05 August 2009

Top 10 Free Web 2.0 Sites for Educators

Here's another NECC 2009 session by Steve Dembo of Discovery Education , that is very informative. His presentation was recorded by NECC and himself with Livestream . As he explains in his blog post, the NECC production doesn't show the presentation screen until 20 minutes into the presentation. So, I viewed his livestream recording. Skip the first 6:30 minutes, he's just waiting for the audience to file in.

Mr. Dembo's definition of Web 2.0 has three characteristics:

  • totally web-based, with nothing to download.
  • interactive with ability to build, create, tweak, etc.
  • play with others, be mashable and shareable.

Sites that were covered are here. In fact, the link takes you to a ShareTabs that Mr. Dembo created for this presentation with ShareTabs being one of his top 10. Of the ten sites I use two of them on a regular basis, Bloglines and Delicious . Even though I have used Bloglines & Delicious for about three years, I learned something, new for me, from Mr. Dembo's presentation. Both sites play well with others by displaying a link for other subscribers which can be used to find like-minded blogs and bloggers. As does Delicious, however, Mr. Dembo showed a way that you can drill down to specific tags and add them to your RSS aggregator . A great way to build your PLN .

I have heard about or seen four of the other sites (edmoto, Prezi, Livestream, and drop.io). If I was still working, I would investigate edmoto , a site similar to Twitter which is designed for educational use. Mr. Dembo's presentation slides were created in Prezi here. Mr. Dembo's Livestream video is a great example of how you can use a webcam/s to create a video from your browser. I had read about drop.io and thought it was just a site to store documents. It's so much more...stores images, sound, and video. As Mr. Dembo explained, it's a free site to create podcasts (may be the only one left).

I played with JayCut, even blogged about this site here. Since I don't do much with video creation, I don't use JayCut on a regular basis.

Poll Everywhere and Xtranormal were the two sites I didn't know at all. Poll Everywhere , a live audience polling tool, is a way to involve students and use their cell phones in a simple way in the classroom. Xtranormal allows the creation of text to speech animated movies.

Mr. Dembo does a fine job of introducing and demonstrating his three Web 2.0 characteristics for each site on his top 10 list. It's well worth your time to view the Livestream video (69 minutes) and begin your exploration of these free, useful tools.

Turbo Tagger

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