We’re always in the search for effectiveness matched to an increase of learners’ motivation. Without losing the pedagogical purpose perspective, we can find wonderful online tools that will make our classes more enticing to learning, fun, and highly motivational. These tools can be adapted to fit our educational settings and our students’ interests and needs. They give to learners the chance to be manipulators, players within their learning process. They give choice and voice. If you try at least one of those giving, for example, one topic, but letting the students free to decide how they will go about it to present their final product, chances are you might be truly surprised by their creativity, engagement, and learning outcomes.
One of the teachers I work with is working on a Glogster project with her students. She was simply shocked by how much language students produced by just changing the means to deliver the topic. So, why not giving choice and creativity a try in favor of a much more powerful classroom learning environment?
Here are some places you might want to get started:
http://apslibrary.edublogs.org/web-2-0/ (great tools to get started)
http://bit.ly/webtoolspourri (Ning is now paid and Flowgram is out of the market, but the other tools are just fantastic ones)
http://teacherbootcamp.edublogs.org/2010/04/04/my-favourite-sites-for-teaching-phrasal-verbs-by-janet-bianchini/ (focus on teaching phrasal verbs with wonderful digital tools)
http://www.scribd.com/doc/19576895/Web-20-Tools-for-Teachers (I highly recommend Nik Peachey’s Web2.0 free e-book)
http://www.diigo.com/user/carlaarena/cooltoolsforschools / http://www.diigo.com/user/carlaarena/cooltoolforschools (My cool tools Diigo Bookmarks. Tons of fantastic resources that would take us a lifetime to explore)
I could go on and share a thousand different resources, but just by accessing these links, you’ll have at the tip of your fingers many ideas for engaging your students and making a difference in a more bazaar type of learning (just love this borrowed concept!).