Is Student Customization of Technology Critical?

I have found that no matter what I do with technology and my students, nothing is as powerful as giving them the ability to customize an application to suit them.  Not only does it motivate them to use the technology, but in the process of customization they also learn how to use the technology.  Having a student respond to a forum by just posting an answer is the same as having them just write it out in class.  Students see this a boring task that can, in fact, turn them off of technology.   Allowing students to customize technology is a key function in the use of technology in secondary education.

Here is a question.  What types of programs and/or applications should we use to allow students to express themselves?  Please post what you use in your class in the comment box below.

  • Here is one example that I have begun to use.  ClassPress is a blogging system that is quite reasonable for secondary educators.  It is only $20 or so a year.  It does allow them to control what their page, font and other aspects of their blog look like.
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