Sunday, January 11, 2015

Using Web 2.0 in the Classroom

Web 2.0 is the next generation of the World Wide Web, which allows users to create content, interact with others to collaborate and share, download, remix and publish new content.  Web 2.0 tools help users to do these things and the great thing is they are accessible anywhere there is Internet access. 21st century educators use these tools to enhance their students' learning, communication and creativity.  

Discovery Education (2013) says that Web 2.0 tools fall into four categories: presentation tools, video tools, mobile tools and community tools. 

Presentation tools such as PreziemazeGoogleSlidesSlideshareVoiceThread and HaikuDeck, help you to create presentations online and, in most cases, for free.  

Video tools, such as AnimotoYouTubeVimeoJingPhotobucket, and Movie Masher, allow users to create and/or share their videos or photo slideshows with others. 

Mobile tools and community tools cover a wide range of tools from learning management and polling tools, like
PollEverywhereSocrativeNearpod Quizlet, TitanPad and Padlet to Nings, wikisblogging toolsGoogleDriveEdmodoTwitter and other community-based creation and sharing tools that cater to gamers, game designers, writers, artists, music lovers, and even educators. 

I used Google Slides with my students to create a group presentation.  Each student created one slide within the presentation with a quote they chose from and an image, to illustrate something they loved or about which they were passionate. When it was done, we had a great presentation to share with everyone.  I like that Google allows you to control who can access each individual document.

I have also used Scratch to teach problem-solving (as well as programming concepts).  Scratch is a community-based website where users can create video games or animated stories and interactive greeting cards using drag and drop programming blocks. They can share their projects with the community. It is expected that they will remix and reuse one another's projects to create their own. Scratch keeps track of each creator and automatically creates acknowledgments for each contributor to the remix tree. Users can also ask others in the community for help on their projects if they get stuck.  You can also create galleries, for curating projects by category. I created a gallery for my class to share their projects with each other. 

Another tool, I have used, is Storybird which is a storybook creator which uses amazing artwork, submitted by artists, to inspire writers to create stories about the pictures. Students can create electronic books, stories or poetry, which they can publish or share with friends via social media or email.  There is an education portal where teachers can create a class library as well.

You walk into the bathroom
 to find this. Write the story.

(C) 2015, RSA group
I recently discovered another writing prompt tool, which is in beta version currently, called Write About. Write About is a social publishing platform (RSA group, 2015) developed in 2014 by two teachers, John Spencer and Brad Williams, and provides visual writing prompts or ideas, like the one on the right, to inspire students' writing.  I plan to use this tool with my digital literacy students this year.  This one also allows the teacher to set up a private classroom group as well as control whether students can submit to the public site or just the group. 

Sources cited:

Discovery Education. 2015. Web 2.0 Tools. From:

RSA Group. 2015.  About Write About. From:

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