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How to Transform Your Classroom Using Web 2.0 Tools

Written by 18 November 2010

How to Transform Your Classroom Using Web 2.0 Tools

The way that students and teachers interact with technology is driving change within the classroom, and in a good way for the benefit of learning. The following are 10 educational tools that will boost your lesson plans up a notch, making learning even more fun for you and your students.

Glogster

A great way to take traditional classroom poster projects & give them a 21st century twist…no scissors, no glue, no magazines to cut out of = no mess! Students can click and drag items out of Glogster’s resources, choose their own backgrounds, pictures, text boxes, videos, web links, and more! An easy solution for teachers to grade projects and for students to share their projects beyond the 4 walls of the classroom. (click here to watch a 2 minute EdTech Talk about Glogster!)

Skype
This web tool is an easy solution for teachers to open up their classroom and their students to a world way beyond their campus. With Skype, students can learn from other students, connect with other cultures, and expand their knowledge in amazing ways by communicating through their computer with a webcam. 

Storybird
This is a fun and easy to use tool for creating short, visual stories. Students can select artwork, drag and organize photos, and add their own text. These creations can then be published on the web with adjustable privacy settings. There is also the option to allow comments, which is perfect for teachers to encourage student collaboration.

Wordle
Teachers and students of all ages can generate word clouds that show prominent words in any body of text. Just enter text you have gathered from students, or even a URL, to see a summary of what the text is about. Wordle even allows you to change the appearance of your word cloud by the shape, font, color, organization, and more. (click here to see a short video on how to use Wordle in the classroom!)

Bib.me
This online bibliography tool accesses Amazon, Yahoo!, and other news databases to pull citation information. Students and teachers can search for book titles, ISBN numbers, Journal articles, and website URLs and then create, share, and download the bibliography results. Bib.me even allows users to change the citation format into MLA, APA, Chicago or Turbian. Citation has never been easier!

Diigo

Diigo is a great social bookmarking website for teachers and students to do research, use tools to share and discover new information, and reference again later when back in the classroom. With Diigo, teachers and students can bookmark and tag webpages, as well as highlight any part of a webpage and attach sticky notes to specific highlights or a whole page they would like to discuss with other teachers, students, or peers.

Kidblog

This site was designed specifically for elementary and middle school teachers who want to provide each of their students with their own, unique blog. Teachers are able to monitor and maintain control while their students publish posts and participate in discussions, all within a secure classroom blogging community.

Kideos & SchoolWaxTV 
Kideos and School Wax TV are 2 perfect video site alternatives to using YouTube, which is often blocked at schools. These 2 sites are specifically designed with students, teachers and parents in mind. All videos have been screened and are organized by age and area, allowing teachers a quick and easy solution to find appropriate educational videos to use within classrooms.

DoInk

This is a great site for teachers to share with students who not only enjoy art and animation, but also want to make their own. Students don’t have to be an artist to use DoInk; this online community allows users to create original works, share ideas and re-use the work of others, as well as post to other social networking sites such as Facebook and YouTube.

Do you use these Web 2.0 tools (or others)?  Which ones are your students' favorites?  Tell me how using these new Web 2.0 tools have transformed your classroom!

              How to Transform Your Classroom Using Web 2.0 Tools

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