As regular readers know, for the past thirteen years I’ve been publishing about twenty-five different bi-annual lists highlighting the best educational resources around (along with tons of other “Best” lists). You can see them all here.
It takes a lot of time to compile those lists, so I now do them every six months.
I’m starting off by focusing on Web 2.0 tools. It’s possible that a few of these sites began earlier than this year, but, if so, I’m including them in this list because they were “new to me” in 2020 (or in late 2019 after I published that year’s list).
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 (however, I’ve begun to make exceptions for special mobile apps).
You can see previous editions of these lists, along with all my Web 2.0-related lists, here.
I’ll review the tools on this list at the end of the year and only choose “the cream of the crop” for that final “annual” list.
I’ve also created some Web 2.0 – related Best lists this year:
Here are my choices for The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2020 – Part One. They are divided into three categories – Useful, Good, Excellent:
Fablement is a new free tool for writing, and reading, “choose-your-own-adventure” stories. I’m adding it to The Best Places To Read & Write “Choose Your Own Adventure” Stories.
ToonClip lets you easily make simple animations. I’m adding it to The Best Ways For Students To Create Online Animations.
FunApero is a video conferencing tool that lets you play games with your friends. I’m thinking that some games might be useful for ELLs.
Insert Learning looks likes a potentially useful Chrome Extension to turn any webpage into a fillable worksheet.
Netstory is a new tool for creating and reading interactive fiction (choose-your-own-adventure stories). They bill it as super simple to use but, for the life of my, I couldn’t figure out how to write a story once I got into its editor. And they have no tutorial or explanation anywhere visible on its website. I’m tentatively going to be put it on The Best Places To Read & Write “Choose Your Own Adventure” Stories and assume that someone will figure it out and explain it to me.
Kunster is a new app that converts any picture into a rendering done in the style of famous artists. Transform your photo in the style of an iconic artist is from Google and is pretty cool, especially if you are going to teacher the styles of artists. They both came out this year.
Google has just unveiled something they’re calling YouTube Video Builder. It looks like it’s a fairly automatic tool for creating video advertisements of 6 or 15 seconds each. It’s in beta, so you have to apply for access. I periodically have students create video advertisements (for example, to illustrate the use of fallacies), so it might or might not be a tool worth exploring for education.
Panopto is an online presentation system I’ve been hearing good thing about….
Monkey Learn is a new word cloud generator. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About “Word Clouds.” You can learn more about it from Richard Byrne.
Kuote lets you create visually pleasing quotes. I’m adding it to The Best Tools For Creating Visually Attractive Quotations For Online Sharing.
Once is a new free and very simple tool that lets you make slideshow-like stories that seem to be designed for mobile, but can be viewed on the web, too.
Storillo is a collaborative writing platform for students that offers both free and paid virtual classrooms. You can learn more about it at this Common Sense review. I’m adding it to The Best Sites Where Students Can Work Independently & Let Teachers Check On Progress and to The Best Sites For Collaborative Storytelling.
Chart It is a new tool that lets you create….charts. I’m adding it to The Best Tools To Make Simple Graphs & Charts Online.
Reverb Record is a new tool where you (and students) and easily record audio. I find these kinds of tools great for students to record something they wrote and add it to the written narrative on a class blog. I’m adding it to The Best Sites To Practice Speaking English. Thanks to Richard Byrne for the tip.
Stringflix lets you make collaborative videos.
The Image Annotator is a new tool from Class Tools that allows you to…annotate images. Class Tools has lots of neat…tools and is on The “All-Time” Best 2.0 Tools For Beginning English Language Learners list. You can learn more about the Image Annotator at Richard Byrne’s blog.
Squawk lets you turn your tweets into videos for Instagram.
Say Without Worry is a new site for creating Word Clouds. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About “Word Clouds”
The Library of Congress is creating a new tool called Citizen DJ that lets you use its curated audio sounds to create hip hop. They are not officially unveiling it until the summer, but are inviting people to test it out for the next few weeks. You can read more about it at The New York Times’ article, Library of Congress Unveils New Digital DJ Tool. I’m adding this post to The Best Online Sites For Creating Music.
Video Puppet looks like a neat tool for using artificial intelligence to create videos from your slides and text. I’m adding it to The Best Tools That “Automatically” Create Presentations.
You Know lets you upload texts and create private or public discussion groups about them – for free. I’m adding it to The Best Sites Where Students Can Work Independently & Let Teachers Check On Progress and to The Best Online Tools For Collaboration — NOT In Real Time.
Cloud Stop Motion lets teachers create free virtual classrooms where students can easily create stop motion videos. You can read more about it at Richard Byrne’s blog. I’m adding it to The Best Ways For Students To Create Online Animations and to The Best Sites Where Students Can Work Independently & Let Teachers Check On Progress.
Whiteboard.fi as an easy and cool class whiteboard tool. It’s great for formative assessments and for Pictionary!