Web 2.0

A New Kind of Sharing

The word “share” has developed some different connotations.  I asked my six year old what it means to share and his answer was interesting.  He said, “like how you share pictures on Facebook?”


The exchange of data and knowledge is simply a click away and has become second nature to our students. With the availability of Web 2.0 tools, students can instantaneously share web content.

Consider providing time in your classroom for students to share with their peers. This is an ideal accompaniment to the beginning of the year “getting to know you” activities. Students can research information that might be useful to  a classmate, and share it with them.

Aside from teaching how to share information, sharing lessons can also incorporate simple research techniques.

Students can share:

  • Information
  • Video clips
  • Websites
  • Self-created presentations

As we continue to challenge students to become producers of web content, rather than solely consumers, sharing content fosters open communication and the collaborative culture needed to become effective 21st century learners.


Avatars: Virtual Expression

As educators search for effective uses of technology in the classroom, it is apparent that on many instances the answers are found within the students. As a one to one computing teacher, it is clear that avatars are popular among young people. An avatar is defined as a online manifestation of the student. This virtual representation can help students overcome challenges while providing instruction that appeals to a wide variety of learning styles.
Here are some simple ways to use avatars in your classroom:
  •  Use an avatar to deliver information to your students, define terms, give directions, or give praise.  Yes, allow the avatar to speak for you. It can sometimes be enjoyable for both you and your students to mix up the lecture.  www.voki.com is a free site where you can bring your avatar to life using text input or voice record.
  • Formative Assessment/varied assessment- Students can use an avatar to demonstrate understanding. 
  •  As a writing tool- Students can record what they want to write, and play it back as they transfer words onto the paper. This especially helps the struggling writer.
  •  Bring historical figures to life-Students can create a short narrative on notable people from history and present to the class. www.doppelme.com is a free site where students can personalize an avatar.
  •  Fluency- Allow students to record their read aloud and play it back to practice pronunciation and fluency.
  •  Beginning of the year icebreaker-Students can introduce themselves through their avatar. This may help alleviate the beginning of year nerves.
While Avatars are not meant to replace traditional classroom instruction, they can certainly help students build self confidence and overcome challenges while fostering a multimedia environment.

Web 2.0: Fostering Prosocial Behavior in Students

 Many consider technology a solitary activity where students simply consume information. Attached to their devices by headphones paints a picture of being enveloped in a lonely tech world where interaction is limited.

Web 2.0 and social media has redefined the way we teach and learn.The new generation of the internet is now a creative palate for users to contribute, create, and collaborate. The read-write web and its social characteristics are ideal to foster pro-social behaviors in the classroom. Empathy, altruism, and social awareness can be interwoven into lessons with technology components.

  • The collaborative nature of web 2.0 tools can guide students in positive interactions with others.
  • Social media, with the guidance of the teacher, can raise social awareness and contribute to the understanding of other perspectives.
  • Simple video chat tools such as Skype can raise global awareness by offering students face to face time with individuals with varied views.
  •  Wiki spaces provided a kindergarten class a photo exchange with a school in China, allowing students an authentic glimpse of a different culture.
  • Technology tools used within project and problem based learning environments can be premised on social projects and can bridge school and community.

Motivate with Web 2.0

Media Sharing

Standards for the 21st-Century Learner

3.1.4 Use technology and other information tools to organize and display knowledge and und understanding in ways that others can view, use and assess.

3.3.4 Create products that apply to authentic, real-world context.

​​​​​Smore allows students to design and create professional online flyers by choosing from an array of templates. With Smore, users can embed links, audio, video, pictures and texts into flyers and newsletters and share them instantly.

Easel.ly allows users to quickly create infographics and share visual ideas online. With an expansive library of elements and visual objects, students can personalize infographics of all kinds.

Tip: Infographics are visual representations of data. Information +graphics=Infographic. For a more in depth description of infographics and how to use them in the classroom, watch this Prezi .

Digital Storytelling

Standards for the 21st-Century Learner

4.1.8 Use creative and artistic formats to express personal learning.

4.3.1 Participate in the social exchange of ideas, both electronically and in person.

Inklewriter​ is an ideal digital writing tool for writing interactive stories. Inklewriter allows students to develop multiple endings and even touches upon game development. This tool is geared towards the middle school classroom.

My histro​ provides a venue for stories displayed on maps. Users can watch and read thousands of timelines or create an interactive timeline complete with text, video, and pictures. Ideal for collaborative projects, students can easily share their work using a variety of formats. Grades 4-8

Flipsnack ​is an easy to use application used to covert PDF files into a flip book. Upload your PDF file, customize the book, and share.  The online flipbooks are designed to resemble regular print books. Final products are shareable using email or can be embedded.  Grades k-8

Manage and Organize

Standards for the 21st-Century Learner

2.1.2 Organize knowledge so that it is useful.

2.1.4 Use technology and other information tools to analyze and organize information.

3.1.4 Use technology and other information tools to organize and display knowledge and understanding in ways that others can view, use and assess.

​​Biblionasium​ allows students to set up virtual bookshelf and keep track of what they have read, what they like, and what they plan to read. Students will enjoy connecting with friends to share and recommend their favorite books. Grades 4-8

Litpick​ provides free electronic books to students in grades 4-12. Students take on the role of a book critic, reading books, and developing and posting reviews anonymously.

Padlet is an easy to use virtual bulletin board. Using the idea of a blank piece of paper, you can put whatever you want on your wall by dragging and dropping documents and images from your desktop, embedding links and videos, or simply typing notes on your page. When you are finished posting things to your wall, you will be able to collaborate with others using a unique URL as well as through a variety of social networks.  Grades 4-8

Social Networking and Communications

Standards for the 21st-Century Learner

3.1.2 Participate and collaborate as members of a social and intellectual network of learners.

4.1.7 Use social networks and information tools to gather and share information.

4.3.1 Participate in the social exchange of ideas, both electronically and in person.

​With the importance of formative assessments, Socrative​ is an ideal tool to assess students using a variety of different formats. By transforming multiple student devices into response systems, Socrative engages students in real time educational activities while providing immediate feedback. Results can be viewed online in a Google spreadsheet or received via email as an excel file. Grades 1-8.

​Blogging has taken on a new level of collaboration with Quadblogging. Quadblogging connects students with other schools to blog with a purpose. Over the last 12 months 100,000 students have been involved with blogging exchanges from 40 countries. Grades 3-8

Marqueed ​is an easy to use, collaborative, web based program for annotating images. Simply drag and drop images from the web or add them from your computer. Multiple students can annotate an image. Grades 3-8

Tip: Analyze a historical photograph to deepen students’ thinking about an historical event or period. Upload a poem for students to discuss or analyze photos relating to science.

Curriculum and Collaboration

Standards for the 21st-Century Learner

1.3.4 Contribute to the exchange of ideas within a learning community.

3.1.2 Participate and collaborate as members of a social and intellectual network of learners.

3.1.4 Use technology and other information tools to organize and display knowledge and understanding in ways that others can view, use, and assess.

4.3.1 Participate in the social exchange of ideas, both electronically and in person.

​​19 pencils is an online platform for locating and sharing educational resources, assignments, and quizzes. With the use of a quality search engine, teachers can explore the 19pencils library for resources specific to their students’ needs. Teachers can also create and add their own content and customize assessments to target specific learning goals. A helpful feature for younger students is the display of each resource as a thumbnail image rather than just the URL. This is a great tool for blended learning and the flipped classroom. Grades k-8.

Icivics was founded by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to help young people of all ages learn about branches of governments, separation of powers, media influences on government, the budget, and the Constitution. In addition to games and web quests, icivics provides lesson plans with supporting resources for teachers. Grades 3-8

This is a favorite for all grade levels! Youngzine is a child focused website that provides articles, images, and videos about world news, science and technology, society and arts, movies, and books.  Students are encouraged to respond to the content and may submit articles, short stories and book reviews. Content is frequently updated and reviewed by Youngzine’s editors. Grades k-8

Content Resources

Standards for the 21st-Century Learner

2.1.4 Use technology and other information tools to analyze and organize information

2.4.4 Develop directions for future investigations.

3.1.2 Participate and collaborate as members of a social and intellectual network of learners.

Seriously Amazing is a website created by the Smithsonian and it geared towards sparking the spirit of inquiry. Students can explore the diversity of the animal kingdom, natural landscapes, technology, artistic expression, world cultures, space, and history. Grades 3-12

Science NetLinks is a website connecting k-12 teachers, students, and families to STEM resources produced by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. This site includes lesson plans, interactives, and reviewed internet resources. The databases are searchable by grade level, themes, and content area. An afterschool connection collection offers hand on experiments, student activity sheets, online resources, and teacher resources. Grades k-8

Another favorite, TedEd​ allows educators to create and share lessons built around You Tube videos. The embedded lesson creator allows users to find video content, select a video or lesson to be customized, and flip a video by adding questions, notes and content. Grades k-8