Mark Barnes

Social Media Revolution

Posted in Impact on Education, multimedia, Web 2.0 by Mark Barnes on March 13, 2010

Do we have any idea where social media and Web 2.0 are going?   

Based on this video, it’s hard to believe that we do. More importantly, are we using the power of these tools properly in education?   

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The Dangers of E-Mail in Education

Posted in Impact on Education, Web 2.0 by Mark Barnes on March 10, 2010

Not more than a few short years ago, you could e-mail a student and not give it a second thought. As Scott Galloway, a marketing professor at NYU’s business school quickly learned, things have changed.

According to eCampus News, Galloway responded to an angry student’s e-mail with a derisive reply, and shortly thereafter, it was traveling through cyberspace, faster than you can say Sincerely Yours.

Although teachers in the K-12 world are less likely to e-mail students, many do. I certainly have. Stories like this one about Galloway should  make teachers take a moment of pause before responding to any e-mail from a student or parent.

You never know when your e-mail will become the hottest tweet or Facebook post on the Internet.

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Podcasting in the Classroom

Posted in applications, Classroom strategies, Web 2.0 by Mark Barnes on February 28, 2010

Podcasting in the classroom can be both educational and fun. 

Learn more in this “One Minute on Technology in Education” podcast. 

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Are Your Students Blogging?

Posted in applications, Classroom strategies, Web 2.0 by Mark Barnes on February 25, 2010

I’ve been thinking about blogging in the classroom lately. My students do most of what would be considered blogging on web pages on their individual web sites on my classroom web site. It’s not blogging in the way we think of blogging, because their posts can only be seen by me, unless I share them in class with a projector and white board.

I have used a standard blog platform in the past, and my students love it. The difficulty is having them complete school assignments that I don’t want other students to see. Ultimately, this is what brought me to the wiki-based private student web site.

So, are you blogging? If so, what kinds of activities are your students doing in the blogosphere?

Feel free to comment.

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Roush, EdTechSandy Headline First edTech Tweets of the Week List

Posted in EdTech Tweets of the Week, Recent Events, twitter, Web 2.0 by Mark Barnes on February 20, 2010

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no Twitter expert, but as a language arts teacher and long-time edtech expert, I like to think I recognize both good technology and good writing.

Plus, although I know my students would disagree, I like to think I have a good sense of humor.

These things being said, here is the first installment of what I hope will be both a regular and popular list of edtech Tweets of the Week.  My humble commentary is in parentheses at the end of each Tweet. If you think I’ve missed something, please comment. In fact, feel free to comment anyway.

Sarah Brownsword missbrownsword

Digital Media Theme – focuses on persuasive writing and AFL – would love to hear what people think! (It’s informative; plus I teach language arts, so I’m a little biased)

Joseph Alvarado UltimateTeacher

Using VoiceThread for Writing @tombarrett Awesome!! Great post for all writers!!! (one of my favorite Twitter pics)
Megan Palevich mrspal
Check out this great post on the Committed Sardine Blog (How can you not love something called, Committed Sardine Blog)
Cory Roush coryroush
Oh, come on, If you’re going to auto-play a commercial, at least give me the option to pause it or turn down the volume. (Cory is one of the smartest and wittiest young tweeters I’ve seen)
EdTechSandyK EdTechSandyK
  All educators need law coursses: RT @mashable School Accused of Secretly Spying on Students Through Laptop Webcams (Certainly not Sandy’s best, but she’ll likely be a regular on this list — a true star in our business)
Lee Kolbert TeachaKidd
RT @DiscoveryComm: Cannot wait! RT @LifeonDiscovery: LIFE in Pictures – be ready to be blown away. Premieres 3/21 (Lee is another brilliant teacher, presenter and insightful tweeter)
Steven W. Anderson web20classroom
RT @ktenkely: Dear spammers of the world, be warned, if I ever meet you, I will kick you in the shin. <-And I will get the other one! (He’s nformative, insightuful and  funny — ‘nough said)
Marsha Collier MarshaCollier
So true! RT @vanillabean45 I’ve decided I don’t want to be anyone’s friend or lover. I want to be a client. They get better treatment. (There’s a lot to be said for cynicism)
Ben Wildeboer WillyB
Got some good work done after school, though now it’s 5:00 and I’m still at work on Friday. Need to get out! (Anyone working at 5:00 on a Friday deserves to be recognized. . . or institutionalized)
carldowse carldowse
  eModeration Station » Activities for online courses: The End about 1 hours ago from HootSuite (If you teach online, you won’t want to miss this article)

Tweet This!

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ISTE Video Tells All

Posted in Impact on Education, Recent Events, Web 2.0 by Mark Barnes on February 20, 2010

The International Society for Technology in Education creates networks for teachers, in both real life and second life.  

Learn more from this excellent video.  

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EdTech Tweets of the Week

Posted in Recent Events, twitter, Web 2.0 by Mark Barnes on February 19, 2010

EdTech Tweet of the WeekThere’s an old saying in teaching that instead of re-creating the wheel, you should “beg, borrow and steal.” Now this is not to be construed as a negative declaration.

Rather it means that teachers have far too much on their plates to create new lessons for every objective they must meet. So, it’s often necessary to go to a colleague and use something they’ve already created.

With this notion in mind, I’m borrowing an idea from another blogger. Starting tomorrow, I’ll debut a weekly blog post called, EdTech Tweets of the Week, which may include sme non-tech tweets from teachers.

This will be a list of tweets that are inspiring, useful, educational or just doggone funny.

If you want to recommend something, e-mail it to me at or DM me on Twitter at markbarnes19.

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Do school administrators keep us from becoming digital learners?

Posted in applications, classroom web site, Impact on Education, Recent Events, Web 2.0 by Mark Barnes on February 15, 2010

My school district recently formed what is called the Digital Academy. This is a sexy name for a group of teachers selected to participate in technology training, provided by Smart Solutions.

In theory, this sounds progressive — especially when you consider that my district has languished in a digital wasteland for the last decade. However, I can’t help but remain skeptical about this so-called digital revolution.

Perhaps it’s the cynic in me, but when technology trainers attempt to teach us an exciting part of Web 2.0, like those who recently visited our district to teach us the wiki PBworks, only to have the site either blocked by our firewalls or crash repeatedly during the professional development, one must wonder about the district’s resolve.

This is not some random rant either; this sort of thing has been happening for years and not just in my school district. I teach three online courses about web-based instruction and Web 2.0. Dozens of teachers taking my courses have told me that they run into these same issues, district administrators who are too afraid of potential harm from the Internet to truly allow their students and teachers to become digital learners. Many, in fact, wonder if they’ll be able to use what they learn from me at their schools.

This constant fear by school administrators that the Internet and Web 2.0 is something they must treat like an enemy must stop.

If we are to become the true digital learners that this time in history requires us to be, school administrators must tear down those walls — the firewalls, that is.

Let ePals connect your students to others around the world

Posted in applications, Web 2.0 by Mark Barnes on February 12, 2010

While many teachers are getting their students blogging with edublogs, blogger and others, ePals is still the leading web host for connecting students worldwide.

Plus, ePals has a very user-friendly blog program that allows a teacher to manage over 100 student blogs in one secure environment.

Best of all, ePals is free for teachers.

Check out this video on how to get started with an ePals blog.

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Widgets add spice to classroom web site

Posted in applications, Classroom strategies, classroom web site, Gadgets, Web 2.0 by Mark Barnes on February 10, 2010
A widget is an Internet feature that allows users to interact with a web-based application. Sounds technical, I know, but widgets are actually very easy to use and can add nice spice to a classroom web site.

With a wiki like, the widget is modular and added with a simple “include” code. So, in this classroom web site example, the html from the eSchool News widget was copied and placed in the module. Then, the code, [[include:eschoolnews]], places the widget on the page.

A site like widgetbox contains the widget codes for  hundreds of educational widgets.

Try a widget on your classroom web site today; your students and parents will love it.