The internet was a place where people can read and see data, this was known as web 1.0. However, in recent years the internet has become a place where people can interact with each other and communicate ideas back and forth. This is known as web 2.0. Web 2.0 is great for teachers because there are so many beneficial applications that promote learning.
One web 2.0 application is ePals. ePals is a program designed to connect classrooms around the world in order to teach diversity and to give a fun experience. Not only does this website allow teachers to connect their classrooms to various other classrooms around the world, it also provides lesson plans to go along with it. The world is full of so many different cultures and it is important for students to learn and experience these cultures. By teaching diversity, it also teaches students respect for other cultures and differences. In addition to diversity, this site also encourages students to practice communication skills by communicating with their ePals. This website is a great tool, but it is important to know your teaching goal before you begin online, because there are so many options. ePals also provides lesson plans that support what they are learning from other cultures. For example, there is a lesson on flags. This lesson explains how flags convey meaning by using symbols and colors. Then the students are tasked to create a flag that represents them. Not only do students get to learn from this program but teachers as well. Teachers are able to collaborate with other teachers around the world and share ideas. This program is designed for all ages and is a great way to teach diversity while having fun.
Another web 2.0 application is TikaTok, which is a tool that allows students to create story books. This program helps teach digital literacy and encourages creativity and imagination. One great plus about this program is that it allows students to create digital and hard copy story books that include writing, pictures and even drawings that can be shared with their parents.While this program is really helpful and great, it has one down fall. TikaTok is not free. However, it is not very expensive. For the basic subscription, it is $19 a year and it allows access to all the templates, helps with classroom management, and allows as many students to use. TikaTok also gives lesson plans to incorporate this into the classroom. One example, is to have students create a story book and then share it with their peers. They all review each others and leaves comments. This encourages communication and helps enhance peer relations. This program was designed for K-6th and it is a great way to teach literacy and creative thinking.
Popplet is a great web 2.0 application that helps map ideas. Mapping ideas helps students organize thoughts for potential research projects or essays. It can also be used to simply map out thoughts. It encourages use of cognitive thinking and development and literacy skills. Popplet does cost money and it asks teachers to contact for a quote. This program could be used for any age group, however, I would recommend using it for grades 3 through 8.