Web 2.0 Tools

Presented by Matthew Herman


This tool can be found at: http://papyruseditor.com

Papyrus is a web 2.0 tool that specializes in making eBooks that can be used for a variety of purposes. It is a robust tool that focuses on visual appeal.

Papyrus can be used effectively in a school setting for providing competent and engaging presentations. By being visually appealing, any subject can have an eBook made about it that would look very good. It could also be used as a tool that students can use in order to create projects, as it is not very complex (at or above a junior high level). 

This program can be used by students who would like to present their work in a different form for assessment. This is a very simple way to allow students more paths by which to do their assessment. It can also be used to create very visual presentations which will allow for teacher presentations that may be accessible to more students.

There is no defined minimum age to sign up for this site, so it can be used for any age group. 

ePud Bud

This tool can be found at: http://www.epubbud.com/

Similar to Papyrus, this tool is used to create eBooks that can be read by anyone online. However, this tool is much more hands on and requires a much more thorough understanding of the product in order to achieve results that look as nicely as Papyrus. Essentially, there is more to work with using this program, but to fully utilize all of this potential, one must be extremely competent with the tool. This site also has a built in component that allows you to buy eBooks and even sell ones that you have created.

ePub Bud is a tool that has similar uses in school as Papyrus, but is outclassed by Papyrus on nearly every level where they are similar. One distinct advantage is that it is possible to find and buy specific eBooks on ePub Bud, a feature that is not present in Papyrus.

In my opinion, this tool is not effective in creating a UDL environment for students. There is likely no group of students that would prefer to use this site over Papyrus, although it could be used to find additional resources for students to use through the eBook search features. 

There is no minimum age to have an account, but it is explicitly required to have parental or teacher consent in order to apply if you are a student. 

Cast UDL Book Builder

This tool can be found at: http://bookbuilder.cast.org/

This tool is similar to the other two previously mentioned tools. It is almost an in between point between the two: there is more work to do in order to create a visually appealing presentation/book than Papyrus, but it is much simpler to utilize than ePub Bud. One excellent feature that is unique is the use of "Coaches", which are essentially little animated inserts that allow you to specifically add helpful hints and scaffolding to help students by. 

This, above all of the other programs, is effective as an alternative in presenting lectures. The use of the "Coaches" feature allows for a lot of micromanaging the issues that students may encounter and allows for a lot of scaffolding without needing to be done directly by the teacher. This program can also be used by students to create content, but I think that it is best utilized as a method of presenting curriculum content. 

The "Coaches" feature is the primary example of having a UDL environment. The coaches are not necessary for all students and are not required to be used by all students, but each student with a unique need can be met by a unique coach. Multiple coaches are allowed, which makes the options almost limitless in providing a presentation that is universal. 

There is no clear indication that students of all ages are not able to use this tool.