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Using Web 2.0 Tools in Your Classroom

By Nancy Jang on September 2, 2010
  • Grades: 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

There are many teachers at various levels of tech savviness that are charging into the classroom armed with awesome tools from the Web. Many of these programs can be used with kids and adults in many capacities. Your imagination will determine how to use it. The sky's the limit!

Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on DiscoverySchool.com.


edublog  FREE Why start a blog? It's easy to use and makes communicating with your colleagues easy. It also allows students and parents to interact with you and each other.  Unlike a static Web site that only allows you to post information, a blog allows other to comment. It allows your voice to be heard out there in the blogosphere where others can validate your ideas and opinions or challenge you to react. (Wikispaces are awesome for that, too. Others can also upload information on Wikispaces and add to your page!)



Jing-logo Jing — This is a program that you can download for free. It allows you to take video screen captures on your computer and record your voice. It's great for making videos on how to open a new word document for kids, for instance, or for recording anything you see or do on the computer. All it takes is a click of your mouse on the Jing icon.


Animoto Animoto — FREE A great Web site for making a dynamic slide show with your video clips, photos, and music. Extremely user friendly, it gives you an embed code for your Web site or blog, a link to share with others via email or Facebook, and the ability to download the slide show or burn it to a DVD. Be sure to sign up for the educator version. I used an Animoto slide show in my previous post to create the tour of my classroom.


Blabberize Blabberize — FREE This site is silly and loads of fun, allowing you to animate portions of a photo or clip art to make it look like the subject talks. So, for example, if I uploaded a photo of a cowboy, I could draw a cutout around his jaw and make the jaw go up and down as if he's talking. Then you record what you want the photo to say via upload, computer mic, or phone message and save it! Kids and adults think the results are funny, and it's super easy to use. I have the kids animate a self-portrait that they draw from the first day of school and tell something about themselves. Later in the year, we animate famous people for reports.


VoiceThread $60/year includes up to 100 student accounts. This Web site allows you to post a thread about anything that includes a video or photos. People can then add to the thread or leave a comment with their computer mic, keyboard, or with an old-fashioned telephone. The thread below explains what VoiceThread is and goes through a few examples. You can fast forward in the VoiceThread book by using the big arrow keys in the voice thread box. There are threads for every age and grade level. If you go to VoiceThread, search for the kindergarten thread on seasons. Many people across the country added to the thread, and it's cool to watch. Sign up for the educator account.


Eduglog Glogster  FREE Glogster is a cool Web 2.0 tool that you can use in your classroom to introduce a new topic or have your kids create one for a culminating project or report. A glog incorporates video, sound, text, photos, and clip art on one Web page. If your students are creating a report, it's probably geared for grades 4 and up. If you as a teacher are creating a glog to launch a theme, it's a great way to really capture the students' attention. The Glogster Web site has tons of great examples, but Mary Blow, Scholastic advisor for grades 6–8, made an excellent glog to introduce herself. Check out her blog post about glogs. Sign up for the free educator account.

Prezi  FREE This is a great presentation tool to use in lieu of PowerPoint. It's similar to PowerPoint, but it's a little more nonlinear and cleanly designed. Instead of multiple slides in a presentation, Prezi uses one slide that you can zoom into to see your next segment or zoom out to show the next segment. You can also download Prezi onto your computer. Again, sign up for the educator version.


SignUpGenius SignUpGenius — FREE This simple and easy to use site allows users to sign up for things online. For example, I use it for my volunteer sign-ups and party sign-ups. It keeps the chart online, notifies me when something changes, and emails a reminder to everyone a day or two before the event


Creative commons Creative Commons — FREE This site encompasses several other sites including flikr, jamendo, blip.tv, and Yahoo! images. It has tags that allow you to search for copyright free or limited copyright images, video, or music. This is a great resource for finding the right material to create multimedia presentations, glogs, podcasts, etc.


What is your favorite Web 2.0 tool and how do you use it?

Happy teaching,

Comments (10)

Elisabeth, I'm glad that you found something that you could use! Thanks for your comment.

Happy Teaching, Nancy

Thanks a lot! It helped me a lot! Especially video editing programme!

Betty, Thanks for your comment! I'm hoping that the easy to use aspect will encourage teachers and kids to use them.

Happy teaching, Nancy

Brent, Thanks! If you sign up for the educator account, you can make videos longer than 30 sec. for free.

Happy Teaching, Nancy

Yeah, these are great tools a teacher can use. It is innovative and suitable for today's' generation because kids just love technology and everything about the internet.

Nancy, Nice list and summary of each tool. I have used Animoto. That is easy and fun...even if you only do the free 30 second version.

Prezi is awesome. I have never made a presentation with Prezi, but I have watched them. Very cool when done the right way. And BRAIN FRIENDLY!

I think I am going to try the Sign Up Genius. Sounds useful. Thanks for the insights. Brent

Mary, I'm not sure if this will fit your needs, but it's a great tool for treat sign ups and volunteers. You could probably use it as a calendar tool, but play with it a bit. It's super easy to use. Thanks for your comment!!

Nancy Jang

Nancy, I'm glad that you are enjoying my posts! Jing is an awesome tool and can be used with so many grades and subjects. It's great to see how you are using it in your class!

Happy Teaching, Nancy Jang

Nancy, I can't beging to explain how often I use Jing. If I had to pick the one tool I use the most, Jing is it.

Sign Up Genius is new to me. Can you use this as a calendar reminder. I used to use Google Calendar; however, Google is not forcing the calendar reminders into gmail. I just don't have time to monitor so many e-mail accounts. I prefer a calendar reminder system that will e-mail directly into my school account.

Great post! I love Jing. My students use it paired with Paintbrush to create demo videos on solving different kinds of Math problems. They are completely engaged in the task, and it's fun project. If they are "teaching" each other, they remember it better!

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