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Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Best Web 2.0 Tools I use in my classroom

I like to think of my classroom as an interactive learning zone where my student's can flourish and learn no matter what their learning style.

To me these web 2.0 tools are the best that I have come across to help my student's learn to the best of their abilities. These web 2.0 tools are exciting, engaging and help me as an educator to provide the best learning opportunities for my student's.


Web 2.0 Tools for Teacher's and Student's:
  • Twitter - Create a PLN (Personal Learning Network) of Educators from around the world - share your learning and learn from the best educators around the globe. Twitter is becoming the perfect Professional Development tool for teachers for no cost. Follow me @MrKempNz
  • Wikispaces - A Wikispace is a simple web page that can be used by schools, classrooms or student's to share their learning. It is a free tool and easy to use. Check out my class wikispace here for an example on how we use ours.
  • Blogs - A Blog is similar to a Wikispace - it is a way to regularly share your world with others. It really comes down to user preference. There are several different Blog creation sites which are all easy to use. Edublog seems to be the most widely used by schools and student's.
  • YouTube - YouTube has quickly grown to be one of the most popular websites on the Internet. I personally use it for searching for education related videos and for uploading videos for our class wikispace. You can now privately upload your video's so it is not publicly accessible.
  • TeacherTube - Similar to YouTube but specifically designed for teachers and education.
  • FlickrExplore, upload, and share photos online. Includes commenting and neat note functionality where users can add blocks of notes on the photos themselves for others to see - I have just started using this to make it easier to share my photo's on this blog.
  • Google Calendar - Tricky to get use to but once you've got it, it can be extremely powerful. Have your calendar wherever there is an internet connection - great for those always on the move or those with an i-pad or i-phone. Users can create multiple calendars; view by day, week, or month; share their calendars with the web or a select few; subscribe to other shared calendars; and more.
  • Skype - You can call people with Skype for free all over the world - amazing tool to use in the classroom - we use it regularly with classrooms around the world to ask questions when stuck or to help others with their questions - very powerful learning tool and now is made easier with the introduction of Skype for Education.
  • Delicious - An online bookmarking site - a place to store your bookmarks online, tag them and share them with your colleagues / student's.
  • Audacity - A sound editor and recorder suitable for Podcasting. Free Download.
  • Voicethread - Voicethread let's you create - for free - a collaborative presentation of comments by text or voice and allows you to draw. Here is an example of how I last used Voicethread.
  • MindMeister - A Free Collaborative Mind Mapping Tool.
  • Poll Daddy - A Free tool to create polls and surveys - can be easily embedded onto Wiki's or blogs and shared on twitter.
  • Prezi Prezi lets you create zooming presentations. Create a map of your ideas, images, videos, then show an overview, zoom to details, amaze, convince, take the day. And it is very simple to use. My student's use this independently as a fun creative presentation tool.
  • XtraNormal - Xtra Normal is a Free Download. If you can type, you can make movies.  Revolutionary real-time movie making software
  • GlogsterGlogster is a free service that lets you create interactive posters - My student's enjoy using Glogster as an alternative to present their learning.
  • Zimmer Twins - This website invites kids to create and share their own animated stories.
  • WordleTagul, Tagxedo and TagCrowd - Create cool looking word clouds online for free - all of these sites are excellent and easy to use - the children love using these to share their learning - great for staff to use as well.
  • Little Bird Tales - Create children books with original art work and their voices! Amazing tool for struggling readers and writers.
  • Mee Genius - Learn to read while listening to stories.
  • BrainPopBrainPOP creates animated, curriculum-based content that engages students, supports educators, and bolsters achievement. Great tool - the student's in my classroom love using BrainPop and the associated iPad app.
  • Tutpup - Play simple math games for free online live against players from around the world - my class love this and use it to challenge people with their basic facts worldwide - very inspirational for kids.
  • Wallwisher - an online noticeboard creator - perfect for embedding on blogs and wiki's - great for collaboration.
  • Vocaroo - A free and easy tool for recording sound and embedding into websites.
  • Voki - A free embeddable avatar creator - great to use as a motivator for student's - my student's use them on their wiki a lot to share their learning.
  • Blabberize - make your images talk - free.
  • Scratch - Create and share your own interactive stories and games.
  • DropBox - online file storage for free - access anywhere in the world.
This is only a small selection of the very best Web 2.0 tools that I use in my classroom on a weekly basis - some of the above are great for use with student's and some are great to use as an educator. Each and every one of these is a must for any educator and I would encourage you to spend some time checking out the tools above. 

Please share your favourite Web 2.0 tools for others to share and use as well. 

6 comments:

Craig McDonald said...

Hi Craig, great post, and a good collection of tools for the classroom. I have used many of them as well, at one time or another, and some have become a core part of how I like to teach. I'm really interested in using Scratch in the classroom - haven't tried it yet, but can see a lot of benefits. Would love to hear more about your experiences there.

What would be your absolute top five, if you had to choose?

Craig Kemp said...

Cheers for your post Craig :)
I too have made most of these core parts of my programme - they are just so fantastic and most are free!
My Absolute top 5 are (in no particular order):
1). Wikispaces - for my class - (http://weareroom1.wikispaces.com)
2). Twitter - for my PD - (@mrkempnz)
3). Blogs - for my self reflection (this blog)
4). You-Tube - search engine for myself and for kids - amazing resource for ANYTHING!
5). Dropbox - something new for me but awesome way of syncing stuff from laptop to i-pad / i-pod / i-phone / anywhere there is internet - the best part is that it is FREE!

Would love to hear others top 5's .... especially if they are not listed above - thanks for the prompt their Craig :)

Paula Jamieson said...

Enjoyed your post Craig,
There was a couple I hadn't heard of, MeeGenius and Little Birds. Mee Genius looks like a useful tool for those with iPods and iPads, several free ebooks too, which is always a bonus.
My favourite (or should I say "most used) Web 2.0 tools would be
1. Dropbox (I have upgraded to the Pro version, at $100 nz a year for 50gb it's worthy in my role)
3. Wikispaces ( for all online Cluster shared spaces)
4. Word Press/Blogger

5. Vimeo (online video storage)
6. Chirbit (voice recording/storage - great for easi speak to web)
Oh and don't forget Skype or Zamzar.......
The list could go on for miles.....
What did we do before we discovered all these time savers? Well I guess we probably didn't spend so much time in front of a screen before they were created anyway, lol.

darren mccarty said...

Craig,

I wanted to share a vocabulary review site that I built for students and teachers. Go to http://www.bubbabrain.com and play the demo game on the homepage. We have over 4500 k-12 review games.

Love the info on your blog!

Darren McCarty

darren mccarty said...

Check out http://www.bubbabrain.com ---great vocabulary review!

Laura said...

Craig, awesome post! I like Craig's (the other reader) top 5 too. To check if this list is useful, we just could just run a poll or something. SoGoSurvey is a cheap and powerful tool that allows you to create polls in seconds. And the results can be trusted! Maybe you want to check it out. www.sogosurvey.com