Posts Tagged web 2.0

Technology Tuesday – Web Curation

The internet is crowded with tons of resources and ideas.   How do you manage all the content you find online?  Do you add it to your favorites?  Do you add a link on your website?  Or have you taken advantage of one of the web 2.0 tools out there that help you curate your links in a way that make them accessible, ready to share, and ready to use.   Here are 5 of my favorite Web Curation Tools that are available for free.

1.  Pinterest Logo Pinterest –have you heard of it?  I know most of you have since I see your pins all the time.   Pinterest is a web curator site, or another way to organize your links that is social and visual.   You set up “boards” to which you “pin” websites. Each board can have a theme and you can look through other people’s boards (if they make them public) for more ideas.  Other users can follow your boards, like your pins or re-pin your pins onto their own boards.  There is a section labeled Education that displays people’s pins(website finds) that have to do with education.

I have created an account on Pinterest dedicated to educational resources.  If you would like to check it out (or follow them) go here:

If you need an invite to Pinterest, please let me know!

2.  LiveBinders LogoLivebinders – collect all your resources, images, videos, pdfs, websites, and group them into a “binder” where students have easy access to the websites that you have.  Inside the binder you can divide the content into tabs and each tab can have sub-tabs.  Students can create accounts and add the binder to their own collections or create binders on topic assigned to them.


3.  Linoit LogoLinoit – An online collaboration tool in the form of Sticky Notes.  Create a bulletin board of ideas and files on any topic.  Organize ideas and resources be rearranging the sticky notes on the board.  This is an easy, visual ways for students to find the resources or information they need.  This can also be a great collaboration tool as students add in notes (if you allow that) and collect ideas.

4.  Diigo LogoDiigo – Diigo is a bookmarking website that allows users to create groups, share links and have discussions.      Researching biomes?  Give the websites you find a specific tag and gie that link the to students so anytime you add more resources their list is updated without having to add a link to your website.

This is a resource that I have been using for a long time and still love it.  I can add bookmarks from school and still retrieve them from home.   They also have apps that are useful for mobile devices.


5.  Wallwisher logoWall Wisher – another online bulletin board that has been around for a while.  You can add stickies that contain text, images or links to websites.   This tools is great for collecting images of a certain topic and them having students use those images for their projects and since the kids can help add in the resources, this can be a great collaboration tool.

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Wallwisher in the Classroom

I started to title this blog post – A New Way to Brainstorm – but then I realized that Wall Wisher offers so much more than that.

Wallwisher is a free internet application that allows you to build a wall that then you or you and others can post notes on.   To build a wall you will need to log in with an email account but an email account is not needed to post notes on that wall.  Good news for those of us working with students under the age of 14.    Privacy levels can be set for each wall and posts can be moderated.

Once a wall is built there are a number of ways to distribute or share your wall.  Walls can be embedded into a webpage, blog or wiki.  You can link directly to the wall for users to go straight there.  It also provides an RSS feed so walls can be monitored through your RSS readers, such as iGoogle.

As I started looking for how others were using this tool I found the ideas fit into a few categories.  (This was easy to do as I took the ideas that were posted on the wall and started moving them around to create the groups!)

  • Brainstorming/ Idea Gathering
  • Homepages – a place to gather resources, post announcements, leave messages, provide homework help, etc.
  • Skill building – note-taking, vocabulary, sorting and summarization work wonderfully on this.
  • Portfolios of Student Work – either as a class or an individual.

I created a wall with all the ideas of classroom use I have found by searching the web and have embedded the wall below.  Please feel free to add to it!

Get Started:

The best way to learn to use this tool is to jump in and get started!

Go to my wallwisher sandbox and make your first post:

Or go to: – log in and build your first wall.

Please share your ideas for wallwisher or the walls you build!

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Blogging in History

Several years ago I attended training at the University of Texas on Telecollaboration.  Most of the ideas presented in the training seemed so labor intensive that there was no way as a teacher or now as a Instructional Technology Specialist that they could be implemented.  Or I felt like I needed to know professors from all over the country before I could begin.  So I filed those ideas away and thought maybe some day I could attempt what I had learned.

Those ideas have come back to mind lately and I wanted to explore a few of those here.

Have an online conversation with a historical figure.

The original plan was to use email as the main means of communication.  Questions over access to the information in the emails and how the class could actively participate in conversation stopped me from trying this.  But with web 2.0 tools this could happen easily by substituting email for blogs.

This is not a new idea and you can find some examples of teachers already doing this online.

Basic premise: A Historical figure could begin keeping blog about the major events that happened in their lifetime.  Students could pose questions to the person to get a deeper understanding about how things worked.

  • Teacher(s) could write the posts and students could ask questions through the comment section.
  • Students could research the person and create the journal entries to be posted.  Other students could read the postings and ask questions about the information presented.


  • Harriet Tubman –
  • World Was II – – blogs are not based on actual people but on historical events and fictional people

Other Ideas:

  • Students could research a part of the world and write a blog entry as a person who lives there explaining what life is like.  Other students could comment on the entries and ask extension questions.
  • Create a blog that represents a side of revolution.  The Texas rebels could use the blog as a way to communicate the latest in the war effort against Mexico and what has happened.  Students could write the entries or the teacher could also post entries that the students have to respond to.

This is just basic ideas to get the ball rolling.  More ideas?



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Emebedding PowerPoint with Slide Share

So many teachers have created wonderful powerpoints to use in their teaching.  The problem then is how to give access to the presentation for the students who were absent, or maybe for those who would like to review the materials later.

No matter what site you choose to house your teacher web page, space is always an issue.  Powerpoints are space hogs and can eat up the alloted space very quickly.

One solution is to outsource or find a third party source to house the powerpoint which leaves the space on your website for other types of files.

SlideShare is a site that I have used lately for presentations, and most recently for the school web page.  This website allows you to upload powerpoints up to 100mb in size and then you can link to the file or embed the file onto any website.  Viewers can choose to view the powerpoint full screen or in the provided window, but they don’t have to download the file or have powerpoint on their compter to view the files.

How to use the site:

  1. Sign up for a free account.
  2. Click on “Upload”
  3. Browse for your presentation (more than one file can be chosen at a time).  Note – for PowerPoint 2007 users, the web site asks that you have saved your presenation as a .ppt and not a .pptx file.
  4. Choose your settings:
    • Name your file (or keep the name it has),
    • Enter tags or key words so it can be searched
    • Set the privacy levels (if you keep it public others can use your work – a nice way to give back for the ideas you borrow from others)
    • Give a brief description
    • Decide if you want others to be able to download the file, or only view in online.
    • Click on “Publish”
  5. It could take a few minutes to make the file available for viewing.  once it is converted, you can link to the file, or embed it onto your website.
  6. To Embed your powerpoint:
    • Click on the file to open it in slideshare
    • Locate the Embed code on the right side of the screen.
    • Copy the code
    • Paste it into the blog, wiki or web page of your choice (note: the code is html and will need to be pasted in html mode)
    • Save and test the file.
Here is an example of what it looks like once embeded.  (This was a powerpoint I used this summer in training.)
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own.

Here are is an example of slideshare embedded on a wiki page:

Here is the link to my account on slideshare:

Another nice thing about this program is that you can search other people’s powerpoints and use them in your teaching.

So give it a try and let me know what you think.

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Collaboration Beyond the School Walls

I was reading a friend’s blog recently, explaining how to make good use of your summer.  One of the ideas was to explore projects with other schools in other areas.  That started me thinking – telecollaboration has been around for a while, but not until recently has it been made so easy.  Connecting with other schools is easy with the aide of wikis, blogs, email, skype, etc.  Our students are already linking with all sorts of people around the globe through facebook, myspace, gaming sites, etc.  Some of this is good and some not so good.  But the idea of linking and working with other groups is an irristeable hook  for our already connected students.

So how do you do it and where do you begin?  Start with asking yourself a few questions:

  • What do you hope to gain through the project? 
  • What learning is going to take place? 
  • Is approaching the subject matter this way going to add to what students need to learn or just distract from it?
  • Do you have the time, support, and equipment needed to make it happen?

Here are a few good links to get you started. 

  • About Telecollaborative Projects –  a basic overview of telecollaboration
  • Telecollaborate! -step by step details on how to plan, create and implement a project
  • Links to Current Projects – lists various running projects.  Some are closed for the year, but a good place when looking for ideas.
  • 2Learn – Requires a registration to gain access to project resources and tools.
  • ePals– Emailing another classroom through epals is a good starting point

Do you have any ideas?  Anything holding you back? 

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