Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What to use with your Students for putting their learning online.

Many people are into Wiki, many are doing Blogger, some are into easy web designing programs like Webnode and Weebly.  So which do you do use with your students? It all depends on what reasons you want to start putting up your students work on the internet.  I have done Blogs with my students using Blogger, have helped teachers with their Wikis, used Facebook for e-portfolios for student work on Illustrator and Photoshop, and now I'm trying Weebly with my Grade 8 students for e-portfolios and ease of marking.  So which ones do I recommend?  I show a number of them to the teacher and let them decide.  It may take some time but in the end they can do their own comparisons and take responsibility for their own choices.

The following are some advantages and disadvantages of each program for you to consider before you make your own choice.  These are a few that I have come across or thought of.  I hope this helps you

·      Great for using the photo albums
·      Students can “Poke” you when they add something to their photo albums.
·      The program gets the other person’s comments on your desktop when they have added something.
·      Great for peer assessment, students all become friends  and can comment on each others work.
·      Easy for the teacher to assess with comments, for instant feedback without giving a mark.
·      Can add videos if doing animation in your classroom.
·      Security is good, to keep others out.
·      Parents can become Friends so they can check out their own child’s work.
·      Additions are not sortable
·      Hard to search what was done.
·      When you have 30 or more students doing work and adding to their desktop, your desktop gets flooded.
·      Need to have a YouTube channel to add videos.
·      Cannot embed other Web 2.0 programs (ie Glogster, Prezi, etc)  in Facebook.
·      Need to watch student’s friends, sometimes they invite their friends and  they don’t watch their security, so their “desktop” gets crowded if garbage.
·      Students add games to their  account so they can play online during class time.  It also adds to the teacher’s desktop.
·      Students can hide through security what they are doing.
·      Free
·      Easy to set up and use.
·      Can be individualized with your own pictures, colors, etc.
·      Many different Templates and different pages you can put into your Webnode.
·      Has stats you can see.
·      Has RSS feed
·      Has different types of pages you can choose including a Portfolio section.
·      Can embed any other program using the HTML code, like YouTube, Prezi, Glogster, etc.
·      Can have more then one web site on your account.
·      Can have as many pages as you want.
·      Many designs that are free.
·      Easy to use and self explanatory.
·      Can Tweet anything on the page.
·      Has many gadgets you can add to your web page, ie poll, codes, different videos from different web sites (educational sites).
·      Can have a list of student sites to your list.
·      To embed you need to know some HTML coding.
·      Does not feed in well with Blogger “Blog lists”.
·      Does not appear well if you use the RSS feed for a newspaper program like “paperli”.
·      Cannot lock it down.

·      Free
·      Easy to set up and use.
·      Has RSS feed
·      Has a page for a blog.
·      You have 5 pages and as many photos as you want.
·      Easy to add in columns with picture on one side and a write-up on the other side.
·      Can embed any other program with easy, a copy and a paste.
·      Easy to embed a video
·      Instantaneous so there is no need to wait for a publisher to create a new edition or update information
·      Teacher creates the account for all students, giving them individual user names and passwords.
·      Teacher has access to all accounts, so it’s easy to assess as well
·      Can set it up so that you cannot see the site unless you have a password to get on the site.

·      When you embed other programs sometimes they affect the running of the program on the Internet.  An example is “Prezi” will freeze your Weebly home page.
·      Open to SPAM and Vandalism if not managed properly. There are easy ways to restore a page however, and on WikiEducator you must be logged in to edit pages so this reduces vandalism by automated spam bots.
·      Only get 40 accounts to set up.  So if you want more, you either pay or get a colleague to join and this gives you more accounts for students.
·      Limit of size of a photo.
·      Free
·      Easy to set up and use.
·      Some wikis allow for a lot of formatting.
·      Can use this program to collaborate – giving control of different pages to different users.
·      Can be password protected.
·      Can check to see when the last update of the Wiki was.
·      Has RSS feed
·      Give permission to anyone that you want to have access to edit
·      Wikis are instantaneous so there is no need to wait for a publisher to create a new edition or update information
·      People located in different parts of the world can work on the same document
·      The wiki software keeps track of every edit made and it's a simple process to revert back to a previous version of an article.  All the drafts of a document are saved.  If a team of people have altered a document several times and feel that using the original introduction would now work better than the revised version, they can easily go back and retrieve the original.
·      Some of the Gadgets you can add to your Wiki are very interactive, and easy to do.
·      Has Stats.
·      Does not feed in well with Blogger “Blog lists”.
·      Does not appear well if you use the RSS feed for a newspaper program like “paperli”.
·      Not to crazy about the look of the Wiki.
·      Need to know some HTML coding if you wish to embed some programs.
·      Wikis do make it easy for several people to brainstorm and collaborate on projects by adding content to a group website, but if no one is keeping tabs on the content, it can get pretty confusing. 
·      Although this program is user-friendly, it doesn’t look like it.
·      Free
·      Easy to set up – step by step, easy to use.
·      Can be individualized.
·      Create your own design.
·      Can save drafts of post and work on it later.
·      Has a number of apps you can use with an IPads.
·      The App lets you take pictures with your IPad and then put it up on your Blog
·      Teacher can have a “Blog list” of students blogs and this makes it easier to mark.
·      Instantaneous so there is no need to wait for a publisher to create a new edition or update information
·      The “Blog list” can be set up so that when students add something to their blog the blog address goes up to the top of the list, and you can see the date of when it was added.
·      Can embed anything in your Blog.
·      They can add their own blog list
·      Easy to embed a poll, a video from your YouTube account.
·      Once you set up Blogger, you have a gmail account and a GoogleDoc account as well.  Easy to embed all together.
·      Parents can follow their own child’s work, see what is happening in the class.
·      Easy to make a homework list or embed a Twitter school account for tweeting homework.
·      You can add pages to your blog for different subject areas.
·      There is a limited number of setups for the template but you can change the look of it.  Does take some time to set the template.  You may lose the kids in the initial setup so give yourself and the students time to play with the look of it.

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