Web 2.0

The first site I explored was IXL for math. It is used by my son’s school for math homework and review. It is pretty engaging with “prizes” kids earn on their profile for time spent or levels achieved. It keeps track of their progression and scores and even deciphers in what areas a child struggles to gain new concepts compared to others. It is reviewable remotely by the teacher so the teacher can see how a child is doing, too.

ISTEs addressed with this site include critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making. Also addressed are digital citizenship and technology operations and concepts.

Before using the site, one needs to know how to operate a mouse and the concept of a login with a password. The site covers math standards from Kindergarten into college, so available for all ages as long as they can read enough to understand the questions. It is good in that it encourages kids with virtual prizes and keeps track of their progress. Where it lacks is that it may not be a good fit for all types of learners, such as those that are highly visual-spacial.

 

The second site I briefly investigated was Quizlet. It is touted as a “collaborative classroom game that students love” with “interactive games, study modes and practice tests make learning fun and effective.” Basically, students or teachers can create things such as flash cards or quizzes to assess or review content knowledge. One can make their own or use those that others have created. It’s free, so that’s also a nice little bonus. Best guess for age group use would be about 5th grade and above. The navigation is relatively simple, so basic mouse usage and ability to follow basic written instructions should suffice for success with this particular site.

In so far as ISTE standards, really all of them are addressed in one form or another. Between accessing the information, making one’s own flashcards or quizzes, using the same made by others, navigating the site and collaborating with other students or teachers, it’s a pretty round model for at least touching on all 6 standards.

 

The third site was Google docs. While I’ve only begun using it this term, it’s already been handy. In so far as I can tell, one of the most convenient aspects of this item is collaboration. A shared document can be accessed by several people either at the same time, or individually, and all of the updates are shown to others with whom the document has been shared. What a great tool for group work when meeting outside of class can be a challenge. It’s also a fabulous way for editing work and asking for critiquing by a classmate before being turned in.

Appropriate age group (I think) seems to be middle school and above. My 7th grade son just got a handle on it this year and it was a bit of a pain at first. One has to have a google account set up with login and such, as well as be able to navigate and interpret other google apps and such.

This one, like the one mentioned immediately above, also touches on all 6 standards, especially since it can be used for any class or subject matter!

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