Explore a Tool of Your Choice

Introduction

Listed below is a group of Web 2.0 tools so that you can find, experiment with and evaluate new tools, determining whether they have value for you in creating, organizing, communicating or problem-solving.
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Discovery Exercise

Pick a tool below, see what it does and see what you can do with it. Depending on the tool you choose and your particular learning style or worldview, you may do more exploring than experimenting or vice-versa.

While you are exploring and experimenting, consider whether the tool may have a practical application for personal, classroom or professional learning or productivity. Also pay attention to any social aspects of the tool -- is it collaborative, sharable, does it allow comments, discussions, ratings?

Many of these tools are completely free, and all offer at least a free version. Also, most are embeddable in a blog, wiki or webpage.

Note: To begin exploring a tool, look for demos, tours, an "explore" or "features" link, examples, galleries and/or FAQ pages..

The Tools

  • 30boxes - http://30boxes.com
    Calendar application that includes to-do list, phone reminders, sharing and many other features.
  • BeFunky - http://www.befunky.com/
    "Turn your photos into incredible artwork with one click."
  • Blabberize - http://blabberize.com
    Turn any photo into a talking cartoon.
  • Box.net - http://www.box.net
    Free online file storage. Organize and share files. Access from anywhere. Embed "box of files" into any website.
  • Gliffy - http://www.gliffy.com/
    Collaborative concept mapping tool (like an online version of Inspiration).
  • Glogster EDU - http://www.glogster.com/edu/
    Create a digital "poster wall" to share images, text, music, video and links. This is not your Mama's book report!
  • JigZone - http://www.jigzone.com/
    Digital jigsaw puzzles - upload your own photos, graphics or scanned artwork
  • LetterPop - http://letterpop.com/
    Easily create drag-and-drop newsletters, scrapbooks and flyers using your own photos and ready-made templates.
  • MixBook - http://www.mixbook.com
    Create interactive books using original photos or artwork.
  • Picnik - http://www.picnik.com/
    Edit digital photos in your browser.
  • Pikistrips - http://pikistrips.com
    Create custom comic strips using your own or Flickr Creative Commons photos.
  • PollDaddy - http://polldaddy.com
    Create custom polls and surveys to embed in any web page. Results displayed in a graph.
  • Quizlet - http://quizlet.com/
    Create and share interactive study materials. Keep track of your progress automatically.
  • SimplyBox - http://simplybox.com/
    Clip and share portions of web pages in an easy-to-use visual format. Great for collecting, organizing and sharing resources on specific topics.
  • SlideShare - http://www.slideshare.net
    Upload and share Powerpoint presentations in an embeddable format.
  • Ta-da List - http://www.tadalist.com/
    Easy to use to-do list. Add items, sort them, share them, check them off as you complete them.
  • Timetoast - http://www.timetoast.com
    Use text, images and links to easily quickly create a dynamic timeline.
  • ToonDoo - http://www.toondoo.com/
    Create and share your own comic strips using an array of characters, settings and custom speech balloons.
  • Voicethread - http://www.voicethread.com
    Upload images, PowerPoint slides, documents or video clips and add comments by microphone, telephone, audio file, text or video.
  • Weebly - http://weebly.com
    Create a drag-and-drop website in minutes -- no technical expertise necessary!
  • Wordle - http://wordle.net/
    Create colorful, graphical 'word clouds' from text that you provide. Apply custom layouts, fonts and colors. Super cool.
  • Writeboard - http://www.writeboard.com/
    Create a collaborative document that you can share with anyone by sending them the URL and password.
  • Xtranormal - http://www.xtranormal.com/
    "If you can type, you can make a movie!" Use characters, backgrounds, props, sound effects and animation tools to turn your script into an animated movie.



Task


PART 1: Create a blog post telling about your experience, providing a link to the tool you chose to explore. Include any ideas you have for using the tool to support learning or productivity. Also comment on any "social" features you may have noticed and your thoughts about their value.