Sunday, November 18, 2012

Online Tools: Edcanvas

I feel like I've been looking for a way for students to easily create bibliographies of online resources forever.  I've tried having them copy and paste links into word or send me links using wallwisher.  But none of these methods feel particularly efficient.

Unfortunately, because we do not encourage elementary school students to use email (in fact, you cannot access any email server besides the school's when you are using school computers), they can't sign up for services like Pinterest or Clipboard to store little bits of websites.  Even if they could sign up for these sites, there's the problem of installing the extensions that allow you to put a little button on your browser.

For a little while, I've been having the upper grades use the backpack feature of Edmodo to store websites.  However, I don't use Edmodo with lower grades, because it requires a certain level of being-responsible-for-what-you-write that I don't think the lower grades have.  Nor do I want to police any more forums than I already do.

But this week I discovered Edcanvas, and it seems to offer a lot of the features I've been looking for.

::Four Reasons why I like Edcanvas

1. Students can sign up using a teacher code, so no email required.

2. Students' saved links are laid out on a "canvas," so like Pinterest and Clipboard, it's a nice visual representation of resources.

3. You can save written notes and uploaded files as well as websites, so you can really get all your research in one place.  (See my little note up there?)

4. I can see all of my students' canvases by clicking on "my class."  So I can easily evaluate the students' research process.

The search function the site uses to allow students to locate resources will probably require a little teaching on my part.

However, it's a lot like Storify's search interface, so it'll be useful for students to familiarize themselves with it.  Also, I prefer a search function to a browser extension, just because it's really difficult to get tech services to support stuff like that.  Which I totally understand.

I'll have to report back after using this site with real, live students, but at the moment, I'm pretty pumped about this new research tool!

1 comment:

  1. These are the great blogs; I assure you that I really enjoyed a lot in reading. chatroulette alternative