Online Tools To Engage Students

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A blog is a website for which an individual or a group frequently generates text, photographs, video or audio files, and/or links, typically (but not always) on a daily basis. The term is a shortened form of weblog. Authoring a blog, maintaining a blog or adding an article to an existing blog is called "blogging". Individual articles on a blog are called "blog posts," "posts," or "entries". The person who posts these entries is called a "blogger".

Blogs are tools, and like any tools they can be used or misused. Misuse occurs more often when there's a lack of instruction. (MySpace, Xanga, Facebook)Interactivity, publishing, collective intelligence

Teacher BlogsHomeworkKeep Parents in the LoopVirtual InserviceProfessional collaborationStudent BlogsThis week in class, we...Student WorkOnline portfolioPeer/teacher feedback

People will read it. People might not like it. They might share test answers with others. They might be found by a child predator online They might write something inappropriate. They might find something inappropriate. They might get other students to start blogging.

People will read it. They might like it. They might share what they've learned with others. They might participate in a collaborative learning project. They might become inspired to learn. They might inspire others to learn. They might get other students to start blogging. If they don't talk in class, they might on a blog.

Blogmeister - Edublogs -

iPod + Broadcast = PodcastAmateur radioPodcasting is the method of distributing multimedia files, such as audio programs or music videos, over the Internet using either the RSS or Atom syndication formats, for playback on mobile devices and personal computers.

Podcasts enable students to share their knowledge and expertise with others through a creative outlet.Podcasts tap into a mode of media input that is commonplace for digital natives.Podcasts empower students to form relationships with the content and each other in relevant ways.

Podcasting is yet another way for them [students] to be creating and contributing ideas to a larger conversation, and its a way of archiving that contribution for future audiences to use.Will Richardson, Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms

In the classroom, educators and students can use podcasts to inform others about class news, current events, and areas of interest.Students can use a podcast forum to persuade their peers to help others, make a difference, or try something new. Podcasts can also be used to edutain others through creative narratives.

Podcasts engage students in thinking critically about their speaking fluency and communication skills. The opportunity to create a podcast about what students would like to discuss and share with others is extremely motivating.

Along with the use of technology there are certain responsibilities that educators and students need to follow. Educators need to instruct students on safe and acceptable use of technology in and outside of the classroom. Not only do students need to learn how to appropriately research, but also how to safely and properly share information online. Podcasts allow students to learn first hand about copyright laws and fair use issues.

Listen to a few podcasts onlineiTunes > Source List > Podcasts > Education (Podcasting with Windows Media Player)Get a feel for the genrePodcasts are not polished production value is secondary to the content

Education Podcast Network University of Wisconsin-Madison Podcasting Pod Pedagogy

A wiki is a type of website that allows users easily to add, remove, or otherwise edit and change most available content.

A single page in a wiki is referred to as a "wiki page", while the entire body of pages, which are usually highly interconnected via hyperlinks, is "the wikiin effect, a wiki is actually a very simple, easy-to-use user-maintained database for searching and creating information.

Wikis are generally designed with the philosophy of making it easy to correct mistakes, rather than making it difficult to make them.

Thus while wikis are very open, they provide a means to verify the validity of recent additions to the body of pages. The most prominent, on almost every wiki, is the "Recent Changes" pagea specific list numbering recent edits, or a list of all the edits made within a given timeframe.

Wikipedia is as reliable as other external sources we rely on. Properly written articles cite the sources, and a reader should rely on the Wikipedia article as much, but no more, than the sources the article relies on. If an article doesn't cite a source, it may or may not be reliable. Students should never use information in a wiki until they have checked those external sources.

Wikis are helping young people develop writing skills and social skills by learning about group consensus and compromiseall the virtues you need to be a reasonable and productive member of society. Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia

The media is controlled by people who have the resources to control it, he says. Wikis show that all of us have an equal opportunity to contribute to knowledge. Andy Garvin, head of the Digital Divide Network

Use wikis as formats for subject guides. Invite students and teachers to annotate your catalog on a wiki. Make wikis meeting places for communities inside the school. Link librarians and teachers in your district in a collaborative enterprise.

Wiki Walk-Through a wiki?Who uses wikis?Wikis or blogs?How to use wikis with students.Ideas for activities, projects, collaborations, etc.Using wikis in Education (blog) Classroom use of wikis

Wikispaces is offering K-12 organizations their premium membership for freeNo advertisementsGreater storage capacityEnhanced privacy settings

Note-takingNote commentingNote sharingKeyword link to Google and WikipediaTo-Do ListsScheduleDocument storage/trackingGrade organizerPrivacy FeaturesRSS FeedsIntegration with FacebookSocial Networking

What you can do with your photos:UploadTagGeotag (mapping)BlogCommentOrganizeOrganize into online photo albums with annotationForm/join groups

Virtual field tripCategorize, analyze, evaluate imagesGeography practicePicture books-documentariesDisplay original artworkOnline scavenger huntsProcess live field tripsUpload exported (jpeg) Inspiration graphic organizers

Phixr Pxn8 Picasa GIMP Free Serif PhotoPlus Paint.Net Pixia PhotoFiltre Ultimate Paint VCW VicMans Photo Editor ImageForge Picnik

Easybib - Citation Machine

Eye Spot Online Video Mixing Cut Online Video Editor Movie Maker Avid Free DV Storyboard Pro Microsoft PhotoStory


BrainPOP is an educational program that provides curriculum-based content spanning seven main subjects including: Science, Math, English, Social Studies, Health, Arts & Music, and Technology.

Create:Activities (16 different types)Quizzes (10 types)CalendarsWeb pagesUpload images and audioTrack and report student progress

Create class pages, activities, templatesFree WebQuest generator

The Library of Congress has Image Libraries, Video Libraries, and Exhibitions online Memory Collection contains historic media of Congress

netTrekker d.i., the latest version of netTrekker, the award-winning search engine for schools, supports differentiated instruction with standards-based online resources, organized by readability level to help every child achieve.

NoteStar enhanced research tools RubiStar rubric creation tools online quiz creation tools TrackStar online hotlist and Internet activity creation tools Web Worksheet Wizard Poster online project-based activity creation tools School Puzzle Maker Library of Virtual Manipulatives

A WebQuest for K-12 Teachers utilizing the WebGuide Template - Internet4Classrooms version - Template - San Diego State University Educational Technology Department WebQuests Page - WebQuests - Templates SDSU - WebQuest Generator - Instruction WebQuests - the Understanding By Design Model to create WebQuests -


** on 12/17/2005 **HomeworkFor years there have been web-savvy teachers who posted their homework on a website for their students and parents. This can still be done with blogs, and with many services teachers can post assignments daily with no knowledge of html, css, rss, and other random combinations of lettersKeep Parents in the LoopOf course parents often like to know more about what's going on in your class than just "Do #s 2-106 on page 42." A teacher's blog could become an online newsletter that discusses all kinds of notable events such as units, scans of student work, field trip information and permission slips, and more.Virtual InserviceMany teachers have decided to use their blogs as a forum for sharing their views on educational psychology, technology, and so on. Other teachers have the power to post comments in each others' blogs or even write larger responses in their own blogs. The result is a series of conversations where teachers share their knowledge and experiences with each other where everyone comes out better informed at the end.

This week in class, we...Some teachers encourage students to work as a group on a single blog, resulting in a sort of online newspaper where different students work on different articles. Knowing that their audience is now not just the teacher but the entire world, students often end up going above and beyond what they would ever do if they just had to submit a report, two pages, double spaced, MLA format. Student WorkAlong the same lines, each student could have their own blog where they can post their assignments. The teacher and classmates could then comment on each student's work, providing concrete evidence of class participation. ******Blogger - This is a great service (owned by Google) that allows anyone to create and customize a blog. While it's designed so anyone can get started it also has enough versatility for the truly geeky to get almost everything out of it that they want. (audioblogger)

Blogmeister - Many blogging services are turned down by schools or teachers because adults loose a certain level of control over the students. After all, bogging students have a global forum where they can say whatever they want. With Blogmeister (from the brilliant mind of David Warlick), all student postings and comments do not go "live" to the internet unless a teacher approves them.

NovemberLearning - Alan November's blogging service. Used to be free for educators, but will begin charging soon. Has support for photo albums built in to it. Designed for educators, but doesn't really have any significant features tailored to using it in an educational setting (like Blogmeister)

Edublogs - James Farmer's Wordpress Multiuser offering to educators. Any teacher can get a free blog there. There are several themes to choose from. It is essentially a standard Wordpress installation, which is the blog engine of choice for many edubloggers because of it's powerful features and open source code. While the name is Edublogs, there are no features tailored specifically to using it in the educational environement. James also offers for students and for university students and faculty.

*****Podcasts can also be used as formative or summative assessments.*Podcasting is a great tool in differentiating instruction. *******"Wiki-wiki" means "hurry quick" in Hawaiian. *****Import changes into an rss aggregator (bloglines)*Introducing wikis into the classroom provides a perfect vehicle for reinforcing or teaching students the importance of wide and reliable research, checking authors and sources, etc. Just as podcasting and blogging provides a vehicle for instructing students in copyright and fair use guidelines. **The Digital Divide Network is an online community of educators and policy makers who are seeking ways to narrow the gap between the Internet haves and have-nots. *Use w...