The Web Has Changed

If this doesn’t impress you, nothing will. Maybe you haven’t bought into the hype. Perhaps all that Web 2.0 mumbo jumbo went over your head. It’s possible that I may be wrong that things are changing.

Take two minutes and go to Protopage. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

See what I mean?

For the web-challenged (or lazy), here’s a quick overview: Protopage starts with what looks like five Post-It ™ notes.

One is a welcome note. You can move this around, resize it, edit it, or delete it. You can make it say anything you want.

A second is a list of things you can try. Like the first, this is just a note. You can have as many of these as you want.

The third one has quick links. Think of it as your own customized portal page. Put whatever links you want in there. If you run out of space, make it bigger or make another one. If you have different categories of information, make several of these, one for each category.

My news is just that — news. It’s aggregated using RSS. I haven’t written about RSS yet, I don’t think. Basically, you type in a feed address, and it gets updated automatically when the site gets updated. Try typing in there. Or, try

The last panel is for quick searches. You can type in query and search your favorite search engine, right from here.

Who cares?
You should. As soon as you save this, it’s available online. You give it a name, set a password (so only you can edit it), and give them an email address. Then, it’s live. You’re familiar with portal pages (see for an example). You can make your own portal page very easily here. It’ll look nicer than anything the school has available, and it can have automatically updated content.

Let’s say you’re teaching a unit on… earthquakes. You want the kids to do a webquest style project. You go to  Protopage, and give them a few instructions. You give them links to go to to get information. You provide search tools. Maybe you include feeds from some resource that has to do with earthquakes. You’ve created a web page that’s content-specific to that particular project. Save it, name it, and move on. Make as many as you want. Link them together. Use them with kids.

Or, maybe the kids make one. They collect the resources to tell a story or make an argument or explain a topic. Give a group of kids the password and let them collaborate, editing and revising each other’s work.

Plus it’s fun.

The web has changed.