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Web 2.0: Resources for a Collaborative Class

Web 2.0: Resources for a Collaborative Class

If you’re wondering what “Web 2.0” is, then keep reading! It’s time you learned what you’re missing and how many great (and free) applications that you can utilize. Make reading, language arts, and even communicating with parents easier and more enjoyable.

Below are five great ways you can get started found by Teaching featured writer, Kelly Tenkely. If you are already an expert at 2.0 web tools, please leave your suggestions for other educators in our discussion, Web 2.0 Tools for Teachers & Students.

1. Bookcasting

What it is:

Bookcasting is actually a term I made up. It is essentially a podcast about a book. My third grade students just finished their first round of Bookcast recordings that we uploaded to a Wetpaint Wiki. A Bookcast is a movie trailer-like review of a book that students create and share with one another. My students used GarageBand to record their podcasts (you could also use a free tool like Audacity) and add sound effects, then they published the Bookcast on our class G-cast account, and finally embedded the media player onto our WetPaint wiki.

How to integrate Bookcasting into your curriculum:

Bookcasting is a fun alternative to the standard book report. It allows kids to be creative and gives them a great sense of audience. Bookcasting also has the added benefit of acting as a book review for other students to listen to. Bookcasting makes story retell a lot of fun! My plan is to have a link to our WetPaint wiki in the library so that students can listen to a peer review of a book before they check it out.


I had all of my students create a Bookcast on the same book before reviewing on their own. This gave them an easy starting place but still provided room for creativity. Click on the Easy Reader link on our wiki to hear the Bookcasts the students created.


What it is:

Qlubb will change the way you communicate and interact with parents and families. Qlubb includes features perfect for the classroom such as: event calendaring, sign-up sheets, to-do lists, automatic event and task reminders, photo sharing, member rosters, and bulletin boards. Everything on Qlubb is intuitive and extremely simple. Parents and teachers will have no problem jumping in and using Qlubb to enhance home/school communication. This is social networking at its finest for schools!

How to integrate Qlubb into your curriculum:

Start off the 2008/2009 year off right by creating a Qlubb network for your classroom. There is plenty of time for you to try it out before then, I have to say that it is truly so intuitive that you won’t need that much time to get it up and going. Use Qlubb as a place to post class pictures, class information, daily homework, and as a place where parents can sign up to help in the classroom or for field trips. This is a great solution for parent/school communication. Qlubb would also be great for after school clubs or sports organization.


What it is:

PalBee is a free online video conferencing/recording tool. When you become a registered member of PalBee you have the ability to create an unlimited number of video conferencing sessions, each can be an hour long, with up to 5 attendees. PalBee also allows for visual collaboration on the online whiteboard. The Whiteboard allows you to upload images and write or draw on top of it.


PalBee is a free online video conferencing/recording too.

How to integrate PalBee into your curriculum:

PalBee could be useful in the classroom in several different ways. The first is for its intended purpose, video conferencing. If you have a pen pal or buddy classroom, set up times throughout the year for your students to video conference. All that you need is a web cam and Internet connection. Your students will really enjoy conferencing with students in another state or across the world. After you have conferenced with your buddy classroom, consider collaborating on a project together. PalBee provides a great workspace for students to share ideas. PalBee can also be used as a place to record tutorials for your students. You can individualize instruction and record several lessons that can be saved by PalBee and used from year to year. If you have students who are having trouble reading, extend their learning day and “go home” with them using PalBee. A struggle in many schools is getting parents to read with or help their child study at home. If a parent isn’t available or doesn’t make it a priority, students can get onto your saved PalBee recordings and learn with you at their own pace. This may have the added benefit of modeling reading and studying to parents. Have a parent who can’t make a parent teacher conference? Set up a PalBee meeting with them that better fits into the schedule.


Set up a classroom account for PalBee where all of your recordings can be saved for quick access.


What it is:

ClickCaster allows you and your students to create a podcasting channel that can be subscribed to via RSS feed as well as publish and embed your podcast for integration with classroom blogs or wikis. The ClickCaster platform is extremely easy to use with professional results. ClickCaster offers different levels of service the most basic is free but only includes 125MB of storage. The other levels are very affordable and ClickCaster gives teachers $3 off of their standard package.

How to integrate Click Caster into the classroom:

ClickCaster is a great way to publish your classroom podcasts. Other classrooms and parents can subscribe to the podcast through RSS feed or visit your channel for a complete list of your podcasts. Publish a weekly radio show where your students give a synopsis of what they have learned throughout the week. Or, create podcasts where your students get to be the “expert” on a subject. No matter what the subject, ClickCaster will make publishing your podcasts for others simple.


Sign up for the basic limited account (free) to find out just how simple ClickCaster is to use…you will be hooked in no time!


What it is:

Wetpaint is a free wiki website editor/builder that is EXTREMELY simple to use. (No really, EASY is an understatement!) If you aren’t familiar with wiki’s they are websites that anyone can edit and help grow through collaboration. The most famous wiki is Wikipedia which is a group effort encyclopedia that anyone can add to and edit. Wetpaint has amazing looking templates to use…this is no boring wiki!

How to integrate Wetpaint into the classroom:

Wetpaint is an easy to use wiki builder. It provides a place for students to collaborate on projects, it is so simple to use that even primary classrooms could make use of Wetpaint. Wetpaint provides a platform for your students to be the “expert” on a subject. Whatever you are studying in math, language arts, social studies, science, etc. is the perfect subject matter for a wiki. Create a classroom book club where students can write book reviews, suggest books to read as a class, and rate books through a poll. Collaborate with other classrooms, grade levels, or other schools on any subject. Wetpaint provides some different levels of privacy for your wiki, it can be public which means that everyone can edit, semi-private, or private.


Wetpaint has built in widgets that can be used in your wiki. These include YouTube or Google videos, polls, slide shows, rss feeds, music, and a place to embed code (like a Gabcast podcast).

Take a look at the introduction video on the Wetpaint site… I want my students to make videos like this! So rad (yes I really did say rad!)

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