If you've followed the Friday 5 for awhile, you probably already know that I am a fan of an internet phenomenon known as Web 2.0. According to Wikipedia, Web 2.0 is, "a phrase coined by O'Reilly Media in 2004, [that] refers to a perceived second generation of Web-based services—such as social networking sites, wikis, communication tools, and folksonomies—that emphasize online collaboration and sharing among users." The second coming of the Internet includes web sites that you might have heard of, such as Flickr, Blogger, del.icio.us, You Tube, and MySpace. Each of these sites serves a different purpose; what they have in common is that they depend on user generated content. This content is easily shared with others using something called RSS feeds, and interaction with others is encouraged via comments, tags, ratings and linking to other sites. Web sites that fit this Web 2.0 genre bring people to together, allow others to collaborate, and help distribute content that can be used in new and different ways. I encourage you to try out one of these services to discover the power of Web 2.0. Flickr, a photo sharing site, is a great place to start.
This week's Friday 5 contains a few sites that are new to me. If you are really into these kind of web applications, make sure you check out this comprehensive list of other Web 2.0 sites.
Swivel allows users to upload data, make charts and graphs, and share it with other in multiple ways. I first read about Swivel in Wired magazine, and it appears like it's not quite perfect and still in beta testing. Because it is so new, there's not a ton of data to look at, but I imagine this will change over time. Here's some data on Chicago Public Schools that can be viewed in different charts and graphs, for instance. It will be interesting to see how educators adapt Swivel for classroom use.
Quimble lets you develop online polls that can be made public or private. I heard about this service recently on the EDTECH listserv.
Kathy Shrock recently blogged about Scribd, which lets you upload PowerPoint presentations and other files. I like the nifty feature that reads this material to the viewer. Other similar sites worth checking out are SlideShare and ThinkFree.
This site was mentioned on Steve Hargadon's new Classroom 2.0 Ning site, where educators are discussing how to incorporate Web 2.0 technologies into classrooms. ToonDo allows users to create and share cartoons using a bank of clip art. It's definitely nifty, but I'd hold off referring kids to this site as I ran into a cartoon that was not particularly kid friendly that was featured in the archive section of this site. As with any site where material is shared, it's wise to take a look around before deciding whether something is appropriate for kids. ToonDoo, however, is very handy for teachers looking to create a graphic for a newsletter, web site, presentation, etc.