Hip, hop, hooray! It’s officially the 100th day of school. And in line with students marching collections of 100 items to school I thought this would be the perfect time to visit the top 10 greatest web 2.0 tools (in my humble opinion) for use in elementary schools. My hope is that everyone will add their top ten in the comments below. Then we will be able to gather a huge list of web 2.0 sites to use in elementary classrooms. In the end I hope to have a happy 100 for all elementary teachers to enjoy with their students!
1. Skype: Want to touch base with another classroom far or wide? Why not Skype with them. You can hold video chats allowing penpal classes far and wide to connect. Studying a unit in science or health, why not set up a chat with a scientist or a doctor? Skype makes it easy to connect your students to students outside of your classroom, school, and even the country! The best part is it’s free!
2. Voki: This is a great way for elementary school teachers (due to the user age) to engage their students in a new concept or lesson. The animated characters attract the students attention and they love hearing about holidays and content lessons from these computer based characters. Again, it’s free!
3. Animoto: Another great free tool for educators to employ is Animoto. If you’re looking to create a video with photos, video, and music this is a quick and easy tool to use to make amazing videos. Again due to age requirements this would be a great tool for teachers to use.
4. Storybird: Create digital stories by selecting images that spark student creativity. Better yet have students submit their own art work and build a story around it. Set up a class today. Your students will be inspired to write and their parents can order copies of their final products in PDF form, soft copy, or hard back!
5. Edmodo: a great gateway site into the world of forums. It has the feel of Facebook, Myspace, or other popular social networking sites, however it was create for teachers and their students. No student email is required for usage, however teachers should obtain parent permission before using this site with minor students.
6. Tagxedo: Want to create a word cloud in the shape of a flower? This is the site for you and your students to explore. Word clouds are a great way to review vocabulary lessons, school rules, and content for any lesson. Have students type a word list or a paragraph on a topic into the database and then select the shape they want.
7. Kidblog: A great website for student blogging. This site was designed with students in mind. No emails required. Get parent permission to use this site and allow your students to explore the world of writing for pleasure with an unlimited audience.
8. Diigo: Having students type URLs can just be plain painful, however social bookmarking allows one person to collect the URLs they want to be explored and save them, then share them with the intended audience. The great part is they have diigo educator accounts. Multiple classes can share links.
9. Prezi: Tired of presenting lesson with powerpoint? Looking for something a little bit different? Why not try presenting using a Prezi? Your students will love the nonlinear paths of the prezi and it’s really easy to insert videos and images into a Prezi. This site is for older users, but teachers can present with it!
10. Wolframalpha: If you need to find facts, Wolframalpha is the site for you. Compare two companies, solve a math equation, convert units of measurement. Wolfram Alpha is an online calculator with amazing data capabilities. Working on nutrition? Search for the nutrition o fa Big Mac! Even better, search for Big mac vs whopper and compare these two burgers.