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By Dr. Harry Tennant

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Save time with shared databases

You’ve no doubt heard the terms Web 2.0 or the Read/Write web. Where the original use of the web was primarily where a few people published information and a lot of people accessed it, the Read/Write web is about lots of people publishing. They use lots of technologies like social media, photo and video sharing, blogs and wikis but the point is that far more people are contributing information to the web, sharing it with others. And the more readily it can be shared, the better.

Here's an example of easily benefiting from the information shared by others. Nearly every class could benefit from a list of recommended books. That applies from the primary grades through high school. So we created a utility in School Site Manager to make it easy to create recommended book lists. It consists of a large database of books that are categorized by grade level and subject matter. Also, if they have won awards, that can be noted too. Now with the recommended books database, all a teacher needs to do is simply check off the books from the database that he would like to have on his recommended book list. He can make a different list for each class. If there are books he would like to recommend that aren't in the database, he just adds them. And then the books he’s added are in the database and available to everybody else to add to their recommended book lists.

The recommended books database illustrates two ideas.

  1. Online tools should save teachers work, not add to their workload.
  2. By allowing books that are entered to be available to everybody, the more teachers who use the system, the more valuable the system becomes to everybody.

Posted at 12:00 AM Keywords: time saving 1 Comments

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