Web Tools for Educators




Picture_3.png
http://www.wordle.net/show/wrdl/929749/Benfer_Logo_2












The Super Book of Web Tools for Educators



Naughty_Cat_by_kevindooley.jpg
Flickr CC: Naughty Cat by kevindooley





Don't Be Scared!
First off, DON'T let the names of these tools scare you off!
Frankly, the names are sometimes much more complicated than the tools!

Bookmarking Sites

At Benfer, we have used an online bookmarking site, MyBookmarks , for years. Some grade levels use this site extensively--even with our youngest students--and find it very useful. Students are able to access bookmarked sites from home, all teachers on a grade level are able to add/access bookmarked sites at any time, etc. This is a good, simple bookmarking site, but it lacks a "networking" or social component. It is "old school!"


Social Bookmarking
There are many bookmarking sites available today though that are designed for collaboration, and they are great for professional use! They are commonly known as social bookmarking sites because they facilitate sharing your bookmarks with others, and "mining" other users' bookmarks, collecting them & organizing them more easily. These social bookmarking sites allow you to access your bookmarks online from any computer, moderate who sees your bookmarks, who you collaborate with, etc. If you all use Delicious for example, your PLC can share bookmarks with each other while maintaining private bookmarks as well. It is especially powerful when you have a larger network of professionals (other Klein teachers, Texas teachers, "experts" or speakers you have seen at a conference, etc) to draw from.

Delicious

Delicious is a very popular bookmarking site, Here is a link to Jamie's Delicious links.
I've been using Delicious for a long time, so there are LOTS of links in there. Try going to my Delicious page and searching for links tagged 4tchrs . You might find something you like! -jcc


Here is a great, short, simple video that explains social bookmarking in general, using Delicious:




Diigo

Diigo is also very popular, and has many features that Delicious does not. For example, users can leave "sticky notes" on a web page so that others within their network can see what they want to highlight about that web page. Users can have all Diigo bookmarks automatically sent to their Delicious account too, so you don't have to choose between the 2 services! There is also a free Premium Account especially designed for educators!
confession: I have a Diigo account, and I bookmark through Diigo, but I have not ever really gotten into the collaborative features that Diigo offers. I really prefer the simpler Delicious. Many, many people love Diigo a lot more though, so it's worth taking a look at, if you're interested in social bookmarking and collaboration. It really is a very powerful tool. --jcc


Here's a 4 min video highlighting how Diigo works:





For more social software sites, see the Wikipedia article: Social Bookmarking

Aggregators or "Feed" Readers


Some other names for RSS aggregators:
  • Feed Reader
  • RSS Reader
  • Aggregator

A feed reader is one of the most powerful and time-saving web tools there is--I don't think I could ever keep up with my professional reading if I did not use one!

Google Reader is one of the more popular ones, and it is very simple to set up. To use Google Reader, you do not HAVE to have a gmail account, although it does make it all work more seamlessly. Here's a short CommonCraft video that does a great job of explaining it!




Photo Editing

Use these free web sites to edit your photos. You can do most simple editing actions such as adjust color, adjust brightness, crop, resize, etc.

Aviary is not only a free photo editing site, there are many other free tools here too: music creator, audio editor, screen capture, and lots more!
DrPic is a VERY simple online photo editor. Period. Nothing fancy. Just useful!
Picnik is also a very simple and useful, FREE online photo editor. I use this one a lot to convert photos to jpg. Sometimes I have a picture that is a gif, and I want to use it on my Klein web site (netstart). On our web sites, a photo has to be a jpg if you want to resize it. So it has to be converted from a gif to a jpg. This is one way to do that! --jcc


Fun Photo Sites

Stained Glass Collage
Make your photos look like a stained glass collage!

StainGlass.png
Ben Fur's Summer Fun!


Image Mosaic Generator
Create a mosaic from a picture on your computer. All you do is upload your photo and click Create My Mosaic! Here's one--click on the mosaic and see how it was created:
524803118_99be07a6d1.jpgmosaiceda415c999f9df8cacb260d549fd6ffc.png


Tammy's Favorite Tech Tips, Tricks, & Tools
Tammy Worcester has visited the district several times and shared her ideas with us for using technology in authentic ways in the classroom. The following video is her spotlight presentation from the National Educator's Computing Conference 2009 in Washington DC. She highlights TONS of useful interactive links that can be used to provide engaging learning opportunities for students.

Her web site is here, and the web links that go along with this presentation are here.

Watch this one & SHARE! It is chock full of useful stuff! Really! jcc