Back to School With Web 2.0 by Ozge Karaoglu

Summer holiday is already over and it's school time again for me and for many other teachers around the world. With the upcoming school year, we are all looking for brand new ideas for the first days of our school! With the increase of teachers blogging and using technology more in their lessons, and our students becoming more and more networked and online every day, here are some Web 2.0 tools that you can start the year with:

Wallwisher is an online notice board maker and a favourite of mine recently! Each child can write about him/herself such as name, age, where they live, what they like to do and add a picture of themselves; or they can write about how they spent their summer, you can also use wallwisher to decide on the classroom rules by brainstorming with the kids or get feedback from them about the first days of school.

Voki is a tool to create animated speaking avatars. You can create class pet/mascot/puppet that can ask questions to the children or talk about weather, day, month, the activities that the children will be doing in class that day. You can also ask children to create their own avatars that talk about themselves. If you have a class website, it's also a good idea to have a Voki avatar that introduces you to the kids and the parents.

You can start a talk group using Voxopop. You can talk about yourself or ask questions to the kids that you want them to talk or start a discussion on any topic.Voicethread can be an alternative to Voxopop. If you give the children a book report assignment for the summer, you can ask them to leave their comments on a Voicethread by using different commenting styles. The activities that you can do with Voicethread throughout the year truly endless.

Online surveys or polls can be an interesting and a fun way to engage your children. You can use them to get to know them better or you can design a survey to learn their opinions about school,learning English or what activities they do enjoy in class. SurveyMonkey, Polldaddy, PollEverywhere can be the tools where to start!

If you want to give a quiz at the first days, you can choose a more techie way and use some online quiz generators. EasyTestMaker,HotPotatoes, QuizEggandQuizMakerare my favourites.

What about asking children to create timelines as if they are keeping an online diary that starts from the first day of school?Xtimeline or OurStory can be some examples of these tools.

Creating an animated film may seem difficult to produce, luckily we have Web 2.0 tools to make it very easy and fun for us and for our children.Zimmertwins, XtranormalandDVolverare my favourite tools.You can create a film starter and ask the children to guess the ending or create their own films on any topic you've given them. These sites are new ways to engage your kids and improve their creativity.

EduGlogstercan be an awesome way to use in class all throughout the year. You can create a colourful glog for your children with links, pictures, animated pictures, colourful background, audio or with a video. You can create a glog to introduce yourself/your lesson, brainstorm ideas with kids or simply ask your children to create a glog to introduce themselves to each other.

You can also useBox.netorDrop.ioto send documents online and collaborate with your kids.

If you are using different video sharing sites in your lessons, you can also have a look atSchoolTube, TeacherTube, TeachersTV, Discovery Education,KidsVid, Totlol, SchoolsTube, and SchoolWaxTV.

Web 2.0 is sure to impact the way we are teaching! Have a great year and be someone's favourite teacher!

Cross posted on my blog.