lets-talk-software-#50By Eric Schreefel.

Teachers are always on the look out for great resources. The fantastic thing about the web is that, over the last decade, an absolute plethora of online resources have emerged which has given rise to a new challenge. The difficulty is no longer in finding teaching resources; it is in sorting the useful from the not so useful.

In order to put together this list of the 101 best web 2.0 tools for teachers (in my opinion) I spent a month doing research and looked at around 2,000 different tools. It’s not like some of those other 101 lists that waste your time by repeating websites and including irrelevant things. This is legit.

It is important to understand that I chose to include each site based on four factors:

  • Functionality (i.e. did it work?)
  • Ease of use
  • Applications in education (could a teacher actually use it for something?)
  • Compatibility with popular educational technology and digital teaching materials.

Obviously, fitting all 101 websites into one article requires more room than we have in one issue. As such, I am presenting the list over a number of issues. If you missed the first installment, I recommend that you get hold of a copy of the last issue as it contained part of our list. That said, in no particular order, please enjoy the next installment of my list of 101 web 2.0 tools for teachers that you should know about.

34. Quora (www.quora.com)

Although not specific to teachers, Quora is basically a wealth of the world’s information. The gist of it is that if you have a question, say about a topic in your homework, you log in and post it. There, people who follow that topic will answer. I’ve met teachers who give the website out for high-level classes like physics and chemistry. It’s a great way for students to get a nudge in the right direction on a project or difficult assignment.

35. Penzu (http://penzu.com)

Penzu is home to what is probably the most realistic imitation of lined paper on the internet. This nifty online journal is accessible from any computer with the Internet, so it’s great for writing prompts and class notes.

36. Make Beliefs Comix (http://makebeliefscomix.com)

Create your own comic strip for free. You can write in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese or Latin. After you’re done creating, you can print your customised comic or email it to yourself.

37. Forvo  (http://www.forvo.com)

Forvo is the world’s largest pronunciation dictionary. It’s very valuable for foreign language teachers, because you can look up any word and hear it pronounced by an authentic native speaker.

38. Dictionary.com  (http://dictionary.reference.com)

Use Dictionary.com as a quick reference for words that your students don’t know. It’s often a lot faster than whipping out a conventional dictionary, because you can simply type the word into the search engine.

39. Wallwisher  (http://www.wallwisher.com)

Wallwisher is basically an online message board where you post “Sticky Notes”. You can make one for yourself to help you remember important events and dates, or create one for your class. You can even choose to approve each sticky note before it is created so that you can monitor what’s being said.

40. Google Talk (http://google.com/talk)

An instant messaging program that requires a Google account. The nice part about it is that many students are likely to have a Google account so they can always reach you when they have questions about homework.

41. Google Sites   (http://sites.google.com)

Google Sites is a free, and easy, way to create and share webpages and wikis.

42. Gmail  (http://mail.google.com)

Gmail is one of the most versatile free email programs out there. It’s really easy to use and you can access it from any computer with an internet connection. Most smartphones also have an app that allows you to check your email while you’re on the go. This is really great if you give students your email address.

43. TeacherTube (http://www.teachertube.com)

TeacherTube is exactly what it sounds like—YouTube for teachers. A colleague of mine introduced me to TeacherTube last year, and it’s been a favourite ever since. The design of the website is getting a little outdated (it’s reminiscent of past versions of YouTube) but there are many educational videos to choose from. Plus, students love it because:

  • They’re watching videos, and
  • It reminds them of where they find clips of ceiling cat.

44. Dabbleboard  (http://www.dabbleboard.com)

Dabbleboard is an online whiteboard drawing interface that allows you to collaborate and share your work with an unlimited number of users.

45. Podomatic (http://www.podomatic.com)

Create and upload your own podcast, or find a variety of free podcasts on Podomatic.

46. Diigo  (http://www.diigo.com)

Use Diigo to highlight text and images on webpages that you’ve found and then access them at a later date from your Diigo account. You can also create sticky notes if you need to write additional comments. When you return to the website, all of the annotations you made are still there.

47. Zamzar  (http://zamzar.com)

Another one of my favorite websites, Zamzar, is a free online file conversion service. It’s super easy to use, and all you have to do is upload your file and enter in an email for the converted file to be sent to.

48. Scribd  (http://www.scribd.com)

Scribd is a web 2.0 document-sharing site where you can upload, store and embed various types of files. It’s another popular option for moving files between your home and school computer.

49. BibMe  (http://www.bibme.org)

BibMe might be the easiest way to create a works cited page. You can search for a book, article, website or film, and it automatically generates the information for you. You can also enter in the information yourself if you have it on hand.

50. MediaFire (http://www.mediafire.com)

MediaFire is a free file and image hosting website. It is nice because you can upload and download your documents from any computer with an internet connection and only you have access to them.

51. Google Bookmarks (http://www.google.com/bookmarks)

Keep track of websites that you’ve visited and add searchable notes to them.

52. Create-a-Graph  (http://nces.ed.gov/nceskids/createagraph)

Use Create-a-Graph to make attractive graphs for free. Choose from bar, line, area, pie and simple XY coordinate graphs.

53. Remember the Milk  (http://www.rememberthemilk.com)

Remember the Milk is a free online to-do list and task manager. It’s cool because you can use it from a number of different platforms including Gmail, Twitter, iPad, iPhone, Android, and more.

54. ClassMarker  (http://www.classmarker.com)

ClassMarker is an online quiz and test creation website. As an educator, you get 100 free tests taken (and graded!) per month.

55. Bubbl.us  (http://bubbl.us)

Use Bubbl.us to create colorful online mind maps. It’s great for class discussions and brainstorming sessions.

56. Meebo Messenger  (http://www.meebo.com/messenger)

In my opinon, Meebo Messenger is the best instant messaging application that there is. You don’t have to download any kind of software—all you have to do is sign up for an account. With Meebo, you can chat with students on different instant messaging platforms without having to download or use that specific platform yourself.

57. Blabberize  (http://blabberize.com)

Blabberize is a fun web 2.0 tool that allows you to upload a picture (of a person or animal), select its mouth, and make it talk by adding an audio file. Like Gizmoz, your students are sure to get a kick out of it!

58. Primary Pad (http://primarypad.com)

PrimaryPad is an online word processor that allows students and teachers to work together in real-time.

59. EasyBib  (http://www.easybib.com)

Use EasyBib to automatically generate works cited and bibliography information for academic papers using MLA, APA and Chicago/Turabian citation styles. Easybib is a student favourite.

60. Crocodoc  (http://crocodoc.com)

Crocodoc is very useful for reviewing and marking up student papers and assignments. You can upload and display documents in your browser without Flash or any plugins, and then use the Crocodoc tools to write comments, edit and highlight.

61. Sharendipity (http://sharendipity.com)

Customise, create and share your own educational games with Sharendipity. You don’t need any programming skills to get started. Just choose one of several game templates, or start from scratch.

62. TypeIt (http://www.typeit.org)

TypeIt is handy for foreign language teachers and students. Use it to easily type accents and diacritics online without a language-specific keyboard. TypeIt is nice, because you can move back and forth between Microsoft Word with cut and paste.

63. TubeChop (http://www.tubechop.com)

If you want to show a YouTube video in class that isn’t entirely appropriate or relevant, use Tubechop to cut out all of the excess and only keep what you want to show.

64. Mindomo  (http://www.mindomo.com)

Mindomo is another online mind mapping tool. It’s neat because you can collaborate in real-time with others, and share/embed what you’ve created. You get three free mind maps.

65. 4shared  (http://www.4shared.com)

Enjoy 10GB of free file storage at 4shared. Since everything is stored in the cloud, you can access it from any computer with an Internet connection.

66. Bitly  (http://bitly.com)

If you tend to provide your students with a lot of links to online readings, activities, etc., you should look into using bitly’s link shortening service so that you aren’t sending your kids super long URLs. You can even track how many times each link has been clicked to get an idea of how many students actually followed your instructions.

This concludes the second installment of our three part series on 101 web 2.0 tools for teachers that you should know about. Have fun exploring and introducing these great resources into your classroom and keep an eye out for the next and final installment in the next issue of Education Technology Solutions Magazine. 

Erik Schreefel is the Operations, GoEd Online. You can reach him via email at eschreefel@teachersdiscovery.com

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Education Technology Solutions has been created to inspire and encourage the use of technology in education. Through its content, Education Technology Solutions seeks to showcase cutting edge products and practices with a view to expanding the boundaries and raising the standards of education curricula. It introduces teachers and IT staff to the latest products, services and developments in education technology with a view to providing practical how-to guidance designed to facilitate the integration of those products and services into the school environment in the most productive and beneficial manner possible.
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