Skip to content Skip to navigation

OpenStax_CNX

You are here: Home » Content » Netvibes in the Classroom

Navigation

Recently Viewed

This feature requires Javascript to be enabled.
 

Netvibes in the Classroom

Module by: Evelyn Jessie. E-mail the author

Summary: People often say that necessity is the mother of invention. With the world seeming to move faster than ever, it seems that the needs for organization and a little extra time each day drove technician Tariq Krim to create a handy technological tool to fulfill each of those needs in 2005. He created Netvibes; an aggregator that allows users to create personalized homepages and public pages including their favorite widgets, websites, blogs, e-mail accounts, social networks, search engines, instant messengers, photos, videos, podcasts, and everything else they enjoy on the web. Whether teachers choose to include these tools on their own pages for handy reminders, weather updates, or other helpful notices; choose to create a page for their class or school that parents and students can use to access homework, stay on top of assignments, check grades, look at websites for extra credit, or find other helpful information; or choose to create a page for daily class lessons or other daily, weekly, or monthly uses, it is clear that Netvibes has found a place in the classroom and, based on its usefulness, may be in some for years to come.

Netvibes in the Classroom

“Save 30 minutes of your time every day.”

Module by: Gabby Brooks & Evelyn Jessie

Figure 1
Figure 1 (graphics1.png)

Summary: People often say that necessity is the mother of invention. With the world seeming to move faster than ever, it seems that the needs for organization and a little extra time each day drove technician Tariq Krim to create a handy technological tool to fulfill each of those needs in 2005. He created Netvibes; an aggregator that allows users to create personalized homepages and public pages including their favorite widgets, websites, blogs, e-mail accounts, social networks, search engines, instant messengers, photos, videos, podcasts, and everything else they enjoy on the web. Whether teachers choose to include these tools on their own pages for handy reminders, weather updates, or other helpful notices; choose to create a page for their class or school that parents and students can use to access homework, stay on top of assignments, check grades, look at websites for extra credit, or find other helpful information; or choose to create a page for daily class lessons or other daily, weekly, or monthly uses, it is clear that Netvibes has found a place in the classroom and, based on its usefulness, may be in some for years to come.

Tech Module: Netvibes in the Classroom

Introduction

Having offices in Paris, London, and San Francisco, Netvibes is often considered a widget platform used by thousands of publishers and a global community of users who have personalized their Netvibes page according to their location (local content is available for each user) and interests (news, business, sports, TV, movies, music, tools, technology, fun/games, lifestyle shopping, and travel).

Netvibes 101

You must first sign up for a Netvibes account at http://www.netvibes.com/#General. It’s quick, easy, and absolutely free! You simply click on “Sign up”, enter your local content, click on your interests (of news, business, sports, TV, movies, music, tools, technology, fun/games, lifestyle shopping, and travel-you can choose more than one to be included on your customized pages), and click “show me my page”!

Once you have a page, there are many ways to make your Netvibes page your own. Individuals can personalize the title of their public and private pages by single clicking on “type your page title here” on each page (meaning you can have one title for your private page and a different title for your public page). By clicking on the down arrow to the right of the tab you can personalize the tab, change the number of columns (1-4), add an icon listed, share your page, send things from your private page to your universe and vice versa, or delete/archive the tab. To add another tab, just click on the plus sign to the right of the tabs. To change the theme of your overall Netvibes pages, click on settings and change the theme. Notice that you can change the top and bottom of your Netvibes page using the listed themes, or you can customize your theme.

Based on your motivations for having and using Netvibes, you can add as many widgets as you would like, manually moving widgets from spot to spot to keep your widgets in an order that works for you. There are many types of widgets that you can integrate into you public or private pages. Some common widgets include weather reports, an e-mail wizard (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo!, AOL, .Mac, Wanadoo, Free, Neuf, etc.), webnotes to keep personal notes, reminders, or a welcome on your page, an online calendar, a to-do list for organizational purposes, bookmarks of your favorite sites, and/or links to websites that you find interesting or fun.

Figure 2
Figure 2 (graphics2.png)

Figure 3
Figure 3 (graphics3.png)
Figure 4
Figure 4 (graphics4.png)

Beyond the common widgets, there are several others. Search widgets help search the web from your private page. Multi-Web searches allow you to explore and compare searches from global and local providers. Blog searches find blogs using keywords. Maps searches locate any place and compare results of multiple map providers. Video searches keep track of interesting videos from sources like youtube, myspace, and dailymotion. Image searches search recent photos on blogs and social networks and from major photo services like flickr, Google, and Yahoo! You can also do Podcast searches and compare prices with shopping searches.

Figure 5
Figure 5 (graphics5.png)
Figure 6
Figure 6 (graphics6.png)
Figure 7
Figure 7 (graphics7.png)

Don’t forget your social networks! Having trouble balancing your Myspace time with your Facebook time? Or, your Twitter time with your Flickr time? Access both (and teachers this could be on your private page) through embedded widgets, and get updates from all in one place! Additionally, you can watch auctions and feedbacks on Ebay, keep track of current local news through a Craigslist widget, access Dig, Google, and/or Yahoo news, check out AOL videos, share and retrieve photos through Box.net, obtain the latest web information including statistics and traffic rankings of your favorite websites from an Alexa widget, or access your favorite bookmarks from any computer with the delicious widget. Yes, once you place these things on your universe, you can sign in to access them from any computer with an internet connection.

Figure 8
Figure 8 (graphics8.png)
Figure 9
Figure 9 (graphics9.png)
Figure 10
Figure 10 (graphics10.png)

Figure 11
Figure 11 (graphics11.png)
Through finance widgets you can keep a close eye on that money you’ve invested in the stock market. You can check out your favorite radio stations through a Webradio widget. You can use UK TV Guide to watch HD TV shows, news and video clips with widgets like ones from NBC or CBS. You can embed webpages, HTML code, images, flash animation or games, or you can develop your own widgets using the Netvibes open widget: dev.netvibes.com. The possibilities for widgets are seemingly endless!

Use RSS feeds (located on most webpages) to embed pages onto your Netvibes pages to get updates!

Figure 12
Figure 12 (graphics12.png)

Finally-get Netvibes on your mobile or iphone!

http://m.netvibes.com

Take a tour of Netvibes!

http://ginger.netvibes.com/overview.php

Netvibes privacy policy:

http://www.netvibes.com/static.php?show=privacy

Teachers wanting to use blocked Youtube:

http://freetech4teachers.blogspot.com/2008/08/cant-use-youtube-try-this.html

Netvibes in the Classroom!

http://econ.netvibes.com/tag/Teacher

Netvibes in the Classroom: A Teacher’s Tool

Figure 13
Figure 13 (graphics13.png)

As you can tell from the wide variety of widgets on can embed, there are many uses for Netvibes in the classroom! Whether a teacher is staying on top of his or her schedule through Netvibes reminders, bookmarking key pages or lessons to be shared or printed, or shopping for classroom or experiment supplies online, there are many ways that teachers might find private pages particularly useful.

Using their public pages for parents and families, teachers can embed widgets on their pages for parents to use with students completing homework (this assumes the school has provided laptops as some counties have) or extra practice problems, post school supplies lists early so parents can start shopping before the rush, show parents what the students are learning in class, or list extra credit opportunities. Though these are some basic ideas, there are many ways that teachers can communicate with parents and families through Netvibes; and they can do so to fit their classroom (as you will read about under the Mr. Tonk’s Classroom widget).

Using their public pages in the classroom is also key, for you can select the widgets to reflect your classroom needs. If you are studying weather, you can keep students updated on local weather using the weather widget. If you are teaching students about the zoo, you can access zoo footage. If you wanted to teach about the stock market, you could have students divide into teams, “buy” stock, and track their stock using the online stock tracking widget. Since you can bookmark your favorite sites, you can bookmark any topic related websites to show students. Additionally, there are lesson planning widgets you can add that provide lesson plans for certain subjects and specific topics.

Figure 14
Figure 14 (graphics14.png)

For teachers involved in afterschool activities, Netvibes is a great way to list club updates for students, parents, and families, or reminders of upcoming meetings, events, trips, or conferences.

Netvibes in the Classroom Part II: Reaching out to Students

In a classroom where students have access to the internet, Netvibes would be very useful in the classroom. It’s so simple for a teacher to set up a Netvibes page for his or her class; after logging in, one has full access to all that Netvibes can offer. For a teacher, this means availability of posting things for students all in one place. Netvibes could be used for a specific subject, or for a teacher who teaches more than one subject; those tabs at the top of the page become infinitely useful. A tab entitled “Rocks” with pictures, links, and games could allow students to learn from the page, as well as use it as a springboard to other related learning. Do the students have blogs about rocks? Feature them all under a “Rocks Blogs” page! Netvibes offers the user the freedom to organize their widgets, feeds, and other boxes however they’d like.

It may seem like the sky’s the limit, but Netvibes cannot be the be all and end all of the internet’s uses in learning. There are certainly procedures for which sites like Blackboard would be much more appropriate; Netvibes is not a private site. It was not specifically geared toward teachers, so it does not have the abilities that other sites (e.g., Blackboard, or something else where the student and teacher could log in) might have. It’s also relevant to note that Netvibes is only one website. There’s no way to prevent students from going onto other websites- yes, this is true with most of the internet, but it is still a concern that ought to be mentioned. Teachers can tell students not to browse the web; perhaps they have signed a contract at the beginning of the year that says they will only visit relevant and appropriate sites.

Netvibes has its pros and cons when being used in the classroom; another dimension needs to be reviewed as well, though. Netvibes can be used by students! It’s often said that people learn best by teaching, so perhaps a class could be allowed to add to their own Netvibes site. This would require more stringent rules from the teacher, but could be extremely worthwhile. Maybe Student 1 learns well with words, and Student 2 learns well with pictures; if students can bring their own findings to class learning, then they can create a wonderful learning environment for all.

Notable Examples

Schools and school divisions can use widgets to provide news, information, and updates just as the University of North Carolina did, noting upcoming conferences, media center or library information, and whatever other updates the school thinks individuals might find helpful.

http://eo.eco.netvibes.com/widgets/273675/learn-nc-news-information-and-updates

Similarly, Mr. Tonks designed a website for his class and their families. (His widget, however, takes a while to load.)

http://eo.eco.netvibes.com/widgets/273382/welcome-to-mr-tonk-s-classroom

Teachers can become part of a teaching community and blog (posting questions/answers to questions, teacher tips, or lesson ideas) using the TeacherLingo widget.

http://eo.eco.netvibes.com/widgets/273247/teacher-lingo

As teacher Mila Saint Anne recommended, teachers can access maps for lessons using Netvibes (perhaps for history or science lessons).

http://www.netvibes.com/milasaintanne/activities/36544986/Maps-International-Education-wall-maps-classroom): http://www.mapsinternational.co.uk/education_downloads.asp

Since teachers are always looking for lesson plan ideas, they can keep up with new ideas using Netvibes.

http://eco.netvibes.com/widgets/254624/free-lesson-plans-for-teachers

Pros & Cons:

Pros: *You can show several different things to students at one time (different widgets). *You can access your Netvibes account from any computer. *You can get daily updates on several different things. *You can use your private page for personal organization and your public page to reach out to students and/or parents. *You can make your pages your own!

Cons: *Too many widgets can be overwhelming for students. *Links may be discontinued.

Tips for Teachers:

  1. Make sure you know whether you are working from your private or public page. It will indicate in the top left-hand corner which page you’re completing. Keep in mind that your public page is accessible to the public.
  2. Make sure your links link to accessible pages, so you don’t have to waste class time searching for another page of the same value.
  3. Minimize your widgets to a certain extent. You don’t want students to be distracted by tons of different widgets on your public page if you are simply checking the widget for updates (as in the weather example).
  4. Make your pages your own! Customize your public page for your audience (be creative!), and your private page according to your personal preferences.
  5. Read helpful blogs about Netvibes! (http://blog.netvibes.com/)

Images Bibliography:

Netvibes.com (2008). Retrieved November 18, 2008. http://www.netvibes.com/.

Content actions

Download module as:

PDF | EPUB (?)

What is an EPUB file?

EPUB is an electronic book format that can be read on a variety of mobile devices.

Downloading to a reading device

For detailed instructions on how to download this content's EPUB to your specific device, click the "(?)" link.

| More downloads ...

Add module to:

My Favorites (?)

'My Favorites' is a special kind of lens which you can use to bookmark modules and collections. 'My Favorites' can only be seen by you, and collections saved in 'My Favorites' can remember the last module you were on. You need an account to use 'My Favorites'.

| A lens I own (?)

Definition of a lens

Lenses

A lens is a custom view of the content in the repository. You can think of it as a fancy kind of list that will let you see content through the eyes of organizations and people you trust.

What is in a lens?

Lens makers point to materials (modules and collections), creating a guide that includes their own comments and descriptive tags about the content.

Who can create a lens?

Any individual member, a community, or a respected organization.

What are tags? tag icon

Tags are descriptors added by lens makers to help label content, attaching a vocabulary that is meaningful in the context of the lens.

| External bookmarks