Nancy Bosch shared about a neat website and widget you could put in your blog called Shelfari. You can make your own virtual (and very realistic-looking) bookshelf with your favorite books. You, and others, can also add comments.
Seeing that post prompts me to share a little different way that I have my mainstream ninth graders share their book reviews online.
First, they decide what book they’ve liked. Then, they go to the Barnes and Noble website. They type in the title of their book, find the image, then right-click on it. Next, they click on “Properties” and then the url of the image will come-up. Finally, they copy and then paste the url into image box of whichever Web 2.0 application we’re using at the time — Tumblr, Show Beyond, VoiceThread, etc. They add their review and then you can see both the book and their comments online.
Doing it this way is easy, it provides a limited audience of who can leave comments, and students like how it looks.
Of course, this is only an occasional project we do since I think it’s much better for students to actually talk about the books they like face-to-face in class. However, it’s helpful sometimes as a way to connect with classes that meet during different periods of the day and, as I hope to do next semester, when you’re trying to develop a sister-class relationship in another region or country.
By the way, I have students use Barnes and Noble because it doesn’t seem to work with images from Amazon. I’m assuming it has something to do with the fact that Amazon’s images are jpeg’s and Barnes and Nobles are gif’s, but I don’t really know.