Last Saturday at #EdCampOmaha there were a couple of sessions dedicated to sharing web based tools people had found useful in their classrooms or school districts. I was surprised and pleased by the large number of sites shared that I had never heard of! A number of the sites shared were attempts to bring the feel of “social networking” of Twitter and Facebook into the classroom setting by offering closed “social” tools for students. I’ll skip those and focus on tools for creation. Hopefully you will see something new in here like I did and get excited about a new project within your own classroom!
|Site||Basically it is…|
|stripgenerator.com||…yet another online comic strip generator. I’m VERY impressed by the tool itself, but the displaying of every recently (anonymously) created strip on the front page of the site would keep me from using it with students. A great option for teachers who want to create their own comic strips as instructional devices.|
|kerpoof.com||…an animation tool aimed at elementary/middle school students. Make movies, cards, or other artwork. Could be very useful for digital storytelling and has a number of educator support resources. Note that it may be blocked by your school system because the site has a number of commercial and game oriented facets. It is owned by Disney, offers kids the option of purchasing products with their artwork on it, and attempts to draw kids into a social game-like ecosystem by earning "koins".|
|worldmapper.org||…a divergent way to look at data. They marry statistical data sets and world maps to offer new views of issues facing our world. Could be used as conversation starters, or as a tool to illustrate how America’s behaviors are different than the rest of the world’s in many ways.|
|stykz.net||…a animation tool for developing frame-by-frame animation based upon lines and pivot points. (Actually a free desktop based software – Mac/PC.) Could be a great supplement to a unit on force and motion, or the basic concepts of animated graphics.|
|linoit.com||…online pinboard. Allows you to create a virtual canvas for visitors to share thoughts, links, images, etc. Similar to many other tools, but the teachers who use it claim this tool is more "stable" under classroom use. Also has an iApp that can be installed.|
|livebinders.com||…online "binders" in which you can organize and present information. Could have many uses for a teacher looking to organize info in one tool that can be shared in many ways, many places, various devices.|
|blabberize.com||…a goofy way to record a message and share it with others. Your recording is juxtaposed with a still image in a way that makes it look like the image is speaking. Kind of silly at first glance, but sometimes silly is exactly the right medium to engage a student. There is a good deal of instructional possibility, especially in digital storytelling, or virtual book reports.|
|qwiki.com||…a mashup of Wikipedia information, creative commons photographs and other publically available information into a multimedia slideshow. Useful for short video clips to introduce a topic, book, concept, person, or anything else you might find in Wikipedia. (Example)|
|Flubaroo||Flubaroo is not really a website, it is a script that can be added to a Google Spreadsheet. It loads a nice "wizard" that asks you a few questions, then scores the answers submitted to the spreadsheet via a Google Form. It adds a second sheet that summarizes the scores recorded in ways that will be useful to teachers.|
I know that I come nowhere close to sharing all the tools that that I saw for the first time. How about you? Please add any sites that you have learned about recently, whether you were at EdCamp or not!