Teen Learning 2.0

Hello! Welcome to Teen Learning 2.0.

This tutorial is designed so that you can learn how to use the tools of web 2.0 for your classes or for fun.

You may do it on your own or as a part of a group.

We hope that you will have fun – because these websites are full of creative ideas for you to use. Take time to explore and enjoy all the tools of this new Internet. Read on!

Here is a “teacher moment” for you: A word for you to consider: responsibility. Before you begin this tutorial, you need to know that you are entering the big world of the Internet and “social networking”. This means that you will possibly encounter images and ideas that may be different from those that you are used to. While we have limited the places we’re sending you, you will still be interacting with your fellow students in a way that you may not have done before. Therefore, we expect you to behave respectfully, always be positive and, when asked to critique others ideas, you will do so in a way that promotes learning and is constructive.

This tutorial was first designed for teachers, and it included activities organized into 23 different topics or “things.” You will explore 10 different topics and complete at least one activity for each topic. There are additional activities to explore and experience if time allows.

How to complete this tutorial:

  • Each topic takes about a week to complete.
  • Each week you will will be introduced to at least one website [or ‘tool’].
  You may also get information about an aspect of digital citizenship.
  • Next, you have an activity to complete using the website.
  • The last, and most important thing you need to do is to post about what you learned on your blog.

Topic 1: Digital Citizenship

Here are some questions for you to think about:

  • What is digital citizenship?
  • What are the rights and responsibilities of a digital citizen in today’s world?

By exploring new online tools and using them to publish online in this tutorial, you will get to experience many new ways to be creative. You will also have the freedom to interact with friends in new ways and possibly even with people from around the country or the world. With that freedom, comes the responsibility to practice good etiquette as a digital citizen.

Activity 1: To help you explore these topics and try to answer the questions above for yourself or through conversation with your friends and classmates, here are a few short videos for you to watch:

Activity 2: To see whether you have a “digital footprint” established already, try going to Google and searching for your name. You may be surprised by what you find. Your digital footprint will stay with you your entire life, so you want whatever people may find about you online to be positive.

After you set up your blog (in Topic 2), you will write a posting about your thoughts about digital citizenship.

Activity 3: Read the Blogging Guidelines for Students from the link at the top of this page.

Topic 2: Blogging

What is a blog? A blog is an online journal. Watch this short video tutorial to get a better idea. (There is a short commerical before it starts.)

Now, you are going to get to make your own blog!

Blogs are very public and you will be sharing your blog address with your teacher, your parents, and your fellow students. All of these people might comment on your blog. You can add comments to your friends’ blogs, and you can encourage your friends and your parents to makes comments on yours. So spread the word among your family and friends.

Activity 1: (Optional) Set up an email account. You may use the email address you already have. If you do not have an email address, you can set up an account with gmail by Google if you are 13 or older. In addition to having an email, it is important to know how to access your email online so you can send and receive email from any computer. If you are under 13, ask your parents if they are willing to set up a family account for your use.

Activity 2: If you have an email account, you can set up your own blog. EdublogsGoogle’s Blogger, and Posterous are three options. This site was created using Edublogs. Your librarian or teacher will probably suggest which software to use. Sign on with a name that does not identify you. Depending upon what your librarian/teacher suggests, you can use just your first name or you can invent a screen name. Then, choose a password and complete any additional steps set out on the blog site to complete your blog. If you don’t have an email account, your teacher or librarian will set up a blog for you.

Activity 3: Register your blog. This means that after you create your blog, you will fill out an online form to give your teacher/librarian your email address, blog name, and blog address. He/she will not share your name with anyone else, but will need it for keeping track of your progress. After you have received notice that he/she has received your information and approved your blog, then you can begin with all the fun! Your teacher/librarian will create a “blogroll” – a list of all the blogs for students who are taking the tutorial with you. These are the students you will work with and cheer along the way – that’s the 2.0 way!! Check their blogs regularly and comment on them. Ask them questions about how to do stuff if you’re confused or answer questions for those who might need your help. Cheer them on – have fun! Critique well!

Activity 4: Write your first blog posting. In your posting, include answers to these questions:

  • How can you use your blog? What do you think you will enjoy including and writing about?
  • Being a good digital citizen:
    • What are some topics you can blog about?
    • What do you need to be careful to keep private and not include in your blog?

Topic 3: Avatars

What’s an avatar? An avatar is a pictorial representation of you. It can look somewhat like you, but in comic form, or it might be a picture of something you like. In the computer world, you can use an avatar to create an online personality while still protecting your privacy.

Activity 1: Try one or more of these sites to create your own avatar:



dream avatar

Follow the directions on the site to create an avatar, then save the image. On a Mac, you can very easily save an image by holding down the Command, Shift, and 4 keys all at once, then dragging from one corner to the opposite diagonal corner of the image you want to capture. It will now appear as a .png image file on your desktop. On a PC, you can right click, then “Save As” your image from the dream avatar site, but won’t work for the others that don’t create the avatar as a separate image. This blog posting from Edublogger blog about avatars has some tips on how to save and edit your avatar on a PC. Once you have your avatar saved, add it to your blog sidebar. With Edublogs blogs, you do that by uploading it as your blog avatar, then adding an avatar widget to your sidebar. Also add your avatar as your user avatar so that it appears in your comments. The Edublogger blog post can help you with that task also. With Blogger blogs, you add a picture gadget to your sidebar and upload your avatar file to it. Then, also upload your avatar to your profile under My Account.

Activity 2 (optional) More to try: Voki lets you create an animated avatar. To upload this to your blog, copy the html to your computer clipboard, then paste the html into a widget or gadget in you sidebar.

Note: The dream avatar and Voki sites offer the option of creating accounts, but you don’t need to create an account to use them.

Activity 3: Now, write a blog posting about your avatar. Tell which site you used to create it, how you made it, and why you chose the options you did. When you tell which site you used, be sure to make the site name a hyperlink so that your visitors can easily click on it to visit the site. Whenever you refer to another website or page in an online posting, create a hyperlink to make life easy for your readers.

Topic 4: Photos and Images and Giving Credit

Activity 1: Now that you have a blog, you are a publisher. Before you begin searching for and adding images and other items to your blog, you need to learn a little about copyright, public domain, fair use, and Creative Commons, so you make sure that you are only publishing material you are legally entitled to. Watch this fun video to learn about what copyright, public domain, and fair use are. You will notice in it lots of copyrighted images you recognize that are used in a fair use way. (If the previous link is blocked, use this link. You will see a short commercial before the video starts.)

Activity 2: In recent years, a new option has become available to make finding and publishing other people’s material – and sharing what you create yourself – easier: It is called Creative Commons. Watch this video to learn about Creative Commons.

Activity 3: Find Photos & Images

Flickr is a website used primarily for storing and sharing photos. You can use this site to find pictures on any topic. It includes photos taken by individuals as well as from important museums and archives like the Library of Congress. If you open an account, you can also use this site to upload pictures you’ve taken and then you can share them with your family your friends or the whole world.

Flickr includes many Creative Commons images, as well as many that are copyrighted. If you want to publish an image you find at Flickr on your blog, be sure to search for images with Creative Commons licenses. Hint: To find images with Creative Commons licenses, go to the Advanced Search screen, enter a keyword to search, then check.

” and click Search.

Or, you will probably find it much easier to use the Flickrcc site, which searches just Creative Commons-licensed images on the Flickr site for you.

When you publish one of these images, be sure to give credit by citing and linking to the url of the page where the photo appears. Look for the word “attribution” on the Flickrcc site. Copy that address and paste it under the photo in your post and make it a hyperlink. Remember, it’s very important to give credit to the creator of the original image.
Activity 4: Find at least two Creative Commons images you like and add them, along with a credit link, to a blog posting. Also write about your experience finding the images and why you chose them.
Topic 5: Good Manners and Commenting
If you haven’t already, it’s time to start visiting your classmates’ blogs and leaving supportive comments. First, though, remember that having good manners online is at least as important as in person. Why? Online, anything you write can spread far and wide before you know it, and it is so easy to misinterpret someone’s intentions when you don’t see their expressions or gestures or hear their tone of voice.
Activity 1: Watch this video about cyberbullying, and think about what precautions you can take to make sure you are always kind and supportive, not hurtful, in everything you write, in comments and everywhere else online.
Activity 2: Now, start visiting your classmates’ blogs and contributing comments. Good comments generally include a compliment, suggestion, and/or question. And, don’t forget to use your best writing skills. Remember that everything you write online contributes to your digital footprint.
Topic 6: Creating Your Own Images
You know now from your Flickr searches how to find great images online. There are also a lot of Web 2.0 tools that will help you create your own images by rearranging graphics and words. These are usually called mash-ups or remixes.
Activity 1: Visit one or more of these sites, create an image, add it to your blog, then write about your experience:
ImageChef: This site lets you customize signs and pictures with your own text. These images make fun additions to reports, cards, your blog, and anywhere.
Big Huge Labs: This site lets you “mash” images into magazine covers, puzzles, trading cards, and more.
Wordle: This site lets you turn text into beautiful word mosaics. Use it to create mosaics of your personal traits or hobbies, to analyze a writer’s key concepts, or to evaluate words you may be over-using when you write.
Aviary: This site lets you draw or edit images and record and edit audio. This site requires you to have an account. Your librarian/teacher may be able to set up an educational account on this site for you.
Make Beliefs Comix:  This is a fun site that lets you create comics.  The best part is that you do not need to have an account.  MakeBeliefsComix.com is a fun and easy site to use.
Activity 2: Now, write a blog posting about what site(s) you explored and how you think you could use this software for school projects or for fun. Add the images you created to your blog posting to share them.
Topic 7: Creating Animations and Videos
In addition to still images, there are lots of great Web 2.0 tools for creating your own videos.
Activity 1: Animoto lets you upload or select images and music, then generates a video for you with stunning transitions. To give credit to the images and/or music you upload, you can add an image file with urls for these items. You will need an account to create an Animoto video. Your librarian or teacher can set one up for you.
Activity 2 (Optional): More to Try
JayCut If you are over 13 and have your parents’ consent, you can use this free online editor to upload images, audio, and video and edit and create movies.
dVolver: This site lets you create simple movies with bubble text using a set of characters and backgrounds you select on the site. You don’t need an account, but you will need to create and save your video in one session; you cannot return later to edit it.
Activity 3: Now, write a blog posting about what site(s) you explored and how you think you could use this software for school projects or for fun. In your posting, link to or embed what you have created to share it.
Topic 8: Creating Documents and Presentations
Activity 1: You may already be familiar with office applications like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, but there are also online Web 2.0 tools that let you create documents, spreadsheets, and presentation files. When you use these Web 2.0 tools, you can access your files from any computer, and you can easily share them with other people. Two options to try are Google Apps and Zoho. Both of these require that you sign up for a free account. Unless your school has already established accounts, you should ask your parents if they are willing to set up a family account for you to use.
Activity 2 (Optional): More to Try
A different approach to presentations is to create an online poster using Glogster. This site lets you design a lively poster display with pictures and text, embedded video and sound, and attached files. Your librarian or teacher can set up a student account for you.
Activity 2: Now, write a blog posting sharing what you created and telling about what you explored and how you think you could use this software for school projects or for fun.
Topic 9: Fun with Books and Reading
Activity 1: There are several websites – Shelfari, Goodreads, and Librarything – that allow you to find information about books, keep track of the books you have read or want to read, add comments and/or reviews, and exchange ideas about what your are reading. All three of these options also let you display a “shelf” of your books on your blog. The sites all require that you sign up for a free account. If you are under 13, ask your parents if they are willing to set up a family account on one of these sites for you to use, then add some favorite books to your shelf and embed the shelf on your blog.
Activity 2: Now, write a blog posting about which site you explored and how you think you could use this software for school projects or for fun.
Topic 10: Evaluating Information Websites

While there’s a wonderful world of websites out there for you to use both to create – as you have been doing during this tutorial – and to get information. Unfortunately, though, since anyone can publish a website, not all sites are good quality. They may have incorrect or biased information. So, you need to be careful about what sites you select when you are looking for information.

Activity 1: Visit this webpage with “Five Criteria for Evaluating Web Pages” from the Cornell University Library for some questions to think about before you decide to use a site for information. Talk to your librarian about how you can learn more about evaluating websites that you want to consider using for research and information-gathering. Your librarian can also help you with lots of tips on how to find information, too.

Activity 2: When you added images to your blog, you gave credit by creating a link back to the page where you found the image. When you write research reports, you will need to create “Works Cited” list and write a complete citation for each book, website, database, image, and other source you use. There are some excellent citation makers, including Noodletools and Easybib. Try them both. Locate how to make a citation for the MLA format. Write the URL for this site on your planner or other homework helper. USE IT when you have to create a “works cited” list.

Activity 3: Now, write a blog posting about what you have learned about website evaluation and bibliographic citations.

Bonus Topic: Online Sharing
Activity 1: There are also a lot of great tools out there that will allow you and your classmates share conversations and/or information together. Here just a few. Try out at least one of them:
Wallwisher: This site lets you create a wall on which you and your friends can add “sticky notes.” The sticky notes can include text as well as images, audio, and video files you embed by linking to the online address where they are stored. You don’t need an account to set up a wall, but you do need to have an email address. If you share a wall address, anyone can contribute sticky notes to it without having an account.
VoiceThread: A VoiceThread is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos, and allows people to comment on the slides by typing, with a microphone, with a webcam, or by phone. You can use VoiceThread to have conversations, but you can also use it to record an online presentation. You do need an account to create or comment on VoiceThreads. If you are under 13, ask your parents if they are willing to set up a family account on this site for you to use.
Diigo: This site allows you to keep track of all your website bookmarks online, so that you can access them from any computer. You can also share your bookmarks with other people. When you bookmark a webpage, you add as many keyword “tags” as you like to it, so that you can find it later with any of the tags. You can also add a description, highlighting, and sticky notes to the websites you save. If you are under 13, ask your parents if they are willing to set up a family account on one of these sites for you to use.
Scribblar: This site lets you set up and share a multi-user whiteboard with live audio,images, text-chat, and more. If you are under 13, ask your parents if they are willing to set up a family account on this site for you to use.
Activity 2: Now, write a blog posting about what site(s) you explored and how you think you could use this software for school projects or for fun. If you used VoiceThread or Wallwisher, you can embed your work in your blog. For the other sites, create a link to your work in your posting to share what you have created.

Congratulations! You have completed Teen Learning 2.0! Welcome to the 2.0 Team. Now, you can help cheer on other students completing this tutorial.

Your last assignment consists of blogging about your feelings and critiques of this tutorial. Please answer the following questions:

  •  What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?
  • Which tools do you think you will use in the future, and how?
  • Do you have any suggestions to change this tutorial?