Web Tools

Google has many tools that are amazing for the classroom. There is a list here of all the tools:
If you want to see a powerpoint slide show about some of these tools, look HERE
I use Google docs for my English class and I have set up a collection in Google docs where all my students have access to every document in this collection. This precludes having to set them up in the sharing function of each document.

You can organize the way that you view your online resources with platforms such as iGoogle and Netvibes

I use iGoogle for tracking my student’s blogs as you get a look at everyone’s blog at once and determine who has completed their work. I have a snapshot of the page here.

iGoogle is my home page and I use it to organize all of my favourite web sites plus there are gadgets that you can add to customize this page. Take a look here:

Netvibes has a different look. Here is an example:

Diigo is a research tool that attaches to your web browser. You can then grab images, bookmark urls, highlight text, capture sections of the screen and organize this information in folders in a library. You can create a group for your class and share all the research that everyone does on the topic. You can also join an existing group relevant to your research. This is the Discovery Educator Network:

There are comprehensive tutorials HERE
More bookmarking tools:
Delicious http://www.delicious.com/
Google bookmarks http://www.google.com/bookmarks
My bookmarks.com http://www.mybookmarks.com/

Free Mind Mapping programs:

FreeMind http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
VUE http://vue.tufts.edu/
XMind http://www.xmind.net/
Bubble.us http://bubbl.us
An example of a mind map with bubbl.us:

More robust mapping and diagram programs are listed on the Beautiful Numbers page of this blog.

Create your own word diagrams and share them – download or display online with Wordle

Screencast is a portal where you can post videos, tutorials and slide shows for students, parents or peers. It has a much more professional polished look than Youtube. This is what it looks like with a video playing:

You can organize your content in folders and determine who will see the content with sharing permissions. You can embed the content into another web site or email the link. You can send specific invitations to people and give them permission to see the content. Or you can keep the content public and share the link with your class. Each folder can have various permissions attached to it. This is a free service with upgrades available for a price.

Web Sites
When considering building your own web site, there are many options, but what to choose, a wiki, a blog or a traditional web site? There is nothing traditional about the new web site builders.

Weebly.com offers a full range of capabilities to build your site: images, movies, links. It is as easy as working with wordpress (ok, so really easy). No need to buy web space or a domain name – it’s all taken care of. You may use a domain name of your own if you wish. Editing is done in real time, then uploaded to their site. Check out the features on the weebly web site.

The wordpress blog is another option. This site provides the space and the name for you. You may upload images and files, create pages, links and forms. You must embed videos though, since uploading directly costs extra. WordPress blog allows visitors to post comments directly onto your blog. You can organize your blogs by using categories. Your blog posts can be searched by date or category. There are levels of participation that you can designate to each user, plus a feature to lock a particular page with a password.
Of course, there are many sites that feature blog hosting, so there are numerous choices at your disposal.

A wiki is another form of web site. This type of web site allows users to login, then edit the pages along with you. The edits cannot be made synchronously, but entries must be made and saved individually for each author. These edits can be tracked in the history and each page has a discussion tab. You can add as many pages as you want, plus sub pages. You can separate pages out for editing and some for reading only. You can check out wikis at Wikispaces, a solid option that runs the wikipedia site.

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