Use of Web tools for teaching: blogs, wikis, podcasting and other web 2.0 tools

eLearning, Universities 0 29

The web is, and always has been, an exciting place for education in terms of the possibilities it offers for research and collaboration. Now, it is even more exciting, with the appearance and development of new tools which have become collectively known as Web 2.0.

Dr Hiran Amrasekera delivered a presenation on this subject on 27 March 2007 at 2.30 pm at Forestry Auditorium, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka.

Topics discussed at this presentation were: introduction to eLearning, introduction to new WWW (web 2.0), tools for developing and delivering online learning: Static and dynamic content web sites, Virtual Learning Environments, RSS feeds, Blogging, Photo Sharing, Podcasts, Webcasts, Video Blogging, Wikis, Social Bookmarking.

Some terms discussed at this presenation:
Blog – Short for web log, or online journal. It is a website that contains diary- type written material, links or photos being posted all the time, usually by one individual, on a personal basis
Some of our blogs:
Environmentlanka blog by Hiran Amaraskera
Blog of Forestry students at University of Sri Jayewardnepuera
Research papers presented at Forestry and Enviornment symposium 2005

e-learning 2.0
– combines the use of tools and web services – such as blogs, wikis, and other social software (so called web 2.0 software) – to support the creation of learning communities.

Folksonomies (or social tags) – A mechanism to allow authors to highlight other similar content to a reader, using informal, keyword tags; particularly effective for sharing bookmarks.
Our social tags at

M-learning – learning distributed to mobile devices such as cell phones or PDAs.
Our mLearning site at studentlanka

Photo sharing – Share your photos with others online.
Our photosharing site at Flickr

Podcast – This is an audio recording that you can subscribe or download and listen to on a computer or an mp3 player. It takes its name from the iPod – but you don’t actually need an iPod to either make or listen to a podcast. There are lots of educational podcasts freely available.

RSS feeds – Usually taken to stand for Really Simple Syndication, RSS is what makes it possible to subscribe to podcasts and blogs. We use search engines to find informaiton. But, with RSS, we are training the information to find us.

VLE (Virtual learning environment) – software which allows teachers to track students’ progress, manage course content, and so on.

Web 2.0 – There’s some debate about exactly what it means! Until recently the world wide web has been seen pretty much as a static publishing medium, now it has become a participatory platform with blogs, wikis and other tools. Hence it is not not merely another way in publishig, but anyone can contribute to an ongoing “conversation” in which knowledge is both discovered and constructed as it goes on.

Wiki – A web page that can be edited in situ by anybody who has been granted access to it. This is a great tool for collaboration of information in teaching.

Follow this link to access these ten best web sites for students and teachers.



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