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Web 2.0 Tools for Online Education

Web 2.0 is a surprisingly easy and accessible technology, which offers innovative ways of creating, collaborating, editing and sharing user-generated content online. It’s fairly easy to use and master. Both teachers and students can get a hang of its tools within minutes and there are no hassles of downloading.

Advantages of Online Education

Students can benefit from the numerous dependable resources, tutors, experts, interactive learning tools etc. Also, the versatile tools found in online learning make it suitable for diverse learning styles. Here are some more benefits:

  • Offers Diversity:

    Students can earn academic degrees online, be it through traditional four-year degree programs or short-term courses. They can also choose from a vast range of topics.
  • Increases Affordability:

    Online educational programs are more affordable than traditional colleges. They lower the associated expenditures tremendously. For instance, students don’t need to buy expensive textbooks as most of the material is available for free on internet, and there are no commuting costs either.
  • Allows Learning with Comfort:

    Learners don’t have to stress themselves out about running late for classes, missing deadlines etc. They can choose classes which are scheduled on times convenient for them. This enables them to learn from a comfortable environment.
  • Provides Convenience and Flexibility:

    Online learning offers convenience and flexibility to schedule classes as per the user’s requirements. Be it the preference of studying at a particular time in day or adjusting classes around job timings, or even not wanting to miss family time.
  • Improves Interaction and Concentration:

    Shy students can benefit greatly as there is no need for face-to-face sessions. They can interact more freely as most of communication can be done through chats, webinars and other such forms. Without any type of classroom distractions, users are able to concentrate better.
  • Enables Career Progress:

    Grownups and students can work and study simultaneously. Breaks for such courses can be explained as academic break on the resume. Besides, employers generally value people more who believe in continual learning.
  • Allows Work-Study Balance:

    People don’t need to face the dilemma of choosing either work or study. The flexibility offered by online courses as mentioned earlier enables the users to achieve academic credentials even with a full-time job.
  • Eliminates Commuting:

    Students need not travel to attend school or college under harsh weather conditions. They can learn online within the comfort of their homes, which saves them money on commuting.
  • Enhances Technical know-how:

    Online education improves the user’s technical skills. They learn to create and share content, make audio and video materials, adapt to different navigation and communication tools, etc.
  • Enables Credit Transferring:

    Students who are unable to take up summer classes can take online classes and then transfer the credits to their primary college. Also, if their primary college does not provide enough openings for any courses, they can go for online classes for the same course and then transfer the credits to their college.
  • Transforming Online Education

    Web 2.0 is perfect for the new generation of learners which comprise the Millennials or Gen Y and Gen Z. It’s because they possess immense technological know-how and can multi-task without batting an eyelid. Their brains are trained to process and retain information through audio, visual and kinesthetic cues and tools.

    This means that students learn faster and better when they can apply their knowledge and practice what they know. Web 2.0 offers similar tools for online learning, which are completely transforming the online education system

Type of Web 2.0 tools for online education

Mentioned below are seven most popular Web 2.0 tools on internet today.

  • Dropbox – It’s free, easy to use and compatible with multiple smart devices. User can sync, store, access and work on documents and even multimedia files with ease.
  • Google Drive – It’s useful for sharing files, pictures and information. With a special focus on writing process of users, it helps them reflect and improve their writing style and relevant knowledge.
  • Skype – Another free and extremely useful tool, Skype enables people from across the world to connect and communicate with each other. They can see each other to understand better how each participant responds.
  • Prezi – Prezi allows students to import photos, videos, music and text files. It offers the ease to store presentations online and even download them to present offline. Even schools can be a part of the Prezi community.
  • SkyDrive – It’s free, easy and is used the most for sharing files. It’s compatible with Microsoft Office Suite and the user can share vast amount of information with just few clicks.
  • Edmodo – One of the most teacher-friendly sites where students get involved by accessing different types of files, receiving direct feedback from educators, blogging and much more. It’s also free.
  • Remind 101 - Educators use this to inform and remind students about imminent assignments, due dates, planned events, etc., via text messages or emails. It’s instant communication at best.

Web 2.0 Tools for Middle/Elementary School

Here are some of the best Web 2.0 tools for students and teachers
in elementary school or middle school:

Glogster

  • This simple and user-friendly website allows students to create interactive posters online.
  • They can combine images, text, audio and video in a creative manner, and embed these ‘glogs’ on a classroom site, blog or wiki.
  • Glogster features a click-and-drag interface for adding or removing backgrounds, links, text boxes, pictures, videos, etc.

Storybird

  • This tool allows students to create short stories through visual media and share them online
  • With the easy-to-use interface, students can add artwork, photos and text to their creations, and drag and drop to organize.
  • Stories can then be published on the Internet, with different privacy settings and options for teachers or readers to add comments.

Kidblog

  • This website has been designed specifically for teachers in elementary and middle school.
  • It helps educators provide students with their own blog, where they can publish posts and get involved in a classroom blogging community.
  • To ensure that kids remain secure, teachers maintain full control over their students’ blogs and online discussions.

Skype

  • This web communication tool is a great way for students to interact with their peers and teachers.
  • Educators can use this tool to communicate with their students and open their classes to those seeking learning even outside the campus.
  • It’s a great way to be exposed to other cultures and connect with students, teachers and lecturers from around the world.

Wordle

  • This learning tool that provides a summary of text from a URL or gathered from students.
  • It can be used by teachers as well as students to generate a word cloud with important words in the body of the text.
  • With Wordle, you can also change the shape, color, font, and layout to customize the word cloud’s appearance.

LiveBinders

  • This website was created to help educators organize their digital paperwork more efficiently.
  • You can upload your documents and sort them into online ‘binders’ with this online filing system, like you do with physical papers and files.
  • Combine your uploaded documents with links to keep them neater and make them easier to access at need.

Web 2.0 Tools for Medical School

Web 2.0 tools can really be used at every level of education and any point during a course of study. Here are some examples that can help med school students add to their knowledge and clear tests such as the MCAT and USMLE:

Medical Blogs

  • Study resources and medical papers may give you knowledge about healthcare, but they do not contain personal opinions of patients or doctors.
  • Reading through medical blogs is a great way to learn about people’s experiences, as well as gather tips, tricks and notes for acing medical exams.
  • Some popular medical blogs to check out include:

Medical Communities

  • Interacting with peers, educators and healthcare professionals through online forums, discussions and support groups helps you gain insight into the industry.
  • Med school and pre-med students can read about medical problems and treatment methods, as well as discuss tests such as MCAT, USMLE, etc.
  • Some popular medical communities and forums include:

Medical Wikis

  • These web-based medical databases contain basic information as well as updates about changes in medical treatment, technology, specialties, etc.
  • Wikis can be edited and updated by readers, and may be maintained by practicing physicians, nurses, med students and other professionals.
  • Here are some of the most popular medical wikis:

Medical Search Engines

  • Unlike regular search engines such as Google and Yahoo, medical search engines peer-reviewed sources and websites selected by medical experts.
  • Results listed for any medical search term are based on relevant, reliable and high-quality information.
  • Here are some popular medical search engines to check out:

Medical Podcasts & Videocasts

With other such countless reliable apps and online platforms available under Web 2.0, anyone anywhere can access and pursue affordable and quality online education.