Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2012 — So Far

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I usually just do a year-end list on Web 2.0 Applications For Education and many other topics, but it gets a little crazy having to review all of my zillion posts at once. So, to make it easier for me — and perhaps, to make it a little more useful to readers — I’m going to be publishing mid-year lists, too. These won’t be ranked, unlike my year-end “The Best…” lists, and just because a site appears on a mid-year list doesn’t guarantee it will be included in an end-of-the-year one. But, at least, I won’t have to review all my year’s posts in December…

As usual, in order to make this list, a site had to be:

* accessible to English Language Learners and non-tech savvy users.

* free-of-charge.

* appropriate for classroom use.

* completely browser-based with no download required.

It’s possible that a few of these sites began in 2011, but, if so, I’m including them in this list because they were “new to me” in 2012.

You might want to visit previous editions:


The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2011

The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education — 2010

The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education — 2009

The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education — 2008

The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education — 2007

(You might also find The Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly — 2011 useful)

Here are my twenty-nine choices for The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2012 — So Far (NOT in order of preference):

Slide.ly looks good and is very similar to Animoto. You can search for photos online or use your own, and easily combine them with music to create musical video-like slideshows.

Croak.it lets you easily record a thirty second message with a computer microphone. You then get a unique url address that you can share. No registration is necessary.

Venngage is an easy tool for creating online infographics. Like several other sites on The Best Resources For Creating Infographics list, it has a number of templates where you just add your info, click publish, and you get an embeddable image (oops, they appear to have recently begun charging, though you can get a two week trial for free).

Zoho announced Zoho Sites, a super-easy “drag-and-drop” website builder. It doesn’t get much easier to create a nice-looking website. You can read more about it at TechCrunch.

Infogr.am looks like a pretty easy tool for creating infographics that can be linked to or embedded. The selection of templates is pretty limited, but the site is still in beta. The main problem with the site is that you can only log-in using a social media site like Facebook or Twitter. That makes it usable for teachers, but, since those sites are blocked in most schools for students, they would not be able to create their own. (UPDATE: It appears that you can now register just using an email address)

Memplai looks like a good online video editor that can incorporate photos and videos.

Easel.ly  is hands-down the easiest tool I’ve seen on the Web to create infographics. You just “drag-and-drop” a variety of themes, type in your data, and you’ve got a great infographic.

Record MP3 lets you, without having to register, create an audio recording that you can save on your computer and/or save on their site (a link is provided). It’s very simple to use, though I’m not sure what the maximum audio recording length is nor how long they keep it on their server.  My recording uploaded quickly using Internet Explorer. However, it would never upload when in Firefox.

TED unveiled a new education website , TED Ed. This new site, using the videos from that new education initiative and any other YouTube video,  lets teachers create interactive quizzes that can supposedly be tracked. Where the creation tool could really be a valuable learning asset, though, would be by having students take the videos and create the quizzes that, in turn, could be used by their classmates and other students.

Thinglink lets you upload or grab an image or video off the web and annotate items with the image or video super-easily. It basically looks like a photo in the Picture Word Inductive Model, just online.  You can read how I use it here.

ImageSpike is a new web tool that is supposed to do just about the same thing as Thinglink. You can read about the differences between the two here.

And MarQueed is like a Thinglink and ImageSpike on steroids and allows collaborative annotation.  You can read more about it here.

Though I’ve used clozes (fill-in-the-blank/gap-fill) for several years, this is the first time a free and easy-to-use site like LearnClick has been available (there have been other cloze-creation sites, but none that I thought were student-friendly). LearnClick makes it super-simple and free to create and post interactive clozes online so students from different classes — in fact, students anywhere — can try completing them. And they’re much more enjoyable to create, too!

Six3 lets you send a free video message via iPhone, PC or Mac. Registration is required, but it takes seconds. It’s very easy to use.

MentorMob lets you very easily create a slideshow. Webpages, videos and photos can be grabbed from the web and added, along with notes. It’s easy to use, very intuitively designed so just about anyone can figure it out, and attractive.

Vsnap lets you send a sixty second online video message very easily. Free registration is required.

In Focus lets you, without any registration required, literally “highlight” a section of any webpage and provides a unique url address linking to it.

Kwiqpoll lets you easily create a poll — and no registration is required. You’re give the poll’s url address, but it’s not embeddable. It has no frills, but it’s easy as pie.

Hello Slide lets you upload a PDF of your PowerPoint. You can then type in the narration and it will use a text-to-speech feature to provide audio to your slideshow.

Kl1P lets you create a webpage without any registration required. You can paste text or images into it, and is a great way to publish student work — you get a custom url address for your page and can paste that on a student/teacher blog.

QikPad is a nice online collaborative writing tool that has an embedding feature.

Loose Leaves lets you write or paste images and automatically creates a webpage. You’re given two url addresses — one where you can edit it again and a second where others can view it. No registration is necessary.

Pandamian is a super-simple — and free — tool to create an ebook. Sign-up takes a few seconds, and you’re given your own url address for all your future books. Click on “create a new book” and you’re off! You can easily copy and paste images, and readers can leave moderated comments. They can also subscribe to an RSS feed if they want to be updated on newer chapters and it can be embedded.

Themeefy lets you grab pretty much anything you want off the Web, and add your own materials, to create a personalized magazine that can be shared/embedded wherever you want. It looks pretty neat and simple.

Check This is the latest in a long line of tools that let you create webpages quickly, without registering, and that let you also paste images into them.

BeeClip.Edu lets you set-up a virtual classroom where students can create a “scrapbook” or other products using a very simple “drag-and-drop” interface. Text can also be added. One teacher with up to thirty students is free, but you have to pay if you want to add more. The teacher and other students in the class can see all the student-created products, but it doesn’t appear — at least to me — that there is any way to make links to them public.(I’ve learned you can’t link to the creations, but you can embed them).

ikiMap lets you easily create maps and, what I particularly like, is you can insert images off the web just by using their url addresses.

I received my invitation to join Mural.ly, and am very impressed. I’d strongly encourage you to register for one. It lets you drag and drop images and links (and the links appear as thumbnail images on the screen);it lets you write on it or add speech bubbles — it’s basically a super-duper-duper Wallwisher.

The new free web tool Inklewriter is, without a doubt, the easiest way to write a choose your own adventure story. You can read more about it at Gamasutra, New, free tools allow any novice to make an accessible text adventure.

Feedback is welcome.

If you found this post useful, you might want to look at the 900 other “The Best…” lists and consider subscribing to this blog for free.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

11 Comments

  1. GREAT list! I really like your criteria as well – very web 2.0 indeed. I’d also like to shamelessly self-plug http://www.teachertime.com.au, a place for teachers to connect to each other via their resources.

    Cheers

    Jesse

  2. Venngage is not free. Although it does give a free trial.

  3. Pingback: Teacher Talk » The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2012 — So Far | Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

  4. Good list! But I see My Big Campus didn’t make this list. Maybe it’s on a previous list?
    My Big Campus meets your criteria and teachers and students are loving it! http://www.mybigcampus.com

  5. Thanks for the list. I enjoyed playing with beeclip.edu!

    Socrative.com is another great web 2.0 tool for questioning and formative assessment. Students don’t need to register, just go to a web address and enter a room number.

  6. As an educator, I believe it is very important to teach material that is important for the future of the students. When inventing my math and memory system Brainetics (http://www.brainetics.com), I wanted to focus on new subjects and innovative methods to teach. By teaching for the 21st century, students will be more prepared in the future. It seems like so many aspects of today’s society centers around the digital environment and teaching should be altered to adapt.

    Great article,

    Mike Byster
    http://www.mikebyster.com
    Inventor of Brainetics, Educator, Author of Genius, Mathematician

  7. What a great resources for teachers. Thank you for including MentorMob! Please let me know if you ever have any suggestions or questions.

  8. Pingback: Technology Tools | IDC ICT

  9. Just wanted to say I’ve checked out a couple of these top web app posts from you now and love them. Thank you. However, I did find it annoying clicking their links, exploring the web app, then realizing I have to find your page again to get more. Perhaps in the future, you can prompt the links to open in a new window/tab.

    Also, how do you find all of these great tools? I’d like to further develop my resources for things like these. Thanks again.

    • Graesen,

      Just right click the link and click “open in new tab.” That should make it easier.

      Subscribe to blogs, join Twitter, read online periodicals — that’s what I do to find links. I have a few The Best lists that should help you out.

      Larry

  10. Let me add to that list http://buzztc.com
    quite similar to checkthis

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