My Favorite Web Tools

My school went 1:1 with Macbooks for several reasons.  One of the reasons was the creative software, which at the time came standard on all education purchases.  The iLife software is really unmatched as a package of creative software.  That being said, there is a wealth of free web tools available online that meet any need, regardless of the operating system or software package--the only exception would be some mobile devices that might not have corresponding apps.

There are countless great bloggers out there that make half a dozen posts EVERYDAY about great web tools.  People like Richard Byrne are more valuable than any one of these web tools--he will keep you in the know about new and FREE tools to keep your digital class running smooth.  However, not every blogger is a classroom teacher, so I thought I would give the fulltime teacher prospective of really useful web tools that I use in our 1:1 school.  I will probably post a few of these over the summer.

Not sure how to put this--I don't know how much I would enjoy 1:1 as much as I do without Google Apps.  Google Docs, Sites, Reader, Gmail, Chrome, Calendar, Voice, Maps, YouTube, SketchUp, and others make Google an absolute necessity when going 1:1.  I highly recommend Google Apps for Education.  Its amazing and free.  It will revolutionize your school's communication, given the PD to support it.

LiveBinder is a great tool that will allow you to insert a website into a "binder" that remains "live"--so when the website updates, the tab in your binder updates too.  Teachers can collect websites of content in a LiveBinder and share it with students.  Make a Google Doc public and include your own content, educational games, videos, quizzes, collaborative notes, etc.  You are limited by your own creativity.  I would like to see LiveBinder add an annotation component, but you could do this with something like Diigo or Awesome Screenshot.

In a 1:1 situation, you will inevitably be working with video--collection, editing, creation, etc.  When you want to keep the actual video file you find online, KEEPVID is a very simple tool.  You simply copy and paste the URL and download the file type you want.  In addition, KEEPVID lets you download only the MP3, so if you want only the narration, so students can create a new video from the narration--KEEPVID is a nice tool.

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