Top Tools from 09

Photo courtesy of Joi Ito from Inbamura, Japan via Wikimedia Commons

Photo courtesy of Joi Ito from Inbamura, Japan via Wikimedia Commons

As many educators do after a school year is over, I recently found myself reflecting upon the previous year and thinking about what was successful for teachers and students. There are a multitude of web 2.o tools available for teachers to use for many different purposes. After our district’s A/V Expo, I realized that three tools truly stuck out. Teachers and students had tremendous success using VoiceThread, Blabberize, and Glogster.

VoiceThread is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to navigate pages and leave comments. We have been lucky enough to be able to purchase school accounts for each of our elementary schools. These accounts have been used in numerous ways throughout the year. VoiceThread is quite intuitive and diverse in its use which translates well to the classroom. So here are some examples of how Voicethread was used this year by some classes…

Fifth Grade VoiceThreads

Grade Three VoiceThreads

Blabberize allows you to add audio to a picture or other image. This tool is also an easy, straightforward web 2.0 tool to use in the classroom. It provides students an alternative to written reports, speeches, or a way to publish student stories. Click HERE to see multiple examples of using Blabberize in the classroom.

The last tool on my list, and one that I believe has some real potential, is Glogster. Glogster is an online poster maker which allows you to add images, graphics, voice, music, and text. So far this tool has been an enormous hit, however, our teachers have experienced some functionality issues. It is my sincere hope that over the summer months these wrinkles are ironed out, so our students can experience the full potential of Glogster. Click the link below to see some examples of student Glogster work.

Student Glogs

These were the three prominent tools I saw thrive in our elementary buildings this year. I am hopeful that teachers continue to take advantage of the web 2.o movement and continue to explore new tools as well. Please help us to expand our horizons by contributing suggestions, examples, or links here via the comment portion of this blog. I look forward to your input!


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