As I explore the Read/Write Web and Web 2.0 tools, I realize that I have only scratched the surface of learning to use the Internet and all the technology it contains for education. There are so many different, unique web applications available that can do just about anything- and oftentimes, for free. One tool I was recently introduced to is Gliffy, which can be found online at http://www.gliffy.com. Gliffy can be used for many things including creating flowcharts, graphic organizers, floor plans, technical drawings, and other things. The most interesting part of Gliffy for education I think is the ability to create flowcharts, graphic organizers, and Venn diagrams. I use these types of activities with my students all the time in school, but usually in a paper and pencil format. Gliffy could be used in the same manner for online or blended courses and it has the ability to be shared with others. So I could assign my students to complete a Venn diagram to compare and contrast animal and plant cells. The students could use Gliffy to create their Venn diagram and then share it with me for discussion and assessment.
Another way to use Gliffy would be to make graphic organizers or flowcharts as a form of notes. For example, in my cell communication unit my class creates a fairly large flowchart, examining the different types of transport and communication. Many students enjoy this but it’s time-consuming and not something we do often. I would recommend to students that enjoy and learn well from flowcharts or graphic organizers to use this technology on their own to help them study and learn the content. Students would also be able to pair up or form groups and have them each create graphic organizers to share with each other to help review and study. Many students are visual learners and creating their own graphic organizers would help them significantly in class. I hope that I can incorporate Gliffy into my classroom soon and can definitely see students benefiting from this technology.