I wanted to know if anyone out there has some computer/web tools they like to use during the beginning of the school year. Also, I am wondering who amongst you uses their blogs, wikispace, websites as the primary tool for their classroom. How do you introduce it to students, staff, etc. Thanks for all of your input!

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Hi,

I use my class website as a main tool of communication. I use Teacher Web.

http://teacherweb.com/CH/YCISBEIJING/MsDavisYear5DL/
Thanks for sharing! I wasn't able to access it though. Thanks!
I'm in a 1:1 classroom, and I don't use textbooks at all. If my students really want a paper copy, they can print it out, but for the most part, they like using the computer. It helps them organize their material and there are just too many helpful tools onthe computer that we can both take advantage of.

This year, I am going to use Twitter in my classroom for parents and students. They can easily sign up to receive text messages rather than tweets.

I am also going to use my mailing list from Bravenet this year. Just a once a week e-mail. I can get 500 free subscribers, so I think it will be pretty easy to maintain it from year to year.

I am toying with the idea of using my school phone as a homework hotline - instead of the traditional "leave a message", I am thinking of just recording the days agenda. I read about in this a book, and have been thinking of using it ever since.

I want to create review videos for students when we have tests - I tried this a little last year, but had too many other commitments to really delve into this. I'll give it a go again this year.

I've done wikis before, and my favorite is http://pbworks.com/ (prevously pbwiki). I don't like using wikispaces with students, because you have to pay in order to have control over the student accounts (at least you did last year).

My blog is www.vriley.edublogs.org.

I find that a lot of my information on these site is repetitive - is that normal, or do each of your sites have a singular purpose?
Vanessa...I'm interested in how twitter works with your students. I've been trying to brainstorm ideas for cellular technology in my classroom this year. I was also going to try to live stream or record some classes as you've thought of for students to watch later and for students who are absent. I love the "review video" idea. I think I'm gonna have to borrow that one myself. :)
I think the biggest problem that I'm going to face is that my parents won't know what Twitter is. I teach at an at-risk school with a large low SES population. I think one way that I can sell it is by showing them how they can use it for news, professional, and social purposes. I am hoping the Cricket wireless (a very populat service provider here) will fix their sms issue and Cricket users will be able to use Twitter.
I have the opportunity this year to be creating a classroom that is focused primarily on collaboration through the use of blogs and wikis. Check out my blog throughout the school year on information.

http://clwalsh.blogspot.com/
First thing I teach my kids in middle school is how to use Google Search. Although the web 2.0 technologies are very important, learning the syntax (and learning what that word means!) of a search and how to sift through the returned hits to find your answer are skills that are almost mandatory (but seemingly non-existent in our 7th grade).

This year I'm hoping to start a wiki for each of my classes. At the end of every period I will ask the students to post one thing that they learned that day. I've done this using paper and a pencil in the past, but think that perhaps posting online will start some good conversation and will make people think about what they write a little more. I don't require them to comment on solely my class - learning from other classes is fair game, too.

All of the content in my department comes from in-house websites. Basically we wrote our own interactive curriculum before CMSs were popular... and now I'm working on converting our static HTML pages to something a little less clunky. Teaching the students how to get all of their information from a computer is actually harder than you'd think...
Hi there!
I have just started a blog to compile my ideas for tools to use in the classroom. Maybe my posts can be of use to you. I think my next post will be about Voicethread - a tool I very much look forward to trying this autumn.

My blog: http://marielinder.wordpress.com
My blog post about VoiceThread is now published: marielinder.wordpress.com
I am using www.edublogs.org this next school year. I have lots of Web 2.0 links listed on the site. My site address is www.wartenberg.edublogs.org .
I'm looking at using Nota as a way for students to build, collaborate and share their work. Our school is going partially 1:1. I hope to use Twitter to have students pose and answer class questions before and after each class.
I'm really glad to hear that you all are responding so well to my question. I've been looking at your sites/tools and am finding them helpful. I was wondering if anyone has used their sites with Special Ed. kids and if so, how did they respond to it? What are some of the challenges you have faced? Thanks!

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