Coolest Tools of 2010

Time to reflect on some of the coolest tools...

Diversions - A place to go for mentally stimulating diversions
Keep your mind active and use it to master one of many timed quizzes on your favorite topic. An added challenge is in the spelling skills required. Remember, it's Sporcle with a c, not a k.

Fruit Ninja HD
if you need a 2 minute break and have easy access to an iPad, try this app. to experience the joy of slicing fruit and watching it splat. Although it is best played on an iPad, you can also get it for your iPhone or iPod Touch.

ePals / twitter / delicious
It took a long time for me to figure out how to use Twitter, but after publishing a collaborative learning project in ePals and connecting to Twitter through ePals I received 22 inquires about the project in one day and I also found a few people talking about the project in Delicious. Wow, now I get it!

Collaborative Learning Space 
offers a free and simple educator platform with plenty of possibilities for engaging students in virtual work because it includes widgets for easy integration of user-friendly web 2.0 tool.

Primary Communication Tool 
Still Blogger, a quick and easy tool for frequently updating content and maintaining a web presence.
 Best Blogger Gadget: Picture gadget w/link
Publishing Student Work 
VoiceThread and an avatar provide a great way to launch student work so it is live and worldwide.  A bag of avatar resources can be found in my Bag Stream tab.

Staying Organized
EverNote is a well-organized place in the cloud accessible from any computer or Apple mobile device.

Presentation Tool

Prezia nonlinear presentation tool that requires the designer to redefine and construct knowledge in the process of building it. The end product is quite engaging for an audience.

Social Bookmarking Tools 
With so many choices available I've used my favorite tool, Bag the Web, to put together a bag of social bookmarking tools to find the right tool to match your brain.
Check out the Bag Stream tab at the top of this blog for more bags of useful tools.

Muti-Media Tool for Students is still a great and free tool which allows students to create multi-media posters from the resources available on the web. Student account management features make this a very versatile and safe tool.

Research: Create a customized search tool

As educators we are faced with the challenge of teaching students to use the Internet effectively. With so much information available, it's important to bring relevant and reliable resources into the classroom and also to teach our students how to conduct a search. Google offers a cool tool to assist with both tasks.

The Goggle Custom Search Tool allows you to easily build your own search engine customized with content for your grade level or for a particular unit of study. The tool helps you teach students to search for information, but it limits the search to websites you have chosen as appropriate. It can be embed into your own blog, wiki, or site.

Do teach students that the customized search tool only searches websites you have identified, and consider allowing them to build a custom search of their own when teaching them how to evaluate reliable websites.

Try this example, created for finding information about Regions of the United States.


Go to Google Custom Search

Wikis for collaborative learning

A wiki is a website that allows visitors to easily add, remove, and edit content, making it an effective tool for collaborative authoring which allows students to construct knowledge. There's no need for software, all you need is an Internet-connected computer to contribute, which makes a wiki a great tool for the classroom that's open 24/7. Uses in education are abundant. Here are a few examples from our own backyard:

CurateUs: Share Web Content Visually

CurateUs is a tool for visually sharing content on the web. With the click of a button, this cool tool makes it easy to legally take a snapshot of a website, add a sticky note to it, and embed it into your blog along with automatically generated attribution and a backlink to the original site. There's more, CurateUs also lets you quickly grab a quote from the web and publish it along with the attribution and backlink.

Example: Embedded clip w/attribution and backlink

Example: Quotation with annotation and backlink

The only thing that is one to one that we should be concerned with is equitable access to rigorous, relevant, and irresistible learning experiences that reflect and harness the times, environment, and ultimate goals of the learning.
From (share this quote)

Go to CurateUs (formerly known as Clipsy)