It’s that time of year again when I start posting mid-year “The Best….” lists. There are over 1,100 lists now. You can see them all here.
As usual, in order to make this list, a site had to be:
* accessible to English Language Learners and non-tech savvy users.
* appropriate for classroom use.
* completely browser-based with no download required.
It’s possible that a few of these sites began in 2012, but, if so, I’m including them in this list because they were “new to me” in 2013.
You might want to visit previous editions:
(You might also find The Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly In 2012 — So Far useful)
I don’t rank my mid-year lists, but do place them in order of preference in my end-of-year lists.
Feel free to let me know if you think I’m leaving any tools out.
Here are my thirty-two choices for The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2013 — not ranked in any order:
Mosey lets you pick a location, easily choose places in the area that you’d like to “visit,” grab images off the web, shows the places on map, and lets you add notes. You’re then give a unique url address to your creation. It’s a good tool for geography class or for planning a real field trip.
I use Pinterest daily. However, in the vast majority of schools, it is never going to make it past Internet content filters for students. eduClipper is basically a Pinterest for schools (and I confirmed today that it is not blocked at our school — if it’s not blocked by our district, it’s unlikely to be blocked by most others). It has the potential of sort of being an “all in one” tool for the classroom, serving the same purposes as sites on The Best Social Bookmarking Applications For English Language Learners & Other Students list and on The Best Online Virtual “Corkboards” (or “Bulletin Boards”) list, as well as serving other functions.
Populr.me is an easy tool for creating websites.
Soo Meta lets you combine segments of videos, text, tweets and images into one presentation. One nice feature is that you can easily grab those items off the Web through a simple search option (though, for me, the image search wasn’t working).
RealtimeBoard is an online whiteboard that is a good tool for real-time collaboration. It’s easy to use, and lets you upload images from your computer or by its url address.
121Writing site is fairly useful. Students log-on to your class site, copy and paste their assignment onto it, and teachers can provide audio feedback on it. It could save a teacher time, and provide a way to give more detailed feedback to students who need it, and can “take” it. I learned about it from Richard Byrne’s blog, and I’d encourage you to visit his post to read more about it. His post focuses on schools using Google Drive. However, you can use it even without using Google Drive by registering at the site here.
Brainscape is a flashcard-creating site that lets you add images and allows you to record sound simply by clicking on the “Advanced Editor.” It’s easy to add both, and those features make Brainscape stand out a bit from some of the other flashcard sites out there.
MashMe TV lets you create a free video conference with up to ten people. In addition, you can all watch a video and/or draw together.
buncee lets you easily create simple multimedia creations — almost like an extended virtual postcard. You can grab media off the web and add text.
Presenter is a new free online tool for creating online presentations, animations and — at least in my mind — most importantly, infographics. Most of the options on Presenter all look impressive but, for my technologically incompetent tastes, are just slightly more complicated than I would like (though I’m sure they all would be fine for most readers of this blog). I, though, particularly like their infographic tool. Once you register and sign-on, you have the option to click on the Presenter tool or a tool to create websites. The Presenter tool is free, and the website one costs money. After you click on Presenter, you’re offered different features within it, including infographics. They only offer a few templates now, but I’m sure more will become available soon.
Imgembed is a “crowdsourced” collection of what’s now up to one million images that are free to use as long as you credit the photographer (it automatically appears with the embed code). You can also pay if you don’t want to have a header with an attribution. And you can contribute your own photos, too.
Sketchlot lets students…sketch and draw online. Teachers sign-up and can create a class roster letting students log-in, and drawings are embeddable.
I Wish You To lets you easily draw and create your own Ecards, which you can post, embed, and/or send to someone — and no registration is required.
Quizdini is a simple and free tool for creating multiple-choice or “drag-and-drop” quizzes. There is no way right now to monitor student results, but they are working developing such a system.
Map Tales is a pretty cool application that lets you create “map-based stories.” Students can easily use them to document historical eras, literary journey, even their own immigration saga. It’s very easy to use.
Pinwords lets you create visually attractive quotations and is especially nice because it’s web-based and lets you grab images off the web to use.
Quozio is another super-easy way to create visually attractive quotations.
Image Quiz lets you easily grab images off the web (or upload your own) and create quizzes with them. No registration is required to create or take them, and there are quite a few already there.
Dio is a new interactive tool from Linden Labs, the creators of Second Life (which, apart from hearing from people with physical disabilities that it was very helpful to them, I have yet to figure out its usefulness). Dio, on the other hand, allows you to create what is basically a public or private network that has a lot of interactivity. There is no shortage of social network sites that teachers can set up for their students to use (see Not “The Best,” But “A List” Of Social Network Sites), but Dio seems to have a lot more engaging features.
Wideo is a new tool for making online animations. I wouldn’t say it’s as intuitive to use as some others on The Best Ways For Students To Create Online Animations list, but it does seem decent.
Russel Tarr has created lots of great online learning tools, and I’ve blogged about many of them. His latest is called Brainy Box, and it lets you easily create a 3-D animated cube with any content you want to include in it. Students will love it.
Quizpoo lets you create, without requiring registration, “this or that” quizzes. I had never actually heard of that “genre” of tests before, but you can see plenty of examples on their site. I could see students having a lot of fun making these kinds of tests. For example, as we study Latin America in my ELL Geography class, they could make one on “Mexico or Brazil” with the first “question” being “Brasilia” and the answer choices being “Mexico” or “Brazil.” The following “questions” could include “Pele” and “Baja California.” Students in my English class could make grammar ones like “Plural or Singular,” etc.
UTellStory is sort of a streamlined VoiceThread that I think is easier for both teachers and students to use. You can make slideshows with your own images or grab ones off the web and easily add a audio you record, as well as text, to it. You can make them private or public, and they’re embeddable. You can also let your slideshows be re-used and mixed by others.
Phrase.it lets you easily add speech bubbles with your text to photos. You can upload your own, or choose a random image from the site. You’re then given a link to your creation.
HapYak lets you annotate any YouTube or Vimeo video with text (including url addresses) or freestyle drawing. The Adventures With Technology blog has an interesting lesson plan using HapYak with second language learners.
Make It Share It is new, and it seems to me that there isn’t an easier site out there to make simple animations. And it provides an embed code for your creation!
Photolist is a new tool that seems like a very easy way to make a slideshow (that’s also embeddable) and that lets you also add expanded captions.
Reflap is a free tool for online video chats. You can have up to five people on the same chat.
Every Stock Photo is an impressive search engine for images and, what’s particularly nice about it, is that it provides the embed code with the necessary attribution for any image you pick.
Feedback is welcome.