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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Summer Reflection on Web 2.0 Tools

This summer I learned the terms "Web 2.0 Tool" when I took Dr. Sara McNeil and Dr. Bernard Robin's summer linked classes at The University of Houston. I had a chance to explore several tools which have been reviewed on this blog.

Since I had already used this tool, my review was a refresher because the interface had changed a little since the last time I used it. I still love this website builder, and if I return to a classroom without virtual space, I will be building a website using Weebly or Wix.

This was probably my favorite tool to review. I can see myself making an interactive online poster with this if I wanted to explain a concept. In addition, this is a great tool for students to use as a digital research presentation tool.

This tool took some getting used to, but once I got the hang of it, I really liked it. I used it in one of my outside presentations already. I love the variety of icons that come with this free application!

I can see this tool being used by a teacher with excellent classroom management and who doesn't mind students whipping out their smartphones to participate. This reminded me of the remote controls we used in my undergraduate college classes for the interactive quizzes, but way better.

I'm always looking for free music for my presentations, and this is my new favorite online music archive.

The biggest thing that I walked away with from these assignments is the realization that making interactive, attractive, and fun learning content is not that hard. 15 years ago I was tediously entering in html into one of the few browsers, Internet Explorer, to customize my blog and webpages. How times have changed! Now, online tools have become so user-friendly, I could save a lot of time and devote it to making useful digital learning objects, instead. 

I'm a little sad that my courses with the UH professors will end, but I will note and explore a few online applications that were reviewed by my peers. I hope to keep this blog going, and hopefully, I will get a few more review in by the end of this year. 

I will be assisting in the revision of some online learning modules next semester, so I am looking forward to using a few of these web tools!

Web 2.0 Tools in Education

Watch my Prezi presentation and listen to some of my thoughts and ideas about Web 2.0 tools in classroom and distance education. =D

Monday, July 14, 2014

Web 2.0 Tool Review: Jamendo

Alternatively, you may download the voice-over and audio credits here.

How to use Jamendo:

1. Once you have registered, you will be taken to the main screen. Click on the "Search" link.

2. It will lead you to a simpler page to focus on your search results. 

3. When you click on the search bar, a drop down will appear for you to select a genre. Select a genre or type in your key words.

4. The search results will display the artist, tracks, and albums. A play and download button will automatically appear when your mouse scrolls over a track.

5. If you click on the track, it will give you detailed information about the artist. Scroll down to read the licensing and re-use information.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Web 2.0 Tool Review: Socrative

Recently, I took a look at a Web 2.0 Feedback tool called Socrative. You can watch the video review or skip to my typed voice-over below:

Introduction: Socrative (www.socrative.com) is a free online Feedback tool that can be used to create real-time electronic assessments for your students. Instead of printing out questions or waiting for individual students to answer aloud, teachers can ask questions for all students in class and get everyone’s results within a few seconds.

Students could access socrative quizzes through computer or mobile devices online. Teachers can ask a quick-question, create multiple-choice or short-answer questions, play a quiz game, or start an exit ticket. While students answer the questions, the results will be displayed on the teacher screen right away. All you need is internet access to get started.

So let’s take a look at how to make a quiz, and what happens when a student takes it.

(Socrative exploration begins at 00:45)

Ending (05:33): (Pros and Cons slide) Once again, Socrative is a Feedback tool designed for teachers to get feedback from students fast. It’s also meant for teachers who want to engage and get all students to respond using technology. Take a look at the pros and cons and decide if this tool is right for you.

Screenshots on how to use Socrative:

Since registration is pretty straightforward, I will skip directly to the user's dashboard and making a basic quiz.

1. Get comfortable with the user's dashboard.
This is the main page. Notice your room number on the top right corner. In order for students to access your open quizzes, they must know this number. You have several different choices in how to assess students. To keep this short, let's go directly to making a very basic quiz.

2. Click on "Manage Quizzes."

3. Choose between "Create a Quiz" or "Import." 
If you know of any pre-made quizzes, you could import them! This is a great way to share socrative quizzes with other teachers. In this example, we will create our own.

4. Select the type of question.
Choose between multiple-choice or short answer.

5. Try a multiple-choice question.
Type in the multiple possible answers and check the one that is right.

6. Next, try a short-answer question.
Type in the question and possible answers. You may purposely want to misspell a word in the case students misspell it, they can still get credit for the answer.

7. Return to the main screen and start the quiz when you're ready for students to participate.

8. Decide how you want students to receive the quiz.
If you click on teacher-paced, you get to control the questions one at a time. It's a good way to check everyone's answers and address anything outstanding one question at a time.

Overall, Socrative is a very convenient tool to use. I would recommend it to teachers who have access to a computer and projector in their classroom. Most importantly, I would recommend it to teachers who are comfortable allowing students to participate by using individual mobile or tablet devices in class.

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