With the increasing amount of tech-tools available I thought this post would help teachers to decipher the differences between them and how best they can be utilised.
I have used blogs a lot in the writing classroom, and they are also really useful for reflective writing, as they provide students a place to constantly write how they are feeling. Blogs also allow students to write for an audience whereby the teacher, or fellow students can comment on each post. The best things about blogs is that they are personal, and each student can make it their own. So, I usually use blogs for students to work on writing skills specifically.
Main uses: Writing, Reflection, Individual, personalisation
Drawbacks: Small group work or individuals only.
2. Websites (Weebly, Wix, Squarespace)
These are fantastic tools for use with students. They all offer you a way to create simple websites to display information online. Anyone, including myself, can easily create, design and build a website in a matter of minutes. Since I discovered Weebly, I have used it for so many things from project work, lessons, and simple information display. These differ from blogs, and wikis whereby you are able to display work really easily, and once it's done, it can look like a professionally made website.
Main uses: Displaying information, portfolio, finished work / projects, upload lesson content, product focus.
Drawbacks: Small groups are ok, but not suitable for large collaborative work.
Wikis are like websites in the sense that you can set them up easily and post content online. The good thing about Wikis is that they are great for collaboration. You can create a simple website with a number of pages and then open it up so lots of users can use it at the same time. Permissions can be set for each web page so that you can have 50 students collaborate on it or just 1. Wikis differ from Weebly in the sense that they are good when you want a lot of people to collaborate on one website, especially when you are gathering lots of information.
Main uses: Large scale, collaboration, Writing, Projects, process focus.
Drawbacks: Wikis are great for process work, but the end result looks nicer with Weebly.
4. Google Docs
Google Docs is an amazing collaborative tool. While similar to Wikis as its very software is based on the collaborative nature of them, there are a few extra features that make them especially good for certain activities. You can have many people collaborate on a single page, whereas with wikis it's only 1 per log in. They are especially useful in the writing classroom, as there is a comment section where you can make suggestions.
Main uses: Writing, editing students writing projects,
Drawbacks: Pictures only, no video or audio (except via hyper link). Difficult to display, so you need to attach the link via a Wiki, blog or Weebly site.
So, there you have it. All the tools have a place, it just really depends on what you want to do with them. All are easy to use and can be set up in no time, and I think you as a teacher will have fun implementing them into your lessons. Do get in touch if you need any examples, or lesson plans!