5 New Web 2.0 Tools for Students

Sign Generator Fun
This site features 50 free web 2.0 image generators where students can upload pictures or create pictures with text on them.  The site also features 77 free flash sign generators and almost 300 free downloadable single sign generators for the classroom.  The site ranges from Monopoly Card generators to comic strip generators.  The site also features fast food sign generators which makes for fun images you could use in your classroom.  http://www.sparesomechange.com/funny/

Google Fight
This site features where students can enter names, below I used Pythagoras and Isaac Newton.  It features two stick people fighting and the winner is the person who gives the most Google results.  You could use this in the classroom for students between political figures or for mathematicians and see which one is more popular for Google.  http://www.googlefight.com/

Google Docs Research Tool
Google Docs has many useful features for helping students develop writing skills.  I was pleasantly surprised to find a new and powerful integrated research feature which couldn't be easier to sue.  Just pull down the Tools menu, click on Research and search for information in the research pane that appears on the right side of the screen.  Users never have to leave the page.  A basic search yields results relevant to your document and displays a variety of information beyond text. Narrow your search with the click of a button to find images, scholarly information and quotations accompanied by buttons that allow users to do more.  In addition to the obvious ways to use the new integrated research tool, it can also be useful for checking for plagiarism. Just copy and paste a few sentences of text from a document directly into the search box of the research pane and the search will lead directly back to any article from which text has been plagiarized. I like to teach students how to do their own plagiarism check before turning in their work to help them understand the importance of creating original work.  http://cooltools.blogspot.com/google-docs-new-research-tool.html

Create Map-based Games
Using UMapper (http://www.umapper.com/) you can create a map-based game without registering.  You can follow the steps below.

  1. Go to UMapper and click on 'Start Mapping'.
  2. Give the game a title and a description. Choose a map type (this can be changed later) and click on 'Templates' to list your options.
  3. Click on 'GeoDart Game' and then click on 'Submit'.
  4. A map will load and you will be able to zoom in or out using the controls provided. On the right-hand side, click on an object such as the marker tool.
  5. Find a spot you would like to add and click on it using the marker tool. A marker will appear with a tool set beside it. You can make this tool set disappear by moving your mouse and reappear by hovering over the marker again.
  6. Bring up the tool set by hovering over the marker. Click on 'Info Window Content' and a dialog box will appear. In the top box, type in your first question or statement related to that spot such as 'The capital of Canada' or 'Where is the capital of Canada?' and click on 'submit'.
  7. Keep adding markers until you are finished. Once you are done, click on 'Save' and then click on 'Exit Editor'.
  8. The game will appear. To start playing, click on 'Play'.
  9. A time bar will appear at the top with the first question. Click on the spot where you think the answer is and it will give you a score. After a quick pause, the next question will appear. This continues until the game is over.
  10. Below the game map, there is a shareable URL to invite others to play.

The Universe and More
I saved the best for last, The Universe and More is a blog that features a game called: Super Ultimate Graphing Challenge.  This is a great site for math and physics students.  If you are using this for mathematics it would be a great way to teaching graphing in the classroom.  Students have to plot a line through points using velocity, starting position, and acceleration.  You could use this in your classroom to teach students about slope of a line and how that figures where the ball will be at certain points.  Try playing with the game before giving to students, you will probably find more that you can use it for.  http://theuniverseandmore2.blogspot.com/super-ultimate-graphing-challenge.html

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