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About This Project: For Teachers

Page history last edited by Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D. 12 years, 7 months ago



Purpose of the Project


If we can harness media as a powerful teaching tool,

we can help children grow-up as literate, responsible global citizens.

Joan Ganz Cooney

A new learning equation for children in the primary grades includes bringing together today’s most effective literacy strategies, interactive technologies, and appealing content.  The competencies children gain through games, online collaboration, and multimedia communication can create a strong foundation for later learning (Joan Ganz Cooney Center Publications).


Creative Web Tools For and By Kids is a project designed for students, ages 8 to 12, to use emerging technologies for engaging, thinking, learning, collaborating, creating, and innovating. The focus is on the use of free, open-source, or minimal cost tools, so the project can be replicated.  An underlying goal is to demonstrate how advanced technological applications for enhancing learning can be implemented with only a computer and Internet access.


The rationale for this project is reinforced by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Street which targets the elementary level student.  Their mission is to catalyze research, innovation and investment in digital media technologies to advance children's learning.  The goals for Creative Web Tools For and By Kids are taken directly from those identified in Children, Digital Media & Our Nation’s Future (Rima, 2008) published by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center Publications:


•    To invent, create, and design — alone and with others.

As children take part in collaborative processes, they can try out many different roles: peers, novices, leaders, writers, editors, scientists, and critical friends. Among the most important identities they can experience using digital tools are those of designers, creators, and inventors. In the future, success will hinge not on how much we know, but on our ability to think and act creatively.


•    To participate in collaborative learning communities.

Today’s children are growing up at a time when knowledge development is a team sport. Many digital activities involve participation in online communities, and to the surprise of many adults, elementary-age children are increasingly involved in such communities. Educators say that digital collaboration prepares children to participate in learning communities.


•    To gain broader understanding of global literacy.

We live in an interconnected world, and this fact presents challenges to an educational system that has historically downplayed the importance of international content.


•    To use digital tools effectively and safely.

As technologies increasingly saturate daily experience, children need to express themselves fluently using multiple media (e.g., text, video, graphic design, sound), to use those media to navigate across multiple platforms (such as desktop computers, handheld devices, cell phones, and iPods), and to adopt safe and responsible practices, especially online.


•    To find wholeness in a “remix” world.

Today’s children are using multiple applications and platforms, often at the same time. They are becoming adept at cutting and pasting not only texts but also ideas, images, musical compositions, literary works, video clips, and other content. Electronic networking has also led to the unbundling of institutions, bodies of knowledge, and even the concept of self. It can be challenging, in this context, for children to experience authenticity and coherence in their learning experiences.


Project Description

This project has two components or areas of access:


Creative Web Tools For and By Kids: The Collaborative, Learning Project-Based Wiki Work Center


  • To use emerging technologies to identify and demonstrate personalized learning experiences.

Target Populations:

  • Students in the Discovery Program for Gifted Students – sixty 3rd though 5th graders
  • Other schools – invitations will be made through Flat Classrooms, iEarn, and Taking It Global.
  • Educators and other school officials interested in learning about the project. (This is a pilot project.  The long term goal is the dissemination of project details, tools, and logistics for use of educators.)



This Wiki is the workstation for exploring, interacting with, learning from, and creating with emerging technologies.  Students identify a topic of interest.  A WIki page is created for that topic.  This page is used to identify specific learning goals, to locate and post links to sites that support those interests, and to begin creating web-based projects to creatively demonstrate their learning experiences. Students are encouraged to work on that page with one or more other students from their own classroom and from other classrooms who join the project. 


Additional Wiki Pages are added to reflect these learning topics.  For example, if a group of students want to learn about and create a demonstration project about Global Warning, a Wiki page entitled, Global Warming, will be added. These demonstration projects will also be uploaded onto the public website, Wee Web Wonders (see next section).

Wee Web Wonders: A Public Showcase for Creative Web Tools For and By Kids Website



  • To offer a public domain, demonstration site where any kid could learn about how the different web tools can be used for thinking, learning, creating, collaborating, and innovating.

Target Populations:

  • This website is target towards tweens, 8 to 12 year olds.
  • Educators are invited to peek in to see the work and interactions of the kids.


Wee Web Wonders is an interactive site to showcase educational and creative uses of the major web tools used in the Creative Web Tools For and By Kids program.  These include, but are not limited to, VoiceThread, Scratch, Podcasts, Slide Sharing, Sketchcast.  Each page features a student example of the use of that web tool, widgets for visitors to rate and review the tool, a place for comments, and some fun, interactive games.


Invitation to Join the Project

If you (the teacher) would like to join our project:

  1. Email me (Jackie) at jgerstein@sahuarita.k12.az.us
  2. Have your students' parents sign the following forms (downloadable):   Computer Use and Permission Form.doc (Required) and  ParentalConsentResearch.doc (optional as I am surveying students for their technology patterns)/
  3. I will give you administrative priviledges to this site so you can add students and projects OR I can do this for you.
  4. Recommended: To get a class activation for Ed VoiceThread or I can add your students to mine.
  5. Have your students begin the project.


Wiki Guidelines 

  • No personal information, no real images or photographs of your or your friends or your family.
  • Introduce yourself with one or two of the online tools provided.
  • This is going to be a model site for other students and teachers.  Please make sure that your project page includes only content about your topic (excluding your personal introduction).  The sites you like for fun and games can be added to another site like think.com.
  • All images and text used need to meet one of the following criteria:
  1. It needs to be a personal creation.
  2. It needs to be copyright free.
  3. If it is not copyright free, the "owner" needs to be identified.
  • The comment box at the bottom is designed to make comments about the page's content.  For more informal chats, use think.com or another email or Blog site.
  • This project is desigend for you to learn new things about your topic.  You are the researcher and expert.  Include lots of links and ideas so other students can learn about the topic, too.
  • Project pages are added by the teacher.  Please do not add your own personal page - use existing ones. 

K12 2008 Online Conference Presentation 2008 and VoiceThread




Internet Safety and Ethics

In order to operate this site safely and model to the students internet safetly, please follow the following guidelines:

  1. No students under 7 years old should participate.
  2. Please do not allow students to use full names, photos of themselves or their families, phone numbers.  In other words, no personal information that can identify individual students should be used.
  3. Please have students complete asseent forms and their parents complete consent forms.
    • Student Assent Form (forthcoming) which will include an agreement,  My Rules for Online Safety.
    • Parent Information and Consent Form (forthcoming)
  4. Attribution. Students must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor.

    Share Alike. If students alter, transform, or build upon this work, they may distribute the resulting work only under the same, similar or a compatible license.
  5. Additional Information About Internet Safety:


Student Interview with a Founder of Tikatok via Skype 


Fliqz has shut down their service. To access this video, email support with this video id: 3c667b0599de438980704916935f12dc


Collaborative Conversation Between Two Classes


Comments (1)

Mrs. D said

at 5:55 pm on Sep 21, 2008

Loving Dipity- will experiment with that one, next week. You are finding the best tools.

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