so that what they say is LARK, the acronym for Legal, Appropriate, Responsible, and Kind (Sturgeon, 2008).  Advance preparation might include practical aspects such as "uploading images and videos, embedding text links, and writing constructive comments on peer blogs ... before content-specific blog entries are due" (Demski, 2012, p. 19).

Julie Sturgeon (2008) also provided some pitfalls to avoid when using blogs in the classroom:

  1. Educators should not just jump in to blogging.  Before students blog alone, Anne Davis (Sturgeon, 2008) said that teachers should "spend time letting students see samples, understand guidelines, and anticipate blogging and what it can mean to their learning" (p. 26).  Consider using Anne Davis's Webquest, Blogging: It's Elementary!, to introduce elementary students to blogging.
  2. Don't confuse blogging with social networking.  An educational blog is about collaboration and expressing ideas related to academic content.
  3. Don't leap to freebies.  Some free blog spaces post advertisements out of the educator's control.  The blog might not be a private space.  Students might be able to access the entire blogging world and vice-versa.
  4. Don't force a sequential style.  Blog posts appear in reverse chronological order and valuable content might be overlooked as time passes.  With advance preparation, teachers can add structure to a blog by designating topics for discussion.
  5. Don't leave the blogging to the students.  Teachers need to join in the discussion. (pp. 26-30)

There is no doubt that blogging takes time.  In this regard, Bill Ferriter (2013) provided three valuable tips for teachers using classroom blogs:

  1. Take the pressure for generating content off of individual students--"always START classroom blogging projects with ONE [topic-focused] classroom blog that EVERY student can make contributions to."
  2. Train student editors to lead the blogging project.  They can be valuable for writing, revising, and editing posts; locating images and cropping and inserting those into the blog; and creating and maintaining schedules for creating new content and monitoring those.
  3. Recruit volunteer readers and commenters for the blog (e.g., parents, professional friends, family members, PTA members and so on who want to help the school) for sufficient readership.  According to Ferriter, student thinking can't be challenged unless posts are read, and "classroom blogs won’t AUTOMATICALLY generate enough attention to receive page views and comments automatically."  These volunteers might monitor the blog for a month and leave 2-3 comments per week to challenge learners' thinking.


Moderating and Ethics for the Classroom Instructional Blog

For how to's on moderating and using a classroom instructional blog, read Dr. Patricia Deubel's Moderating and Ethics for the Classroom Instructional Blog in K-12 Tech Trends (2007, February 21).


Blogging tools and tips:

The number of blogging tools for classroom use is increasing.  See examples and get the how to's using the following resources:

Microblogging tools:

Some blogs for math educators:

K-12 educators in all content areas who are interested in educational technology blogs might consider the collection of 50 Must-Read K-12 Educational IT Blogs, as recommended by EdTech Magazine in 2018.  In addition, the following focus on math:

Blog Safety and Ethics:

Online safety and ethics must be considered; students should sign a code of conduct.  In general, any blogging code of ethics should strike a balance between free expression with factual truth.  Ethical considerations, which students must be taught, include the need for truth, accuracy, and accountability for what they say, and respect for others even when students might disagree. There is also need to ensure that bloggers keep private issues private to minimize potential harm to others.  Consider the following for online safety and sample contract for bloggers:

Cloud Computing:  "Cloud computing is a general term for anything that involves delivering hosted services over the Internet. These services are broadly divided into three categories: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).  A cloud can be public or private" (, Wesley Chai, updated December 2020). The term is often associated with Web 2.0 applications.  Johnson, Levine, Smith, and Smythe (2009) stated, “Collaborative work, research, social networking, media sharing, virtual computers: all are enabled by applications that live in the cloud” (p. 5).  Services delivered over the internet, such as Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail or other Web-based email, Flickr, Google Apps, YouTube, TeacherTube and Amazon Web Services are examples.

The use of cloud services is making it fairly easy technologically to implement "digital strategies such as BYOD, the flipped classroom, and personalized and collaborative learning environments" (Johnson, Adams Becker, Estrada, and Freeman, 2014, p. 36).

There are other "cloud" examples, which can be used on a school curricular level.  Programming languages such as ScratchJr for kids ages 5-7 and Scratch for kids ages 8 and up, developed by MIT Media Lab, can be used for free to create animations, interactive stories, games, music, and art.  Vendors of commercial products are also providing online data storage.  Consider Renaissance Learning's Accelerated Reader, an online supplementary reading program providing guided reading instruction, or First in Math, an online skill building program aligned with Common Core math standards for grades K-8 that uses games and offers pre- and post tests to assist with learning.

For more on what cloud computing is all about, see the following resource:

For concerns about protecting data in the cloud, see the following:

Folksonomy: The word is derived from "folk" and "taxonomy."  As opposed to taxonomy, which is a predefined traditional classification scheme created by authors of content for their own works or by professionals for the work of others, this is a new concept in which users (sometimes called amateurs) of social bookmarking systems on the Web categorize their own information for later retrieval.  Users add their own keywords or tags to content they save, creating personalized or community-based organizational systems.  In time the community develops its own structure of keyword descriptors to define its resources.

In Folksonomies - Cooperative Classification and Communication Through Shared Metadata, Adam Mathes (2004) discussed the advantages and disadvantages of folksonomies and their potential impact on information retrieval systems.  He elaborated on their nature by discussing two popular sites for sharing digital content: (tool for organizing web pages) and Flickr (tool for photo management and sharing). Note: Educators should exercise caution if using Flickr, as some content might not be appropriate for K-12 learners.  There are alternatives for Web site photo management for student projects, which include log-in and password features.

More on social bookmarking:

Glog: a virtual online poster that incorporates multimedia.  For examples in math, see Glogster.

Mashup: This term has more than one meaning.  It is often associated with mixing music or other media from more than one source to become a new unified whole.  However, in terms of the web and web applications, it is mixing content from more than one source to become a new, integrated whole.  Marshall Kirkpatrick (2006, October 17) discussed Web 2.0: What is a mashup? in a video interview.

Modding: "a slang expression for the act of modifying a piece of hardware or software to perform a function not intended by someone with legal rights concerning that modification" (Wikipedia).

On the Air News BroadcastingPodcast: Podcast stands for Portable On Demand Broadcasting.  Wikipedia defines it as "an episodic series of spoken word digital audio files that a user can download to a personal device for easy listening. Streaming applications and podcasting services provide a convenient, integrated way to manage a personal consumption queue across many podcast sources and playback devices. A podcast series usually features one or more recurring hosts engaged in a discussion about a particular topic or current event."  In "What is a Podcast? An Explanation in Plain English," Colin Gray (2020, January 29) of added that it's like "Talk Radio, but you subscibe to it. ... Most Podcasts today are audio only, even though video podcasts do exist."  Further, "a podcast episode is just one recording from that entire Podcast."

Podcasts and learning:


Read the two-part series on podcasting by Dr. Patricia Deubel in T.H.E. SmartClassroom (2007): Podcasts: Where's the learning? and Podcasts: Improving quality and accessibility.


Podcast aggregators:

Podcast directories:

Other podcast examples, how to's, copyright/legal info:

Podcast Tips:

Social Network:  A "map of the relationships between individuals, indicating the ways in which they are connected through various social familiarities ranging from casual acquaintance to close familial bonds"  (Wikipedia).

Note: In 2006, a nationally representative telephone survey was conducted for the Pew Internet & American Life Project using a sample of 935 teens, ages 12-17, including a parent or guardian.  Results indicated that 55% of the online teens have their profiles online and are using social networks to communicate with current friends and to make new friends.  The majority of those only post their first names (81%), but they have included pictures of themselves (79%) and friends (66%), information about where they live (61%) and share their school name (41%) (Lenhart & Madden, 2007, pp. ii-iii).

In its 2007 survey of about 1000 9-17 year olds, Kids' Social Networking Study, the research firm Grunwald Associates in cooperation with the National School Boards Association found popular social networking activities, which students engaged in at least weekly, were predominantly unidirectional.  Those included posting messages (41%), downloading music (32%) and videos (30%), uploading music (29%), updating personal websites or online profiles (25%), posting photos (24%), creating and sharing virtual objects (16%), and creating new characters (14%).  Collaborative events and reaching out to others were engaged in to lesser degrees, as evidenced by blogging (17%), participating in collaborative projects (10%), sending suggestions or ideas to websites (10%), submitting articles to websites (9%), and creating polls, quizzes, or surveys (9%) (Reynard, 2008a, online p. 1).

The implication for schools is that if we want social networking to make a difference in instruction and learning, the medium should also be used for its publishing and production aspects, reaching higher levels of collaboration and creativity, and for enabling learners to network with experts and peers in a manner where their work gains legitimacy within the larger community of experts in various fields.  It also makes learning more interesting.  Teachers will need to be more creative "to model the same skills they are looking for in their students" (Reynard, 2008a, online p. 3).

Teachers and Social Networking: Teachers have an obligation to also learn rules regarding their own use of social media, as there have been cases of teachers being fired or disciplined over content they've posted on social media.  Read 10 Social Media Rules for Teachers (2016, March 29), a blog post by Rachel at American Board.

Learn More about Social Networking in Education: Many probably need additional information, advice, ideas and examples, and resources for using social networking services with young people, which is available at from Childnet International, a London (UK) based company.  Common Sense Media developed Protecting Your Students' Privacy on Social Media, which contains do's and don'ts for teachers.

Social Network Tools:  When you think about it, the telephone is a social networking tool, as is group or individual email, or a face-to-face meeting (with or without notes to document what happened or what was said).  However, below might be more in line with thoughts on newer tools.

Safe Social Networking Sites:  Social networks are a source of concern for parents and schools because of the online safety issues for students who use them, such as cyberbullying, psychological trauma owing to excessive use, the potential release of private information, and sexual predators.  Sites like Flickr, MySpace, YouTube,, Facebook might be among those, as they are open to anyone to use.  Other sites that might raise concerns about their use include Twitter, WhatsApp owned by Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Kik Messenger,, and Reddit.  However, there are social networks that parents with their kids and educators can use in which they can create a private, protected environment for learning, and which have been rated as safe.  There are also social networking sites that would be of principal interest to educators.  Examples:

Software as a Service: (SaaS-pronounced like "sass") is a general name for software that is internet-based, rather than being software that is installed and resides on the end-user's computer.  Google Apps is an example.

Vodcast or Vidcast: a video podcast

VoIP: (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a technology that "allows you to make telephone calls using a broadband Internet connection instead of a regular (or analog) phone line" (Federal Communications Commission). Example:

Webcast: A program combining audio and video that is delivered live or played back on demand over the Internet.

You might begin your exploration of webcasts with the following:

Wiki: Hawaiian for quick, "a type of website that allows users to add and edit content and is especially suited for constructive collaborative authoring" (Wikipedia).  Wikis can be organized many ways (e.g., subjects, categories, hierarchies).  They often contain a search engine, unlike many blogs.

For more on the role of wikis in education, see:


Good IdeaHere's an idea! Use a wiki to have learners create their own lexicon of key math words in a unit or lesson.


Wiki Tools:

Wiki Concerns:

Will Richardson (2005) provided a cautionary statement about the use of wikis: "There are no technological safeguards against a user putting bogus information into the site or vandalizing an entry; the community of people using the wiki keeps the information accurate by policing itself" (p. 25).  On the positive side, however, best practices for using wikis in both business and educational environments include for project management, reducing email overload, and building a dynamic intranet, according to Jeff Brainard of (Kane, Reingold, & Brainard, 2007).

Classroom wikis are great educational tools for student collaboration and note taking as teachers can track student postings.  However, public wikis (e.g., Wikipedia) can pose a problem when used as research tools.  Users don't necessarily know anything about the authors of the content, their credibility, and validity of the content posted.  We need to encourage students to use primary and secondary sources when conducting research, and to teach students critical evaluation skills for what they read.  As educators, we are faced with the dilemma of using public wikis as "sources consulted" but not "sources cited" (Schrock, 2007, pp. 38-39).

In fairness, however, Wikipedia is making greater effort to ensure credibility and reliability of its content (e.g., see Citing_sources) and it is a good place to start if you want to learn about something.  You’ll see lists of references at the bottom of pages, which can be used to further research a topic.  Imbedded within content, citations are numbered and you will see the phrase “citation needed” next to unreferenced content.  For example, look for those as you read about Web 2.0 at Wikipedia (  Further, a study by Robert Tomaszewski and Karin MacDonald (2016) revealed that "the use of Wikipedia citations in peer-reviewed journals has been increasing since 2002" (Abstract section).

On February 28, 2008, (it's video library taken down in August 2018) aired an hour-long debate on Web 2.0, titled Jimmy Wales and Andrew Keen Debate on Web 2.0.  Wales and Keen began with a discussion of Wikipedia, which was a thread throughout the debate.  They proceeded to discuss recent research, free access to knowledge, loss of newspapers, the accuracy of Wikipedia, hierarchy of knowledge, and anonymity.  Wikipedia was founded by Jimmy Wales. Keen, a critic of Wikipedia, was concerned that the Web 2.0 movement is linked to intelligentsia giving their labors away for free.  People who contribute their knowledge are essentially unknown.  Keen, unlike Wales, does not view Wikipedia as an encyclopedia. How can you interpret the social-cultural context of the knowledge?  All information comes with baggage and to understand that knowledge, we need to understand who contributed it without having to search for the authorship.

Some wikis for math educators:



HOT! Need more inspiration to try Web 2.0 tools?

Paper on fire for hot news

The Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies is a must see site to learn about teaching with new technology.  The Top Tools for Learning include many tools for collaboration and communication, multimedia development, online learning, and more.

Read Web 2.0 Coming of Age: An introduction to the NEW worldwide web edited by Terry Freedman (2006).  This free 93-page booklet, also available in audio format, provides more practical advice on how to get going and applications in education.

HOT! Need help with keeping up with Web 2.0 and emerging technologies?

Consortium for School Networking has an initiative, Driving K-12 Innovation, which is the successor to the New Media Consortium’s annual “Horizon K-12” reports that ended in 2017.  COSN's goal is to produce three shorter reports each year for the K-12 segment that focus on Hurdles, Accelerators, and Tech Enablers.  The first of those reports was 2019 Hurdles.

If you opt to use any social media in your course, consider reading the following:

Rafferty, J. (2017, April 10).  8 things you should know about before using social media in your course. Online Learning Consortium Blog.

Webopedia: Definitions will help you expand your vocabulary.  Webopedia is online dictionary and search engine for computer and Internet technology definitions.  For example, see the definition of Web 2.0.


Sources for above definitions:

Blubrry Podcasting Community: Blogging and Podcasting Terms: 

Federal Communications Commission:

Knewton, Inc. (n.d.).  Blended learning infographic. (2020, December). Cloud computing.



Back to top


Small question mark How can innovations, including technology, be sustained in schools?

Any innovation, including the implementation of Web 2.0 tools and mobile devices, must become part of a school's culture to be sustained.  David Jakes (2006) stated:

  1. There must be a high degree of organizational readiness for the innovation.
  2. The innovation must have multiple entry points for a spectrum of usership; each of these entry points must support effective use by teachers and students.
  3. The innovation must clearly address an instructional need, with benefits for both teacher and student.
  4. The innovation must add value to an instructional process.
  5. There must be visible and tangible results indicating that the innovation improves student learning.
  6. The technology has been taken out of the technology, or innovation.
  7. The teacher has become a confident, active, and visible user--use becomes seamless and transparent. (Story 4: The Seven Factors of Stickiness section)

In support of and extending Jakes' (2006) view, Dian Schaffhauser (2009) noted six dimensions for scaling an innovation, which are in a framework developed by Chris Dede of Harvard University and Allyson Knox of Microsoft.  The traditional way to look at an innovation is spread.  However, a successful innovation program involves more than just adding users.  It involves depth, sustainability, shift, evolution, and emotion. Depth produces transformative change and leads to improved educational outcomes; Sustainability, as the name suggests, means that the changes in practice are maintained over time; Shift refers to the users of the innovation assuming ownership of it and spreading its impact to others; Evolution means that those who adopt the innovation make revisions to it as an ongoing process (p. 32).  Emotion comes into play when asking people to try something new.  While those who are struggling might be eager, those who believe themselves operating at high quality might not be so willing (p. 33).  The key to remember is that significant changes in classroom instruction brought about by a sustained innovation might not be realized for two or three years.

In terms of sustaining technology in schools, a more concentrated effort is needed to use technology to customize learning.  According to the Digital Learning Council (2011), an initiative of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, "Today, less than 10 percent of students around the nation are experiencing the benefits of digital learning. States must advance bold reforms to make systemic changes in education to extend this option to all students" (p. 3).  Digital reform in education is needed to better meet needs of students who are already using technology out of school for such things as texting, gaming, posting on the internet, and exercising their own creativity using technology tools.  Ten elements for high quality digital learning are included within its Roadmap for Reform:

  1. All students should be digital learners.
  2. There should be no barriers to their access of digital content of high quality.
  3. Students should be able to use technology to customize their learning.
  4. Their progress should be based on demonstrated competency.
  5. Content and courses should be of high quality.
  6. Likewise, instruction should be of high quality.
  7. They should have quality choices from multiple providers.
  8. In terms of assessment and accountability, student learning should be the metric for evaluating the quality of content and instruction.
  9. Funding should create incentives for performance, options and innovation.
  10. Of course, the infrastructure should support digital learning. (10 Elements of High Quality Digital Learning section, p. 3).

In terms of infrastructure, the Consortium of School Networking (2019) found that a cloud-based infrastructure is among the top five tech enablers advancing teaching and learning innovation.  "A virtual infrastructure delivered or accessed via a network or the internet enables schools to move hardware and software services away from physical locations. Shifting to cloud services makes teaching and learning resources more readily available in any location—and it can reduce costs" (Tech Enablers Survey Results: Key Findings #3, 2019).

There must also be a change in the teacher's paradigm for teaching and learning, according to Gary Shattuck (2013).  His Six Laws for the Adoption of Technology in Education also relate to sustaining an innovation.  If an innovation is considered, educators must also deal with the laws of scarcity, change, beliefs, perception, diffusion, and leadership, which he proposed:

Next, what goes on in the classroom level is at the root of sustaining innovation.  Teachers need to be able to foster innovation and creativity in the classroom so that students become inspired.  Trevor Shaw (2015) outlined eight principles for the innovative classroom:

  1. Give students a problem that is both interesting and authentic.
  2. Give them the basics for their projects, but keep it short--chunked in about 10 minute blocks at the beginning of class.
  3. Model research skills.
  4. Scaffold complex skills.  Per Shaw (2015), "Tools like Makey Makey, Little Bits, Scratch, Tickle, and Tynker make it easier than ever for novice students to create authentic products that solve real problems" (p. 26).
  5. Always check for understanding so that students don't become frustrated and discouraged.  Keep track of what students know and what they yet need to learn to successfully complete projects.
  6. Favor found and recycled objects.  They don't always have just a single use.
  7. Model mental inventory taking.  Students should be required to list the things they know about their projects and articulate what they need to understand better.
  8. Above all, don't try to grade creativity and innovation.  "Innovation is not a standard that you can teach to directly and then test for.  Innovation is more like a habit of mind that is fostered through consistent attention to classroom culture and expectations" (Shaw, 2015).

Teachers might also need innovative ideas to try with their learners.  For this, Carl Hooker at HookED on Innovation provided 36 Weeks of Innovation for Your Classroom (2015) with innovations listed in order of difficulty ranging from using selfies to creating a start-up incubator.

As leadership matters per Shattuck (2013), districts should share their success stories as a means for sustaining a technology innovation and promoting technology integration, particularly for people who are still non-believers.  As suggested by The League of Innovative Schools (2014):

  • Ask community partners to help. The district tells the story first and then others repeat it. That is an effective way to spread positive messaging.
  • Have students tell the story at the local level by creating videos and other multimedia content to show how they’re using technology in the classroom. Host a student film festival in your district on how students are using technology to learn.
  • Find comparable districts that will help you tell your district’s story. Identify "doppelganger districts" - districts that look like your district - and share stories of their success until you have your own stories to tell.
  • Bring in business leaders from the local community to be "principals for a day" in technology rich schools. This would cultivate partnerships, create a culture of understanding and collaboration, and enable business and education leaders to learn from each other. Invite the local media to cover the event.  (p. 4)

Finally, there are five stages to go through for an innovation to be sustained, per Richard Rush (2019), summarized as follows:

  1. Knowledge: Individuals become aware of and interested in the innovation, perhaps from colleagues, peers, conferences, advertisements, blog posts, promotions from providers/advertisers, and so on.
  2. Persuasion: Potential users or beneficiaries explore the capabilities and value of the innovation perhaps as a means for saving time, reducing costs, or improving performance.  Testimonials from users help promote positive perceptions.
  3. Decision: Although a small group or one individual might make a final decision to adopt the innovation, collaboration helps others feel included in the decision.  It's important to bring all stake-holders into the decision-making process.
  4. Implementation: Training helps with implementation.  Ease of use is essential.  Sharing testimonials from users on how the innovation has been successfully implemented into their activities should help motivate others to give it a try.
  5. Confirmation: Per Rush (2019), "Success in the confirmation stage becomes evident when people are no longer creating work arounds and resorting to old processes."

Digital Promise with input from the Verison Innovate Learning Schools partner districts developed a Technology Sustainability Toolkit, which should help districts in allocating available funding.  The toolkit includes additional information and resources within the following steps:


Back to top



Aghaei, S., Nematbakhsh, M. A., & Farsani, H. K. (2012). Evolution of the World Wide Web: From web 1.0 to web 4.0. International Journal of Web & Semantic Technology (IJWesT), 3(1), 1-10.

Boettcher, J. (2007, July 18). iPod course design. Campus Technology.

Brooke, E. (2015). Blended learning: A basic overview of typical implementation models and four keys to success. Concord, MA: Lexia Learning.

Churches, A. (2008, April 1). Bloom's taxonomy blooms digitally. Tech & Learning.  [Note: original article at is no longer available.]

Consortium of School Networking. (2019). 2019 Tech enablers survey: Key findings.

Deal, A. (2007, June). Podcasting: A teaching with technology white paper. Carnegie Mellon University.

Demski, J. (2012, January). Strategies for blog-powered instruction. Campus Technology, 25(5), 18-19.

Digital Learning Council. (2011). Digital learning now: Roadmap for reform.

Dlott, A. M. (2007). A (pod)cast of thousands. Educational Leadership, 64(7), 80-82.

Ferriter, W. (2013, March 17). Three classroom blogging tips for teachers. The Tempered Radical.

Freedman, T. (Ed.) (2006). Web 2.0 coming of age: An introduction to the NEW worldwide web.

Gorman, M. (2014, October 12). Ten ideas to move classroom technology closer to blended learning. K-12 Blueprint.

Hooker, C. (2015, September 1). 36 weeks of innovation for your classroom. Hooked On Innovation.

Jakes, D. (2006, October 27). Making IT stick. Austin, TX: Presentation at Tech Forum: Insight and Innovation for Technology Leaders. [Note: also see]

Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Estrada, V., & Freeman, A. (2014). The NMC Horizon Report: 2014 K-12 Edition. Austin, TX: The New Media Consortium.

Johnson, L., Levine, A., Smith, R., & Smythe, T. (2009). 2009 Horizon Report: K-12 Edition. Austin, TX: The New Media Consortium.

Kane, J., Reingold, H., & Brainard, J. (2007, September 6). Wikis and emerging Web 2.0 e-learning communities. Campus Technology Webinar Series. [Note: register to view.]

Kuhn, R. (2000, July). How does technology transform thinking? [Show 111 transcript]. Closer to the Truth.  [Note, June 4, 2014: Original URL no longer active.  See for availability. See for more on Robert Kuhn and].

League of Innovative Schools. (2014). Spring 2014 meeting summary.

Lenhart, A., & Madden, M. (2007, April 18). Teens, privacy, and online social networks. Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Lucier, T. (2009, January 25). What is Web 3.0 Definition? [Blog post].

Mathes, A. (2004, December). Folksonomies - Cooperative classification and communication through shared metadata. University of Illinois-Urbana, Graduate School, LIS590CMC.

McDowell, D. (2004). Blogging techniques for the K12 classroom. In B. Hoffman (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Educational Technology. [Note Dec. 31, 2011: URL is no longer available.]

Ramaswami, R., & Schaffhauser, D. (2011, October 31). Diving into the cloud. Campus Technology.

Reynard, R. (2007, May 9). Instructional strategies for blogging. Campus Technology.

Reynard, R. (2008a, May 28). Social networking: Learning theory in action. Campus Technology.

Reynard, R. (2008b, October 1). Avoiding the 5 most common mistakes in using blogs with students. Campus Technology.

Richardson, W. (2005). The educator's guide to the read/write web. Educational Leadership, 63(4), 24-27.

Rush, R. (2019, May 31). Effective change management: The five stages of the innovation-decision process. 

Schrock, K. (2007, October). Critical evaluation in the collaborative era. Technology & Learning, 28(3), 38-39.

Schaffhauser, D. (2009, June/July). Scale. T.H.E. Journal, 36(6), 31-36.

Shattuck, G. (2013, September 17). Six laws for tech adoption [Blog post].

Shaw, T. (2015, August 3). Eight things every teacher can do to create an innovative classroom.

Sturgeon, J. (2008, February). Five don'ts of classroom blogging. T.H.E. Journal, 35(2), 26-30.

Tomaszewski, R., & MacDonald, K. (2016). A study of citations to Wikipedia in scholarly publications. Science & Technology Libraries, 35(3), 246-261.

Wegerif, R. (2002, September). Literature review in thinking skills, technology and learning. Bristol, UK: Futurelab Series.


Black line

Back to top

Binoculars GifSee other Technology Integration pages:

Part 1: Technology Integration: Essential Questions: Page  1   |  2  | 3  |

Part 2: Technology Integration Resources  |  Part 3: Web Page Design  |  Part 4: Multimedia in Projects