Thursday, July 12, 2012

Top 5 Web Tools my students will be using this next year in my Flipped Class

Another "incomplete" "work in progress" "brain dump of my thoughts" post :).  This will be edited and updated throughout the summer.

Here are the Top 5 Web Tools my students 
will be using a lot this next year.

I will still be adding to the notes for each web tool in terms of HOW I am going to use it... these are just my thoughts right now.
  1. Edmodo
    1. Edmodo will be used for private class communication (anything I don't want to post publicly on the blog) as well as alerts/reminders to students and parents.
    2. Students can use Edmodo to store their files.  Google Docs is linked to the Edmodo library.  I haven't explored that feature too much, but I am a huge Google Docs fan.
  2. Blogger
    1. Class blog
      1. and (still under construction until Fall 2012!)
      2. Posting general discussions on main blog page for students to comment on (until they have their own blogs)
      3. Pages for each Unit/Chapter where video playlists are hosted
      4. All documents linked (from main google site) on each units' page
    2. Student blogs (see my post on Class Blogs here)
      1. Will link to on class blog (blogroll).  I will subscribe to student blogs with Google Reader.
      2. Students will create pages for:
        1. "Main posting page" - any "posting assignment" will go here.
        2. "About me"
        3. "Word Problem Playlists" (MA only)
        4. "My Supplementary Resources"
        5. "Fun Stuff"
    1. Flipped Classroom Tutorials
      1. Students can ask questions directly on tutorial
      2. WSQ is embedded below video
    2. Student-created tutorials
      1. A year-end project (or semester-end) that I've done several times in the past is having students teach a lesson to the class either individually, in pairs, or small groups.  Instead of doing it the "old way", why not have the groups make their own tutorials/playlists to share with the class to review the content?  Students would have to make their own videos, own worksheets, own notes, etc.
  4. MentorMob
    1. Supplementary Resources Playlists
      1. Created by me as I find things I want my students to be able to use as resources.  Playlists embedded in blog on specific unit's page
    2. Student WPP's
      1. Word Problem Playlists.  See post here
      2. I'm still not sure how students will be "grading" each others WPP's. There is a comment feature on each step of MM that they can use. 
      3. I'm also not sure if I want the person who created the WPP to actually post their solution up front. I'm thinking they would make the solution and somehow submit it to me (so I know they did it), but then have their classmates do their own solution videos/papers... THEN the owner adds in his/her solution step.  The playlists can be edited publicly, so this could happen.
    3. Student curated/collected resources for each unit
      1. I want my students keeping their own "resource" playlists because I want them actively trying to find new resources of things that can help them learn.  
      2. I'm not sure how much I will require of this - maybe "two items per unit" as a requirement or something like that. We'll see.  
      3. Students will be responsible for creating and then embedding these playlists in their personal blog.  Maybe under a tab/page called "My Supplementary Resources"
  5. ThinkBinder
    1. Chat Sessions
      1. I started having chat sessions before a test (one or two days before) with a public Google Doc last year.  I liked the process, but not the platform.  I think ThinkBinder will help with that.  It is private, and each "chat session" has a private link/code that must be sent out.  However, once a student joins a specific chat session, it is on their account and they don't need the code anymore.
        1. You can see exactly which student is online (by name!).  All students who have logged in at some point are "in the group" with a red dot next to their name, once they are online it is green.
        2. There is a live chat box
        3. There is a "main screen" to post questions.  There is a math type feature, you can attach files (take a pic of your work so far to submit as a question).  Everything is threaded replies
        4. There is a video chat feature
        5. Probably more, but that's all I have checked out so far!
    2. Group Projects
      1. I think this would be great for group collaboration.  Students could communicate, post documents, video chat, etc all in this platform.  When they add me to their "chat session", I can see at any time what is going on and who is participating.

Others that I'm not quite sure how I'm going to have them use (hence why they aren't in my Top 5), but I still think are super-cool!:

  1. Google Docs
  2. Glogster
  3. Jing
  4. Present.Me
  5. Prezi
  6. WeVideo
Edit: *Educreations is my favorite iPad screenrecording app... it would probably be on this list but I have a grand total of ONE iPad in my classroom (mine). Hence, I can't fully use it to the extent I want to. But, if you are looking for a free, easy to use app, try out Educreations!

Do you have any super-duper awesome Web Tools that you think should definitely be on my list?  
Please share:
  • what it is, 
  • how you use it, and 
  • why I should use it, too!


  1. I am definitely thinking Blogger (for organization of class content), Google Docs for reflections and assessments, Google Voice for some phone casting, and youtube for some vodcasting.

  2. We have 1-1 ipads so I also plan on using educreations. It's free and simple enough that students can write and record their own examples/explanations and send it to me as well as watch mine.
    Crystal, I haven't really looked into Sophia much but from a quick overview it seems like something that would be really useful. Do students have to create their own account in order to follow you?

    1. Hi Lindsey,
      Thanks for the comment. We also use Educreations, but I only have my one iPad so students can't use it as much as I want. I agree that it is very simple and easy to use - the best one I've found so far.
      For Sophia, your students only have to have accounts if you want your tutorials to be private. I post everything publicly and embed it on my student blog (, so they dont have to log in or do anything. If you want a more private site and don't want to share your stuff with the world, then yes they would have to have an account.

  3. I use all of those tools in my class too except for thinkbinder. I created a weebly page for my class website. I could probably achieve that with my blogger, but I wanted my flip class reflection blog to be separate from what I set up for my students to use. I am also going to use Collaborize Classroom a lot. I created a blog post that discusses why it will be beneficial in my ELA flipped class, but I'm sure it could be used in math as a way to host class discussions. If you want to check out my blog post here is the link -

    I'm definitely going to look into ThinkBinder.

  4. Crystal,

    I plan to use a collaboration tool called VoiceThread ( in my social studies classes next year. From the website: "A VoiceThread is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to navigate slides and leave comments in 5 ways - using voice (with a mic or telephone), text, audio file, or video (via a webcam). Share a VoiceThread with friends, students, and colleagues for them to record comments too."

    I don't know exactly how I plan to implement VoiceThread yet, but I've used it this summer in my CTAP Leading Edge certification course and the cohort loves it. Accounts cost nothing, so that's a plus, and you can embed your Threads directly into your blog, LMS, or just about any other sort of host you might be using.

    Looking forward to the webinar on the 14th! Just registered today.


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