...Creating to show understanding
In today’s world, individuals can search the web and find an enormous number of web-based "start-ups" providing them with the ability to create documents, presentations, videos and more all by just registering for an account. Typically, cloud computing/Web 2.0 companies offer beta versions of their products while working through the “bugs” and fixing the issues that arise. This has been very good for educators who have benefited from the free services of so many Internet-based services. Having worked to achieve an expected quality of service and develop a service agreement, many of these sites start requiring a fee to use their products/software which means one of your favorite tools may no longer be available to you. Fortunately for educators, many providers have recognized and responded to the needs of the educational community and have created special pricing structures and/or account types designed for specifically for educators, such as Google Apps.
We’ve already looked into Google Apps which has a number of tools for product creation. Below is a list of web tools that can be used to develop an end product. Some will require that you create an account. Others are already tied into your Google Apps account or may not require account creation. For those that do require account creation, make it easy on yourself. Use your springbranchisd.com email address and then create a password that you will use for ALL of your Web 2.0 accounts! That way you’re not always trying to remember a new password. Make the password at least 8 characters with a combination of letters/numbers that should work for all sites.
Also, be aware that when creating accounts, you are agreeing to Terms of Service. We aren’t bringing this up to alarm you. However, in accordance with U.S. Federal Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA), these companies can never knowingly solicit, nor will it accept, personally identifiable information from users known to be under thirteen (13) years of age. So, it is important that before you ask students to register on sites, that you check the Terms of Service to make sure of the age requirements.
And, know for every one of these listed above, there are probably another 20+ similar tools out there on the Web!
- Use at least two of the tools above to create products. Think about your content. Create a “set” for one of your lessons! Or, consider providing the site as a choice for your students to create products. Make a model for a student created product.
- Then, embed both products in your blog or link to the products from your blog.
- Describe for your readers how you think each tool can be incorporated into your classroom - how you could see the tool being used by you instructionally and your students to demonstrate their understanding of a concept or topic in your classroom.