Daily Archives: May 25, 2008

Free Online Website Builders (WYSIWYG)

New technologies have made it easy for anyone to be a content author. The webmaster no longer has to be a highly specialized HTML coder. So, if you don’t have much experience in creating websites and need a What You See Is What You Get website creator, here is a list that might help:

 

Jimdo – great designs – no, this is not a martial art related website, it is a website builder that offers you  500MB of storage. Pretty reasonable space.        

Synthasite – you can even save your website to a folder on your computer to then upload to your student server for example.

Weebly – amazing looks!

Sampa – very easy to use.

Wix

New: SnapPages – Lets you build rich web applications.

New: Edicy

New: Websketch

New: BlinkWeb

 

and, of course, Google Pages.

Web 2.0 in Education

There is so much controversy over the term Web 2.0. Some people state that the digits “2.0″ determine a version, and that the Web is continuously evolving without need for a “label”. They claim that the assertion that Web 2.0 is more user-centered and interactive than Web 1.0 is not true. While new technologies (e.g. AJAX, a group of technologies that make possible for so-called Web 2.0 tools to be created) do mke teh Web more interactive, this interction and user-centered content generation was envisioned by Tim Berners-Lee since the beginning of the Wolrd Wide Web, not being a standard for this phaseof the Web only. https://lists.thing.net/pipermail/idc/2006-May/000399.html 

I do believe that the interaction made easy, the collaborative tools and the (normally) cleaner user interface of tools (visual literacy) make it possible for a more learner-centered learning approach mediate by these new tools. 
Vygotsky’s, Piage’s and other contructivist learning frameworks can be easily implemented online by means of the Read/Write Web. 

Resources such as “social bookmarking”, “social networks”, “group blogging”, “video/image/audio sharing”, wikis, tagging, and many other emerging tools enhance interaction on the Web. 

This interaction can bring more meaningful learning into place, learning that happens through social interaction, sharing of knowledge, etc. 

Web 2.0 tools you can try right now: 

create a social network on www.ning.com 
create a blog on www.wordpress.com 
create and share slideshows on www.slideshare.net 
create and share videos on www.youtube.com 
create and share a wiki on www.wetpaint.com 
create a microblog on www.twitter.com 
create microblogs for your classes on www.edmodo.com 
join Second Life on www.secondlife.com 

my blog on http://tweaklearning.wordpress.com 

If you don’t want to join anythign right now, just visit websites like these and you will see how much fun and interactive they can be… 

Educators should care about everything that helps their learners learn in meaningful ways… most teachers agree (or am I wrong) that learnign can be improved with social interaction (or am I wrong?). Research talks about informal learning being the means for most of our learning. Why not give it a try? These new Web tools matter to us because they matter to the learners. 

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