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Netbooks are a category of small, lightweight, and inexpensive laptop computers. ~Wikipedia

Netbooks can be used with small group and whole group activities. It is important that students are comfortable with a small group assignment and that directions are clear and accurate for both types of activities. 

Small Group - RSS for SSR

Capturing reading material using RSS is a great way to use netbooks. Using your existing South Western wikispace, you can feed up-to-date reading material to students for silent reading. In addition, the wikispace discussion tab (How?) or a google form can be used to capture responses to reading.

What is RSS?

RSS Feed Options

Click here for more RSS links.

Small Group - Favorite Sites

A hotlist of sites for students to use for different topics/subject areas can be very useful. Teachers can use their webpage or South Western wikispace to compile favorite sites that are then easily accessible by students. It is very helpful to include some text so students know what to do when visiting an external site.

Small Group - Digital Toolkit

For students to create projects, it is helpful to create a digital toolkit in advance. A digital toolkit is no more than a folder or site that contains the necessary resources to complete an activity. A digital toolkit may contain: images, text, audio files, and/or video files. The students are responsible for assembling items from the toolkit to synthesize information and demonstrate knowledge. 

Useful sites for gathering digital toolkit materials:
  • Discovery Streaming
  • Pics 4 Kids
  • Creative Commons

Small Group - Research

World Book Online is great for students to explore topics of their own interest. Plus, students using the Student level of World Book can register a research account to save their efforts for later use! The World Book reads text aloud and every word can be double clicked to see the definition.

World Book Discover has a visual interface and a great World Book Explains area with video explanations to many questions kids ask.

Small Group - Wiki Story Writing

The wiki is an awesome tool for collaboration. The Write Your Story project is a great example of collaborative writing that can be scaled down or adapted for other topics. Once students are comfortable using the wikispace, they are ready to work together to build a site on any curricular topic! Learn more about wikis here and more about wikis with students here.


Small Group - SMART Notebook Activities

SMART Notebook is great for use on the netbooks! Teachers can create interactive activities that students complete using the interactive whiteboard or the netbook. SMART Educators have uploaded many notebook files to the SMART Exchange website at These can be previewed, downloaded and adapted for personal use. 

To learn how to make notebook files interactive, visit the Gallery within the SMART Notebook software and browse through the Lesson Activity Toolkit 2.0. This area has premade examples of interactive features and videos that explain how they are made.

Classroom Community with Edmodo

  • Edmodo is a social learning network for teachers, students, schools and districts. 
  • Edmodo provides free classroom communication for teachers, students and administrators on a secure social network.
  • Edmodo provides teachers and students with a secure and easy way to post classroom materials, share links and videos, and access homework, grades and school notices.
  • Edmodo stores and shares all forms of digital content – blogs, links, pictures, video, documents, presentations, and more.
  • Edmodo is accessible online or using any mobile device, including Android and iPhones.
  • Edmodo has special institutional features for schools and districts that can be accessed for free by administrators.

Small Group - Blogging

Blogging How To

Getting Started with Blogging

RSS Reader+

Bryan Tayman,
Nov 22, 2010, 11:23 AM
Bryan Tayman,
Nov 30, 2010, 10:30 AM
Bryan Tayman,
Apr 15, 2011, 12:30 PM