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Communication is one of the first things that may come to mind when we think about the internet today. Lots of tools allow our students (and us) to connect with others and communicate our ideas. Here is a list of some of the tools that are available (most of them free) for teachers to use.

Twitter is a microblogging website that allows users to share short (140 characters or less)
messages with other users. The use of hashtags allow users to search for particular topics.
Those of you unsure about using Twitter in class who want something more secure might like Today's Meet. You can create a meeting space online where students post messages or questions etc. It is free and you simply create a topic, determine how long it is open for, give students the url,and then it is ready to use.You can also print out a transcript of the whole discussion. I found that it worked best with directed questions the first time.

Voicethread is a way of students reaching a larger audience through the use of slides from Powerpoint, documents or images. Viewers can comment, doodle, and even leave voice messages about the work they see.They can leave a video message as well. There are special channels for education and users are invited to share their work with others to get feedback and to begin conversations and gain new perspectives.

Blogs are online journals (web logs) that allow users to write on any topic and to customise the look of their own site. There are various options available for schools. Some allow class blogs (such as edublogs) and most are free. Sites like Blogger and Wordpress are free and very easy to use. Sites like Tumblr and Posterous have added features such as little bookmarklets that you can install which allow you to blog directly from other websites without having to divert to your blog. You just click the link and the post automatically goes into your blog. All of the above platforms have apps for the iPad or iPod/iPhone.
Global2 blogs are for Victorian teachers and are free.global_swish_photoshop21.jpg

Voki is a tool that lets you record short messages, either by using a microphone and recording your voice or by typing into a text box and choosing from one of the voices on offer. You then create an avatar to speak your message for you. It is good for wikis where you can leave short messages for your readers, or in the classroom to get students to leave short pieces of information for the rest of the class. Another option with similar features and the ability to add photos is Blabberize.

Another great tool is Masher, this allows you to 'mash up' various media to create a presentation. You can include video, audio, images and text and then upload the file to other sites or email it.

Zooburst allows you to create 3D Pop Up books online. It uses Flash to create storybooks that 'come alive'. Very useful for creative storytelling.