WebTools4U2Use will introduce you to a lot of different, powerful, useful tools.

how do you choose the right one?

This article has sound suggestions for building your Web 2.0 toolkit including this:

"Like real tools, your Web 2.0 “Tool Kit,” will get old, and better tools will come around, so always remember to go back through the process every once in a while to see if it’s time to re-tool. Also, by all means continue to add new tools and grow it as well!!"

In Choosing Web 2.0 Tools for Teaching and LearningTomPreskett suggests (among other considerations) you ask:
  • How intuitive is it?
  • How many stages are there?
  • How easy are key functions?
  • Does it do what I want it to?
  • Is the language and terminology they use right for my context?
  • How much learning would it take for learners to work it out?
  • How does it look, and is this what I had in mind?

Here are some ways others approach the problem:

--Marco Torres

Finding the Right Tool

By Task

  • This mindmap by Toy Waterman provides a basic list of webtools from which to choose those most appropriate to different kinds of classroom activities. Click on the + near each type of activity to see some of the best tools for that task. (Click and drag the image in the box to reveal more.)

  • Check out Project Bamboo's Digital Research Tools(Bamboo DiRT), Created and maintained by a partnership of several U. S. universities and funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation, Bamboo DiRT is a tool, service, and collection registry of digital research tools for scholarly use. The site begins with asking you to describe a task, "from content management systems to music OCR, statistical analysis packages to mindmapping software."

I need a digital tool to...
Analyze data
Manage bibliographic information

Analyze texts
Manage tasks

Author an interactive work
Network with other researchers

Organize research materials

Brainstorm/generate ideas
Publish and share information

Build and share collections
Search visually

Collect data
Share bookmarks

Communicate with colleagues
Stay current with research

Conduct linguistic research
Take notes/annotate resources

Convert/manipulate files
Transcribe handwritten or spoken texts

Create a mashup
Use an iPad

Edit images
Visualize data

Find research materials
Write a paper

Make a dynamic map
Write collaboratively

Make a screencast

What are your Learning Goals?

Each goal links to a chart listing tools to help meet that goal, descriptions and examples, usefulness ratings and ease of use ratings.

  1. I want my students to create web based mind maps / graphic organizers.
  2. I want my students to publish their writing online for others to read.
  3. I want real-time, online discussion with my students.
  4. I want my students to search and evaluate web sites.
  5. I want to create guided research activities for my students.
  6. I want to connect my students to other students around the world.
  7. I want my students to create online portfolios.
  8. I want my students to create books, magazines, posters, or newsletters online.
  9. I want my students to record or edit audio.
  10. I want to use an interactive whiteboard effectively with my students.
  11. I want my students to create and edit maps.
  12. I want my students to draw or create comics on the Internet.
  13. I want to create tests, quizzes, and games online.
  14. I want my students to organize, bookmark and edit their research online.
  15. I want to find or create rubrics for multimedia projects.
  16. I want to connect to other teachers to share ideas and resources.

  • Here is a LiveBinder of tools by task from Rachelle Wooten. Although designed for communication teachers, the tools are appropriate for consideration by any educator.


Backward Edtech Flow Chart (pdf)

  • Katie Ritter also suggests this "backward edtech flow chart," starting with what you want the student to do. She says, "It starts by asking what you want students to do, and then you pick a goal, such as explain a concept. Follow the diagram until you either reach a list of tech tools to help you or your students complete this task or you reach a prompting question, such as “do you need them to do this verbally?” Based on your yes or no answer, you’ll finally come to a list of edtech tools. All the tools found on the web are hyperlinked." Click on the image at the right to see the chart and links. Ritter also has created other visuals to help select the right tools and technology based on Bloom’s Taxonomy and web tools by category.

  • Another mindmap with tools for you to use:

  • Charlie Wierzbicki (@poeteacher) offers this handy chart to help you choose a tool by task: Bgubk7ECMAArsp6.jpg

By Product



Dr. Wesley Fryer asks, "What do you want to create today?" on his website Mapping Media to the Curriculum. In an accompanying keynote description and book, he says, "As 21st century educators, we should provide opportunities for students to demonstrate mastery and understanding of the curriculum not only with text but also with images, audio, and video. Links to student media examples as well as project storyboards/tools are available on

By Cognitive Level

Another way to look at the tools is through Bloom's Taxonomy. In 1956 Bloom identified six levels within the cognitive domain, from the simple recall or recognition of facts, as the lowest level, through increasingly more complex and abstract mental levels, to the highest order which is classified as evaluation.

The taxonomy was revised by Anderson and Krathwhal to be more relevant. Six levels of learning are in the classification. The lowest level is remembering. The remembering level is followed by five increasingly difficult levels of mental abilities: understanding, applying, analysing, evaluating and creating (the highest level).

The Visual Blooms wiki looks at some of the tools and the levels of the revised taxonomy at which they might be most appropriate.96618974.jpg

The Educational Technology and Mobile Learning blog offered this visual of web tools that go with each of Bloom’s thinking levels. "Some of these tools can fit in different levels, however, for practical reasons we limited our selection to five tools per level."

Click to see full-size graphic and list with links.

Kathy Schrock looked at Web 2.0 tools, Google tools & Google app as well as iOS and Androi apps specifically and assigned each to the appropriate level of Bloom's Taxonomy.

Google Apps & Tools and Bloom's Taxonomy (Schrock)

Vosia;l Blooms by Mike Fisher, 2009
See the full sized illustration and links to tools at every level at the Visual Blooms wiki.

new version of this taxomony was added 11/09 based on the top 25 tools for learning professionals (2009).

Web 2.0 Tools & Bloom's Taxonomy (Schrock)

Google ChromeScreenSnapz003.png
Terrific Tools for Teaching with Bloom's

In this wiki, each page contains tools for teaching at different levels in Bloom's Taxonomy. While the upper levels deal with creating and a lot of social media tools available on the web today are designed for creating, there are many tools that can be applied to any number of levels depending on the way they are being used. (Corey Plough, Amanda Dykes, Michelle Baldwin)

By Learning Style

Brian Gray created this ThingLink image that links to lists of recommended tools for each learning style. Hover over the image to reveal the links.

Another way to look at these tools: 100 Helpful Web Tools for Every Type of Learner recaps some of the tools listed in this wiki and more. Categorized by learning style: visual, auditory, kinesthetic. Visual includes mindmapping tools, photo and video tools, etc.

By Instructional Strategy

citw.jpgThis wiki lists Web 2.0 tools and identifies instructional strategies in which they can be used:

SD = Identifying Similarities and Differences CL = Cooperative Learning SNT = Summarizing and Note-Taking ER = Reinforcing Effort and Providing Recognition HP = Homework and Practice NR = Nonlinguistic Representation OF = Setting Objectives and Providing Feedback HYP = Generating and Testing Hypotheses QCO = Questions, Cues, and Advance Organizers

Also, see this Livebinder of resources that help educators select Web 2.0 tools that can be used to support highly effective instructional strategies as identified by Robert Marzano compiled by Susan Brooks-Young.

By Stage of Inquiry

Here's a new search tool from the UK that will help you find just the right tool from the 100s available. it's organized around stages of inquiry based learning.

Search for Digital Tools to Support Inquiry Based Learning


Here's a great site that lists popular Web 2.0 tools as they relate to the National Educational Technology Standards for Students. They are annotated and listed by standard.

Naomi Harm offers this collection of web 2.0 resources and tools aligned to ISTE NETS to engage and motivate students and teaching learning.

By Category

The Web 2.0 in Education wiki from the UK uses a Prezi to introduce Web 2.0 tools and then lists almost 300 by category: mindmaps, website builders, timeline generators, etc.

By Types of Learning

This chart gives examples of different types of tools and how they can be used in five different types of learning:
  1. IOL - Intra-Organisational Learning
  2. FSL - Formal Structured Learning
  3. GDL - Group Directed Learning
  4. PDL - Personal Directed Learning
  5. ASL - Accidental & Serendipitous Learning

Ideas for students, teachers, businesses and more. Some super ideas here!

By Curriculum Area

The K-12 Tech Tools wiki provides links to web tools by subject area, grade level and in some cases, standard.


By Teaching Style

In his blog, edidaktic, Neils Jakob suggests there are three different forms of teaching and different tools are better suited to each different style. "While some digital learning tools are best suited for use within a monological form of teaching, and primarily supports the teacher's dissemination of information, others are better suited for use within a dialogical form of teaching, where students' problem-oriented work is a key element. Other tools are best suited for use in the polyphonic form of teaching , as they support the teacher and students in their collaboration on developing mutual knowledge." The ThingLink image below presents 23 free, web-based tools for use in education organized around the form of teaching they best support.

Selection Criteria

The Sloan Consortium offers this list of Web 2.0 Technology Selection Criteriaand adds: "Evaluate your possible tool choices using these criteria to eliminate poor choices quickly. Then, do more extensive testing to find that ‘perfect' Web 2.0 technology."

Criteria 1: Access
  • Is the tool accessible by Windows and Mac users?
  • Is the tool / product of tool viewable in a variety of web browsers?
  • Does the tool work well for those with dial-up connections?
  • Does the tool provide options that support ADA compliance?
  • Is the tool free?
  • Will the tool be around for a while?

Criteria 2: Usability
  • Do you have to create an account to use the tool?
  • Is the tool easy to use?
  • Does the tool have a robust and easy to use Help section?
  • Does anything have to be downloaded and installed on the computer to use the tool?

Criteria 3: Privacy & Intellectual Property
  • Does the tool allow you to restrict access of your work/your students' work?
  • Does the tool protect your personal data (e.g. email address given when account created)?
  • Does the tool allow you / your students to retain sole IP rights to the content you create?
  • Does the tool allow you to determine the copyright status of the content you've created?
  • Can you save a copy of the product to your desktop for archival purposes?

Criteria 4: Workload & Time Management
  • Does the tool make it easy to track student work (for grading purposes).
  • Does the tool support private and public commenting (for individual and group feedback)?
  • Does the tool provide for an RSS feed to track work via email or an RSS reader?
  • Is it possible to embed the tool into the LCMS you're using?

Criteria 5: Fun Factor
  • Does the tool allow you to be creative during the learning process?
  • Does the tool allow you to demonstrate creativity in the learning product?
  • Does the tool provide opportunities for different types of interaction (visual, verbal, written)?
  • Does the tool increase the perception of connectedness?
  • Does the tool encourage collaboration?


See the top tools for learning n this mindmap by Jesper Isakssen (created in Mindomo). Use the sliding bar at the bottom right to change the size and click on any + to see the tools in that category.

This mindmap by Chris Withrow explores digital tools for students.

And More New Tools

If you find some new tools in your web travels and professional development activities that are useful to you or your students that are not included in the WebTools4U2Use wiki, please add them and include ideas for using them in your library media center.

Because WebTools4U2Use is a wiki, you can add information to any page. We encourage you to do so! Add or edit anything that you think will help other library media specialists learn more about Web 2.0 tools and use them creatively and productively in their programs. We've also created special pages for each category of tool so you can share other tools or show others how you and your colleagues are using the tools in your programs, or you can use the "discussion" link at the top of any page.

It's Not About the Tools podcasting.png

This series of posters from Sylvia Rosenthal Tolisono of the Langwitches blog reminds us that "it's about the skills"that webtools can help to develop and reinforce. For each tool, she helps us see the potential skills students (and we) can learn. Each poster is a PDF file to download and print. Thank you, Sylvia, for the posters and the reminder!

What to Do When Your Favorite Webtool Quits

While it seems there are new webtools introduced every week, I've also learned that some webtools are discontinued for a variety of reasons. Some companies find it hard to continue to support free tools or to monetize their product. Otehrs may decide to focus their work on newer products and ideas, abandoning the old. Sometimes a company is bought out and the new owner decides to discontinue a tool or service. If one of your favorite tools goes away, this article describes 3 ways to not let it throw you!

What To Do When Your Favorite Tech Tool Calls it Quits