Padlet – A collaborative website where multiple users can contribute text and media from multiple sites. Teachers will like: numerous security settings, ease of use, great visual appeal.
Twitter – The social media form for me. Succinct, with huge network of users, the academic applications are endless, as are the networking opportunities. Teachers will like: ease of use, 140 character text limit (promotes focused ideas), ability to link to all manner of media.
Blendspace – This site allows you to store and share entire presentations for your students. Grab material from all over the web or create and add your own. Teachers will like: step-by-step format, ease of use (students will be able to make their own easily in most cases), ability to showcase media of all types.
Storify – This site allows you to curate media from a number of site around the web. I use it primarily to record tweets and manage them in a visually appealing manner. Teachers will like: ability to record student social media assignments and use the evidence for assessment.
Wordle – This website allows users to create “word pictures” using copied text from any source or your own ramblings. The more often a word appears in a selection of text, the larger it is in the final visual. That means it can be a quick reference summarizing tool to see what terms are important in an article, as well a fun way to look at text. Teachers will like: ease of use (just choose text, manipulate design and go), printability, appeal to students.
Prezi – This site allows teachers and students to create interesting animated presentations. Huge presentations can be placed in the small area of your screen and proceeded through like slides. Teachers will like: the ability to focus on one specific slide in a larger presentation, the visual appeal.
Bitstrips – This terrific cartoon-making site has unlimited potential. Students and teachers can create highly customizable cartoons for entertainment or to express learning. Teachers will like: the ease of use for students, the fun factor.
Edmodo – This classroom blog/website has taken its inspiration from Facebook. That means that many students are already comfortable with the site’s basic functionality. There are absolutely tons of uses for this site. You can make announcements, run a class calendar, create assignments, quizzes, or polls, and share just about any content you want with your students. Teachers will like: the security. It is completely self-contained (with an option for parents to view the content with their own codes). Students will like: most aspects. Especially popular? The ability for students to upload assignments (even video files) to the site in order to hand them in. Also: badges!!!
YouTube Audio Library – I’ve been allowing my students to create more audio/video content than ever before this year and I’ve become increasingly conscious of copyright issues. I get that my students want to use a One Direction or Katy Perry song in their video, but in the real world, that’s just not legal. Enter the YouTube Audio Library. It houses a wide variety of instrumental music that is licensed for free and legal use. Teachers will like: that there are no lyrics and hence no inappropriate content worries. Students will like: that the database is searchable by genre or by running time, making it easy to find a song with the right mood or the right length for any video.
YouTube Channel In my slow move towards Blended and Flipped learning, I have begun to create videos for my students to supplement and clarify the days lessons or to prep them for the next day’s learning. Teachers will like: A place to post, categorize, and store videos for students which can be shared in various ways. Students will like: the integration of visual media into their learning on a site that many students already use often.