However, it isn't just about making it easier for students. These tools will help build skills they will need in business, and in their lives as citizens of the 21st century. Collaborating, organizing, scheduling, time management, creating, publishing, and communicating with co-workers from around the world are important , and can be introduced through many of these applications.
- NoodleTools - A fantastic note taking and citation tool that keeps getting better and better, and available for free through the CCHS Library Learning Commons website. Every student should have an account. This is heavily used during research projects, and is also a great tool for writing assignment.
- Evernote is so cool everyone should play with it. You can synch notes between the web, your phone and any computer. It handles multiple media formats and is available via mobile apps (think cell phones).
- Notely is an organizational suite of services that allows kids to manage their calendar, assignments, note taking tools, and more. Very friendly and intuitive.
- GradeMate is another online student organizer. I had never heard of this one, but it looks pretty good, too.
- Backpack was designed for businesses, and also offers really robust organizational capabilities. I consider this one to be over-kill for your typical high school student.
- Diigo is something I can't be rational about because I think it is one of the best bookmarking and organizational tools for the web I have ever seen. Reading web content, whether it is a website, a pdf file, or an online book, will never be the same. Highlighter, sticky notes, collaboration, tagging, they have it all.
- StudyRails was a new one for me. They describe their service as "an online study tool for effective study habits and homework management". Think of this as a personal tutor who schedules a student's study opportunities and blocks out potential digital distractions. It is not a free site, so I haven't tried it out.
- Delicious - "The tastiest bookmarks on the Web", is the leader in social bookmarking. I tried it but it didn't suit my needs or personal style, and yet I know many people for whom it is a way of life. I think students need as much focus as possible, and that is not what Delicious is about. Given its popularity though, they are clearly on to something.
- Mindmeister is for visual learners and offers collaborative online mind mapping. I believe many students would get a lot of benefit from using graphic organizers as part of their process. This looks like a good one.
- Google Docs should be a part of every student's academic tool box. Many schools have switched to Google Apps for Education just to roll out Google docs to students and staff. Why? It is a great tool for collaborating on documents, powerpoint presentations, and has a great forms feature. This allows for students to work together without having to sit next to each other. No carpooling! This link has a really good little video explaining Google docs.
- EtherPad - I saw this for the first time at a conference I attended over the summer and was very impressed. It is a web-based word processor that allows people to work together on the same document, at the same time. Wow! You can see the other person, wherever they might be, typing on the same screen as you, simultaneously. Businesses are using this for meetings and collaboration, but it is very user friendly.
- Sliderocket is really powerpoint on steroids. Web-based and accessible on any computer, on any operating platform, this tool allows you to build really stunning presentations online. Your work is username/password protected, and is stored in the cloud. Check out the little video tutorial. Cool, cool, cool.
- Wikispaces (Concord-Carlisle Wikispaces is the district account) is a collaborative platform students and parents will be seeing quite a bit of, as more teachers are launching online discussion forums. Wikis are the best for fast, quickly updated, easy to manage web pages. Wikipedia is the most famous wiki of them all. Did you know that wiki means "fast" or "hurry" in Hawaiian?
- NoodleTools - Gotta come back to this gem of an application. Again, this is free via the Library webpage.
- CiteMe is a Facebook app (!) and works with WorldCat, the world's largest library catalog. I just added it to my Facebook page so I can mess around with it.
- EasyBib is very good. A lot of kids use this, but it doesn't have the note card and outline feature that I think makes NoodleTools better for research projects.
- Zotero turns people into evangelists. It is browser extension, and has a great track record.
ManagingBack to School: 15 Essential Web Tools for Students
Also from Mashable:
Back to School: Top 10 iPhone Apps for Students
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Uploaded on September 15, 2008