These are some web tools I have used in the classroom. (List is in progress)
I think I overused Prezi when I first discovered it. I definitely overdid the spinning and made some of my students seasick. I use it to go over my course information at the beginning of the year. I’ve also used it to quickly share exemplary student writing on a particular assignment or to review quotes from Romeo & Juliet. But I also still haven’t fully explored its potential, specifically with regard to the way you could play with perspective.
I’m so excited about Edmodo, which seems to be an online classroom made to look as much like Facebook as possible. I’m thinking and hoping that this fact alone will increase student engagement and lead to authentic communication between my students. Early returns seem to confirm this, but I’ll update in subsequent blog posts.
I’ve only used this a couple of times, but I love the potential for instantly projecting student examples on the board, and there’s obviously a ton of engagement when you let them text. When I was in a 1:1 classroom, I used iChat for this, which is much simpler. Big problem: although it doesn’t seem like it, not every student actually has a cell phone. Then they’re instantly left out. I think that’s why I didn’t use this more.
This is just my favorite website, and the greatest offender to my productivity. But I have played some of its quizzes with students when there are a few minutes left in class and we’ve finished everything. I say it builds community.
Nothing groundbreaking here, but sometimes I forget how important it is for some kids to see on a map where the story we are reading is taking place. It makes everything a touch more real, maybe. Also, many people are very bad at geography and are surprised, for example, that England is not actually in America.
I love Popplet because it’s so easy to use, so easy to get started using, and so versatile. I’ve used it for thinking maps, essay outlines and sharing/assessing student work. Many colleagues have attested to how easy it is to begin using for the very first time, so there’s no reason to be afraid of it. See my post.
A cloud-based, simplified PowerPoint. I love being able to save simple presentations to the web and then have easy access to them from any computer. I like this better than GoogleDocs Presentation function, which is also cloud-based, mostly because of the image and movie embedding tool, which allows you to easily search the web and embed in one step.