Saturday, January 28, 2012

10 Web 2.0 Tools for Recording Learning

At next week's staff meeting I'm running a session for all the teachers who are not involved in maths planning - these are basically the specialist teachers who are teaching subjects such as PE, music and German.  This session will look at what Web 2.0 tools these teachers can use for recording student learning.  It's quite a diverse group so I want to come up with different tools that will appeal to them all.

I first started to think about what these teachers might be doing now to record learning, and then thinking of some ways that technology could transform this.  For example with the music and language teachers I would think that being able to make an audio recording of the children speaking or the music that they compose and play would be interesting, whereas with the PE teachers they might be more interested in recording movies of the students doing something in the gym or outside.  Here are some ideas of what I think the teachers might like to do, with some of the tools that I think could help them.

Photos + Audio:  I could imagine this would be useful for all the specialists so that they could photograph the students doing something and then record the students reflecting on what they were doing.  Tools that I will suggest to them will include VoiceThread and Fotobabble.

Graphics + Text:  I've used this with our German department before with the students making comic strips and adding speech on as text bubbles.  I think a great tool for this is Bitstrips.

Animation + Audio:  Again I think this might be very useful for our language teachers so I will suggest a text to speech tool such as GoAnimate.  I know there are a variety of accents - not sure about German though.

Presentation + Video:  Many teachers might take short videos of the students performing something.  This could be a particular movement in gymnastics, a musical piece they are playing on an instrument or some kind of skit in German.  I'm interested in how the teachers could then have the students send these to our school's iMovie account in order to embed these videos into some sort of presentation tool.  Good examples of tools that are easy for them to use might include SpicyNodes, Prezi and Glogster.

Video + Text + Audio/Music:  Perhaps the teachers might like to make a video of photos that they can add text to and even voice-over or music in the background.  Recently our Grade 2 students used Animoto to put all their art pieces together with the music they composed in GarageBand together.  Another example of a tool we're about to start using with our Grade 4 and 5 students is WeVideo as we are having them make book review movies based on their literature circle books.

So that's 9 tools.  What do you think I've missed out?  What else would you recommend me to introduce to our specialist teachers so that they can better record student learning?

If you would like to read the follow up to this post and the presentation made at our staff meeting about the various tools, please click here.

Photo Credit:  Rainbow in my living room by Daniela Hartmann AttributionNoncommercialShare Alike 


  1. Maggie, I'm not sure whether you're looking for combination tools, but for recording and editing sound files, there's Audacity. In my first hour of fiddling with it, I was able to record a voice track and a separate music track, then experiment by having the music come in, fade out, and so on.

  2. Thanks Dave, I was really looking for Web 2.0 tools so that the students' work could be stored in the cloud and accessed by any of the teachers anytime and anyplace. I was discussing this with some homeroom teachers last week at a planning meeting and they love the idea that they can view (and assess) the students' work from home, for example, rather than being limited to what the students store in their network files.

  3. Maybe you more generally refer to mobile devices that have the capability to capture audio, images and video while students are on the go...perhaps on a quest of some form where they are relations their learning to the real world? Some of the tools you mention provide easy upload from phones.

  4. I agree that a mobile phone or iPad would be an excellent way for teachers to record learning. However I am presenting to primary teachers and most of our primary students do not have their own phones in school. Therefore I'm really looking for tools that students and teachers can use from the sets of laptops that we have available.

  5. Many tools like Evernote allow you to EMBED media, e.g. Audio.

  6. VOKI!!! My students love to record their voices with the animated avatars! Free accounts and students can do it from home as well.

  7. As a French teacher, can I just say Danke for the recognition of the incredible applicability of thes Web 2.0 tools for language teachers! I use almost all of these. For Go animate, I prefer to have the students record their own voices to go with the animation, primarily because this is one of the times I see students truly (and independently) reflecting on and assessing their own learning. They really do listen to their own voices and refine their recordings (for language use, vocabulary choice and/or pronunciation).
    I'll be excited to try WeVideo. Another tool I use is no longer free (unfortunately), but it is the one and only tool I pay for because it is so powerful in terms of its ability to impact students' listening comprehension and speaking ability: Lingt ( There is a free version I would recommend anyone try first, but it is quite limited compared to the full version--so much so that if you do like the way the site works and you want to keep using it with your students you'll have to pay something.

  8. For language or word choice activities, try for sharing words/phrases, etc. in a live web session. Students can be given anonymous login names (no registration required) or use their names if they wish. A session is set up and ready to go in 30 seconds. I also use wallwisher for variety and similiar goals. There are many other of these types of live panel sites as well. Enjoy!