Create: Web Tools Quest

posted May 22, 2016, 6:53 AM by Emily Kroutil
There are so many Web 2.0 tools available now that it is helpful to categorize these tools into groups so they can be found easily when needed.  For example, if I wanted my students to create a presentation of some sort, I could have them reference the list of Web 2.0 tools relating to presentations.

Here are my categories (I got some help from the quest):
  • Presentation
    • Google Slides 
      • Use: Students can use this web-based software to create presentations similar to PowerPoint slideshows
      • Cost: free
      • Implementation: Students could use each slide to categorize information learned, create a presentation, and collaborate with each other on slideshows if they share the link with each other.  This could be useful for group or individual projects in a virtual school class
    • Glogster 
      • Use: Students can create interactive online posters.
      • Cost: 7 day free trial and then $95/year for secondary teachers (allows 125 students...interestingly, I have around 140 students, so I'm not sure how that would a secondary and elementary license...)
      • Implementation: Students can create interactive posters online.  They can embed videos, images, add text, etc.  I did this about 6 years ago with my students and the school computers had difficulty keeping up and a few of the students begged to "just make a PowerPoint" because they were familiar with the PowerPoint software and it worked better on the slow school computers.  So that's something to keep in mind when using this software.  The teacher can see all presentations made under their account, so that makes it easy to keep track of and grade glogs.
    • Prezi 
      • Use: Students can create interactive presentations that zoom in and out
      • Cost: Enjoy is free but Edu Pro is $4.92/month.  Edu Teams looks like it is district- or school-based and it doesn't give a price, so probably pricey.
      • Implementation: Prezi is similar to a PowerPoint presentation except it lets you zoom in on details and zoom back out so you can see how the concepts presented are related.  It is more engaging than a PowerPoint, but also takes more time to create than a PowerPoint.  It is an option for presenting the information learned in a project in a virtual school class.
  • Storyboard
    • ToonDoo
      • Use: Allows students to create storyboards or comics about whatever they've learned
      • Cost: free
      • Implementation: This could be useful if you want to see if students understand a process that they've learned in class.  They could create a storyboard/comic explaining the process.  I would expect/hope that this would give them more ownership over the material because they have to actually document the process rather than just reading about it.
    • Storyboard That 
      • Use: similar to ToonDoo
      • Cost: free
      • Implementation: similar to ToonDoo
    • ToonBoom (14 day free trial)
      • Use: similar to ToonDoo except this software has animation components
      • Cost: 14 day free trial and then $6, $9, or $17/month for education
      • Implementation: Similar to ToonDoo, except it has an animation component.  Students might like this option because it creates a more engaging comic, however, it looks like there could be a steep learning curve, which could be very time consuming if using it for a single project and not over and over.
  • Discussion Board
    • Padlet
      • Use: it seems similar to a Glog, but allows collaboration between users.  Like a wiki-poster maybe...
      • Cost: free for 30 days and $45/teacher/year with unlimited student accounts
      • Implementation: This could be useful if you want your virtual students to collaborate.  I could see assigning each student part of a topic and then they work together to create a Padlet that shows how all of their different concepts are related.  It could also be used to create a virtual poster, but I think that might not take advantage of all of the features available in Padlet.
    • Google Drive 
      • Use: Collaboration between students/teachers
      • Cost: free
      • Implementation: Students can use this software to create and edit presentations, documents, and spreadsheets.  This is nice because it can track who made what modifications and people can also suggest modifications and the users can decide if they want to keep those suggestions. This would be nice for a teacher to be able to offer constructive criticism or help, similar to what a teacher might do when walking around the room and observing students work in a traditional classroom.
    • Class Chatter 
      • Use: allows students and teachers to chat with each other
      • Cost: free; paid version called Class Chatter Live
      • Implementation: This free version does not allow images or file uploads, so it could lack engagement with just text.  It is designed for blended classrooms.  It looks like it is a bare-bones way to interact with your students online.  I can see why it would be useful in the blended classroom and quickly become boring in the virtual classroom.
If a teacher decided to use a variety of these tools, their out-of-pocket expense could quickly add up so it would be useful to ask your administration to cover the costs or decide on one or two paid tools to use in your classroom and then rely on free software for the rest..