10 Free Web 2.0 Tools And How To Easily Use Them In Your Classroom

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to attend the first Ozarks Education Research Initiative (OERI) Teacher Technology Conference at Willard High School (MO).

The learning sessions I attended were all very good and I am going to share 10 of the FREE tools I learned about below. I will be incorporating them into how I teach and hopefully by using these tools during faculty meetings, PD sessions, and other opportunities as they arise, this will help us all to find ways to incorporate them into the classroom to engage our students even more.

This quote from last week has stuck with me ever since it was spoken – “Date the tool. Marry the idea.” I don’t recall who this is attributed to, but it resonates with me still.

Engagement is key! How powerful is that?  Date the tool. Marry the idea. The tools are ever changing, but the idea behind each of them is to engage more of our students in different ways. So, staff, I challenge you to “date” some tools here and there, but “marry” the idea and find ways to engage students!

Twitter summary of OERI Teacher Technology Conference at Willard High School on May 30, 2012 via Storify

This is a summary of the tweets sent out during the conference. The story within the conference from attendees using Twitter. I put this together in about 5 minutes using the free Storify app to curate the conversation from the hashtag #OERI.

Socrative

This link takes you to their website. Engage the class using any device on any browser. Socrative is a smart response system that empowers teachers to engage their classrooms through a series of educational exercises and games via smartphones, laptops, tablets, or desktop computers.

Today’s Meet by Allison Pilley @ajpilley

This is a blog post Allison wrote about how Today’s Meet could be used in meetings. This could easily be used in the classroom as well. It gives ALL students a voice. Even the ones that never speak. With this tool you create a room that can be accessed for a certain amount of time you set for it. This allows the audience to interact without interrupting by asking questions or interjecting additional ideas. The presenter could address at a later time or as soon as it is seen or needs to be answered.

Go! Animate Videos 

Make videos quickly and easily, Quick apps or robust full apps, Record your voice or just “type & go”, Share to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube & more. This and Voki, below, are similar and could be used in similar ways with students in the classroom. Students can practice writing and speaking dialogs, creating summaries on topics, or to introduce a writing prompt or topic, just to name a few ideas. A quick example video I created Check out my dance moves! Haha!

Voki in the Classroom

Not only can you and/or students create Voki’s, but there are lesson plans on the website. Just browsing I found one for 6th grade persuasive writing and an 8th grade one on “Flowers for Algernon.” Great ideas on how to incorporate this web tool into lessons you are already teaching. My Voki Example

Answer Garden

Answer Garden is a new minimalistic feedback tool. Use it as a tool for online brainstorming or embed it on your website or blog as a poll or guestbook. Pose a topic or question then share the link or embed in your blog and students type in words about the topic. You can limit the number of responses allowed per IP address and you can also moderate the answers. When finished you can also create the responses into a QR code that can be scanned via a smartphone to take you to the “garden” once it is finished.

YouTube Time Machine

This site is amazing! You have to try it because I can’t explain it well enough to do it justice. Super cool! A great resource for history/social studies classes or English Language Arts/Reading classes to put a book time period into perspective for students. Select a year and view videos from that year. You can select sports, video games, commercials, current events, television, movies, and music from that specific year. Amazing tool!!!

TitanPad

Allows multiple people to work on one document at the same time. Great collaborative tool. After creating your TitanPad you then share the link with those you want to use it and everyone can collaborate at the same time on the document. Once it is complete you can save, share, import/export, or continue to edit.

Tag Galaxy

Type in a topic/subject and this tool pulls in photos from Flickr to create a “planet” of pictures you can enlarge and spin around. If the topic is broad enough it will create a “galaxy” of photos. For example, I typed in MLB for Major League Baseball and it created 8 planets/topics related to MLB rotating around to create the galaxy of MLB. This would be a great tool to use to bring in current photos on a topic you may be studying.

Newseum

See the front page of hundreds of newspapers from across the world. Another great tool to see up-to-date/current events in real time. Also extremely helpful for use in presentations, research projects, or perhaps to have students get up and share a specific date in time that they find interesting. They can then read parts of an article and share their thoughts / learn about the context the article was written in.

6 Comments

  1. Katie Jones

    September 19, 2012 at 10:04 am

    That’s great that there are so many options for classroom tools.

  2. Kevin Windsor

    September 20, 2012 at 11:45 pm

  3. Dr Anirudh

    October 22, 2012 at 1:45 am

    that is great

  4. Pingback: 10 Free Web 2.0 Tools And How To Easily Use Them In Your Classroom | Edudemic « Building Connections

  5. AMCLAN

    October 27, 2012 at 6:02 am

    Didn’t know they had lesson plans. Thanks

  6. Patty Stephens

    November 16, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Recently discovered Socrative and I absolutely love it. I was going through withdrawals when I moved to a new school and no longer had my student response system. Since we are a 1-to-1 laptop school, Socrative works perfectly! Here is our experience: http://pattyoflynn.edublogs.org/2012/10/25/socrative/