Alive in Five:

It seems there is no end to web tools out there.  Most are like dandelions, they appear, look pretty, but are really weeds when you get into them.  They can eat into instructional time and take away from what should be meaningful in your class.  However, there are many web tools that are like giant sunflowers.  They stand out and are pleasantly fragrant.  I came across one at the National Council for Social Studies.  While speaking with a social studies consultant from North Dakota, we struck up a deep discussion on web tools.  Cindy shared with me that her administrators and teachers are starting to use for meetings and discussions.  When I took time to sit down and play with the site, I was struck by three things that make it stand out: 1) simplicity 2) instructional application and 3) time-saving.

The site is simple and straight forward.  It’s best used in a discussion or question/answer format where a prompt is posted and people respond to it or it can be a virtual “parking lot” which can be addressed in a meeting but may best be reserved for discussion or one-off talks afterwards; thereby being a great time saver.  Teachers could use this in class with TCI lessons using the Response Group strategy.  These lessons are meant to foster deep discussions and enduring understandings between diverse points of view.  That’s certainly an important 21st century skill set.

I encourage you to try out in your school.  I’ve added this to our TeacherGenius section of our site and would welcome any comment how you used it, or you can even submit your own web tools that make your life as an educator more meaningful and productive.

Want to learn more about Web 2.0 from the our resident expert, Brian Thomas?

Join us for the TCI Webinar: Using Web 2.0 to Engage Students
Tuesday, November 30
3:30-4:30pm Pacific
Register today!

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