According to Wikipedia the term Web 2.0 was coined by Darcy DiNucci in 1999 and it was popularised by Tim O’Reilly at a conference in 2004. Teachers use Web 2.0 tools to engage pupils, to share their work with their peers and to present pupil work to a global audience. To a certain extent, Web 2.0 tools have also focused attention on the collaborative aspect of classroom work. Many Web 2.0 tools have become quite popular, for example, Bubbl.us, a brainstorming tool.
Other Web 2.0 tools might not be quite so well known so what follows is a brief look at several tools that are useful for collaboration in the classroom.
Inklewrite is a free Web 2.0 tool for the creation and publishing of interactive stories. The tool keeps track of “in story” branching or going off on different trains of thought; images and hyperlinks can be added and work can either be stored solely on a single PC or saved to the Web to benefit from the ability to share and collaborate on stories.
Looseleaves is a place to write and publish your stories. Think of it as a blog tool that you can use without an needing an account. When you publish a “Leaf” you receive an unique URL; this URL can be shared or posted on social networks. You also receive a private URL that is used to manage the “Leaf” for editing purposes.
Themeefy is a tool for class lessons, pupil projects, web research, presentations and discussions.
You can organise in themes, add context, content and then publish and share. Teachers can also create class groups, create assignments and manage activities. Accounts are free and during the signup process there is an option to signup as a teacher!
The final tool is used to create timelines; again the focus is on collaboration as pupils work to create visual representations of historical events. This “Learn by doing” activity is a great visual experience and allows pupils to gain valuable insights into sequences of events from an given era in the past.
Here are the links to some of the more popular timeline tool sites.