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Web 2.0 Resources

Two thumbs up to Web 2.0 Guru that has put together this complete list of resources.

Anything you may need, everything!

Animation

Create some fun activities to review and create projects for specific concepts and content. Use these sites to engage your students for creating fun and engaging animations.

Create an account for these tools. No email… No problem. Use www.emailzorz.com for a free inbox to register.


Assessment and Evaluation

Online assessment is optimal for a more paperless classroom environment. Students enjoy the chance for interactive online assessments. There are sites that allow you to make review flashcards and asses student learning. Sites where you can make and download rubrics are also available. These can then be linked or embedded.


Blogging

Some of my favorite tools for blogs in the classroom. Create a classroom blog so that students can share and discuss topics inside and outside of class. Believe it or not, kids will actually visit back often to see who is reading and responding. Reluctant classroom participants usually love this outlet to share ideas and new concepts. I actually heard one of my teachers say that her non-writers posted more than anyone on her reading blog. Sample Blogs – Academic Examples

  • WordPress– Easy to set up and monitor the comments on your blog. One of the best out there.
  • 21Classes – free and education safe
  • CoveritLive– Live Blogging embed in a web page
  • Blogger– Blogger, another easy way to create your classroom blog. Allows for moderation as well.
  • ePals– Free school or classroom blogs. A great way to start an entire school with blogs that they can monitor in one location.
  • Blogcheese– this is one of my favorites since it allows you to add video clips and text. It’s a must see and try!! Kids love it.
  • Global Teacher / Student– create a safe blog environment for your class and students
  • And if these aren’t good enough for you, try this list of 40 Blog Hosts.

Charts and Spreadsheets

Creating charts in many classes can be a chore and if you don’t have Excel or know how to design a simple chart these tools can help you!
See what you think.

  • Editgrid – free online spreadsheet creator
  • Google Docs share and collaborate
  • irows – create and upload excel sheets online, share and collaborate
  • Swivel – Data sets, graphs, charts, etc. All can be embedded and manipulated.
  • Zoho – share and collaborate
  • ChartGizmo– create charts to share and embed on your sites
  • Tableizer– create free html charts or spreadsheets
  • LovelyCharts – great online diagramming
  • Chartle – create interactive charts and tables
  • Many Eyes – upload data sets and create amazing looking data represenations

Collaboration

Collaboration experiences assist with opening up the lines of communication for students, teachers, parents and communities. Students love to share with each other and others from outside of the class. They thrive on sharing their expertise and knowledge to people who are interested. Try using these tools when students are expected to work in groups and communicate to complete group projects. They will thank you for the experience. The great thing is that kids will have the 24/7 access to their work. They will not need to be sitting at a specific computer or network since all of these sites offer storage and interactivity.

  • Google Docs share and collaborate
  • Writeboard– create collaborative docs in your browser
  • Zoho share and collaborate
  • Scriblink – create instant collaborative workspace areas save, print and more
  • Dabbleboard – instant collaboration online – create great graphic organizers and flow charts
  • Etherpad – online text editing no registration
  • Skrbl – instant notes and collaboration
  • Doing Text– online collaborative work spaces
  • Nota create interactive note pages that allow you to post docs, video, audio, maps and comments. edit together.
  • Notesake take notes together share and collaborate
  • Browzmi – browse the internet together. Great for collaboration and research!!! What a great tool!!
  • Weblin – download and install this simple app to create an avatar and search the web with others
  • Yoowalk – browse the internet with others, fun and interactive.
  • Kaltura – collaborate with this video tool. Create a video together.
  • A.nnotate– publish files and annotate them online.
  • Lefora– create a public or private discussion forum network
  • Twiddla– instant canvas for sharing, creating, chatting and more. Get started instantly!
  • Show Document – instantly collaborate on any document. Original doc is not altered just annotated.
  • Collanos – keep all of your files in one desktop area

Communication

Allowing students to communicate and or chat during class or outside of class will open up the lines of communication between you and your students. Many of these resources allow for monitored chat rooms, quick webcam communications, and more. The nice thing is that you can create and open a room during class and then close it outside of class if you are worried about posts outside of class.

  • Skype– download and install for quick video conf. purchase a webcam for about $35. Kids love showing off when doing reports, labs plays, demonstrations.
  • dimdim – online synchronized meetings
  • Vawkr – this is the easiest and quckest video chat room on the web. Go to the site, grab a room and share the link with people. All webcams are recognized and everyone can talk, hear and type whenever they want. Very interactive. Create a private room as well.
  • Palbe embeddable virtual conf. room free 3 people
  • Geesee – embeddable chat gadget
  • Yaplet embedable chat gadget
  • ooVoo – download and video chat with anyone around the world.
  • MeBeam– instant chat rooms
  • Meeboo– create free chat rooms
  • VoxOx – free download for all of you online collaborations and communications
  • ChatMaker – Free instant Chat rooms
  • Backnoise – back channel chats that you can embed
  • Tinychat – create a free room, embed into a website, save chats
  • Babelwithme – create collaborative chats that translate while you type

Conversion Tools

Convert Text to Audio

  • iSpeech – convert your blog, docs, rtf, rss and more to audio. Sound quality is pretty good.
  • Online Conversion – convert anything

Convert Video and Audio Files


Convert Word to PDF and Vise Versa


Award and Certificate Makers


Desktop Publishing

  • Open Office – alternative to Microsoft
  • Thinkfree – Office bundle
  • Letterpop– create free incredible looking newsletters here!
  • Kerpoof – create pictures, stories, and movies here. Fun and interactive.
  • Toondoo – create great looking comics here. Even use your own photo.
  • Bitstrips – create fun comic strips for writing
  • Make Beliefs Comix– great comic tool for kids to write graphic novels or stories
  • Mutapic– design artwork in a free online graphics genertor. Great for Art students or designing logos.
  • Ebooks – create great looking ebooks with mixbook ,myebook , tikatok. Book BuilderRead Write Web Flipbook Create Free eBooks – anyone can write and publish for free!!
  • CK-12 Textbooks – create your very own textbook!!
  • Lulu – publish and sell your writings
  • Book Builder – Create Free eBooks – anyone can write and publish for free!!
  • Project Poster kids can create simple web sites in a snap. Great for quick and easy projects.
  • Scribbls– Draw and collaborate
  • Postalz – create engaging digital postcards
  • Issuu– create your own online magazine issue.
  • It’s Our Tree – create a free online family tree.
  • Scribus– create great looking desktop documents for free!! Download and install for free.
  • Openzine – create online collaborative interactive magazines
  • Awesome Clipart for Educators
  • Museum Box – Create a 3D interactive learning cube or collection of video, audio, images, text and links AWESOME!
  • PocketMod – Create a free foldable with so many options. Create note cards and reminders…. Excellent tool!!
  • Kids on the Net -creative writing and interactive activities
  • Calameo– create, publish and share your work
  • Atlantis Word Processor – free word processor download… great application
  • Ajax13 – create docs and flow charts instantly in the browser based ajax app
  • Plasq aps – download and create fun comics

Dictionaries/Glossaries/Data


Digital Storytelling

  • Animoto – create free 30 second videos with your photos tell a story with pictures text and audio
  • Nota – wow talk about an AWESOME Educational tool, you have to see this site, create a web page by adding just about anything!! Embeddable
  • Ourstory – a time line based photo story option .
  • OneTrueMedia and Tel.A.Vision – create great looking videos with this simple online tool, A+++++ Add images, video, audio and more
  • PhotoPeach – easy photo sharing and captions. Allow for comments, keep private or public. Embeddable
  • Photoshow – simple easy to add photos, captions and templates
  • Slide – create fun and embeddable stories with this fun free tool
  • Voicethread – upload images and presentations to share and get feedback in the form of test or audio
  • Vuvox – great for creating eye catching photo stories

Disposable Email Accounts


Ebooks or Audio Books

Great resources for listening to royalty free and public domain publications. Excellent resources!


Games for Education

Try some of these sites for reinforcing the specific skills and content.

  • ClassTools – Create interactive flash games for class review.
  • Game-O-Matic – create fun review games for new concepts
  • ELearning– games for the younger students
  • Smarty Card – a great fun way to learn and earn real rewards. Join for free parents and kids
  • The Last Brain Game– Great brain games in single or multiplayer game studios. FUN!!
  • IMMEX create a free online science environment with interactive scientific experiments and problem solving modules
  • Math Playground fun interactive games
  • Hot Math fun interactive games
  • Club Penguin and Webkinz – introduce your students to virtual worlds with these kid friendly environments. Allows for digital skill literacy and students can beging managing $, time, and pet responsibility. Writing prompts can be used with these worlds.
  • Java Math– interactive java base math simulations and examples
  • Tutpup– play simple math and spelling games for reinforement, challenge other global players and beat the clock
  • Games That Change the World – online games that help the world!
  • Simulations for Learning – a great list of online simulations for student learning.
  • Bitesize Games by BBC – Interactive learning and fun Science, Math Etc.
  • Power Point Game Templates– an incredible site for playing interactive PPT Games
  • Mr Nussbaums -Games for Math, Language Arts, Spelling, Science and more
  • Chiltopia– online learning games for young kids.
  • Secret Builders – awesome virtual game for learning and building!!
  • PlayCrafter – create your own games
  • Stop Watch – time yourself
  • Sploder – create and your own virtual games for others to play

Virtual Games in Education

Nobel Prize Games A++++
Edheads
KidsCom.com

  • Americas Army – virutual Army experiences
  • Anagramarama find as many words as possible in the time available. Get the longest word and you’ll advance to the next level.
  • Ayiti – Unicef, voices of youth explore, learn the cost of life
  • Binary Game – play a Cisco binary game
  • ChemCollective
  • Climate Challenge
  • Conflict Map
  • Discover Babylon
  • Energyville
  • Electrocity
  • Fat World
  • Food Force
  • Food Detectives
  • FreeCol
  • FreeCiv – create a virtual civilization
  • Future Park
  • Global Warming Interactive
  • Immune Attack
  • Immune System Defender
  • I Know That
  • Peace Doves
  • Prisoners of War
  • Pod Game
  • Power Up The Game
  • Quest Atlantis
  • Re-Mission
  • River City
  • Road to Revolution
  • Stop Disasters
  • Third World Famer
  • Tropical America
  • Virtual U – designed to foster better understanding of management practices in American colleges and universities.
  • Virtual Surgery
  • Wasteland Adventure
  • World Without Oil

Global Connections in the Classroom

Create connections with other classrooms from around the world. By joining these networks, you can search for global partners to connect and share lessons and experiences with. Create valuable international learning experiences for your students.


Keyboarding

Learn how to type online with these free online interactives.


Mobile Tools

  • Dial2do– create a free account and post directly to your blog and twitter right from your cell phone.
  • Abbyme– create a free account and send voice messages to phone #’s and groups of people.
  • Sendible– send text messages from the internet to cell phones
  • Cellphedia– an online encyclopedia that’s created by cell phone uses
  • Moblr and Qik– stream live media from your cell phone to the internet
  • Poll Everywhere – vote on issues and take polls with cell phones as well as Polldaddy and MobcastGabcast
  • GcastGabcast – call and record audio for podcasts
  • Quipit– take a snapshot of your notes and create a pdf to print out.
  • Pollanywhere– create polls for kids to vote via cell phone.

Multimedia

Video, Audio, and Image editing at your fingertips.
Audio Production and Editing

Downloadable Video/Audio Resources

Free Audio Clips

Video Production and Editing / Screen Recorders

  • Jing – create video training as you record your desktop!
  • Screen Toaster – instant screen recording tool
  • GoView – excellent and easy ap for screenrecorders
  • Eyespot / Jumpcut / Cuts – Online video editors
  • Viddler– upload, edit and share your videos.
  • Jumpcut – create your own videos
  • Kaltura – create and collaborate on your videos
  • One True Media – share your photos in a video montage
  • Voicethread – upload ppt. images and video and respond with comments
  • Ustream.tv – broadcast live and record to your own free online channel
  • Fliggo – create your own video site
  • Seesmic – create online videos and share
  • Mogulus – create a free online video channel and share
  • Youcastr – create a free online sports channel – great for kids to write and share about their favorite sports!!
  • Splashcast– create an online multimedia channel
  • My Studio – Free educational videos for download or streaming
  • 5minutes – create a 5 minute demo or instruction
  • VistaZoo– create free virtual tours on your own map portal!
  • Screencast-O-Matic – record your desktop screen to create a demonstration
  • Freescreencast– capture your desktop and share online
  • Qik– video streaming from your cell phone
  • Molv– video streaming from your cell phone
  • Nimbb – create 30 second videos with your webcam download and embed
  • WingClips– movie clips and trailers for inspiration and discussions
  • Animation Resources for creating movies and more!
  • Video Search Resources
  • DoInk create free fun animations
  • Xtranormal – create animated movies with this fun tool.

Image Editors

  • Blender– free open source 3D content creation suite.
  • Aviary – online image and vector graphics editting suite A+++
  • Picjuice– easily edit images
  • Pixer – quickly fix and enhance images online
  • Sumopaint– easily edit and create original images no installation or download
  • Splashup – edit your photos, create new images – just like adobe photoshop!
  • Picnik – edit your photos
  • Offtype – create online hand drawn pictures, save and share. Embed the widget to use on your site.
  • Pixn8– online photo editor
  • Pixlr– edit pictures easily
  • Flash Face – create sketch like images with this java based site
  • PiZap free no registration – upload and create new images with callouts, graphics, text and more really fun!!
  • Vector Magic – Convert Bitmap images to Vector Graphics
  • Lightbox Image Editor– free download for great image editing
  • Tag Galaxy – millions of photos categorized by tag, an interactive 3D world of photos.
  • Spell With Flickr – spell words to flickr images
  • Odosketch – create fun looking sketches and share them

Networking and Online Communities

I will put some sites here that may overlap into other areas, but for the most part they are networking sites. Students can use these to communicate and network with peers and their teachers. Even professionals from around the world.

  • Ning social network for your classroom. Excellent
  • Bloust – an exciting new networking tool for teaches who want an online classroom environment
  • RCampus – an online learning management system for teachers and students
  • Dweeber – totally cool site for students to join to connect, learn and become gurus A++++
  • Twitter (use Tweet Cube to upload files to twitter)
  • Neeetz – another social network that allows so much more!
  • Twitter for Librarians – great ideas for librarians who are interested in networking, collaborating and sharing.
  • Imbee– free social network for kids
  • Koinup – network with others and upload your work. allow others to comment.
  • Mixxt– create a private classroom network. Great for online classroom environments.
  • Grou.PS – create free private social learning networks
  • iCue – NBC’s online networking site where kids can learn, share, watch videos and collaborate and discuss content and topics
  • PBS Teachers – a great opportunity to connect with educators from all over the world
  • Twibes – join or create your own twitter twibes or groups. Follow everyone who joins.
  • Edmodo – create class microblogging networks for your students.

Note Taking, Flow Chart Tools

Have your students take notes, create concept maps, and time lines online. Simple tools to use with computers in the room. A great way to engage your learners and share the information together.

  • Writeboard create a board to write and collaborate. So simple and no strings. Check with RSS feeds.
  • Webnote – create an instant web page for class notes. An RSS feed is provided for keeping track of updates. Share the url to allow others to add information and notes.
  • Dabbleboard – instant collaboration in real time!! No registration required, simply share the link.
  • Scriblink – an instant interactive whiteboard, invite and use.
  • Skrbl_ – a web whiteboard instant collaboration
  • Notesake_ – create individual and group notes to share, revise independently of your own notes.
  • Notecentric – take notes for any class
  • Notemesh – create group class notes
  • Penzu – free instant note taking resource.
  • Zoho Notebook – great for creating notes and embedding video and audio
  • Helipad_ – share notes with a url link access from phone and even your psp
  • MindMeister / Gliffy Drawanywhere, Mind42 , Exploretree- Thinkature Mindomo Creately Create and collaborate in real time or asynchronously on mind maps and graphic organizers.
  • Graphsy – create animated graphs and concept maps
  • DropMind – great mind mapping tool with sharing and chatting
  • Scriblink – wow, collaborate and share, work with anyone, anytime for free!!
  • Viygo , xtimeline , dipity timetoast Timeglider – create free online time line generators.
  • A.nnotate– publish files and annotate them online.
  • Wizlite – annotate the web together, highlight and share
  • Jotcloud– take notes on sticky online notes
  • Yourdraft– create an instant document without any account registration.
  • ShortText– instant notes and url for notes
  • Dia Gnome – create diagrams just like Visio
  • ArgoUML– create great looking flow charts with the this stable Java application
  • Open Office Draw – create great looking diagrams and flow charts
  • Websketch – instant web sketch pad. draw, save and print drawings.
  • Bubbl.us – great tools for collaborative flow charts and concept maps
  • Dia – just like Visio, complete diagrams for projects
  • Webspiration – beta online version of inspiration
  • Wisdomap – simple mind mapping tool
  • Visual Thesaurus – build visual thesaurus for vocabulary
  • WebNotes– annotate any website and share it via email or links
  • JHotDraw7 – Create an instant concept map
  • UberNote – create online notes and share them
  • aMap – argue your point – create an online argument…take a stand and get the juices and replies flowing
  • Shutterborg – create instant documents no sign up at all
  • Xmind – create and collaborate on projects and concept maps
  • VUE – Visual Understanding Environment – created by Tufts Univ. open source

Online Interactive Classroom

Online classroom environments allow you to extend your classes beyond its walls. These environments are free, interactive and available for free. They provide extended content, communications and collaboration opportunities for teachers and students. See if you can use any of these.


Personalized Web Browser Pages

Make your home page for your browser look and do what you want it to do. Customize your home page!! Put the content that you want at your fingertips…as soon as you open your browser!!


Podcasting

Podcasting can really assist students with more audio and verbal outlets for learning. Students can record learned content to a podcast site or store readings of text passages for a later time. Oral reports can also be recorded, stored and shared at later times outside of the class. Students who are often reluctant to participate in front of peers will create podcasts and audio recordings more readily than participating live in class discussions. Give these sites a try and see who participates. Allow students to share by writing or verbally relaying specific answers or reactions. They will really enjoy the experience.

  • Gabcast– create a free classroom channel where students can phone in to record audio. They will not need a computer to use this site.
  • Gcast– this site is similar to gabcast, but the computer is necessary to create audio recordings.
  • Evoca– create a classroom channel and record or upload media files. Embed into sites or play directly from the channel.
  • MyPodcast – create a free online podcast channel.
  • Podbean– create a free podcast channel
  • Odeo – create free online podcasts
  • Talkshoe – create a live podcast channel for free call in from a phone or use a mic on your computer
  • Clickcaster – create free blog like podcast channels
  • SpokenWord – Podcast Resources – listen and learn to some of the best podcasts on the net

Polls/Surveys

Create classroom polls and surveys for students to respond. Assess student learning and concept attainment.

  • SurveyMonkey – create online forms, surveys, assessments, free up to 10 surveys and 100 respondents
  • Zoomerang – create online forms, surveys for students
  • Google Sheets/Forms – create forms and build a spreadsheet database.
  • PollDaddy – free online polls for your class
  • Free Website Polls – create free polls for your website or blog
  • 99Polls – free online embeddable polls
  • Wufoo – create free surveys and forms
  • Questionform – create free online forms

Presentations

When creating presentations it is not necessary to purchase Microsoft Power Point. Create great looking presentations and gain 24/7 access to edit and share them. No need to use a thumb drive to bring your presentation to and from school. Give these sites a try. These are great tools for creating, sharing and collaborating on presentations.


Professional Networks

These networks are ones worth joining to learn, share and build collegial relationships. Connect your classrooms and students for global connections and real world learning.


Research

Check some of the online resources to assist with factual information. Also find out if urban legends are really truth or legend.


RSS Aggregators

Collect your favorite Headline RSS feeds and store and share them online.


Search Engines

  • WolframAlpha – a computational information engine
  • Ujiko – an organizational visual search engine
  • Kigose– educational search engine, build citations as your search
  • KidZui – turns Firefox into fun, kid-safe browser with over a million kids games, YouTube videos, and websites.A++++
  • Quintura and Quintura for Kids a visual web search engine
  • KartOO – a more visual search engine
  • KidsClick– a librarians web search for kids
  • netTrekker– educational search engine
  • Pixolu – search for images with ease
  • iseek– safe surfing for kids
  • Browsmi– surf the net together
  • Kido’z – a free kidsafe browser!!
  • Twoogle – search it all here… twitter, google, wolfram, flickr
  • Weblin – create an avatar and walk and talk the internet together. For the older kids

Social Bookmarking

Save and share your favorite web sites.


Storage – online storage and for files

  • adrive– 50 gigs free
  • flickr- store and share photos
  • ScanR – take photos of white boards and more and send them to your email.
  • Box.net – gig of online storage
  • Hordit – add and share files… find similar files
  • Mozy: Up to 2GB free storage. Requires a free download of the Mozy software; this helps you figure out which files to back up.
  • Omemo: Still in beta at the time of this writing. Works as a peer to peer network to create an immense virtual hard drive.
  • Box: Up to 1 GB free storage; pricing plans available.
  • DropBoks: Incredibly easy and simple to use – can upload up to 1 GB of your files here.
  • MediaFire: Probably one of the best free online storage sites out there. Not only can you upload files here, but they give you lots of extra options (MySpace help, folders, galleries, etc.).
  • in.solit.us: Requires free registration; lots of online storage plus neat features such as public file sharing.
  • divShare: Upload all kinds of files here, including multimedia. Includes integration with Facebook and WordPress.
  • Omnidrive: Up to 1 GB free online storage; integrates with Zoho and Snipshot.
  • Yuntaa: Free up to 1 GB; also offers blogging.
  • YouSendIt: Need to send a really big file? Use YouSendIt to send files up to 2 GB.
  • MediaMax: Up to 25 GBs completely free; this includes video hosting as well.
  • Senduit: Need to share a large file with someone? Try Senduit – just upload your file, share a secure URL, and you’re all set.
  • FileHo: Upload, host, and share files for free – with unlimited storage available.
  • Megashares: Up to 10GB available for upload storage; you get a URL where your files can either be privately or publicly accessed.
  • Badongo: Free file hosting that allows you unlimited files, photos, etc. to share.
  • Up-File: Unlimited file size; you can upload pretty much anything here to share with others.
  • Drop.io – drop and share any file privately online
  • File Shaker – 10 gigs of free file storage

Studying and Help

  • Study Beat – get help with just about any topic under the sun… video tutorials for any topic

Text <>Speech


The “Tubes”

I call them the Tubes, you know “YOU” and “TEACHER”. They are the rage in society and schools so why not utilize them for learning? Truetube is something a little different. A site where people share contriversial news events and where older students can discuss the nature of the video. Great for debates in class.

  • Youtube– upload and share videos made for class.
  • Teachertube– upload, share and watch education based videos only. Students could build demonstrations and more.
  • Truetube– watch and discuss real world contriversial news. Discuss and share thoughts!! Teen content not suitable for young ones.
  • Schooltube– upload and watch school related video and tutorials.
  • Studio 4 Learning – Learn and share about almost anything Amazing site!!!!
  • Grab-Tube – grab any youtube video and convert it.

Virtual Field Trips

  • Google Earth – allow students to explore the world and create interactive GE field trips and vacations. This is one of the best strategies and works well. I personally used this in the classroom and students didn’t want to miss class.
  • Gigapan – create or explore panorama images from around the world. Similar to a virtual field trip.
  • Virtual Field Trips – View and create virtual field trips
  • NPS – National Park Service virtual tours
  • Opentopia– live webcams from all over the world
  • Wrapr– create and visit some amazing places, virtually!! Use your flickr photos to create your own virtual tours.
  • Mapwing-r create and share your own virtual tours
  • CommunityWalk – create maps, save and share specific locations A+++

Virtual Worlds in Education

I do not always reccommend the use of virtual worlds with students under 18. There are many of these sites that are not safe for kids. Just be careful introducing these to young students.


Vodcasting – Video Broadcasting

Also a nifty name for video podcasting. A great way to get students to share and present live. Create private classroom channels where students can broadcast content via a webcam and mic. Only share it with people you want. A great way to motivate kids to write, collaborate and communicate effectively.

  • SplashCast – Create your own media channels and shows by incorporating video,images, podcasts, blogs, and other web resources.
  • Ustream.tv– create a live public or private video broadcast channel. They can be recorded, embedded, for later viewing.
  • Mogulus– very similar to ustream … create a free online video channel protect it with a password
  • Youcastr– create a live sports channel. Allow you students to cover, write about and broadcast their favorite sports online.
  • WizIQ– train and share in an open envrionment.
  • Bubbleguru– add a video bubble to your website to let viewers know about changes.
  • Thinkature– free online interactive workspaces for teaching and sharing
  • MindBites– create online training tutorials and make a profit. Share and earn.
  • qik– online live streaming with mapping

Web Design

So you want students to create a website and you don’t have Dreamweaver, Front Page or iWeb. No worries. These tools are so simple to use and easy for students to understand. They can build excellent looking web sites without knowing a thing about stand alone applications and code. A great way to start them on a web presence.

  • Google Sites– Easy and great for site collaboration and building.
  • Webnode– great design, easy to use and deveolop nice looking web sites.
  • Nota– free website builder, only a single page
  • Easysite– free and easy website creator
  • Edicy– fun and free website builder
  • Comfypage– free easy and great looking websites
  • Weebly– very easy, nice templates and format.
  • Freewebs– totally free, simple to use.
  • Glogster – very nice for a graffiti looking page.
  • Doodlekit– one of the easiest to use.
  • Roxer– simple tool for nice looking web sites.
  • Bravenet– very nice free tool, can add game widgets for fun.
  • Wix– drag and drop great simple tool for interactive free sites.
  • Project Poster kids can create simple web sites in a snap. Great for quick and easy projects.
  • Gogofrog– 3D website creation tool. Very interactive
  • TweeGee Zone – free online resources for web page develpment and more
  • Jimdo– create free online websites no cost!
  • Synthasite– create a free great looking website in seconds
  • Wirenode– Build a mobile website in 5 minutes
  • Bloust – create a free online teacher web site

Webinars

Create online virtual classrooms for before, during and after classroom hours. Kids will love this opportunity for the time!

  • Vyew– use for online webinar share files and your desktop.
  • WizIQ – live meeting, schedule dates and times, can only share files no desktop sharing included.
  • Zoho Meeting – create live online learning environments
  • Liveperson – online training
  • DimDim – online video conf. and communication
  • Yugma – free video conferencing
  • Thinkature– free online interactive workspaces for teaching and sharing
  • Scribblar – instant free online webinar tools
  • Yuuguu– online meetings and collaboration

WebQuests

Create engaging project or inquiry based activities with webquests. Constructivism in practice!


Wikis

Build and collaborate with these wiki tools. Allow students to create and share content. A great resource for building online information together. Create it together!

  • Wikispaces – the best wiki tools aound!!
  • Wetpaint– free wiki tool great for educators provieds the navigtion and page set up.
  • Pbwiki– free wiki for anyone
  • Bluwiki– another great wiki resource
  • Wikimatrix – compare all the wikis

How to use wikis…


Word Processing

Create share and collaborate at these sites. Build documents on the go. 24/7 access.


Free Open Source Software

Click here to visit Web 2.0 Guru

Filed under: Latest buzz, , , ,

HOW TO: Manage Multiple Social Media Profiles

Start counting the number of social media websites you have a profile with, right now. Out of fingers yet? Facebook (Facebook), Twitter (Twitter), Flickr (Flickr), and YouTube (YouTube) are just the start of it – for people active on social websites, you could have several dozen social media profiles, half of them using a really old picture of you.

Heck, some of them probably have inboxes filled with strange messages from some girl named “Leota” who wants you to visit her sexy singles website.

While inbox spam and old pictures may not be the end of the world, keeping up a consistent image across the web and keeping your content fresh is vital to good business and strong relationships. With a little upfront effort, the task of maintaining multiple profiles can be less tedious, freeing up time to better connect with other people.

Step 1. Understand your Current Position

The first step is to exactly know where you have a social media profile and where you do not. Start by checking with Check User Names, which will search dozens of popular social media websites to see if your username is active. Check any you normally use. If any don’t ring any bells, see if it’s yours or if somebody already owns.

Tip: Always keep note of other people using your most common username. Making sure people don’t confuse you for somebody else is important for friends and potential employers alike.

Step 2. Choose Your Platforms Realistically

People may disagree with me, but I believe you should sign up for the most popular social networks regardless of whether you are going to use them all. This prevents someone else being mistaken for you and protects an account that you may want to use later.

This doesn’t mean you should be active on all of these services. Take a long, hard look at all of the services available and your time constraints and choose the ones that pique your interest the most. Keep some focus when choosing platforms. For the rest, place a note on your profile with contact information and links to your favorite social profiles.

Step 3. Organize!

This is the most important step! Don’t be satisfied with a disarray of bookmarks and email notifications. Organize a bookmarks folder or two for the social media services you are using. Filter your email so that all of your notifications fall into their own inbox/label. Schedule time to log into these accounts and make sure they are in order.

Tip: The most important thing to remember is to find a system and stick to it. These are the profiles that need your attention consistently; keep them free of spam and outdated information.

Step 4. Automate and Combine Your Profiles

No, I am not suggesting using a bot or having autoresponders. Instead, I am talking about grouping similar tasks together. One of the most common actions on social media is sending an update that you have updated your blog. Normally, you would have to copy and paste this type of message into Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace (MySpace), not to mention Plurk (Plurk), Brightkite (Brightkite), or FriendFeed (FriendFeed).
However, with services such as Ping.fm and Twitterfeed, this can be done without any work on your end. Find tools that can help you spread you reach without eating up your time.

Tip: Atomkeep is a cool tool for updating all of your social media profiles at once – it connects to your Twitter, LinkedIn (LinkedIn), Facebook, and other accounts and allows you to change bios and profile pictures with one action.

Step 5. Keep it Fresh

It’s easy to tell if someone has abandoned an account and left it to grow weeds. If you intend to use a service, keep adding new content! You can’t expect to meet new people on Digg (Digg) or Stumbleupon (StumbleUpon) accounts without digging or stumbling. And it can be confusing for other people if your profile has an old email address or says you’re still in a relationship with your high school sweetheart.

Tip: Use a Firefox (Firefox) extension like Shareaholic to help make adding new content to your profile easier.

Go for it and Network!

Once you’re organized and understand where you really want to spend your time, managing multiple social media profiles becomes less of a chore and more about sharing experiences, discovering new content, and building new relationships. That is why you made these profiles in the first place, right?

Have more tips on managing multiple profiles? Be sure to share them in the comments.

Heide Holtz
SmarterSites.net

Filed under: New releases, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

5 Tips for Optimizing Your Brand’s Facebook Presence

Here is an excellent article by Steve Coulson.

Steve Coulson is a partner at The Advance Guard, a new media company that creates radical marketing programs using disruptive technologies, community platforms and social media.

So – you’ve set up a Facebook (Facebook) public profile for yourself, your brand or your company, and you’re starting to post content. Now what?

If you’re like me – a tinkerer and tweaker – you might be interested in ways to fine-tune your profile for maximum affect.  So here are five tips to optimize your activities on Facebook, including the right way to create profile and thumbnail graphics, how to show different content to Fans and non-Fans, creating DIY vanity urls, and how managing what and when you post can lead to greater success.

1. Creating the perfect profile picture

Facebook specs recommend that profile pictures should be 200px wide, while height can vary as needed. What is less documented is how the thumbnail that Facebook uses across the system is generated from this picture.

You’ll find the system crops images when generating a thumbnail, losing information around the edge. After some initial testing, we’ve determined that there’s a “title safe” area within all images. So when you create your profile image that’s 200px wide, allow a 12 pixel border around crucial information (such as typography or a logo) to allow for automatic cropping.

Also bear in mind that regardless of the shape of your profile image, Facebook thumbnails are square (with rounded corners), and sized based on the length of the shortest side of your image. So when designing rectangular profile pictures, make sure to keep your desired thumbnail imagery within a square boundary.

2. Optimizing your website’s Share Preview

A key strength of Facebook – especially for the new Public Profiles – is the viral spread of shared links into news feeds, using the Links application. When anyone links to your site using this, the application presents the user with a number of images from the page that can be chosen as a thumbnail to accompany the link. But if your site is mainly Flash-based, or has no suitable graphic components for a thumbnail, you should define a custom Share Preview image.

Facebook provides specific information on how to do this here – with a snippet of code to add to the HEAD of your website pages that points to your desired image.

Again, no guidance is given as to the perfect size for a Share Preview, but we’ve found that a 100 pixel square preview is optimal. This not only requires no resizing by Facebook, but also provides a suitable shape for Digg (Digg), which uses the same code to pull its own Share Preview (albeit reduced down to 48px square).

Note that the Facebook Links application will also pull the “Description” Meta Tag from your site into the news feed, so ensure that you have made this sufficiently explanatory. (You can also define the media-type icon that Facebook uses in feeds for your site e.g. blog, news, picture, video, etc – full details to be found at facebook.com/share_partners.php )

3. Displaying different content for Fans and non-Fans

Public Profiles now allow separate default landing areas for Fans and Non-Fans. This allows brands to display a “Become a Fan” incentive in an FBML box or Tab. A common request we’ve heard from brands is “Is there a simple way to display different content for Fans and non-Fans?” This allows for some interesting scenarios, from displaying a simple “Thank you” to people who become Fans, to incentivizing visitors to “Become a Fan to see exclusive content/promo code/offer.”

So here’s a quick hack for creating an FBML box that can be used on the Wall or Boxes page (or in its own Tab) that displays different information to different users, depending on their Fan/logged-in status:

1. Create a 1 cell borderless table, with a fixed height and width; for example, 100px.

2. Create and define a background image for that cell to the same dimensions, which contains the information you want NON-fans to see.

3. Create a same-sized image that contains the information you want Fans to see and insert that into the cell.

4. Use the following FBML tag to surround the cell contents – <fb:visible-to-connection><img src=”insert your image URL”></fb:visible-to-connection> .

This FBML Tag only displays its content to Fans who are logged in. So what we’re actually doing here is creating a table with a background image, and then covering it up with another one IF you’re a Fan. It’s a bit of a hack, but only takes five minutes to do.

Here’s some example code if you want to try it:

<table width=”xx” height=”yy” border=”0″ cellspacing=”0″ cellpadding=”0″><tr>
<td background=”http://www.yourdomain.com/linkto/nonfans.jpg”&gt;
<fb:visible-to-connection>
<img src=”http://www.yourdomain.com/linkto/fans.jpg&#8221; height=”xx” width=”yy” />
</fb:visible-to-connection>
</td></tr></table>

4. Creating your own vanity URL

While it’s rumored that Facebook will eventually open up vanity urls to all brands, for now only preferred partners get these (eg: http://www.Facebook.com/mashable). Until then, you can create your own with a domain redirect. If you own your own domain (and frankly, who doesn’t), set up http://facebook.mydomain.com to point to your profile. Easy to remember, easy to share. Obviously, the same tactic applies to profiles you may set up on Twitter (Twitter), LinkedIn (LinkedIn), etc, but this is most useful with those tricky Facebook URLs.

5. Defining a publishing schedule for your content

This isn’t really a tip, but more of a best practice. By creating a calendar to guide your updates, you will achieve the following benefits:

1. You can spread updates out so that you carry on a persistent but unobtrusive dialog with your Fans. Post too often and your page updates will start being hidden, or you’ll lose fans. Too seldom and you’ll be forgotten. Try to mix up different update types – a status update, a Link, a Note, a Photo or video update.

2. By creating a calendar, you can also schedule moderation periods for comments if you feel this is necessary for your brand. Most Interaction activity (including comments) will occur within 24 hours of an update before it drops out of Fans’ news feeds.

3. By recording all activity on a schedule, it’s easier to map it against exported stats data from your page’s Insights. This can show you Total Interactions around different content types to gauge which gets the most traction/conversation, and track Removed Fans against certain update types.

Steve Coulson is a partner at The Advance Guard, a new media company that creates radical marketing programs using disruptive technologies, community platforms and social media. He is also the author of About Face – a free white paper that steps businesses and brands through setting up their Facebook Public Profiles.

So – you’ve set up a Facebook (Facebook) public profile for yourself, your brand or your company, and you’re starting to post content. Now what?

If you’re like me – a tinkerer and tweaker – you might be interested in ways to fine-tune your profile for maximum affect.  So here are five tips to optimize your activities on Facebook, including the right way to create profile and thumbnail graphics, how to show different content to Fans and non-Fans, creating DIY vanity urls, and how managing what and when you post can lead to greater success.

Filed under: Latest buzz, ,

The Payment option that Increases a Customer’s willingness to Pay

TrialPay is the only payment option that increases a customer’s willingness to pay. Visa, MasterCard, Google Checkout and other payment options don’t do anything to increase conversions, but TrialPay significantly boosts sales from your current traffic by giving your customers thousands of ways to pay through their favorite brands.

1. TrialPay lets online shoppers get your product for free—but you get paid the full value and often even more

2. Customers select the advertising offer of their choice to get your product for free

3. Customers get your product for free and you acquire loyal customers by providing a great deal

4. TrialPay uses money from the advertiser (Gap in this example) to pay for your product

Get all the information at TrialPay.com

I hope this tool with help you boost your sales!

Please share your success story with us. We´d love to hear all about it.

Thank you.

Heide Holtz

SmarterSites.net

Filed under: Latest buzz, , , , , , ,

The Little But Really Useful Guide to Creativity

“The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.” – Albert Einstein

Post written by Leo Babauta. Follow me on Twitter

It’s easier than ever to be creative, to create, to imagine and make what’s imagined become reality.

It’s also tougher than ever, with distractions surrounding us in ways never before imagined.

No matter what kind of creative type you are — writer, painter, musician, marketer, blogger, photographer, designer, parent, business owner — you are likely always looking for inspirations, for ways to let loose your creative genius.

And while there are millions of creativity tips on the Internet, I thought I’d share the ones I’ve found most useful — the ones that I’ve tried and tested and found to be right.
Here they are, in no order at all:

  • Play.
  • Don’t consume and create at the same time — separate the processes.
  • Shut out the outside world.
  • Reflect on your life and work daily.
  • Look for inspiration all around you, in the smallest places.
  • Start small.
  • Just get it out, no matter how crappy that first draft.
  • Don’t try for perfect. Just get it out there, asap, and get feedback.
  • Constantly make it better.
  • Ignore the naysayers.
  • But let criticism help you grow.
  • Teach and you’ll learn.
  • Shake things up, see things in new ways.
  • Apply things in other fields to your field, in ways not done before.
  • Drink ridiculous amounts of coffee.
  • Write all ideas down immediately.
  • Turn your work into play.
  • Play with kids.
  • Get out, move, see new things, talk to new people.
  • Read wildly different things. Especially stuff you disagree with.
  • Get lots of rest. Overwork kills creativity.
  • Don’t force it. Relax, play, it will start to flow.
  • Allow your mind to wander. Allow distractions, when you’re looking for inspiration.
  • Then shut them off when you’re going to create.
  • Do it when you’re excited.
  • When you’re not, find something else to be excited about.
  • Don’t be afraid to be stupid and silly.
  • Small ideas are good. You don’t need to change the world — just change one thing.
  • When something is killing your creativity, kill it.
  • Stop reading creativity advice, clear away everything, and just create.
  • Most of all, have fun doing it.

“Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” – Lewis Carroll

Enjoy your Creativity!

Heide Holtz
SmarterSites.net

Filed under: Latest buzz, , , , , ,

8 Ways to Create Paperless Business Cards

What’s that, you’re still printing your business card on paper? That is so last year. These days, business cards are going all virtual and that’s a good thing. Not only are paperless business cards good for the environment, and easier to carry, they’re also unlimited — you’ll never run out when you’re networking at an event or conference.

But there are a bunch of different ways to construct a virtual business card, which is right for you? Below are eight ways to build a virtual business card that you can use to send your information to contacts the next time you’re at a networking event. Please share any other services you use in the comments.

CLICK HERE to read the full article!

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