Web 2.0 technology just refers to online tools that enable students and teachers to share and collaborate user-generated content with others. Using Web 2.0 technologies effectively in the classroom promotes learning through a social constructivist model.
I provide here a list of my top 10 Web 2.0 applications, which can facilitate teaching and learning across the curriculum:
Animoto – this tool helps you to create professional looking slide shows. All you need to do is attach some photos and add background music.
Bubbl.us – enables the user to create mind-maps that can then be embedded online.
Classtools – specifically one for teachers, this website provides you with templates, countdown timers and other tools that can be used in class. The random name generator enables you to enter the names of your class, click the fruit machine and it will randomly scroll through and select a name from the list.
FlexClip – a simple but powerful web-based video maker that helps you create videos for any purpose. There is no download, or registration required. You can choose from a wide range of pre-made video templates, photos, and music. I especially appreciate the clean storyboard that allows you to easily trim video, insert text add music and record the screen with just a few clicks.
Motionbox – this is a free online video creation tool that allows people to easily create beautiful videos with a single click, Add Subtitles, Trim Audio, Crop Video, YouTube to MP3 and Resize Gifs.
News on Atlas – this has been one of my ongoing projects. By providing multiple news feeds, which are embedded into an atlas template, the purpose of News on Atlas is to help build students’ news literacy skills and international awareness.
Padlet – this is like a giant noticeboard and allows learners to write a short message on the ‘wall’ for others to see. These messages can then be moved around just like Post-it notes, and just like Google Docs, learners can collaborate on the same project together.
Prezi – this tool creates animated presentations and can help both the teacher and learner to focus on the key points.
Screencast-o-matic – I use this regularly to create online tutorials. This tool lets you record anything on your screen. It also lets you upload PowerPoints, so that you can provide audio narration.
TedEd – there are thousands of lessons that you can customise with your own questions and resources on TedEd. You can use videos from YouTube and then use TedEd to add your own written material. This is one way of doing a flipped classroom.
Wordle – allows users to enter huge chunks of text, which is then summarised by the most popular word.
Voki – this tool enables you to create talking avatars (characters). Everything about the avatar that you create can then be edited. You can attach spoken text for your avatar or record your own voice. Either way, this is a great tool for helping with language development.
The list here is not exhaustive, as there are literally hundreds of fantastic Web 2.0 apps out there. In order to meet statutory requirements though, and to allow students to develop their ICT skills more extensively, the Computing curriculum should be integrated throughout the school, not just discretely (in the ICT lab). Making use of Web 2.0 apps can be an effective way of doing this because it means that we are teaching children more aspects of ICT, and this puts them in good stead to function well in our increasingly connected and digitalised world.