So, a listserv post got me thinking this week about what teachers use online tools for. I admit, sometimes I use online tools because they are shiny. But I rarely bring them into my classroom unless they do something else. (Though I do spend a lot of time thinking of ways to bring them into my classroom, whether or not I ever do it.) So, what are the functions that web-based tools regularly fill in classrooms?
I’ve recently heard of teachers using blogs (WordPress, Blogger), wikis (PBworks, WikiSpaces), schedulers (Doodle), file-sharers (Dropbox, GoogleDocs), and bookmarking sites (Diigo, Google reader). So these tools are helping us to create online information sites for students, to create spaces for collaboration, to set up appointments/meetings outside class, to share work prior to a final draft, to share important sources and information sites.
So this begs the question: What online functionality would be helpful that we don’t currently have? (Of course, this is context-dependent, but I hesitate to narrow the question without letting it settle for a while.)