In one of my EdTech courses I was asked to pick and describe my top 5 favorite Web 2.0 tools from a list. While it was hard to create, here they are.
Please visit the resources (links provided on Week 1 in the Course Schedule). From all of the Web 2.0 instructional tools presented, select your top 5 favorite.
Please list the names of the Web 2.0 tools, what they do, why you like it, and how you could use it in your professional setting to help promote learning.
Google Drive is a free web-based office suite that include the equivalent of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and others. However, these apps use the power of the internet to bring real time collaboration between participants. It is precisely because of this collaboration capability that I could and have used it in my professional setting. For schools and institutions that use Google Apps for Education, these apps may already be offered to everyone which makes sharing files even easier. One example to promote learning could be a group project using Google Slides where each student/participant contributes in creating a slide.
Skype for Business
Skype for Business is a video conferencing solution that allows anyone to virtually connect with each other. With Skype for Business, users can easily share their webcam, audio, desktop, and files. I like this tool because of how easy it is to connect with someone either via chat or video call. I also like its integration into Office 365, which is what we use here at UTRGV. This tool can promote learning by having a video chat with presenters from around the country and world.
SoftChalk is a content authoring tool that includes interactive and gradeable activities. Lessons can easily be exported to a Learning Management Systems such as Blackboard or to an eBook format with the SoftChalk Reader app. I like this tool because it’s easy to convert static content, such as a word document, to an interactive dynamic document with flashcards, videos, iframe content and more. To help promote learning, this content curation tool can be used by students to create an interactive lesson rather than a report or PowerPoint presentation.
Out of all five of the tools presented, Twitter is my favorite one. While many use Twitter for personal use, it is also a powerful tool for learning – especially in education. While Twitter is a social media tool, it also serves as a type of bookmarking tool as many people share informative resources. If you search Twitter for ‘#EdTech’ you will find a never-ending list of tweets from people who share an interest in Educational Technology. Doing this very action promotes learning as you’re reading through personally curated information.
My second favorite tool on this list is WordPress. WordPress is an easy-to-use online website authoring tool. This tool allows anyone to create a free WordPress account and have a presence on the internet. I like this tool because of its many features and integrations along with its easy to use interface. This tool can be used to promote learning by having students create a blog to share information that they learn. Not only does this help students become creators, but also helps reinforce what they’ve learned.