Wednesday, 30 May 2012

A tool for a purpose

I'm sharing here the Web 2.0 tools I'll be introducing during the eTwinning workshop "Web 2.0-Strumenti e percorsi didattici”, Empoli, 31 Maggio 2012.

Of course, these are just some suggestions: there are hundreds of nice tools that can be used in a project, to enhance students' and teachers' creativity, involvement... and fun!
What's important for me is to always be aware that the use of these tools is not a goal in itself: their use should have an added value in terms of learning, both for students and teachers. That's just my opinion, but I believe that if an activity can be performed exactly the same with any ICT tool or pen & paper, well, pen & paper should be.
When you use - and ask your students to use - a certain tool, that tool should give you something more than simply perform an action: it could be more creativity, opportunity to work in a team, opportunity to overcome shyness, more fun, more choice. So, it's not only which tool you use: it's mostly how.

So, these are the tools I'm going to try out during the workshop. I grouped them according to the different steps of a project (eTwinning and not only). Obviously it's just a hint, in order to give the new eTwinners an idea of the how. Always remembering that, ultimately, this how will be up to the teacher and his class.

1 – Introductions


Bombay TV



2 – Collaboration


Google Docs

Google Forms (moduli)




3 – Products







4 –  from doc to pdf?

Convert on line Free


Doc to Pdf

5 – let's meet here…




Teacher 2.0

Classroom 2.0
6 – heavy files?







  1. Thank you Laura, great links!

  2. We have to try them with our students, don't you think?

  3. Dear Laura,
    I have got time to read more, on the net and in your blog as well, just in summertime, that's why I'm reading at the end of June what you wrote at the end of May.
    However, I was struck by the coincidence of finding this post of yours "A tool for a purpose" just after trying to convey my view of technology to one of my partners, who confessed she was not at ease with the use of new tools in the TS.
    Here it is what I wrote:
    "you are right, you don't have to feel 'forced' to keep up with these technological innovations. If you and your kids are not willing to invest work on that, simply don't do that. There are other priorities.

    New technogical tools are not a must and, above all, they should not be employed just for the sake of them.
    What we do in those kinds of lessons [i.e.when we try new tools in class]helps us a lot to create a harmonious atmosphere where everybody feels at ease and uses their creativity Those kind of lessons help me to enhance pupils' motivation to come to school and accept other "more" boring (for them) but highly useful kinds of lesson (with the cinch and voki kids this year we studied the history and literature of Britain from the Celts to J. Swift + the integral reading of Macbeth and the Merchant of Venice; from Januray to May they did 4 written tests and 4 oral ones about literature). We have a serious problem of dropping out, some kids skip lessons and have disastrous family backgrounds. Lots of them live miles away from school and get up at five to come to school. It's not easy task to teach them Their attention and motivation cannot be taken for granted. If a lesson with voki and cinch helps them to use English, to smile, get a sense of being able to do things + motivates them to study Shakespare, I'll say hurrah for technology. Technology has to be rooted in a human context. "

    Best wishes

    1. Mariella, I agree with your words. Of course, it's true what you wrote to your partner: technology tools are not a must. I agree especially with the sentence "they should not be employed just for the sake of them".
      I teach in a primary school and it's easy forthe teacher to use ICT tools just like a game to keep the pupil entertained. That's what lots of families do with TV and technology: use them as baby sitting tools - but they aren't.
      We don't have a dropping out problem because primary school is compulsory, but as you know there are lots of ways for a teacher to "lose" a student. If they decide now that they hate school, or that it isn't interesting for them, they'll probably never change their mind.
      For this reason, I try to use technology to involve them, to catch their interest, to have them play while learning.
      And it usually works.
      Yes, I'll quote your beautiful closing line "Technology has to be rooted in a human context".