Why Web Tools?
Increased access to the Internet and free Web tools afford teachers with many alternatives to help them face the challenges of teaching (González, 2007).
The use of new technologies for collaborative inquiry and content-creation activities provides options for English Language Learners to use language and other modes of representation for authentic communication in and out of the traditional school setting (Black, 2009).
How to select Web Tools?
The unique setting in each classroom influences the tool selection process. After considering their setting, the equipment they have, the reliability of their Internet connection, available support, restrictions to Internet access and so forth, teachers face the task of selecting the tools that work best for the assignment they have in mind. This in turn can be influenced by the goals that are set forth, their own technology skills, their students’ perceived technology skills, as well as the different affordances and limitations of free web tools.
A rubric was created to evaluate all of the previewed Web 2.0 tools on this website.
The functions of each Web tool are not limited to the ones mentioned. Other uses may be discovered while using them. Furthermore, Web tools often evolve over time as the tools are updated and thus their features may change from the ones discussed here.
All tools are listed within their categories in the order they rated using the rubric. It does not mean that the lower scoring tools are not recommended, simply that they did not score as favorably in each feature as the top choices.