Web 2.0 Basics

 On this page I have tried to include links and information on the Sites and Programs we have talked about.  I hope you find it helpful.  If you have any links or information you think would be good for me to include, please let me know!



Web 2.0 means different things to different people.  For our purposes, we will use this term to refer to using technology and the web with students in an interactive way.




A podcast is a series of audio or video which is distributed over the Internet .  

While this is a good working definition, for school  a podcast does not necessarily have to be posted on the internet.  Students could make them as projects to turn in or to share with the class.  Or they may be shared behind a secure web site such as a moodle.  There are a wide variety of programs that you can use to create a podcast.  

Photostory - This program is a free download from Microsoft.  It allows the user to incorporate pictures, text, voiceover and music into an integrated project.  It is very quick and easy.  I have found that this program works very well with helping kids make introductory podcasts.  Downside - this only allows you to add still pictures.  However you can add PowerPoint slides! (Simply save the slides as a jpeg)

Audacity - This is a free cross platform sound editor.  (That means it works on a PC or a Mac) This is great for students who want to make a podcast that is only sound.  Think of an old time radio show.  I have also used it when students wanted to record music/voice to play over a Photostory.

Garage Band -- This is an apple program that can be used to integrate audio and even video into a podcast format.  This is a great program and I highly recommend it for apple users.  There is no PC version at this time.

Movie Maker - This is included in several versions of Windows and may have come with your computer.  While it is a little more complex to use, it allows you to incorporate videos and still shots into your podcasts.

VoDcaster - a free program to make podcasts on a Mac.

Samples of Podcasts

The Education Podcast Network - The Education Podcast Network is an effort to bring together into one place, the wide range of podcast programming that may be helpful to teachers looking for content to teach with and about, and to explore issues of teaching and learning in the 21st century.

Kidcast - Podcast on using podcasts in education

Grammar girl - a podcast on, you guessed it, grammar!

Higher Education - Free University podcasts!  Good for student info, or audit a college course.  

There are so many podcasts out there there is no way I can list them all.  Just put what you are interested in and podcast into Google and you should find some very good stuff!


Voice Thread - This program is amazing! It allows you to share the information you create with your students in a very different way!  Sign up for an educator account and it is Free!  There are various tutorials on how to use the software right on the site.  Remember, you can always turn sharing off so that only those people you wish to see your presentations will.

Moodle - A free-ware course management system similar to "Blackboard".  The link provided takes you to the main Moodle page. There is a lot of good information you can read through on that page.  In order to make this work you would need to have a dedicated server to host the site.  However, Grand Island works with BOCES to allow us to use their server and Moodle sites.  You simply have to sign up for a course on how to use the software.

Wiki -  A Wiki is a web page or collection of web pages designed to enable anyone who accesses it to contribute or modify content.  Wikipedia is probably the best known Wikis.

        Examples of Educational Wikis

        Pbwiki - A wiki hosting site.

        Wikispaces - Another wiki hosting site.  

                * Often to get advanced features you need to go beyond the free accounts.

        Wikis in the classroom - a PowerPoint presentation on how wikis can be used in school.

        Education World - Information about educational wikis

Blog - A blog (a contraction of the term "Web log") is a Web site, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order.

        Examples of some Educational Bloggers

        Blogger - one of the larger free blogging sites.  It does allow you to set permission levels.

        Edublog - another online blogging site

        Cool cat Teacher - A fairly well known  teacher's blog.  It is a good example of what can be done with blogging.

Internet Forum/Message Board - An Internet forum, or message board, is an online discussion site.  These allow you to create topics (threads)  where students can post questions, and add responses.  

Chat room - A web page where you can communicate with your students in real time.

Survey Gismo - Free, online survey creator that enables the user to develop multiple choice, short answer, rating, and more!

Hot Potatoes - The Hot Potatoes suite includes six applications, enabling you to create interactive multiple-choice, short-answer, jumbled-sentence, crossword, matching/ordering and gap-fill exercises for the World Wide Web. Hot Potatoes is not freeware, but it is free of charge for those working for publicly-funded non-profit-making educational institutions, who make their pages available on the web. Other users must pay for a license.

Picasa - This is Google's free program that allows you to do some basic editing to your own pictures.  It is not as sophisticated as a program like Photoshop, but it does allow you to do some neat effects.  There is a option similar to PhotoStory included in the latest version but it isn't quite as good.  It also allows you to set up and share your pictures on the web for free.  Free is always good. 


It's a lot more than what you realized!  PowerPoint can be used in conjunction with the programs above or in entirely new ways to create a lot of different things.  

PowerPoint Templates - Just some different uses for PowerPoint.  Some are good, some less so.

The Library of Congress's American Memory Project
With a goal of 5 million items -- from speeches to images to video to digitized text and more -- the American Memory project is by far the best source for digital content specific to American History.

Public Domain Music - This site provides links to public domain music.

Presentations for Teachers - Pre-made Presentations in a variety of subjects. There is a charge to use this site.

Online Tutorial - Great site for learning some of the ways to spice up a PowerPoint!  They have many other tutorials on the site, some more are here.

Slideshare - Another service to share PowerPoint presentations on the internet.


Zamzar -- Allows you to convert a video file into a format you can use in class.  Just copy the URL of the video and change it to what format you want.  (wmv works for many programs)  HOWEVER -- the turnaround time can be very slow sometimes a few days.  Make sure you give yourself time.

Video Download Helper - This is an add on for those using the Firefox Browser (click on the link to get to the Mozilla site) rather than internet explorer.  It allows you to easily download videos even from places like YouTube.  Once you have them saved, use a conversion program like Format Factory (below) to put them in a format that is useful to you.  The Firefox browser is free and easy to use, I recommend it!

Format Factory - This is a free program that allows you to change the formats of files you download.  An all purpose converter.

Teacher Tube - This site is an educational version of Youtube.  However, the quality of the videos is hit and miss.  

History Channel - Videos on History!! who can resist??

Discovery Education - This site is not free, however there are many people with access to it and some schools and colleges buy accounts for their students.  A great source for educational downloads and it does have a 30 day free trial.