Howard's Corner

the journey of becoming a teacher


February 2016

Web 2.0: Visual Creation Tools

Using Web 2.0 resources to create visual tools in the classroom is a great way to keep students interested by being relateable to the future generation of digital natives. They allow for creativity while checking their knowledge and comprehension.

Types of Visuals



Charts & Timelines





Week 5: Web 2.0 Tools

Easelly is a web 2.0 site that students can use to make millions of info graphs for free. There are templates available to get the students started. This web 2.0 tool is awesome because it gives many creative ways to gather and organize information. The graphics could be used in many ways such as presentations, projects, research and even to study. The idea of using this web tool verses the old school pen and paper method is not only for a cleaner and fancier graphic but to also relate to our technology savvy students. Educators could even use this site as a tool to present information in a clean and interesting format.

Before using the site students will be required to have their information and then can use the site as a way of reinforcing that gained knowledge. It forces students to fully understand the information in a way that they can organize it in a comprehensible manor. When using a template the website is very user friendly and simple to use. If your up for a little more of a challenge you have the option to free style and not use a template. I find this option to be a little more advanced and would take someone not only creative but familiar with the tool. With that being said I think from about 5th grade and up this website would be extremely effective in the classroom.

Week 4: Super Digital Citizen

On the Teaching Channel website, we find a video of a 5th grade Teacher named Mr. Pane. The lesson he is modeling is about digital citizenship. He uses Superheros and the tool of making comic strips on the students lap tops as an engaging way to teach students about their digital responsibilities of safety, responsibility and respect. By letting students custom make their superhero he is making the lesson fun, exciting and relatable. Mr. Pane allows he students to use their creativity and enjoy a lesson that could have been very boring or felt like they were being reprimanded. The use of comic strips as a form of story boarding and brain storming gives this lesson multiple aspects because now he is touching on reading and writing. The use of gallery walks allows the students to learn from each other as well as grow their self esteem by having them show off what they created. This activity also gets the students up and moving and their blood flowing again after sitting at the computer for some time making their comic strip.

Week 4: Copyright

In recent discussions of copyright laws, a controversial issue has been whether these laws are being followed in educational settings or not.  On the one hand, some argue that if the material is being used for educational reasons than copyright laws can be ignored.  From this perspective, teachers feel the pressure of tight budgets from their school distract and feel if they are breaking copyright laws for the good of their students education than it is alright.  On the other hand, however, others argue that these laws exist to protect the owners of the copyright and should be followed. According to this view, teachers should be leading by example to their students, we can not look down on them for plagiarizing when we stole the material for the lesson.  In sum then, the issue is how can teachers use material to help their students education but not break copyright laws. 

The answer to this is called “Fair Use”, which allows some flexibility with copyright laws when used in an educational setting. There are Four test for Fair Use that can help guide teachers when trying to decide whether something is legal to use or not. 

  1. Will the material be used for a non-profit/noncommercial educational institution?
  2. What is the nature of the work being used?
  3. How much of the work are you wanting to use?
  4. How will your use of the work effect the market value of the work being copied?

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