I explored several of the Web 2.0 Award Winners . Many of them are tools that I already use--some daily and some periodically. Here are my thoughts about some of them.
Favorite tool for student and teacher use:
Picnik is my favorite new find! I've been using it for about a month now whenever I need to edit photos. It is free and does not require an account. All the basic photo editing tools are there: crop, rotate, exposure correction, red eye correction, etc. These are all the tools that students need on a routine basis, and again, it's FREE!
Favorite tool for teacher use mainly:
Del.icio.us : I've used this social bookmarking tool for about 6 months and I love it. I can bookmark a site, access my bookmarks from anywhere, look at others' bookmarks to give me suggestions for other sites to peruse, and the tagging feature makes it all very easily searchable. Very cool. My bookmarks on del.icious are here .
Favorite tool that is potentially blocked by the district:
GoogleDocs! Providing this tool is not disabled by the IT guys at school, which it may be, I can see this being very useful for students as they work on projects together. The problem that I see is that in order to use this tool, students would have to set up a google account, and that would be a problem. To have them set up any kind of email that is not controlled by the district would be viewed as a problem even with our older elementary students. So I suspect we will not be able to utilize it in our district.
if we were able to use it,
the old worry about students being unable to collaborate because not all of them have access to the same software at school/at home goes right out the window with online collaboration tools like GoogleDocs. Currently in my building, we have a problem between the MS Office versions in the labs as opposed to the versions on the 4 student computers in each classroom. For simple word processing/spreadsheet work, GoogleDocs would solve the problem for free. Potentially great news for school districts that do not have the funds (or maybe the interested leadership) to update software regularly.Very powerful.
Favorite Cool Tool Just Because:
Colorblender is the coolest tool! It gives you color schemes that are pleasing to the eye when you choose one main color. RGB values are given, so you could use the information in almost any application. It would be great for students to use as they create products--anything, from powerpoint presentations to brochures or games! They could choose color schemes that are aesthetically pleasing. Very cool.
Other Cool Stuff:
City Guides/Reviews: Yelp has lots of reviews--I found a new coffee bar not far from my house that I'm going to check out!