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Founded by Tariq Krim in 2005, Netvibes pioneered the personalized homepage as alternative to traditional web portals. Netvibes lets individuals assemble their favorite widgets, websites, blogs, email accounts, social networks, search engines, instant messengers, photos, videos, podcasts, and everything else they enjoy on the web - all in one place.
As you can tell from the wide variety of widgets one 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, book marking 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
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.
Pros and Cons of Netvibes:
There are a variety of widgets to choose from that could be used for many purposes (with respect to yourself, parents, and students).
You can access your Netvibes account from any computer.
You can organize your private page and public page as needed.
It takes seconds to setup an account and start personalizing!
Some widgets take longer than others to add to your page.
Links on your page can expire without your knowledge.
Too many widgets on your private page could overwhelm your students.
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.
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.
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).
Make your pages your own! Customize your public page for your audience (be creative!), and your private page according to your personal preferences.
Read helpful blogs about Netvibes! ( http://blog.netvibes.com/ )
Today, Netvibes is a global community of users who are taking control of their digital lives by personalizing their web experience. Netvibes is also a widget platform that is used by thousands of publishers around the world.
Overall, Netvibes would be a useful resource in the classroom. I believe that the positive outweigh the negative and would use this start page in my classroom for my students and parents.