Web Tools For Teachers (WTFT)

by 12:56 AM 0 comments
I want to start a new project this school year that will ideally benefit students as much as teachers. It might start out as a little ... obvious ... for some, but hopefully it can grow. Here's the plan:

I want to try out a new Web Tool for Teachers (WTFT) every week with a group of students. I plan on introducing the tool or website early in the week, followed by some practice with it/ utilization, then a blog post on Friday (presumably published shortly there after, or the following Monday) with a rating on a system to be completely determined.

*Side note (as I am prone to do): I understand WTFT is web slang for What the French Toast? but I am deciding if sharing it would actually benefit the spread of information as well. Because, if there's one thing I'm certain about, it's when adults start using something and think it's cool, then kids will gravitate away from it!

photo credit: http://oedb.org/ilibrarian/101-web-20-teaching-tools/
Here are some basic ground rules:
1. Use sites that are for the students' benefit.
2. Use some sites that might not have been specifically created for education (i.e. YouTube or Soundcloud) but have a definite, educational potential.
3. Rate on the following: Ease of use (easily learned), Potential Drawbacks, Student Productivity/Feedback, and OS compatibility (mobile friendly; PC only; etc.) or availability.

I can hear some naysayers already:
"But the tool isn't what's important." - You're right. I just want to offer options.
"It's going to take too long to teach them a new tool every week. That takes away from learning." - The goal is to not have that happen. Even good lesson plans have gone wrong. Finding simple sites with a minimal learning curve is important. The potential is there for students to gain knowledge and learn how to use the web in a more effective way.
"You rated SC, but forgot YT. And FB? Kids should never be on that site at school!"  But if we teach them a way to use it effectively, they potentially won't see it as an "escape" from the classroom, but a tool.

That's all I have tonight, it's late. My youngest daughter (2-months) has a hard time falling asleep at night, and I had time to think. I just wanted to get this down before I went to bed and forgot about it. If you have ideas for sites to try or anything on the project, just leave a comment!

Rob Lindquist

Author

I do a lot of things. The best thing I do is fathering (I think). I'm the ol' "Jack of all trades, Master of none." I teach aspiring journalists. I run. I play guitar(s). I also host a running podcast. Oh, and I dabble in drawing. And I dabble in authoring... children's books no less. I just dabble. Sometimes I ramble.

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