Secondary Worlds

Teaching, Technology, and English Education

Category: Web 2.0

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Twitter On Its Last Legs?

Ignoring for the moment that blogging, too, is on its last legs, and that this blog is living (or dying) proof of that demise, it is looking more and more like Twitter is being abandoned. The Atlantic ran this eulogy for the micro-blogging platform this past summer, and other bloggers (like Bad Words) have made […]

News, Web 2.0

Is Blogging Still Relevant?

My posts here have become infrequent, to say the least. After a record-low number of posts this academic year, I’m thinking about pulling the plug on this blog, which has been in existence since 2005. But is blogging still relevant? Google recently terminated Google Reader, the RSS aggregator that fed my blog (and many others). […]

Web 2.0


Mightybell Looks Promising for Educators

Mightybell is a new social space created by Ning co-found Gina Bianchini. In my ongoing search to find a suitable replacement for the now-costly Ning, I have found few spaces that really appeal to me. Mightybell may just be one. Think of Mightybell as a combination of Pinterest and Ning (or any other social network). […]

News, Web 2.0

YA Reviews

Cleaning Up An Old Wiki

Just over five years ago, I set up a wiki at Wikispaces. The idea was to create a place where my students, future English teachers, could write collaboratively about young adult literature. Since that day, many Grand Valley students have contributed to the Young Adult Literature wiki, reviewing over 100 young adult works and graphic […]

Web 2.0

When Hacking is a Good Thing–Using Hackasaurus to Teach Argument

Yesterday, I gave my e-poster session at the annual GVSU Technology Symposium, an event I’ve participated in every year since my arrival at GVSU in 2004. The Tech Symposium is a great place to pick up new ideas from colleagues and show off the work your students have been doing. This year, I focused on […]

Web 2.0

Badges as Alternate, Real-World Assessment

Today, my students and I were talking about alternatives to standardized tests. I was making a case for local, authentic forms of assessment, developed and analyzed by individual schools and districts. The example I used was portfolio-based grading in an English language arts class. This way of measuring student growth in writing, I argued, lets […]

Web 2.0


A Quick Way to Share Big Files–JustBeamIt

Here’s a cool tool–and proof that the spirit of Web 2.0 lives on, despite the explosion of mobile computing. I admit that when I hear about a new web-based service, I sometimes think, “Well, that’s quaint. How does it work on my smartphone?” But this one looks extremely cool. If you’ve ever worked collaboratively on […]

Cloud Computing, Web 2.0

Remember me?

Remember When Sharing Was Simple?

Call me slow. Or call me old. But I just can’t figure out the new Facebook feed, lists, and real-time ticker. Don’t get me wrong: I understand how it works in theory. What I don’t have, though, is an instinctive feel for the new interface. Now I am never quite sure who is getting what […]

News, Web 2.0

R.I.P. Google Plus

It might be premature to bid a final farewell to Google’s latest attempt at social networking–the Google Plus Project. After all, it’s not even out of beta yet. And I don’t even have one of the exclusive invitations to try it out. But be assured, Google Plus will join the ranks of Orkut and Wave […]

News, Web 2.0

Here’s One Idea for ToonDoo

I’ve been exploring Toondoo in my spare time, thinking of some ways of using it in the English classroom. While the program is not perfect–the interface is a little counter-intuitive, the image uploader is clunky, and the navigation is bewildering. But it is by far the best web cartooner I’ve encountered so far. With so […]

Web 2.0

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