Exploring and Integrating Tools


Many digital tools and technologies are well-matched to specific content areas that can help enhance the teaching, the learning process and improve student collaboration. This session provides an opportunity to see how various Web 2.0 tools can be leveraged to support students meeting their learning goals found in the NCSCOS (http://www.learnnc.org/scos/).
Toward the end of the session today, please be prepared to share your tools and brainstorm other ideas for using Web 2.0 tools in your classroom!

Learning Goals

  • Collaboratively learn 3 - 5 different WEB 2.0 Tools and Resources.
  • Plan or even create 3 - 5 instructional activities using a content specific tool and/or resources.

Tools Used

Wkis, Audacity, Screencast-O-Matic, ToonDoo, VoiceThread, Wordle, and Animoto.

Note about copyright:

If you use any images, make sure you are following copyright by only using Creative Commons w/ attribution images. This is easily done with Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/. > You can also use Google "Advanced Image Search" : http://www.google.com/images.

I. Wikis (Wikispaces)

A wiki is a platform for teachers to create web pages that contain content and instructional projects for their students. One of the easiest wiki platforms to use is Wikispaces.

Learning Goals:

  • Sign up for Wikispaces.
  • Practice basic edits and use of widgets.
  • Reflect upon the ways in which a wiki could be used.


  1. Start on your page for this session on your "Learn and Play Page".
  2. Practice the following skills using your wiki page:
    • Type in your name (Heading 1), school (Heading 2), and the subjects that you teach (Heading 2).
    • Change the font color of one of the words on the page.
    • Now create a numerical list of ways that you might incorporate a wiki into your classroom in the current unit that you are teaching.
    • Take a word in your numerical list and link it to a page on the Internet that relates to this term.
    • Add an image that might represent what you are currently studying in your classroom.
    • Take any Microsoft Word Document related to your unit and add it to the page.
    • Now add a Google Map to your page relating to to what you have added to the page.
    • If your school allows you to use YouTube, add a YouTube video that relates to what you are studying.
  3. Go back to your listing of how you might use a wiki in your classroom. Change your list based upon the items that you now know how to do with a wiki.

II. Audacity

Audacity is a free audio editor and recorder. It allows you to import audio files, edit them, and then save and export them to new audio formats. While it is a versatile tool to edit audio (changing pitch, adding noise, etc.), in the foreign language and ESL classroom, it is best used to make voice recordings - of teachers to model pronunciation or for oral practice, and of students for assessment purposes.

Learning Goals:

  • Download and install Audacity and Lame MP3 encoder.
  • Practice basic functions in Audacity.
  • Brainstorm applications in your discipline.
  • Make a sample recording.


  1. Go to http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/ and download the 1.3 Beta version of Audacity.
  2. Go to http://lame.buanzo.com.ar/ to download the Lame MP3 encoder.
  3. Right-click GCSNumbers.mp3 and save it on your desktop.
  4. In Audacity, go to File/Import/Audio and select the file you saved on your desktop in step 3.
  5. Listen to the file once, by clicking on the green arrow (numbers 0-10 in German).
  6. Now repeat after each number and record yourself by clicking on the red recording button.
  7. Other important controls: blue pause button, yellow stop button.
  8. When you are done recording, listen to make sure you actually recorded your voice.
  9. To make an MP3 of your recording, go to File/Eport. Name the file AudTestYourName and select MP3 files as your file type. .Save it on your desktop.
  10. Upload the file to your Learn and Play Page.
  11. Brainstorm how you would use Audacity in your classroom and add it to your page.
  12. If time permits, create a file that you could use with your students next week.


If you save your Audacity recording, it will have an .aup extension which can only be read by Audacity on the computer it was recorded with. There really is no need to save the file unless you want to go back to make changes later on. It is best to get in a habit of exporting each recording to make sure students can access your files. This is an equally important step for students to remember should you have them make recordings for you.

III. Screencast-O-Matic

There are many free screen casting tools on the web. Some have to be downloaded (like Jing), others are web-based like the one I chose, Screencast-O-Matic. The purpose of all screen casts is to record whatever you are doing on your desktop, including your voice and a video capture of yourself (if that's what you want). You may ask, "Why would I want to do a screen cast?", but the applications in the classroom are bountiful. Pre-recorded lessons can be viewed by students when you have a substitute teacher or at home for review and clarification. If your students have access to computers, screen casts are a great way to assess their understanding as they talk you through a concept while recording themselves.

Learning Goals:

  • Brainstorm applications in your discipline.
  • Sign up for a Screencast-O-Matic account.
  • Record a screen cast you can use at some point this year.


  1. Go to your Learn and Play Page and jot down some possible applications.
  2. Pick one application you would like to try out today.
  3. Go to http://screencast-o-matic.com/login?url=%2F and sign up for an account.
  4. Click "Create" . You will see a frame appear along with a recording tool bar.
  5. Go to the application you want to record and choose the size you want. Full HD is a good option.
  6. Adjust the size of the recording area by dragging the edges of the perforated recording triangle.
  7. Click on the red record button, and start recording after the countdown.
  8. Press "Done" when you are finished.
  9. When you go back to Screencast-O-Matic, it will look like it is continuing to load. Just click the "Create" button on the top of the page, to see your screen recording.
  10. Click on "Upload to SOM". Give your movie a title and a brief description, and then "Upload".
  11. Get the embed code from the bottom of the page once the upload is complete, and embed on your
  12. Click on "Export" on the right, choose a file type (MP4), direct where you would like to save the export, and name your movie.

IV. ToonDoo

ToonDoo is a free online cartooning tool. It allows you to choose characters and scenes while adding text in speech bubbles. There are a lot of different characters and scenes to choose from. Each character generally comes with different body positions and facial expressions. You can also create your own characters.

ToonDoo can be used as a platform to present content, but also to assess students.

Learning Goals:

  • Brainstorm applications in your discipline.
  • Sign up for a ToonDoo account.
  • Design a brief cartoon to be used in your classroom.


  1. Go to your Learn and Play Page and jot down some possible applications.
  2. Pick one application you would like to try out today.
  3. Go to http://www.toondoo.com/ and sign up for an account.
  4. Create a short cartoon you can use in your discipline.
  5. Get the embed code under "share".
  6. Embed the cartoon on your Learn and Play Page using the widget tool.


There are other cartooning tools on the web. Pixton is nice because it allows students to also record their voices. With GoAnimate characters are not static in each frame, but move, thus creating the effect of a movie.

V. VoiceThread

VoiceThread is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images and videos and allows people to navigate slides and leave comments. These comments can be in the form of audio, video, or text. There are many applications for VoiceThread in any classroom. Check out these ideas: 24 Interesting Ways to Use VoiceThread.

Learning Goals:

  • Sign-up for VoiceThread.
  • Brainstorm applications in your discipline.
  • Upload a picture and add comments.


  1. Go to http://voicethread.com/ and sign up for an account.
  2. Watch the instructional VoiceThreads under the "My Voice" tab.
  3. Go to your Learn and Play Page and jot down some possible applications.
  4. Upload a picture from your computer or the internet.
  5. Give your VoiceThread a title.
  6. Add a written comment to your picture.
  7. Add a voice comment to your picture. Doodle if you want.
  8. Go to "Publishing Options" on the bottom, and decide your privacy options.
  9. Get the embed code (also on the bottom of the page) and embed your VoiceThread on your Learn and Play Page.

VI. Wordle

Wordle: So bin ich

Wordle (http://www.wordle.net/) is a tool for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide (copy and paste). In effect, a word cloud is a visual representation of the word content of a website or another type of text. Wordle allows you to type in or paste any source text you would like.

In Wordle, the clouds that are created give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can also adjust your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with friends, colleagues, and/or students.

Check out these applications for inspiration: 48 Interesting Ways to Use Wordle in the Classroom

Learning Goals:

  • Observe and reflect upon a few examples of Wordle
  • Plan and construct an effective learning experience associated with Wordle and the NCSCOS.


  1. Go to Wordle, read over the site, and review some of the Wordles created in the gallery on the site.
  2. Practice using Wordle with a variety of texts.
    • Copy a text of your choice, and then click on the "Create" link and paste it into the text box provided. Once you have all of the words in the text box, click on "Go" and voila you have your first Wordle!
    • Note that at the top of your Wordle, you have links to tweak the font, layout, and color schemes if you decide to experiment. Once you have the design you like most, click on "Save to Public Gallery", and you will have the opportunity to name your Wordle, create a user name, and provide a brief description of your creation.
    • More importantly, this also takes you to the screen where your Wordle has its own unique URL. From this page, you can open your Wordle in its own window, print it, and use the embed code provided at the bottom of the page to embed your Wordle on your own website, blog, wiki, etc. Save this URL somewhere where you have access to it as the search function in Wordle is not extremely accurate or powerful.
    • Wordle is NOT searchable; therefore, make your copy and paste your URL to a Word document ASAP.
  3. Add a Wordle to your Learn and Play Page
    • Decide on an instructional activity using a Wordle.
    • Copy words from a text or type them into the Wordle.
    • Create the Wordle and play with its design.
    • Save your Wordle and copy its URL.
    • Add your Wordle to your Learn and Play page.
    • Add instructions on how to use your Wordle in an instructional setting.

VIII. Animoto

Animoto is a web-based tool that combines pictures, music, video, and/or text to create movie trailer like clips. Although the free account allows only 30-second clips, the All Access account is only $30 per year. It allows you to make as many movies as you want at unlimited length. One of the nice features is that it allows the inclusion of text. This could be a great tool for a book-report-turned-movie-trailer project.

Learning Goals:

  • Reflect on possible uses of this tool.
  • Sign up for an Animoto account.
  • Think of an upcoming theme in your classroom.
  • Make a 30 second clip.


  1. Go to your Learn and Play page and brainstorm how you could use Animoto in your discipline.
  2. Go to www.animoto.com and sign up for a free account.
  3. Click the "create" button.
  4. Add 4-5 photos/pictures.
  5. Add a title slide.
  6. Add at least one text slide.
  7. Add music.
  8. Upload.
  9. Get the embed code by clicking the "Video Toolbox".
  10. Put your Animoto clip on your Learn and Play page.