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This presentation was a part of the "Taste of Technology" Workshop held July 26, 2009 as part of the AAPT Summer Meeting at the University of Michigan. Many students today are already comfortable using common web-based tools -- uploading and linking files, downloading music, images, video, etc.. Students communicate electronically not only through email but also in web-based social communities such as Facebook and Second Life. Physics instruction infused with second as well as first generation web tools -- blogs, wikis, forums, cafes, web seminars, digital libraries and many other web-based tools could provide conduits for students-to-student and student-to-instructor communication and course application. No knowledge of HTML (or of Web authoring in general) is needed for blogging. Students’ blogs, linked to a course wiki functions as an electronic portfolio, showcasing concept development over time, capturing questions, connections and supplying feedback from sources outside the traditional one-instructor assessment model. Wikis (wiki wiki is Hawaiian for "quick") can afford the opportunity for a class “learning community” where ideas could be shared, edited and the construction of a “living document” profiling and recording the proceedings of a particular class or course. Web seminars are commonly used within and external to educational contexts where participants can interactively learn through scheduled “net meetings” or presentations by experts in a field. A second generation tool, similar to web seminars but less formal are science cafes where experts can meet online at a predetermined time with participants. Digital libraries can provide a wealth of vetted resources and advice with many targeting and representing a specific topic or user group.
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