More and more these days students are spending more time online. They are learning to use the Internet as a valuable communication tool. Wikipedia, Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube,TeacherTube, LinkedIn, and many other web 2.0 websites allow these users to exchange lots and lots of information and ideas. Some teachers are even starting to participate on these sites and use them as a valuable means to communicate with their students. And the teachers that have found useful ways to use these tools as a means to deliver their curriculum have a strong advantage over teachers who turn a cold shoulder to technology.

Here are two real life examples of how web 2.0 is extending the classroom?let us know how do you think the benefit of the internet has impacted the classroom?

Joey who is a senior has been really sick lately. He is getting close to endangering himself to where he won?t be able to graduate. But there is one thing that is going to help Joey pass, his school?s requirement for all teachers to post notes, projects, and homework on the Internet daily. All of his teachers have a website where notes and more are posted each and every day. Some of the more advanced teachers have even used discussion boards on their websites to answer questions on homework and notes after school. So instead of leaving Joey on his own he now can follow along and keep current without falling behind.

Mr. Smith is a computer applications teacher who spends most of his day showing his students how to use office applications. The school district also just recently updated to the latest version of Microsoft Office. With many new features and a new layout, several students and other teachers where having a tough time figuring things out. So Mr. Smith and the technology department figured out that they could use some special software (in this case Camtasia Studio) to record the computer screen during Mr. Smith?s lessons and then the technology department can rebroadcast those screen recordings to the rest of the staff as training tutorials. Using sites like Youtube, TeacherTube, or even the district?s own SharePoint server Mr. Smith is extending his classroom to anyone who wants to learn about the new Microsoft Office program. The best part of what Mr. Smith is doing is the user can watch the lesson over and over again. Pausing when needed, rewinding, fast forward. If allowed the user can download the video and put it on an iPod, or a DVD and take the lesson off the Internet and on the road, on the couch, wherever is best of the user. And since the video is now digitized it can be used over and over again without the need to re record every semester, or at least until the next version of Office comes out.

There are tons of examples of how teachers all over the globe are using new technology to extend their classroom beyond the regular school day. Teachers are connecting globally with each other, exchanging ideas with other teachers, and even more importantly students.

With every good thing however there is always bad. Urge students to take responsibility online and to learn proper web 2.0 etiquette. Include things in lesson plans such as cyber bullying, plagiarism, pirating software and other media, and viruses/malware.

Get creative and see what other ways a classroom can be extended outside of the school yard. The possibilities are only limited to the imagination.