Before diving into the learning tools listed below, you might review online Internet safetywith your kids. If they aren’t already, they will quickly become proficient online navigators. You’ll want them to recognize and avoid inappropriate contact and requests for personal information.
Online Learning Tools for Homeschooling
Pinterest. This social network of online bulletin boards can be used in a variety of ways by students and teachers. Infographic lists several educational uses for Pinterest, including creating resource boards, organizing ideas and subjects, and connecting with others who have similar interests.
Evernote. This free tool allows you to take notes everywhere and sync across your devices. You can use Evernote to quickly jot down notes, capture quotes and websites for future reference, or use for recordkeeping of subjects you’ve covered.
Wikispaces for Teachers. Wikis allow you and your kids and other learners and teachers to collaborate on projects, share information and resources, participate in discussions, and create group webpages.
Blogs. I use a free blog as a starting page, or online portal, to topics of interest for my kids. Each day, they open their browser to find a trail of new ideas and resources custom designed to their interests.
Online Office Tools, Photo Editing, Drawing, Animation, Video and Music Tools
You can find a sizeable list of online learning tools, from document creation and collaboration to audio, video, and photo editing, in the Techno Constructivist Digital Backpack, assembled by educator and technology specialist Carl Anderson. His Digital Backpack is a collection of free kid-safe online tools, Web apps and Web 2.0 services, children can use, individually and collaboratively, for a wide variety of purposes. The tools have no age restriction, do not require children to create accounts, and may be used by anyone without violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
Technology and Interactive Learning
In an article on constructivist-inspired teaching methods, Kereen Tatham-Maye said: “Constructivism maintains that students should be actively engaged in the learning process rather than being mere recipients of information from their teacher.”
The constructivist education theory posits that learning is a social process based in the interaction of ideas and experience. Interactive online learning tools provide a means for active engagement with the topic. Online tools allow you to collaborate with your kids, as well as for them to collaborate far and wide with others who share their interests.