Monday, October 26, 2009

What can widgets do for your classroom blog, website, or Blackboard course?

Widgets are small applications (apps), that normally run directly from your Web browser, that can enhance your classroom blog, website, or Blackboard course.  These apps can make common tasks more efficient as well as be used to engage your learners.  As I work with teachers on Web 2.0 applications and Blackboard courses, I wanted to provide a list of useful educational widgets, especially (but not limited to) for those who teach in full or partial one-to-one computing environments.  There are all sorts of widgets on the Web that can potentially enhance learning including ones that contain photo, dictionaries, interactive puzzles, document converters, and translators just to name a few.  Check out the list below to get you started and enjoy!

Index listings

Application specific widgets
  • CommunityWalk.  This free web-based service allows you to create informational, interactive, and engaging maps.
  • Poll Daddy.  Create free online surveys and polls for your blog or website.
  • Studiyo.  Create simple interactive quizzes that can be embedded into any website, blog, or Blackboard course.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Clip Art Websites

Looking for clip art resources on the web for student projects? Here are just a few resources to get you started. Just make sure to read notices and copyright information regarding use of these images for educational contexts. These links will open in a new pop-up window.

Cool Web 2.0 Sites

Did you know you can broadcast an event through a live blog using your cell phone? What about embedding interactive video from your portfolio into your resume? Or better yet, get paid for creating content? New Web 2.0 tools are popping up on the Internet almost everyday. Check out some of these websites that list links to Web 2.0 tools that you've probably never heard of.

Listen to some of these thoughts about Web 2.0 from Will Richardson.

Educational Resources Through iTunes U

iTunes is a common Web 2.0 tool that many of our students use on a daily basis outside of class.  Despite the fact that the iTunes Store does have some distraction material, iTunes can still be a powerful tool for classroom use.
One component of the iTunes Store that is useful is iTunes U. iTunes U was originally created to distribute educational podcasts for higher education. However, iTunes U has been expanded to provide educational podcasts for K-12 education. In addition students can subscribe to teacher created audio/video podcasts and download media to portable devices such as MP3 players and iPods for content "on the go." Should students have access to iTunes Store resources such as podcasts and iTunes U in the classroom?  Let's hear your thoughts!!