My last post surveyed three kinds of web tools that help students deepen their learning, help them present their ideas, and help them discuss. Now I want to take the next two posts to discuss how web tools can help teachers provide instruction and assess student achievement.
Web tools offer variety and interactivity, which will enliven an otherwise dry lecture. Instead of relying on a recorded lecture alone, the teacher can create an animated video or use Prezi with video, audio, and links to additional practice. Smore’s poster design allows users to embed pictures, videos, audio files, buttons, websites, or forms; and, as I exhibited in my “Sample Assignment and Feedback” post, the tool can organize a lesson or project. Finally, a teacher can create an infographic to help students visualize the content.
Simulations and 3D models also add depth to a teacher’s instruction in a way that a video, reading, or interactive game cannot. These tools invite students to play with the concepts, and they deepen students’ understanding by letting students apply abstract concepts to real life simulations. Also, a teacher could use screenshots of a simulation within a captured lecture.
Finally, most of these web tools differentiate instruction. Visual and auditory learners absorb more content through videos, simulations, and animations; and kinesthetic learners can tinker with virtual objects within a simulation or 3D model. Study resources, such as flash cards or games, reinforce concepts and give the students multiple opportunities to practice the content.
Below is an example of Quizlet flashcards that I created as part of my unit. When students click the link, they can study the flashcards, or they can print the cards, create quizzes for themselves, or play games.