Precious Web 2.0 Gems (return)

Web Gems Starter List

Flickr Foto by Cobalt 123
Flickr Foto by Cobalt 123
Each one of the "gems" listed here was recommended by an educator or someone who works in this field (or me!). They were selected as ones that are perhaps not as widely known as the Big Rocks like Flickr,, etc. Your goal here is not to analyze them all, just find one quickly that piques your interest. For every tool listed, you will find I have created a test account you can use if you do not wish to make a new account (many of them require authorization by email). You can always create your own account later. The password for these accounts is ........................................ (sorry web public, this will be provided in person at the workshops). If any web site works with content from flickr, use the cogdogroo account I set up for you (same password as above).

This is by no means a comprehensive list, just a sampling to whet your appetite. If none of these strike your fancy, see the list of other web 2.0 lists.

After my first draft, I realized I was just doing another, though shorter, laundry list. So I am trying yo sort them more according to the kind of goals you may have in terms of function, need.

Create Visuals, Graphics, Interactive Content

Use dumpr to create some interesting effects with photos from flickr, your desktop, or via a URL. You can make it look like an image is in a famous mjuseum, or wrapped on a Rubik's Cube, or turned into a jigsaw puzzle. Images can also be re-saved to a flickr account (Alan's Pick) [flickr username = cogdogroo]


A powerful tool for creating graphics for diagrams and flowcharts. It comes with a selection of premade drag and drop nodes, and you create relationships with lines, arrows, etc. Save as images or PDF, and/or invite others to collaborate with you. (Alan's pick) [username = cogdogroo]

Spell with flickr

A long time, all-time favorite for my demos- because it is simple and does something neat and useful Enter any phrase, and the site finds images in flickr to spell it out from images. Ueeful for creating banners, web graphics, etc. (Alan's Pick)



I think that cartoon/comic strip creation can be a fabulous creative exercise for just about any class. Have students work in teams and to decide upon the basic idea of the comic strip, and then have each create their own electronic version of that script to see how they compare (Barry Dahl) [username = cogdogroo]


Collaboratively create and annotate maps with waypoints, notes, and routes. Could be used to generate a historic route, locations of projects, a personal journey... (Chris L) [username = cogdogroo]

See Also:

Brainstorming Tools


a simple and free web application that lets you brainstorm online- create relationships between nodes or "Bubbls" (Chris L)

Imagination Cubed

Students can create original designs, do scientific work (my students have drawn models of the solar system), write text, draw pictures for inclusion in online stories. The urls can then be emailed and posted, and remain hosted at Imagination Cubed. Even better, when you visit the design, you see it as it was being created (in fast-motion), so can almost see the student’s thinking process. (Larry Ferlazzo)

See Also:

Contribute Meaning, Information, and Share it


Think of this tool as user generated video captioning. You upload a video in one language (hate to say, most of the originals are in English), the site owners generate captions in one language, and anyone who has an account on the site can translate the captions into a language they know- and not just your typical small set of languages, a list of like 80 of them from Abkhazia to Zulu. (Alan Levine's Pick). [username = cogdogroo]


Scribd is one of the best web tools for English Language Learners to use for language development. They can write a few sentences, a story, or an essay; easily upload it to Scribd, and, then, within seconds, have its text-to-speech capability read it back to them. Plus, it’s hosted there for free. (Larry Ferlazzo) It allows you to upload almost any kind of document, made available as a Flash document and as an audio file. [username = cogdogroo]

See also:
  • sqirl- "catalog, organize and share your records, movies, books, comic books, stamps, coins, or practically anything else"
  • sizeasy - helps you compare and share dimensions of real objects
  • Thinglink "an open database for anyone, from artists to designers, collectors and trendspotters, to add and publish portfolios with their favourite things."

Find, Manipulate, Organize Media


I’ve been using FlickrCC to search Creative Commons photos on Flickr instead of Flickr’s advance search. The nice thing is that it puts the attribution right up for me. (JD Williams). These images are ones that educators (or anyone) can re-use w/o having to request permission- a great way to find stuning visuals. The site also provides some image editing tools to crop, overlay text, etc.


A web-based photo editor that allows you to enhance or add special effects/filters to images. It works in conjunction with images stored in flickr, and can also save edited or new images to your flickr account. (Alan's Pick) [username = cogdogroo]


Collect web videos form 100s of sites into a single collection or "pod", and then easily republish it onto other web sites with its widget. Get a browser bookmarklet to quickly add from any page with embedded web video. Organize by categories and tags. A pod could be used to collect videos for a project, portfolio, research etc. [username cogdogroo].

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Find/Share Books


A site with web2.0 reach into physical world- online community book swap. List your books; you ship them to those that “mooch” them. Listing your books and sending them out earns points, so others ship you books you want. (Chris Duke) [username = cogdogroo]

Google Book Search

Everyone knowns about Googling for web sites or images, but you can also search within books to locate passages, etc. I’m a fan of Google’s Book search to find quotations, or just to find sentences with specific words. I thought it was well known, but every time I’ve shown it to someone I’ve gotten either the “Wow thats neat” look, or the “Wow you spend to much time doing things online” look. (JD Williams)

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Communicate, Organize, Be Productive!


for instant, no-login-needed, web-based real time chat/backchannel, etc this is being picked up like free money by instructors (Chris L)

Remember The Milk

Alisa says, I like for my to-do lists. Not only does it have a clever name, but this organizer allows you to share your tasks and cross connect with calendars, make task lists public (e.g. to share project tasks), and more. And a plus! It was created by some folks in Sydney.[username = cogdogroo]

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