Web 2.0 Tools

What is Web 2.0?

Web 2.0 is a term that was coined at a conference brainstorming session in 2003 (http://oreilly.com/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html). Web 2.0 is known as the "read/write" Web because rather than static Web pages, the Web now contains tools that have "harnessed collective intelligence", allowing multiple users to interact, collaborate, and create online learning environments, multi-media presentations, Web sites, and other resources.

Web 2.0 Tools & Other Free Web-based Resources

There are a variety of free resources that are either Web-based or are applets or clients that can be downloaded onto computers. Many of the resources below were recommended by Kathy Schrock at a presentation that she did for the EASTCONN Tech Council on April 24, 2008. Additional resources continue to be added. Click on the links below to find these valuable resources:

Free Communication Tools:
Chat Creator - Go to: http://chatcreator.com/ to create synchronous chats on the fly
Twitter - Twitter is a cross between RSS and IM. Twirl is a nice client-based software that is like Twitter but easier to use. Educational people use this for educational purposes. Go to: http://twitter.com/ to create your Twitter account and start "twittering".
Skype - Skype is a Voice Over IP (VOIP) program that is very handy. You can call other computers for free and other telephones for pay. It also has a chat client. Go to http://www.skype.com/ to download the Skype client and start "skyping".
WisiQ - This is a free Web-based application that allows participants to share files on a white board.

Free Collaboration Tools:
Wikis - In Hawaiin wiki wiki means "quick". Wikis are easy to create and view and can be set up to allow anyone to add, edit and remove. Kathy thinks that Wikis are the best piece of software available on the Web. They are great for collaborative lesson plans/units. Some examples of some Wikis are:
  • Wikispaces - This is one of the most popular. For a free membership and to start creating your own Wiki, go to: http://www.wikispaces.com/. For a PowerPoint presentation on what a Wikispace is and how to create one, go to: http://help.wikispaces.com/space/showimage/Help.Wikispaces.Teacher+Presentation.ppt.
  • Jottit - This is a quick and easy Wiki. For more information, go to: http://jottit.com/about.
  • Wikipedia - Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that is built by its users. To go to the Wikipedia home page, go to: http://www.wikipedia.org/. You can search in multiple languages on Wikipedia. NOTE: Kathy Schrock hates Wikipedia because she doesn't agree with Will Richardson and Alan November that the cream will rise to the top. However it's interesting to be able to see the revisions on any Wikipedia page. If your students use Wikipedia, make sure that they cite the revision so that you can. In Kathy's district, they can use it as a "source consulted" but not as a "source cited".
Gliffy - Gliffy is a free online diagraming software tool. It allows you to create and share flow charts, diagrams and more. To get started, go to: http://www.gliffy.com/.
Bubbl.us - This is an online brainstorm and online concept-mapping software. If you don't have Inspiration, this is a great free alternative. To create your free account, go to: http://bubbl.us/ and start brainstorming.
Google Docs - This gives people access to word processing, spreadsheets and a presentation package. There's an RSS feed and a URL provided for each document. Kathy uses this so that she doesn't have to be the Webmaster for everyone's page. She has turned the Superintendent's page into a Google doc and linked from the district's Web site. She put instructions for the Superintendent's secretary into the Google doc and she updates it every month, overwriting the previous month's page. One of her schools also does a school newsletter in this way. You can invite people to collaborate or view your documents on Google Docs. Revisions are color coded by the people. To watch a video that describes Google Docs, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRqUE6IHTEA. To create a free Google Docs account, go to: documents.google.com
Google Calendar - Kathy thinks that Google Calendar is a sweet application. Her district uses it to create collaborative calendars. Go to: www.google.com/calendar
Google Sketchup - Google Sketchup is a software application that is available for free download. It is cross-platform (PC and Mac). It allows you to create, modify and share 3D models. For more info and to download, go to: http://sketchup.google.com/
Voo2do - This is an online application for keeping track of tasks and projects. It's entirely Web-based and free. For more information, go to: http://voo2do.com/.
Skrbl - Skrbl is a simple multi-user online interactive whiteboard. You can save the final document as an HTML document. To create your account, go to: http://www.skrbl.com/.

Literacy Tools:
Read Please: ReadPlease 2003 (Free Edition) offers full support for all Microsoft voices, reads text via Windows clipboard from any program, Adjustable voice speed (rate) and more. To download the free version, go to: http://www.readplease.com/english/downloads/#rp2003
Awesome Stories: Allow your students to enjoy an interactive learning experience as they see thousands of hand-selected and relevant links to pictures, artifacts, manuscripts, documents and primary sources. Go to: http://www.awesomestories.com/
ELL Links: Bristo Public Schools has posted a variety of links to Web-based resources to support ELL students at: http://www.bristol.k12.ct.us/page.cfm?p=3933
You Quote It, You Note It! - This is an online tutorial published by Vaughn Memorial Library at Acadia University that helps students understand what plagarism is and how to avoid it. For this interactive 10 minute tutorial, which will help middle and high school as well as college students, go to: http://library.acadiau.ca/tutorials/plagiarism/.

Social Networking
Social networking has a bad reputation. Kathy blocks My Space and Facebook simply because she figures that if she left them open students would do nothing else all day.
Ning.com - This is a free social networking site that allows you to create your own site or become a member of other people's sites. Go to: http://www.ning.com/.

Composition Tools
Kathy considers composition tools that allow users to easily see your content and give you feedback but not revise your content.
Blogger - Blogger is a free site that allows anyone to create and post Blogs on any topic. Kathy hosts Blogger through their local server which allows her to get rid of the Next Blog button. She goes to Blogger to edit but stores the files on the Nauset Public Schools server. To learn more, go to: https://www.blogger.com/start.
del.icio.us - Del.cio.us is an online bookmarking tool. You can also click on other people's bookmark lists which provides you with the research that others have done. It leads you to a collaborative treasure trove of other people's data. To create your account and start tagging your bookmarks, go to: http://del.icio.us/. VBookmark is a freeware program that you can download and use to create a quick hotlist.
Zoho Creator - This is an online database creation tool which allows you to create public and private databases. It includes a read-only URL for users and lets you embed forms on a Web page. It also allows you to import and export CSV files. For more info, go to: http://creator.zoho.com/.

Teacher Tools
Test Designer - Test Designer allows teachers to write and share questions and print or e-mail worksheets to students. For a free membership, go to: http://www.testdesigner.com/.
Source for Game Templates **Game Templates** go to: **http://www.murray.k12.ga.us/teacher/kara%20leonard/Mini%20T's/March%20Mini%20T-Games/Games.htm**