Web 2.0 Education Resources

Looking into some of the best resources for a high school English class. 



The first web 2.0 source I chose is called Loose Leaves. The web address is included in the image below. Simply click on Source at the bottom right corner of the picture.

This source allows individuals to create documents online in the form of a 'loose leaf'. They will be able to save this document and to come back to it at any time they wish. It also allows them to post their 'leafs' on any other website's comments, that may have a limitation on the number of words one can write. They can also share and upload their leafs on their own social media accounts-if they have one. Of course, whether or not they do so is entirely up to them. They have the freedom to explore their choices through this source. 

This could be an important tool in education, particularly in english, as it would provide students with an opportunity for creativity and innovation. They would be able to use this as a piece of scrap paper to formulate their ideas and thoughts for a major paper, they could even use this to write their essays on and then later on simply save the URL and email it to themselves to print off. One of the most important things that this does is it allows students to self reflect. After finishing writing a piece and getting the proper feedback on it, students can think about the areas that need improvement in their paper and come back to it and change it as they see fit. This in turn will also further enhance and help them develop their critical thinking and reflection skills. 

This tool has the potential to reduce a number of learning barriers, one of the most notable ones being that students who have difficulty and who struggle with expressing their thoughts and opinions on pen and paper are now given an opportunity to do so online. And also, they do not have a time limit, in that they do not have to finish a paper in a short time span of 2 or 3 hours. This inherently reduces the pressure by a substantiate amount and will allow them to think and reflect more carefully on their topics. In this way, it opens the door for their best ideas to come through. It also mitigates some of the factors that comes along with traditional texts. Students can adjust the font size, and the font itself accoding to their own personal preferences. It allows the students to take a much more active role in their own learning. It allows the students to take charge. It gives them an independent, autonomous role in their learning. 

This tool doesn't specify what ages the users have to be, so it can be assumed that people of all ages can use this. It is also a great non educational resource, so it makes sense that it would be open to a number of people. 

The second tool I chose is called HelloSlides. I found this tool particularly interesting as it allows you to upload your Powerpoint onto the website in the form of a PDF and allows you to add audio features to your Powerpoint through the text to speech feature. It will not record your own voice, instead you will type in what you want the voice to say. It will then narrate the slides for you. 

One of the great things about this tool that it offers numerous possiblities in that it can be used in a variety of subjects in schools. For English class, it may be particularly helpful as students can add their own thoughts and ideas to the powerpoint in the form of an audio, and have it narrate it to the class after each and every slide. This then offers a number of perspectives for the class to look at the topic through. This may also indirectly teach the students to be open minded to new topics, and most importantly, new ways of thinking. It will also show the students' effort and thought put into the project. It will showcase their creativity and ability to turn perhaps a boring topic into an interesting one. It may also save time, as the student presenting will not have to worry too much about leaving something out, and they can thus put more time in carefully getting their point across to the class, without rushing through things. 

The audio feature that goes along with this tool will significantly benefit those students who are visually impaired. Instead of feeling left out because of their disability, they are now able to contribute to class discussions through listening to the presentation itself. It can sometimes be hard to find tools that will be able to benefit everyone, but it doesn't mean that we as teachers shouldn't try. This particular feature was one of the things I liked the most about this tool, as it allows for incluvisity. Those students who are visually impaired now have a chance to actively participate in class activites that may sometimes be limited. It's important to find opportunities and resources that allow for equal access and participation. 

Again, this site doesn't have a terms of service (not one that I could easily find anyways) so the required age is unknown. 


Last but certainly not least, this tool gives each subject its own distinct category, and within this category there are a bunch of activities and resources you can explore. For instance, under the English category, there are study tips, an informative list of famous authors & books, as well as information about writing, which includes but is not limited to how to properly cite sources, copyright, blogs, etc. This is a great informative website which provides links to numerous resources that will be extremely helpful to students.

This will be an extremely important resource to have in English class particularly, as it provides crucial information about important topics, such as citations, copyright, etc. which will help the students better prepare for their essay. It will also give them an idea of what the right kind of format for English looks, and additionally, will help better prepare them for their future, in terms of moving to a higher institution of learning, such as university. It will be less of a shock for them to learn it now rather than just finding out for the first time about these different kinds of topics in unversity that they had never even heard of .As teachers, it is important to keep that in mind as we constantly look for new opportunities to challenge and help our students grow and develop. This website allows the students to explore a wide variety of topics, and each subcategory provides a substantiate amount of information, and inherently teaches the students to be resourceful. It also has activities that the students can do, should they find the resources boring. 

This then relates to breaking down that barrier of traditional teaching. All students are diverse learners, some do not learn effectively by sitting in class and listening all day. Some may have short attention spans, there are also students with special learning needs and disabilities, and it's important to adjust the lesson plan to be able to accomodate these. BrainPop provides an alternative for the students who learn better visually. The site is colourful, and exciting, and intriguing. The use of colour is especially important to those who are visual learners, they need to actually be interested in the information for them to retain it effectively. I believe the same can be said of the majority of students. BrainPop is limitless in terms of its creativty and subject matter. It has numerous activities and resources for each subject, and the student is free to explore all of them for as long as they'd like. It's not time consuming if it intrigues the students. Also, if they don't understand something that was discussed in class, they can always go to BrainPop and try and see if they could find out more about it. Of course, I understand that that's not always going to work, and that sometimes they will have to come in and see the teacher, but it's a good option to have. 

In BrainPop's Terms of Service, it clearly states that anyone under the age of 18 may not use the site without authorization and/or supervision of a parent and/or legal guardian. It also states that for educators, they may not use the website on behalf of the materials without authorization of their parents and/or legal guardians as well.