Monday, August 20, 2012
VoiceThread is one of many tools to help start the school year
In the digital classroom of the 21st century, get-to-know-each-other mixing games have gone the way of the dinosaur. Today's digital natives want technology; they want web tools. So, why not get students to know each other, while giving them what they want -- interactive, digital learning?
Here are a few of our favorite web tools to engage your students
VoiceThread -- Featured in the video above, VoiceThread allows teachers to create a Welcome Board, where students can easily answer questions by typing or speaking a message. Have them introduce themselves on a classroom VoiceThread, and they'll be talking up a storm.
Animoto -- A web-based movie creation tool, Animoto provides a platform for uploading pictures and text, which can then be set to music. Students can create brief, 30-second videos that share their interests. Animoto offers an educator account, so teachers can create student accounts for longer video mixes.
Lino -- An online post-it note application, Lino is great for adding photos, video, text and graphics. Students can create cork boards that introduce themselves and easily share them with the class.
Slide.ly -- Creating slide shows with your own content or content you find on the Internet is extremely easy with Slide.ly. Have students upload pictures from their computer, from Facebook, Google Images, Flickr and other places, arrange the pictures, add music and share with peers or friends.
Thinglink -- A great tool students can use to find images that they like, while demonstrating their tagging/writing abilities. Thinglink allows quick location and tagging of photos around the Internet. Easy and fun to use.
Wallwisher -- One of the quickest ways to get students talking about themselves and sharing with peers is with Wallwisher. This web-based cork board, creates a backdrop for quick post-it notes and pictures. Teachers create the board and students simply click on it, get a post-it note and add their name and content for all to see.
Qwiki -- Students can share pictures, videos and content from around the Internet with Qwiki. Students can create a topic of interest, locate pictures and other content, that Qwiki finds. Then, students can quickly narrate their video. Qwiki is easy and fun.
Stixy -- Another quick-and-easy post-it program, Stixy is a fun way for students to add content in a variety of ways. Unlike some post-it programs, Stixy allows documents to be added, which is nice for returning students who have content saved on a school's server that the students might want to share with the class.
Do you have any start-the-year web tools that you'd like to share? If so, please share them in our comment section.