Web2.0 ideas for getting to know your students

Today I presented at the “ReThink, ReImagine” conference organized by Simon Perry for teachers and pre-service teachers at Deakin University. It was a great way to kick start the year and inspire teachers to try some new tools, new teaching strategies and new ways of learning.

Greg Whitby was the keynote speaker, who challenged us to put “faces to the data” and make sure students are at the centre of learning. What better way to start the year than to ask students to describe themselves and their goals for learning? So here I describe some ways that students can use web2.0 tools to tell you and their peers about themselves.

(1) Thinglink is a web2.0 tool that allows users to upload and image and add annotations, including links to other web pages, YouTube videos – in fact any content with a web address. So students can take a photo of themselves and add links to their blogs and other online digital content. If they aren’t authors of digital content yet, they could write short notes about their strengths, interests and goals or link to pages that interest them.

(2) Tagxedo is a web2.0 platform for creating word clouds using text. @loisath had the great idea for students to upload a photo of themselves and write a short description that can be copied and pasted into the Tagxedo window. Students can choose the colour, fonts, orientation and images to create beautiful word clouds. Print them out to display around the room, post them on student or class blogs or save them for a student portfolio.

(3) Create a student survey using Google Docs (forms) about student interests, characteristics, favourite subjects, hobbies, sports and questions and concerns they may have about the year ahead.

(4) Create a Wallwisher asking students to post five things that describe themselves. You may like them to post anonymously and other students can guess who has written each post (I suggest you set the Wallwisher to moderate posts in this case) or make sure each student signs in to Wallwisher so their name is attached to each post.

(5) If your students are bloggers, they can write a blog post – “Ten things you didn’t know about me”. They may like to put this is an email and send it to you (I have a gmail account separate to my school email for students to send work to).

(6) If you have iPads, WordFoto is a great app to use for getting to know your students – upload an image of the student and they then use ten words to describe themselves (the image above was created in WordFoto).

What web2.00 tools have you used to get to know your students at the beginning of the school year?

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

One comment

  1. Leah

    This is a great list of 2.0 resources for students. We use LIFE, as our online platform at my school, but it has some of the functions you mentioned. Many of these would be great for preparing students for 3-way conferences in term 1. I’ve probably come across it a little late for this year, but I will definitely be using some of it next year. Thanks Britt

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