Co-Creation & Ideation Tools

Co-creation and ideation tools facilitate the most direct interaction between team members on the goals or desired outcomes of the project. Using these tools, participants can often work in groups directly editing or building the project artifact.  Several of these tools are the same ones used for project management – which is great – because the students will already be familiar with the interface.

Google Apps for Education A group of students can work together on an in Google Docs and Spreadsheets, seeing changes in real time and even discuss the process or comment right within the tool.  Everything is automatically saved in the cloud which means that documents, presentations and sites can be accessed – and edited – on almost any mobile device, computer or tablet.

Group members can edit documents, presentations or websites with images, videos, tables, drawings, or links and teachers or other students can give feedback by adding comments. The discussion feature (now available in Spreadsheet and Presentations as well as Docs) allows team members to talk about the project, what to do, how its going, etc right within the project.  You can even use the Research tool right within Documents to search for content on the web. Google Sites can be used as a portfolio or as a place to embed and showcase student projects. As a teacher you can create a template of a Site that contains directions, examples, links to resources and helpful tips and then have your students make a copy of the site.   This productivity suite was made for collaboration!  Other collaboration suites are:  Zoho Docs  and Microsoft 365.

Google Apps Examples:

  • Spanish students worked collaboratively to create a newspaper with a variety of articles: “LA PRENSA DE LAS PANTERAS”
  • Students use a Google form to collect data about the relationship between your height and wingspan to prove or disprove Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man”
  • Students researched Biomes and various projects were embedded into a Google Site

WikispacesWikispaces: A wiki is a website which allows its users to add, modify, or delete its content via a web browser.  On a wiki students can share work and ideas, pictures and links, videos and media.  A wiki can be made public so anyone can edit the space or limited to just a class or a few participants.  Many different types of projects can be embedded in a wiki so they work well for showcasing projects made with other tools like:  videos, documents, polls, calendars, maps and specific Web 2.0 tools where you can get the HTML embed code (example:  Google Presentations, VoiceThread). Wikispaces provides free wikis for teachers and they do not contain ads. Don’t forget the tips for collaborative projects using Wikispaces. Another wiki option is PBWorks.

Wiki Examples:

  • High School online collaborative writing wiki
  • Elementary students in Auckland, New Zealand are using part of their class wiki as a blog and the other half to showcase student-created projects.
  • wiki to showcase student-made math movies

 

Evernote is a great tool for students and teachers to capture notes, save research, collaborate on projects, snap photos of whiteboards, record audio and more. Everything you add to your account is automatically synced and made available on all the computers, phones and tablets you use.  Notebooks can then be shared with group members and accessed from anywhere.

Evernote Examples:

  • Elementary grade students use Evernote for student portfolios
  • Here is a blog post how a Librarian uses Evernote as a research tool.

 

MeetingWords is a very simple text editor for the web. Your text is saved on the web, and more than one person can edit the same document at the same time. Everybody’s changes are instantly reflected on all screens.  You can work together on notes, brainstorming sessions, homework, etc.

Other content creation options:

VoiceThread:  A VoiceThread is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to navigate slides and leave comments in 5 ways – using voice through a Facebook Fan Page (with a mic or telephone), text, audio file, or video (via a webcam). Share a VoiceThread with friends, students, and colleagues for them to record comments too. Users can doodle while commenting, use multiple identities, and pick which comments are shown through moderation. VoiceThreads can even be embedded to show and receive comments on other websites and exported to MP3 players or DVDs to play as archival movies. (https://voicethread.com/about/features/)  Here is a wiki with VoiceThread examples: http://voicethread4education.wikispaces.com/


Prezi:
  Prezi is a virtual whiteboard that transforms presentations where images and words work together to present an idea or lesson.  You can work together on the same prezi in real-time. With Prezi Meeting, teams can collaborate live or simply present prezis with up to 10 people in a prezi at one time. Prezi Meeting is included in all license types.

 


 

Ideation

Ideation is the process of generating, developing, and communicating new ideas.  There are several technology tools that support this brainstorming process.

Mindmeister:  You can work with multiple users simultaneously on the same mind map. All collaborators will be shown in the map footer if they are working on the same mind map. You can turn on the History View to see what changes have been done by which users. You can share your mind maps with a single collaborator, group, or public.  You can give presentations directly from MindMeister either online to other collaborators or with a projector.

Popplet:  Popplet is a place to collect ideas.  Its very simple to use easy great for younger kids.  You can collect inspiration, record thoughts, explore ideas, create galleries. Popplets share be shared and collaborated in real time.

Padlet:  (formerly called Wallwisher) is a super easy way to collect ideas, images, and multimedia onto a simple “wall”.  Works great on tablets too.

Other mind-mapping tools: Webspiration Classroom and Creately (paid)


Creative Commons / Copyfriendly Images/Audio/Music

Discuss with students how we can honor intellectual property by searching the web for “copyfriendly” images to use for collaborative projects.  Help students to understand that all of their work – whether digital or not – is copyrighted the minute they create it. You do not need a © symbol to copyright your work.  You created it – you own it!

I like to appeal to the creative musicians, photographers and artists in my classes.  I try to help students understand that they can CHOOSE to share their creations and still maintain ownership.  This leads to a discussion about Creative Commons licensing.  If a student is willing to share their work to be remixed, changed or altered they must decided whether to allow commercial use or not.  Going through the process of choosing a license for their own work reinforces the concept of “honoring” the intentions of the other content-creators.

Inevitably, a student brings up the concept of “fair use” and wonders why they can’t just so a Google image search for their school-related assignments.  Its at this point that we talk about the purpose of citations for school work – that citing an image for a PowerPoint or presentation means that you are not taking credit for having made the image used and are indicating on the Works Cited page who is the original owner.

This discussion helps students to understand that under fair use laws, teachers must still follow certain rules:

  • I will include a notice that the materials are protected by copyright
  • I will use technology that reasonably limits the students’ ability to retain or further distribute the materials
  • I will make the materials available to the students only for a period of time that is relevant to the context of a class session.

Sure, there are always going to be those who think that if its on the Internet then they should be able to use it. But presenting Copyright vs. Creative Commons in a way that explains WHY and focus on HONORING the work of others, gets kids thinking about themselves as content-creators and how they would feel if someone “stole” their work and made money off it.

My all-time favorite resource to share with students is Joyce Valenza’s CopyFriendly Resource Page.

Collaborative Project Management Tools

Collaborative project management tools are geared toward the logistical aspects of planning, scheduling and workflow around educational projects.  Using collaborative technology tools gives every group member the ability to participate in the project and develop strategies for managing time, collaborating with team members, assessing their progress, and maximizing learning experiences.

Schools in the K12 arena don’t need to purchase special project management software.  There are plenty of collaborative document editors that can be used for assignments and many have built in project templates, schedules or calendars.  Project Management tools focus on:

  1. Task management
  2. Time tracking
  3. Workflow routing
  4. Milestones
  5. Calendaring

Google Apps for Education is an online productivity suite that schools can use to bring communication and collaboration tools to their community for free.  Students have access to email, contact management, chat, calendars, documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and websites.  Schools administer the accounts and can turn on/off the features they need.  Everything is automatically saved in the cloud which means that emails, documents, calendar and sites can be accessed – and edited – on almost any mobile device, computer or tablet.

For a group project to be successful each team member needs to understand the learning target, know the overall project plan, what’s their responsibility, due dates, resources etc.  Students or teacher can build schedules and project planners using Google Docs.  Group members can create a simple sortablespreadsheet (from Google Doc Template Gallery) that can be used to track member’s progress, schedules, resources, assets, and contacts.  Team members can refer to the document to know the next steps, click on links to shared documents, or add their own contribution.  Teachers can easily check progress or leave comments to the whole team.  Users can build surveys with the form editor and collect data from fellow students or the public. All the responses would then recorded in a spreadsheet for analysis by all team members. Forms could also be used for self or peer evaluation during or after the project.  To stay organized all of the project documentation, forms, resources and calendar can be embedded in a Google Site and every group member can contribute their part.

Microsoft Office 365 is a similar online office productivity suite.  Office 365 offers free email, instant messaging, group video and voice chat, and online document viewing and editing.

 

WikispacesWikispaces: A wiki is a website which allows its users to add, modify, or delete its content via a web browser.  Wikispaces provides these tips for collaborative projects using their wikis:

  • Organize group work with Projects – Assigning group projects for your students is easy, but managing those assignments can be hard. It takes a lot of scheduling, and it can be tricky to make sure that everyone is doing their fair share of the work.Projects let you cordon off little sections of your wiki and hand them over to groups of students. And as a teacher, you can manage the permissions on those teams and check in regularly on content as it progresses, which is pretty neat.
  • Encourage discussion – Every page on your wiki can have its own dedicated discussion board. Depending on the type of assignment the group is working on, you can use it in any number of ways: Teachers can pose open-ended topics for discussion. Students can ask the teacher for help or clarification. You can even hold lively debates — and, however you use your discussions, every query and post stays with the work on the wiki.
  • Give feedback and comments – Our comments feature lets you scribble notes in the margins of a wiki page (figuratively speaking). This means different things to different people. For teachers, it’s a way to ask pointed questions about specific passages, to guide students in the right direction as they work, and to give more meaningful feedback during assessment. For students working together, it’s a way to communicate more efficiently throughout the project and to engage in peer review.
  • Schedule Project-related Events – If you have Projects on your wiki (and all education wikis will have Projects), you also have the ability to schedule Events. These let you schedule certain activities ahead of time, so you can lock or unlock projects for editing, send student reminders about dues dates, archive Projects, and more.

Evernote is a great tool for students and teachers to capture notes, save research, collaborate on projects, snap photos of whiteboards, record audio and more. Everything you add to your account is automatically synced and made available on all the computers, phones and tablets you use.  Notebooks can then be shared with group members and accessed from anywhere. Evernote has also been used effectively for portfolios.  Individual students or small groups can use Evernote to document their learning.  Evernote for Schools

It doesn’t matter what platform you use.  Each of these productivity suites give students the ability to collaborate together to plan projects, stay on task, and work together.  Staying accountable to the group by being organized and doing their part will give students a sense of satisfaction that they helped their group succeed.

The wonderful world of wikis

What is a wiki?
A wiki is a collection of web pages designed to enable anyone who accesses it to contribute or modify content, using a simplified markup language. Wikis are often used to create collaborative websites and to power community websites. The collaborative encyclopedia Wikipedia is one of the best-known wikis. (Wikipedia)
.

Recommended Wikis:
Wikispaces – (sign up for ad-free wikis for teachers)  http://www.wikispaces.com/site/for/teachers
Getting Started with Wikispaces – http://www.scribd.com/doc/2440900/Getting-Started-With-Wikispaces

PBworks in Educationhttp://pbworks.com/
How to Make a Wiki 101 – http://www.scribd.com/doc/30003621/How-to-Make-a-Wiki-101

A few examples of Wikis used for an “online classroom”:

Resources:
Wikis in the Classroom- http://digitallyspeaking.pbworks.com/Wikis – by Bill Ferriter
New Tool Workshop:  Wikis – http://newtoolsworkshop.wikispaces.com/Wikis – by Joyce Valenza
Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and other Powerful tools in the Classroom – book written by Will Richardson

***  Check out a wiki that I started:  VoiceThread 4 Education at http://voicethread4education.wikispaces.com/.  There are over 300 educators who have contributed VoiceThread projects to that wiki.

Other NECC09 gems

Some other gems from NECC this year:

  • Getting a chance to hear Angela Maiers discuss Literacy at NECC Unplugged and discussing it with her afterwards.  Angela is passionate about literacy.  Literacy is more than learning how to “read”  it encompasses all aspects of making meaning.  She suggests that we should teach literacy as a LEARNING SKILL.  She breaks down 21st Century literacy proficiency into 4 areas whether you are a young learner reading a book, a HS students  doing research, or reading a Twitter page.  You learn to read and you read to learn.  The 4 Resource Model included:  Code Breakers, Text User, Meaning Maker and Text Critic.  You use all four methods when making meaning  whether the information is printed or digital.  When you understand that the skills, strategy and thinking of reading is the same skill set no matter what you are learning – it transcends all mediums.  I love her analogy of driving a car.  We don’t break down the skills of driving into mini lessons (this is how you turn the steering wheel) – it takes practices to be thinking of where you are going, what’s going on – how you are going to steer the car, etc.. Why then do we continue to break down reading into small parts instead of dealing with all aspects as one???  Anyway, I love taking with someone who loves what they do and any school is lucky to have Angela working with them
  • Listening to Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Will Richardson at a session called Here Comes Learning! and them talking about the great work they are doing with their cohorts at Powerful Learning Practice.  I would love to be involved in a future cohort!
  • Having a personal lesson about Wikispaces from founder Adam Frey during NECC Unplugged.
  • The Blogger’s Cafe – what a fabulous idea.  I loved having a central place to return to after session and review what I just learned with the folks around me.  I think I must have met 50 people f3f who I follow on twitter.
  • Learning more about the National Girl’s Collaborative Project and finally meeting Karen Peterson face to face.  I will definitely be looking at their resources for my Digital Divas 2.o girls tech club this year.

Btw, the last time I checked there were 4675 photos tagged necc09 at Tag Galaxy Check it out!!

Wikispaces now has color and formatting features!!!

YEAH !!!!!! Wikispaces released a new feature – advanced formatting of your wiki text. You can now change the color, font, size or alignment of text on your page.wikispaces.png

To use this new feature:
1. Edit your page.
2. Highlight the text you wish to format.
3. Click on the text formatting icon in the toolbar textcolor.gif.
4. Format the text as you wish and click “Apply Style.”

My students will be SO thrilled. We use Wikispaces all the time and they have always commented that they want more formatting features.

Check out a sample at: http://voicethread4education.wikispaces.com/

Image source:  http://blog.wikispaces.com/2008/03/bringing-color-to-your-wiki.html

Top Ten Tools 2008

Colette’s (updated) Top 10 Tools

  1. tool.jpgGmail. I love this web based email system and the fact that I can access it from any computer. Not only do you get tons of storage but I like the way it keeps the threaded conversations together. Gmail chat is also nifty.
  2. Google Docs. Google docs are great for collaborating and sharing information with others. You must invite friends to participate in your documents but it’s so easy to edit ALL AT THE SAME TIME!!!.
  3. iGoogle Ok, ok, so I love of all the of the Google products – but I do use them and find them easy to use. iGoogle is a personalized page (which I make as my own homepage) that you can customize with all kinds of widgets like: weather, calendar, CNN news, Google Reader (RSS), Gmail notifier, jokes, etc…
  4. del.icio.us. I can’t believe how much I depend on this social bookmarking tool to remember sites I have visited but also for sharing cool sites with my friends. Now I don’t need to be that annoying friend who always sends emails recommending websites (I can’t help myself) – if I find a site and know my friend’s del.icio.us name I can tag the site as: for:ccassinelli and then when that user goes to their del.icio.us account they can add my favorite to theirs. This is very helpful for group projects!
  5. flickr. This web-based photo sharing site is awesome for uploading photos to share with friends. I like how you can create different albums and tag photos for easy sorting. I also love snooping through my friend’s albums too!
  6. My first RSS aggregator was Bloglinesand I still use it today. I like how I can create folders for all of the ed tech blogs I read. Here are my folders: personal, ed tech bloggers, under consideration and last chance. When I stumble across a blog I might be interested in I add the feed in the under consideration folder. When I find that I enjoy the blog and read it often it moved up in rank to the ed tech bloggers folder while some of those are demoted to last chance before I decide to do away with the feed.
  7. Audacity. This easy to use FREE audio editing software is easy to use for podcasting and editing audio files. You will need the LAME Mp3 encoder if you want to export your audio files at MP3 instead of WAV – but it’s easy to download and install.
  8. Wikispaces. I’ve already mentioned my love of wikis in my blog but for collaboration and easy editing – wikis are the way to go. I also love the fact that Wikispaces gives FREE wikis to teachers. Thanks for the support!
  9. Voicethread – A great tool for encouraging collaboration in your classroom. Upload photos and add text, audio or voice comments with a web cam. My new personal favorite way to get students to share comments with each other.
  10. Moodle. I started using Moodle this last year with a few of my computer classes but will use this open-source course management system with all my classes this year. It’s easy to use, has built in blogging and modules (quizzes, journals, docs) that make it easy to keep all class documents in one area.

TOP 100 TOOLS FOR LEARNING – SPRING 2008
as collected by Jane Hart

 

2007 Top Ten Tools: http://www.c4lpt.co.uk/recommended/colettecassinelli.html (my current list is pretty similar to the 2007 list. Hey – I like what I like!)

Photo Credit: http://flickr.com/photos/cayusa/2221656599/

100% Engagement

Ask yourself this question … when was the last time you had 100% of your audience actively engaged in your presentation?

email-safety.pngIn my attempt to avoid sitting through days and days of PowerPoint presentations I decided to upload each of my students Online Safety PowerPoint’s to a class Google shared account.  We then embedded mini versions of the presentations on our class wiki.  When it came time to present the information, every class member signed into their Google account and clicked on the link to join the shared presentation.

If students wanted to participate in the chat during the presentation they were STRICTLY limited to comments about the material being presented or questions or clarification.

After sorting out some Google log in issues (each student must have a unique user name – you can’t share – or the chat won’t work correctly) we began the presentations and chat.

For the first time I can EVER remember as a teacher – 100% of the students were engaged in the presentation and participated in the chat.  The students were enthusiastic and offered insightful and appropriate comments.  Students liked being able to add their input without interrupting the presentation.

We’ll try it again on Monday and this time I will save a chat transcript.

Instructional Technology Strategies Conference (ITSC) – February 17-19, 2008

Engaging Students with Authentic Technology Projects – Sun, 2/17/08, 7:30-8:30 pm

Handouts located at: http://edtechvision.wikispaces.com/ITSC

Embrace 21st century strategies to create an instructional learning environment that moves away from teaching isolated computer skills towards an integrated thematic approach. Come learn how you can combine everyday productivity tools with Web 2.0 to support curriculum integration and collaboration.


The National Technology Standards for Students (NETS*S) recommends that educators establish new learning environments that provide real world opportunities for students to utilize current information and technology resources (ISTE, 2000).

According to The American Youth Policy Forum (2000) instruction in today’s high schools must change. Disengagement from the learning process is a widespread problem in high schools as students do not perceive how lessons are relevant to their lives.

The American Youth Policy Forum reports that lecture style classes continue to dominate classroom instruction and content is divorced from the real world. Schools need to embrace new strategies for learning based on current research of how students learn, implement effective uses of technology in the classroom, and develop “21st Century Skills” while maintaining a rigorous academic curriculum (Burkhardt et al., 2003 http://www.ncrel.org/engauge).

It takes vision and planning to engage students in authentic learning experiences. Teachers must identify which instructional strategies are most effective and understand how to infuse technology into lessons with real world applications.


Instead of asking the question “What technology skills must students have to face the 21st century?” should we not be asking “What thinking and literacy skills must students have to face the 21st century?” These skills are not tied to any particular software or technology-type, but rather aim to provide students with the thinking skill and thus the opportunity to succeed no matter what their futures hold.” Justin Medved, Dennis Harter
Curriculum is designed from the best practice approaches to teaching and learning found in Understanding by Design

The Essential Questions for the 21st Century Learner are:

  • How do you know information is true?
  • How do you communicate effectively?
  • What does it mean to be a global citizen?
  • How do I learn best?
  • How can we be safe?

These questions speak to thinking, critically evaluating, analyzing, and communicating. They emphasize the value in responsible behavior and knowing yourself as a learner. http://newliteracy.wikispaces.com/


Career Unit – Based on John Holland’s six personality traits

Goals: critically evaluating, analyzing, communication

Work Samples:

 

Make a PhotoShow Full Size

Career Resources:


Lunch Nutrition and Recycling Unit

Goals: analyzing, communication, evaluating

Work Samples

Nutrition / Waste Recycling Resources


Other Classroom Activities:

TOP 100 TOOLS FOR LEARNING 2007 – http://c4lpt.co.uk/recommended/toolbox2007.html

  • Valiant Pride: New student edition – a newspaper that my students designed for new incoming students (samples:
  • Search Engine Extravaganza – PowerPoint presentations to teach our school community about unique search engines
  • BE SAFE ONLINE! Projects made by students to discuss online safety (including chat rooms, cyber bullying, online profiles, photo sharing, etc)
    • Wiki to store document sources used in projects
    • Samples of projects made on blogs, Flickr, and Google presentations (work in progress)
  • Curriculum Review Quizzes – Note: action buttons and hyperlinks do not work on slideshare – you must download the PowerPoint first

Note: Some of the lessons in this session are based on activities that I designed for my Action Research Project for my MA in Educational Technology from Pepperdine University. Three complete thematic units are located at http://cadres.pepperdine.edu/ar/c9/Cassinelli/arp.htm

 


Works Cited

  1. American Youth Policy Forum http://www.aypf.org/
  2. Best Jobs for the 21st Century, 4th Edition by Michael Farr. ©2006 JIST Publishing, Inc.
  3. Curriculum 2.0 http://newliteracy.wikispaces.com/http://newliteracy.wikispaces.com/http://newliteracy.wikispaces.com/
  4. enGauge 21st Century Skills: Literacy in the Digital Age (Burkhardt, G., Monsour M., Valdez, G., Gunn, C., Dawson, M., Lemke, C., et al., 2003) North Central Regional Educational Laboratory and the Metiri Group, http://www.ncrel.org/engauge
  5. National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS*S) http://cnets.iste.org/students/s_stands.htmlhttp://cnets.iste.org/students/s_stands.htmlhttp://cnets.iste.org/students/s_stands.html

Top Ten Tools

Top Ten ToolsThanks to a comment by Larry Ferlazzo I have been checking out the various lists of top ten favorite tools that are listed on Jane’s E-Learning Pick of the Day.

You can submit your top ten list of favorite tools (only 10???) and then Jane is compiling all the tools mentioned into one master list – the Top 100.

I especially enjoyed looking at the list by guest submitter Jay Cross. Hearing how and why different folks liked their chosen tools intrigued me enough to spend way too much time checking them all out.

Here are my favorite tools (in no particular order).

  1. Google Products:
    • Gmail. I love this web based email system and the fact that I can access it from any computer. Not only do you get tons of storage but I like the way it keeps the threaded conversations together. Gmail chat is also nifty.
    • Google Docs. Google docs are great for collaborating and sharing information with others. You must invite friends to participate in your documents but it’s so easy to edit ALL AT THE SAME TIME!!!.
    • iGoogle and Google reader. Ok, ok, so I love of all the of the Google products – but I do use them and find them easy to use. iGoogle is a personalized page (which I make as my own homepage) that you can customize with all kinds of widgets like: weather, calendar, CNN news, Google Reader (RSS), Gmail notifier, jokes, etc…
    • Googlemaps, Google Earth, SketchUp …. I love ’em all!
  2. Del.icio.us. I can’t believe how much I depend on this social bookmarking tool to remember sites I have visited but also for sharing cool sites with my friends. Now I don’t need to be that annoying friend who always sends emails recommending websites (I can’t help myself) – if I find a site and know my friend’s del.icio.us name I can tag the site as: for:ccassinelli and then when that user goes to their del.icio.us account they can add my favorite to theirs. This is very helpful for group projects!
  3. Flickr. This web-based photo sharing site is awesome for uploading photos to share with friends. I like how you can create different albums and tag photos for easy sorting. I also love snooping through my friend’s albums too!
  4. My first RSS aggregator was Bloglines and I still use it today. I like how I can create folders for all of the ed tech blogs I read. Here are my folders: personal, ed tech bloggers, under consideration and last chance. When I stumble across a blog I might be interested in I add the feed in the under consideration folder. When I find that I enjoy the blog and read it often it moved up in rank to the ed tech bloggers folder while some of those are demoted to last chance before I decide to do away with the feed.
  5. Audacity. This easy to use FREE audio editing software is easy to use for podcasting and editing audio files. You will need the LAME Mp3 encoder if you want to export your audio files at MP3 instead of WAV – but it’s easy to download and install.
  6. Wikispaces. I’ve already mentioned my love of wikis earlier in my blog but for collaboration and easy editing – wikis are the way to go. I also love the fact that wikispaces gives FREE wikis to teachers. Thanks for the support!
  7. Skype. I use skype more for IM and group chatting than Internet phone calling but it’s easy to use and really catching on.
  8. Flock and Firefox. Both of these browsers are excellent and have cool extensions. Most browsers have built in RSS but you can also access your Flickr pics right from the Flock toolbar – kewl!
  9. Moodle. I started using Moodle this last year with a few of my computer classes but will use this open-source course management system with all my classes this year. It’s easy to use, has built in blogging and modules (quizzes, journals, docs) that make it easy to keep all class documents in one area.
  10. YouTube. YouTube is great when you need a few laughs or want to share short family video with loved ones across the country. I also love the idea of TeacherTube. Educators need a safe and secure place where our students can particpate in the social aspect of video sharing and engaging students with video responses.

So, there’s my list. I didn’t include software tools like MS Office, Dreamweaver, Inspiration, InDesign and all of those productivity tools that I use everyday.

What is your top 10?

Sharing Web 2.0 tools – wikis

I’ve been sharing some of my favorite Web 2.0 tools lately and I’ve been reflecting how my learning has changed during the past year because of these communication tools. Before I start my list I want to share about the SEOmoz Web 2.0 Awards. The site gives you the best of the best of Web 2.0 tools as voted on by 25 knowledgable users. I have to say that for the tools that I am familiar with – I mostly agree but I also learned a ton of new tools to check out. These posts will discuss the various tools I use and why. Simply put, a wiki is a very simple web page.

Wiki – I like wikispaces. It’s free for teachers and simple to use. It doesn’t have a lot of formatting features but it gets the job done. I heard a presentation given by Adam Frey (the founder of wikispaces) at NECC on EdTechLive. It’s great to hear how wikispaces is trying to meet the needs of teachers and improve their product.You use wikis for any type of document that you want several people to access and edit. I have used them with my students when groups are planning and organizing projects – that way everyone can add their comments or easily participate. Here is a simple video from The Common Craft Show that will explain the basics of how wikis work.

Wikis aren’t just for planning. They can be the platform for classroom projects too. Let’s say that each student has chosen a specific topic in class. An easy way to share information is to place each project on a wiki and have every student’s project linked on the side navigation bar. This will encourage students to view each other’s work and even add comments if the pages are open for editing (peer review). I’ve heard of other teachers using wikis for cross-class collaboration – like the Flat Classroom project.

Wikis are great for staff development. By encouraging teachers to share their knowledge by using a wiki – you are helping to foster a community of practice where sharing is the standard and knowledge management is well organized and expected. Don’t just place a lot of links – document class/school procedures, share tips, collaborate on curriculum planning, plan staff parties, outlinefor staff development and more!

Some other great wiki tools: