Web 2.0 was the factor that changed the Internet from a passive environment for consumption of data to the current interactive read-write web. There are many online sites for children that provide unique learning opportunities for kids. Many of the websites are geared to learning at home online.
Make Beliefs Comics
Making comic strips has always been a fun pastime for children. It involves spelling, storytelling, drawing, and sequence skills. Make Beliefs Comics is a great website for children to create their own comics. It is an easy to use an online program where children choose from a wide selection of characters (including various moods), backgrounds, thought and talking balloons, panel prompts, objects, and senses. Once objects are added, they can be moved, scaled, layered, flipped, or removed. Children can also choose the number of panels, create a title, add their name as the author. Once their masterpiece is complete they can print or email their finished comic strip. The great thing about this site is that it is free and children do not need to create an account. One complication is that it is difficult to save comics to be finished at a later time.
Time Toast is an online timeline creation program. Children can easily make a timeline including dates, titles, descriptions, and photos. This would be a great site for kids who are interested in a specific historical tracking. It can also be used as a creative project idea for open-ended assignments that are given in class to be created at home. Timelines can be shared with others, or set to private, and they are also printable. In order to save a timeline, the child must create an account.
A great Web 2.0 for social studies is Museum Box. This interactive site allows children to create a “museum box” to store text, photos, video, and audio into an online storage box. Learning ideas include creating a “box” that contains important facts and features about a specific person, time, or event. An account needs to be created in order to save your box. This site is very user friendly and would be a very creative and different idea for your child to use for project-based assignments.
Create a Graph
The National Center for Education Statistics maintains a website for kids that includes an online program called Create a Graph. On this site, children can create bar, line, area, pie, and line graphs. Graph skills are important to learn because they are used frequently in our everyday lives to understand complex information on the news and in society. Children get to choose the design and appearance, add data and labels, review their work, and then print, email or save their graphs. Great ideas for home use would include making a graph of their chore duties, graphing the amount of money spent from their piggy bank, or to graph the temperature. Other educational examples are provided on the website. This would also be a great tool to use for at home learning projects assigned from school.
Web 2.0 websites make it easy for children to create many unique and creative projects online.
Article By Laura Ketcham-VanHellemont
Picture By fredericknoronha
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