Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Web 2.0 Tools and ITSE Standards

The first tool is a website called Engrade. Engrade is an online grade book that has a number of benefits for both the teacher and the students. The first and most obvious benefit is accessibility from anywhere for both teachers and students. There is more to Engrade than just grades, however. It also offers a homework calender that students and parents can access so they are always aware of due dates and assignments, it is a place for online discussions between students, it is totally free, teachers and administer online quizzes, and it is free of advertisements.

I could go on and on about Engrade's benefits, but I'll just leave it there and explain how it meets the NETS-T standard three, "Model Digital-Age Work and Learning." By promoting the online access of grades, course materials, and class discussion, teachers model working and learning in a digital environment. Teachers will show students the benefit of using digital tools to streamline and expand class activities. Additionally, communicating with parents through digital channels will, "communicate relevant information and ideas effectively to students, parents, and peers using a variety of digital-age media and formats."

The second tool is called Animoto, a web based slideshow maker whose products can be sent to friends and family through email. It is very similar to programs like Apple's iMovie, albeit less powerful. However, this simplifying of the process in creating slide shows could actually be of benefit in the classroom, and the fact it is a web based tool means that students and schools do not need to invest thousands of dollars in Apple's hardware.

Students learning to use Animoto would fulfill the first NETS-S standard, Creativity and Innovation, by teaching  them to use digital tools to express themselves. The actual requirement states that students should be able to, "create original works as a means of personal or group expression," and creating captivating and personal multimedia presentations to share with others certainly fulfills that requirement.


  1. I really like the Engrade tool that you were talking about. Students, teachers, and parents need to all be on the same page when it comes to grades and assignments. Itstead of being limited to asking your student whether they have homework or emailing the teacher to get a list of upcoming due dates, it allows parents to see for themselves what the student has been working on in the classroom and whether they are completing the assignments on time and getting good grades. I cannot tell you how many times I see parents asking their children if they have any homework and they say "no" even though they have some and the parent doesn't know so they simply leave it at that. This tool would allow them to know whether their children have homework.

  2. I think that the Engrade tool can be very efficient by all the intended users. Anything that can make the life of the teacher easier is helpful for all parties associated anyway. What seems the most beneficial is the calender. This tool is great for parents to be involved in and make sure their children are doing their assignments on time in turn helping them achieve a high grade. I's sure all parents would be proud of a high grade!