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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Book review: Blogs, wikis, podcasts and other powerful web tools for classrooms

This book was published in 2006 by Corwin Press. To me a new publisher not very well known. I mostly read fiction or computer books. I am also a teacher in a large university hospital, at least to Dutch standards. Education is progressing and the use of the web with students becomes common sense. Besides "Blackboard" the use of wikis in educating medical students recently started in our curriculum. Since I am interested in computer, software and the web this urged me to look for books that are about web tools and integration of these techniques in education.

This book is a good starter. It has 9 chapters. The first chapter is about the web and how it is changing life. Skipped it, not much news here. The following 2 chapters are about blogs. Followed by chapters about wikis, RSS, social bookmarking, Flickr and podcasting and screencasting. The chapters become shorter in this order. Probably because the later chapters describe newer technologies with less educational experience. The chapters usually describe the tool and simple howto's for choosing and using the free variants of the software. I find the software described very usefull and up to date. The author Will Richardson is obviously a very experienced educator. His examples are very good. Example websites and blogs are presented in all chapters. The only problem is that these links are difficult to type in your browser and sometimes outdated.


A very good introductory book for integration of new web technology in education. The examples are illustrative allthough mainly for high school students. The main critique is the lay out of the book. Next edition I suggest a lay out comparable to O'Reilly's books. This editor obviously is not used to publishing IT books. Another suggestion would be an accompanying website for errata's, links, updated links, and new links.

# Paperback: 168 pages
# Publisher: Corwin Press (March 6, 2006)
# Language: English
# ISBN-10: 1412927676
# ISBN-13: 978-1412927673

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