WEB TOOLS


Tom’s Main Strategies
  The Edge-ucators Way

http://ozline.com/entry/strategies/edge-ucators/

This is a comprehensive approach designed to empower all members of a school staff to support students’ digital learning.  Level 1 is for everyone with the next two requiring more ICT skills but also enabling more advanced student learning through critical thinking, intrinsic motivation, Habits of mind and Flow.

  Look to Learn

http://ozline.com/entry/strategies/look-to-learn/

The total focus of this site is to provide teachers and students with easy access to rich resources and compelling prompts as a means to promote a culture and appetite for critical and creative thinking and joy of learning.

  ClassPortals

http://ozline.com/entry/strategies/classportals/

ClassPortals are a way for teachers and groups of students to use their shared online space to deeply explore one main topic.  RSS feeds contribute current rich media, a blog empowers student authors and the focus gives real practice with Habits of Mind.

  WebQuests 2.0

http://ozline.com/entry/strategies/webquests/

WebQuests have been a mainstay of online learning since they were created in 1995.  Tom March contributed to the concept’s developed, refining the original format to accent authentic learning.  Use of Web 2 tools create an even more natural learning process.

  CEQ•ALL

http://ozline.com/entry/strategies/ceqall/

Technology enables more enriched personal learning than has ever been available before.  But served in the traditional “assembly line” approach, students tend to remain passive and “play school.”  The Game needs to change to “Seek All” – a process to truly support students’ self-managed learning.


“Killer Apps for Cutting Edge-ucators”
  Firefox Browser

http://www.mozilla.com/firefox/

Firefox is the second most used Web browser.  In comparison to Internet Explorer it affords benefits in security, consistency in correctly presenting content and “add-ons”. Consider downloading this and exploring add-ons like the Easy YouTube Downloader.

  WordPress

http://wordpress.com/

The best free online Blog software.  Use WordPress as your main platform for launching your digital learning resources.  WordPress.com is the online version, but also consider installing your own through a Web host that provides Cpanel and Softaculous.

  Diigo

http://diigo.com/

First there were favourites, then there was Del.icio.us.  Now there is Diigo (pronouncd “deego”).  More than book-marking, Diigo allows for Groups, Discussions, highlighting and comments.  A teacher control panel allows for loading classes so students can contribute to shared bookmarks.

  NetVibes

http://netvibes.com

Since the demise of Pageflakes, Netvibes has improved and deserves to be the RSS feed page of choice.  Create pages on specific areas of interest from which you can gather the latest information and useful widgets. Use this heaps to bring new information into your ClassPortal.

  iTunes and iTunesU

http://apple.com/itunes

Far more than music, iTunes provides easy access to audio and video podcasts from sources as varied as the ABC, National Public Radio in the US, all news programs, radio stations and every major university.  Search, download and subscribe to then have the files are on your hard drive.


 

Gathering Rich Resources
  See NetVibes in the “Killer Apps”
  TagGalaxy

http://taggalaxy.com/

This mash-up provides an engaging and sometimes poignant or arresting collection of public images from Flickr (http://flickr.com). Use it to discover how the world sees specific themes or topics, but use caution as some tags may include less appropriate content.

  Evernote

http://evernote.com

Evernote is a cross platform information clipping tool that allows you to create a searchable database of what you want to save and retrieve.  Save Web pages, images, links and add your own notes.  You can use Evernote from your browser, right-mouse-click, computer, phone or iPad.

  Trove

http://trove.nla.gov.au/

The National Library of Australia provides outstanding access to a “wealth of Information” in the form of archival newspapers, books, images, maps, music, video, etc.  Explore this rich library for authentic Australian historical sources.

Hosting  
  Softaculous

http://netvibes.com

Since the demise of Pageflakes, Netvibes has improved and deserves to be the RSS feed page of choice.  Create pages on specific areas of interest from which you can gather the latest information and useful widgets. Use this heaps to bring new information into your ClassPortal.

  TMD hosting

http://tmdhosting.com

If there comes a time when you want to breakaway from WordPress.com and host your own site, TMD hosting is a very inexpensive alternative.  Using Softaculous you can install your own WordPress in minutes.  Now you have the chance to embed any codes, install new themes and plugins and upload videos.  Best of all, the customer support is fantastic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other Spaces
  See WordPress in the Killer Apps
  Wikispaces

http://wikispaces.com/

A stalwart among wikis, Wikispaces has continued to improve and serve the education sector.  Best used as a true wiki where learners go to add their expertise to a growing knowledgebase.  Consider making your class’s wiki a worthy contribution to a learning community.

  Wix

http://wix.com

Powered by Flash, Wix is a very easy way to create highly interactive Web sites.  Anyone, especially children can create very professional looking Web sites just by clicking and dragging.

Online File Storage & Forms
  See Dropbox in the Killer Apps
  Box

http://box.net

Box.net is like Dropbox in that it provides free online storage, but it allows even more with collaboration and communication.  You can use it as an intranet and shared workspace.

  JotForm

http://jotform.com

If you ever need to create online surveys or forms of any kind, JotForm is the answer.  Combined with Dropbox, Jotform allows you to create an form so that students can upload their files to you on a free, big storage dropbox.

 

Video Sources
  See iTunes in Killer Apps
  YouTube

http://youtube.com/

Everyone knows about YouTube, but it becomes even more useful when you use in conjunction with a WordPress blog or other platform that enables embedding.  Use Firefox and install the “Easy YouTube Downloader” add-on.  Consider using a YouTube profile to save favourites for your courses.

  TED – Technology Entertainment Design

http://ted.com/

A conference of the worlds’ brightest minds and innovators open only to invited guests but available in full length and high definition from the TED web site, YouTube channel and iTunes.  TED is the source of some of the more influential presentations on every subject you can imagine.

  TubeChop

http://tubechop.com/

If you show only part of a YouTube video, use TubeChop.  You easily drag in the beginning and end to highlight the portion you want to show. TubeChop also offers a way around filters that block youtube because the Web address is now sourced from TubeChop if you want this feature.

  TubePrompter

http://ozline.com/electraguide/prompter.php

This is a homemade tool to help teachers create Look to Learn activities by allowing them to paste embed codes from video sites and then combine the videos with Thinking Prompts of there choice.

 

 

 

 

 

Collaboration Tools
  Stixy

http://stixy.com/

Like a useful bulletinboard sitting over your desk, Stixyboards allow individuals or groups to very easily add post-its, photos, media documents and important dates.  Everything works smoothly and can be set as a pubic or private shared workspace – the even sends reminders!

Be careful: anyone can move or delete another’s posts.

  EtherPad / TypeWith.me

http://typewith.me

Sometimes you might want a shared writing space that doesn’t require users to join a site or log-in – just start typing.  EtherPad has closed down since it was acquired by Google, but the source code has been installed on many other sites like TypeWith.me.  Limit of 16 concurrent users.

  Twiddla

http://twiddla.com

Here’s a platform that provides EtherPad as well as a whiteboard, Web page, drawing tools and shared documents.  Best of all, this space is easily shared for collaboration without logging in.

  VoiceThread

http://voicethread.com

Voicethread is a good way for a large number of people to comment on the same multimedia prompt.  One of the main strengths of VoiceThread is that it easily allows people to record audio posts and comments.  For this reason it is very popular with teachers of younger students who might have great ideas, but limited writing abilities.  Be sure to test it at your school because not all local networks enable it.  To use with students you will need an educator account ($).

  Wallwisher

http://wallwisher.com/

Similar to Stixy, Wallwisher allows real time posting of notes onto the same wall.  A little clunky and without the other media uploads, many people still prefer it to Stixy.


 

Handy Tools
  Online Stopwatch

http://www.online-stopwatch.com/full-screen-stopwatch/

Putting students in charge of monitoring time is one good way to shift responsibility for classroom life from the teacher to students.  This Full Screen version can be used to keep group work or presentations on track.

  Glogster

http://glogster.com/

Think of Glogster as multimedia posters where a person can embed videos, record audio, add clipart and images to their heart’s content.  The main Glogster site is a little wild, so link to the EDU version.

  Prezi

http://prezi.com/

Think “Powerpoint,” but cool.  Prezi creates highly animated presentations that allow for easy embedding of video and unique graphic focusing of attention.  The best Prezi’s are fantastic, most are pointlessly busy.  Used well, the animation afforded by Prezi enhances the syntax of presentations.

  Google Maps

http://maps.google.com

An increasingly powerful tool, Google Maps is a great way to create virtual tours of anywhere in the world.   Just turn on the photos and Wikipedia features and start discovering.  Also, save your maps and then add your own pegs and embedded information.


 

 

Thinking Tools
  Mind42

http://mind42.com/

“Mind Mapping for 2” (e.g., collaboration). This seems to be the current best free and reliable mind mapping / clustering site. The ability to share and collaborate combine with one of the easier interfaces to recommend Mind42 over the likes of MindMeister or Thinkature.

  Edistorm

http://edistorm.com

Here’s an interesting group brainstorming tool.  Not only is a shared space for people to pool ideas, but each contributor gets to “vote” on suggestions so that you can experiment with ranking and group decision-making.

  Exploratree

http://www.exploratree.org.uk

Created by FutureLab, Exploratree provides interactive thinking  scaffolds.  Use one of the pre-made graphic organisers or create your own.  Because you register (free) you save all the mind maps you create which is great for re-visiting and revising thinking.

  ThesisBuilder

http://ozline.com/electraguide/thesis.php

Designed for secondary students learning to write persuasive or controversial issue essays.  ThesisBuilder scaffolds the creation of a argument, thesis statement and essay outline.

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