10 easy revision activities with Web 2.0

It’s that time of year again; A level and GCSE classes have left to write external exams and teachers are finishing off work and planning revision for Years seven to ten.  Even though most are exhausted at this stage, it seems that they feel compelled to keep up with directing and delivery. To my mind, using Web 2.0 applications could assist in diverting the focus from the teacher ‘doing’ to the students ‘doing’ much of the revision work. (Which is the way it should be in the first place.) I’ve put together ten easy tools and activities for teachers to try with their classes in the next couple of weeks.
1. Wordle  

 Divide students into groups; give each a subsection of a main topic of work to cover. They use Wordle to copy & paste text, delete common English words and less important ones, then present a summary of the topic to the class using Wordle as stimulus.

2. ClassToolsRandom Pupil Picker

Games can be used on an IWB. Teacher or students construct a game or activity with a Classtool option, then use ‘Random Pupil Picker’ to enter list of students. The student selected plays the game in front of classmates.

Arcade Game Generator
3. Wall Wisher
History example Science example
wallwisher1 wallwisher2

The teacher creates a page topic in Wallwisher and then asks students for contributions on the topic. This can be a timed exercise. Alternatively, a group of students create a page in Wallwisher and then discuss their contributions with the rest of the class, as well as asking for further opinions.

4. Animoto – Flashy, musical presentations

A similar activity to Wordle can be constructed in Animoto. Sub topics can be shared amongst students, who then present and discuss with the class. True revision takes place when students are collaborating and choosing text and images for the Animoto presentation. (If students want text to appear on the images, they need to do so with an image manipulation programme first. i.e. Adobe Photoshop)

5. Glogster – Biology example

Students can create their own ‘Glog’ on a topic and present to their peers – individually or as a group. Collaborative work on Glogster is quite useful as resourcing accurate video, image and text for a topic can be time consuming.

6. Voicethread Tutorial
Voicethread1 Voicethread2

Voicethread can take a little more time and effort for teachers to set up initially. A central image can be chosen by teachers or students, who can then invite members of the class to contribute to the ‘online’ discussion. Voicethreads can be projected onto an IWB and further discussion can take place here. Voicethread enables students to consider points which they might not have thought about previously

7. Mindmapping – Mindmeister , mind42
Mindmeister mind42

Most mindmapping tools are useful for revision as they assist with the organisation of key words.

8. Prezi – zooming presentation. Instructions

Prezi takes a little getting used to at first; however, it’s a good replacement for other overused presentation applications. It’s therefore essential that one follows some instructions; similar to Russel Tarr’s referenced above. Students and teachers can use it to construct and present a summary on any main or sub topic.

 Example 1 Example 2
Brit_Emp Prezi Video Cycle

9. Comic & Image strips: Bubblr, Bitstrips, Kerpoof, Toondoo, Stripgenerator, SuperActionComicMaker

Bubblr SuperAction
Bitstrips Kerpoof

These fun tools can be used for creative Language revision or for writing up and revising Science experiments – or any other subject. It’s best to choose one or two of these tools at first – or allow students to choose in order to produce their work.
10. Make movies: Xtranormal  text to speech video.

Xtranormal1 Xtranormal2

 A student of Russel Tarr’s created a ‘text to speech’ video from an essay he had written on Stalin. Quite a bit of work, but a sound example of how the tool can be used. Used in a similar way, it is also a good revision tool. Xtranormal hosts a number of showcase examples.

The beauty of Web 2.0 tools is that they are free to use and don’t require any downloads and installation. Some applications have a paid upgrade, however choosing the free option is often enough for classroom use. Most will require a sign up with an email and I suggest you use your school email address, as you can access this from home.

Don’t be afraid of not knowing exactly how to work with each application. Very often, it’s good to let students know the purpose of the activity, and then let them run with getting the specifics of the application right. If they are stuck, ask if anyone else in the class knows how to do it – you’re not the tech geek – let the development and exploration of the tool be the students’ quest.

A couple of issues to be aware of; many of the applications are Flash-based and may require that you upgrade Flash (at home) and some require that you check with the support team to ensure that students have access to the applications and that they are not filtered out. (Staff will normally have access.) Many are graphic rich and will take some time to load. Teachers may also have to be aware of students abusing the applications and posting offensive content – and be aware that other students might have posted offensive content beforehand. These are after all, posted on an online and therefore public platform.

If you do not want to book a computer suite to do these activities, simply set them as a homework task and present them in school via the IWB, or print out the examples where possible, (Wordle, Wallwisher etc.) and give each student a class copy for group discussion.

Thanks to Russel Tarr, Ant Heald, Steve Kirkpatrick, suziq56, and others, for their hard work which I’ve used in this blog.


3 Responses

  1. This is such a handy post…. will share some of these tools with me year 11’s tomorrow. Thanks!

  2. nice list KT. Wonder if you have tried that Socrates yet?

  3. Some great ideas here, thank you for sharing. I’m using Wallwisher for AS Philosophy revision collaboration now and it’s proving a fantastic tool!

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