Do you currently use any Web 2.0 Tools in your classrooms?  Chances are your students are using more than your instruction calls for.  Society’s rapid and growing use of Web 2.0 applications and technology is astonishing and can be kind of intimidating when you think how fast the technology advances and evolves.  No worries, though, this updated list will keep you up to date on Web 2.0 technologies and how you can best integrate them into your assignments, assessments, and instruction.

Here’s how this will work.  Below I will post some Web 2.0 Tools that I currently use either in my classes, while working with students, or for research.  Listed below you will find the name of the Web 2.0 Tool, where you can locate the tool, and ideas for its usage.  

This list will be updated periodically.

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Animoto

www.animoto.com

Overview:   Animoto is a web-based tool used to merge videos, images, music, and text into a single video presentation.  It’s free to sign up and has mobile features for those instructors into mLearning.  The videos that are created with this tool can be shared in a multitude of ways.  This makes this tool very handy for the educator! Animoto also features an Animoto PLUS and PRO plans if you decide you absolutely love it and must have more.

Ideas:  I came up with this Animoto-based assignment idea, while conceptualizing my dissertation research, where Animoto videos are used to introduce students in the course to each other. The idea is that you would create a forum or discussion board within your BlackBoard or LMS course where students can post their created videos.  Students would create an Animoto video that show who they are, where they come from, what activities they engage in, their career aspirations, and usually something related to the course content.  After the student designs, edits, and creates the video on Animoto, they can embed the video within the space you created in the course’s LMS.  We then go around the course the following class period and watch everyone’s videos.  The Animoto video assignment idea introduces students to elements of video editing, Internet navigation, HTML formatting (embedding), and graphic design all while expressing themselves creatively and communicating with their fellow classmates in an asynchronous manner.

I have also used Animoto to create brief 30 second videos for slides, introductions, and LMS concepts like Forum Intro’s and Course Overviews.

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Dropbox

www.dropbox.com

Overview: Dropbox is cloud-based technology used to store files, media, and anything else you can store on a hard drive.  Think of Dropbox as an extra hard drive for your computer that’s housed in the vast infinite Internet.  Since it is housed in the Internet (the cloud), data retrieval of what you are storing can be done anywhere you have an Internet connection. That in itself presents the benefits of this tool.  Whether you are on your phone, iPad, laptop, or desktop computer, if you can connect to the Internet, you can connect to your files.

Ideas: The ideas for usage are limited as far as instructional use is concerned.  However, this is a tool that students and educators can both benefit from using.  Quick and accurate information retrieval is such an integral part to the education process in today’s schools.  This tool can help both you and your students organize, retrieve, and view content quickly and practically anywhere there is a WiFi connection.

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