It was a little chaotic from the students presentations' perspective: power was out for half the workstations and they were trying to fix it in the middle of class; the media crew and later the photographer (hired by the University) were all around; the high school Internet access blocked some of the sites that our students built their project on; and people just kept coming in and leaving for random reasons. Anyway, I still think it was successful but we may need to rethink the format a little and perhaps the tools our students can use.
Their final project requires them to create and build a concept for what their audience may want to use out of any combination of Web 2.0 tools they want. Some of our students are more technical than others so some actually wrote the software, while others used the service apps we had or on other sites. We can't show the projects until our students are done with it but I can describe some of them:
- a site that pulls in what local radio stations play in different locales around the country and have forums to discuss the regional differences and tastes
- an online social poll, where anyone in a small team can set up, answer, or even change the poll questions.
- a dual wiki/blog format for content offering different interaction means to the same data (and seeing which one is more popular)
I think next semester we need to pick out a selection of free resources they can build their project on. From the Web 2.0 Summit, I added to my list of such resources that let you build your own social network on their service: Ning.com, GoingOn.com, Xing.com, netvibes's ecosystems, ITtoolbox.com.
I'll keep looking for more; we want to offer people a number of different options so they can work on innovative ideas. Again, this is not a programming class, and we don't expect that they'll build one of their own or modify these extensively, but you never know what will happen.