I'm familiar with 6 out of the 7 choices given here by Mashable. To my surprise they have listed EDU 2.0 first! Why am I surprised? EDU 2.0 has been around for a while but has not received near the attention of other sites. It has great features, great security and it's free! If you have not tried EDU 2.0, you should give it a try!
7 Fantastic Free Social Media Tools for Teachers
Even when people say they want to incorporate social media, they don’t always know the best ways to do so. It’s especially daunting when those efforts can affect the education of your students.
1. EDU 2.0
EDU 2.0 is a lot like online course management systems Blackboard and Moodle, but with a couple of distinct advantages. First, teachers can share their lesson plans, quizzes, videos, experiments and other resources in a shared library that currently hosts more than 15,000 pieces of content. Second, a community section allows teachers and students to network and collaborate with other members who share the same educational interests. And third, everything is hosted in the cloud for free.
The popular visual organizing and sharing tool Symbaloo launched its “EDU” version last month. According to the company, 50,000 teachers are already using Symbaloo to organize classroom resources. The new EDU version comes with academic subject-specific resource pages or “webmixes” and top tools like TeacherTube, Slideshare, Google () Docs, Flickr () and more are fully embeddable. Teachers with a “Free Plus” account can add their school logo and customize the links. The site also allows students to easily share their Symbaloo pages and projects with classmates.
This app gives teachers four discussion format choices. Students can either agree or disagree with a statement, answer a multiple choice question, post responses, or have the choice between adding a new response or voting for someone else’s response. Teachers can add photos or videos to their prompts and all of the discussions take place on one class page.
Common uses for blogs in classrooms include group projects, reflection journals, school newspapers, class web pages and parent newsletters. But, as evidenced by the winners of the 2009 Edublog awards, there are plenty of other creative options for integrating the blogs into curriculum.
Kidsblog is a bit more specific than Edublogs. There are fewer options to adjust the appearance of the main page, and it’s hard to use the platform for anything other than as a system for managing individual class blogs. The homepage serves as a catalog of student blogs on the right with a recent post feed on the left.
Edmodo looks and functions much like Facebook (). But unlike Facebook, it’s a controlled environment that teachers can effectively leverage to encourage class engagement. The platform allows teachers and students to share ideas, files and assignments on a communal wall. Teachers can organize different groups of students and monitor them from the same dashboard. Once they’ve organized classes, they can post assignments to the wall and grade them online. They can then archive the class groups and begin new ones.
7. TeacherTube and SchoolTube and YouTube
As the name implies, TeacherTube is YouTube () for teachers. It’s a great resource for lesson ideas but videos can also be used during class to supplement a lecture. For instance, you can let Mrs. Burk rap about perimeters if you like her idea but lack the rhyming skills to pull it off yourself. This site also has a crowdsourced stock of documents, audio and photos that can be added to your lesson plans. Unfortunately, every video is preceded by an ad.Read more at mashable.com