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 Web 2.0 Tools to Support the Common Core


Workshop: Friday May 11, 2012 8:30-3:30 

Sponsored by: Dutchess, Orange/Ulster, Rockland, Sullivan and Ulster BOCES SLS


Workshop Description: During this workshop you will learn about a variety of Web 2.0 technologies that can support the student learning in the context of the Common Core Learning Standards. Focus will be on Web 2.0 tools that support the writing, reading, speaking, listening and vocabulary activities. You'll have an opportunity to explore a wide range of tools, share your ideas about how tools can be used and collaborate with your colleagues. This will be a very hands-on, exploration based workshop.



Key Phrases from Common Core Standards

  • Communicate & collaborate
  • Research, read & reflect
  • Research to build knowledge
  • Research to present knowledge
  • Take notes and categorize information
  • Summarize and paraphrase information
  • Vocabulary acquisition
  • Comprehension of text and speakers


Background Reading , Resources, Sample lesson plans



  • Blogs : Blogs can be written by either an individual or by multiple authors. Each entry or post is usually written by an individual, so a blog would be great for students to use as a reflective journal. A blog could also be used for a group to publish writings of each of the members. Students & teachers can easily comment on each others posts.  Free blogging tools include: and EduBlogs.
  • Wikis : Wikis work better for collaborative writing & projects, though individuals could easily have their own pages of content that others don't edit.  Wikis are handy for gathering notes and resources, brainstorming ideas and writing documents. Multimedia resources are easily embedded in wiki pages. Wiki pages often look clunky and awkward and don't print out well. (This wiki is an example of that!). Free wiki tools include: PBWorks and Wikispaces
  • Writing Prompts : Tools that can help get the creative juices flowing
    • OneWord : each day a new word, 60 seconds to react to the word. The challenge is to just write what comes to mind, rather than overthinking.
    • Plinky : Each day there is a new prompt, a question, a challenge. Good source of writing prompts, even if you don't use the web site itself to store writing. 
    • Writing Prompts : Great tumblr by Luke Neff. Images as writing prompts.
  • Google Docs If your students are looking for an online environment that mimics desktop office application like MS Word, then Google Docs is a good place to start. Documents are then available from any internet connected device. Document changes are tracked, others can be invited to collaborate, chat sessions can be held while multiple authors are editing together. Handy for taking notes too.
  • PrimaryPad : Another collaborative, online writing tool. No need to sign up to create a document, though you can also create an account. With the free version, documents are deleted after 30 days.
  • : Simple service, just start typing and your notes will be saved. To share your notes, use the "short" button to get a URL. Unfortunately, there's not editing of your notes after you get the URL, so no collaboration is possible. Good for taking quick notes.
  • EDU180ATL  - Great idea for a collaborative writing project. 250 word posts answering "what did you learn today" Could be done across a grade level, a school, region, or broader.  Use free Blogger or WordPress blogging platform. similar project.
  • Storybird  Beautiful graphics inspire great stories. Select from artist's images and build a story book around those images.
  • The 5 Levels of Digital Storytelling : Links to language activities including games, photo story, writing acativities and more.
  • Google Sites : Create web sites for free. These can serve as portfolios, research presentations, resource guides, etc. 
  • Tech Tools for Writing : collection of more great resources to explore.



  • Find a Book : Find titles by grade level, lexile level, topic.
  • SubText : Collaborative reading app for the iPad. (video overview)
  • Tagxedo : upload their photo, use words that have meaning to them, create a custom tag cloud.  Or upload photo of artist, author, etc. and add words that describe the character or person. 
  • Readability : This handy bookmarklet removesdistracting ads and other clutter from online articles and presents the article in easy to read format. Great for helping students focus on content. Easy to install on web browser toolbar. TIP: If students copy text from a readability formatted page, make sure they get the URL for the original page source, not the readability version of the page.
  • Free rice : Fun vocabulary builder and with each right answer you donate rice to the hungry.
  • WordStash : A fun site to study vocabulary. Lots of word lists to choose from or create your own. Each list has a study mode and several game modes
  • Spelling City :  Spelling, vocabulary, games. Create your own or use existing one.s
  • Testmoz : Create quizzes with 4 different types of questions.
  • Quizlet : Very nice vocabulary and flash card study site. Use exiting sets or create your own. Study and game modes.
  • Cramberry  Create, study, and share flash cards with Cramberry. (Has app for iThings) Free version is limited. 
  • VocabGrabber : Copy and paste a selection of text into the box and VocabGrabber builds a list of words and creates a word cloud.. Click on words for definitions. Other interesting features as well.
  • Sharendipity Education : Create word games (and more) to embed on your web pages. Can also embed games created by others.
  • TestMoz : Create quizzes, a variety of question types.
  • Cool Tools for Teaching Vocabulary : Good resource with listing a number of interesting vocabularly tools.



  • : Wonderful service that lets you upload your slides, then record a narration for the slides or a video narration. Finaly product shows your video recording next to your slides. Very nifty.
  • Slideshare : Upload slide decks for sharing and embedding on other web sites. Can synchronize an mp3 recording of your audio with the slides for a "slidecast". Zipcast feature lets you invite others to join you as you for a virtual presentation. You can speak and show your slides, while attendees watch & listen.
  • Prezi : Appealing for it's flexibility. Many options for including multi-media and a different spin, so to speak, on presenations.
  • Cueprompter : Free tool that acts as a teleprompter, could be handy in some situations.
  • Presentation Zen : Tips on creating and giving powerful presentations from Garr Reynolds.





  • Popular sticky note/brainstorming tools :
    • Primary Wall : Easy to create a simple wall without creating an account, just click and go. Free account has additional options.
    • Popplet : More sophisticated tool with many options for organizing ideas, embedding media and collaborating.
    • Stixy : Add notes, to do lists, photos and more. Color code notes to help organize ideas.
    • Wallwisher :
  • Today's Meet : Create a private page to share short notes about a topic. Free and easy to create pages. Anyone with the URL can contribute notes. Have students use nicknames to protect privacy. Great for notetaking during a presentation, stream of collaborative notes can be gathered and edited into a single document. Also useful for sharing ideas and asking questions.
  • Evernote : the ultimate in organizational and notetaking tools. Free version is more than sufficient for most student needs. Capture whole web pages or just selected passages. Save images, text and more. Write notes directly in Evernote. Organize all your notes and content into folders and tag notes for easy searching. PC & Mac apps and apps for mobile devices provide synchronized access to your notes anywhere.
  • Google Docs : Another handy tool for taking notes and brainstorming.
  • DabbleBoard : Web based whiteboard for drawing, sketching, writing, organizing ideas. Invite others to collaborate, text & video chat with collaborators.
  • : Simple service, just start typing and your notes will be saved. To share your notes, use the "short" button to get a URL. Unfortunately, there's not editing of your notes after you get the URL, so no collaboration is possible. Good for taking quick notes.
  • More Notetaking, Organizing and Mindmapping tools - great list from Joyce Valenza



  • SweetSearch : Terrific search engine that searches 35,000 sites that have been handpicked by educators. Shows search terms in context on the results page. Snippets of the content can be selected and sent to a google doc and shared in other ways as well.
  • SweetSearch 4 Me : Search engine for emerging learners.
  • KidRex : A Google custom search designed just for kids.
  • Twurdy : A Bing based search tool that assesses readability before displaying results. Results are highlighted to indicate reading level.
    • Google provides a similar option for limiting to basic, intermediate and advanced reading levels. The option in on the left sidebar under More Search Tools.
  • Google Custom Search : Have a bunch of websites that you want students to explore? Create a Google Custom Search that will search just the sites you specify. Great way to help them focus on selected resources.   Search box widgets can be embedded on your web pages, wikis and blogs.
  • Databases : Make it easy for students to access your databases through the search widgets provided by the vendors. Check vendor sites for code to create widgets. Easy to do!!
  • Shortcuts for Finding Primary Sources : The Library of Congress has terrific collections of primary materials. This is the 1st in a series of posts with tips on finding materials. "The Library‚Äôs online collections are not encyclopedic, so knowing their strengths will save time and help you to find primary sources.  Most of the digitized items were created prior to 1923 or were created by someone working for the federal government as part of the job, and most of them document American history and culture."
  • Docs Teach : The National Archives (US) is home to rich resources. This part of their site provides access to documents, lesson plans, templates for creating activities and more. 




Lists of More Tools!







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