Web 2.0 Tools

in the K-12 Classroom

... next generation by zeitfaenger.at

  • BeFunky Photo Editor/Collage Maker

  • Storybird

  • TalkTyper

  • Web Links


BeFunky Photo Editor

BeFunky is a Web 2.0 photo editing tool.  It allows users to easily upload images from their computer or accounts such as Facebook, Flikr, and Picasa.  Once an image is uploaded it can easily be cropped, recoloured, framed, or enhanced with text or goodies like emoticons.

BeFunky in the Classroom

BeFunky also has a Collage Maker tool that would be useful for students to create visual presentations.  Students can easily upload their photos and use the layouts, text, frames and icons to get creative and pull together a polished looking collage.

I can see the Collage Maker tool being helpful for
students who are visual learners and learners who
may have limited English proficiency.

As a learning material, the Collage Maker could be
used by teachers to prepare Power Point Slides.  
These Collage Slides provide visuals that enhance
comprehension for all learners but in particular those who may be struggling with English.

 As a Universal Design Learning (UDL) assessment tool, the Collage Maker would also remove barriers for students with low English proficiency by providing a creative, visual way for them to demonstrate their knowledge.

According to the BeFunky Terms of Service , only students 13 years of age and older would be able to create an account with BeFunky.  Children between the ages of 13 and 18 must have parental consent to register for an account.


Summer Collage by Sarah_Ackerman

Storybird Logo


Storybird is a Web 2.0 tool that allows users to create their own stories and poems, or read stories by other Storybird users.  The tool provides beautiful artwork by numerous artists as a starting point to inspire students to begin writing a story.  On the Storybird website they describe it as "[a] new literacy tool for a new generation.  Inspire students to write and read better, and more often."

Storybird in the Classroom

Storybird can be used by students to work independently or collaborate to create a story or poem that can shared with peers for assessment.  Students can be added to a class that offers an extra element of privacy.  Stories can also be printed.  The collaboration aspect and amazing artwork are what makes this tool so appealing.

Storybird may remove barriers for students who have difficulty
expressing themselves aurally and have difficulty focusing on
tasks independently by offering options for collaborating with
peers.  Writing stories with this tool may create barriers for
students with difficulty spelling and reading but the beautiful
illustrations and creative freedom may be a motivator to engage
in practicing spelling and reading skills.  Students also take great
pride in their finished product which builds confidence in their abilities.

When signing up for Storybird it requests information such as
your age range and gender but I like how it clearly states that
this information is private and will not be shared.  This would be
reassuring to parents who do not have to go searching for the
information in the Privacy Policy ,

Storybird is accessible for young children but if under 18 years old
they must have parent assist with agreeing to the Terms of Service.




TalkTyper is a free speech recognition software for your browser that
converts speech to text.  It works in multiple languages and is
extremely easy to use and easy to access if you have a device and
an internet connection.

TalkTyper in the Classroom

TalkTyper could be used by many students in the lower elementary
classroom to dictate words, sentences or paragraphs for numerous
purposes.  Students could use it to independently spell check their
handwritten work by comparing their writing to what they have
dictated to TypeTalker.  Lower elementary students often are much
more advanced in their speech abilities in comparison to their spelling
abilities.  TyperTalker allows students the freedom to create projects,
stories, et cetera, without worrying about whether they know how to
write all the words.  By using the tool they will also gain new knowledge
as they can visually connect a spoken word to how it is spelled.


Previously we mentioned that Storybird has the potential to create
barriers for students that have difficulty writing.  TalkTyper has
the potential to balance out those barriers by providing a tool that
can allow students to create a story and dictate so that it is converted
into text.  The text can then be copied and pasted into Storybird
and students can still be assessed on their story writing skills without
being penialized for their challenges with physically writing. 

There are no age restrictions for using TalkTyper but teachers should
note that TalkTyper does have an ad banner to be aware of.

The End

Web Links

BeFunky: www.befunky.com

Storybird: www.storybird.com

TalkTyper: www.talktyper.com