Currently researching technologies that complement our online classes…

I am now involved in an interdepartmental group—Complementing Technologies. The group just started up and we are researching technologies out there that complement what we do in our online courses.

I just sent out an email to two of my instructors asking them if they could write up a brief note that I can share with my colleagues that discusses how their recent use of [insert tool] has met a need in their course and discuss their use of it. I bet I will get some interesting replies that I can share at the next meeting. These art tools that I recently have recommended and know have been in use by some classes with great success:

  • Techsmith’s Jing
    The instructor utilizes this tool to provide JIT help with students who are having trouble with html coding, programing, etc. She captures a video w/audio of her comp screen and then the video is automatically uploaded to, and then she shares the students a link so they can view video.
  • Tiki-Toki
    The instructor uses this is the collaborative timeline that allows students to review and add entries to a class timeline. Students can add images and descriptions to the entries they are making. She is presenting this as a collaborative strategy in an upcoming K-Higher Ed Fine Arts conference.

Another tool that came up in conversation at the meeting was Voice Thread it allows users to add audio to a discussion around an image or presentation. From what we can see, it is a pretty slick “digital storytelling” tool that has been mentioned numerous times in Faculty Focus, Edutopia, The Chronicle, THE Journal, etc.

Also, here is a link that I shared with the group—Web 2.0 Guru (see ). This link is the main page on his site to check out. It categorizes an exhaustive list of Web 2.0 tools. Categories like blogging, collaboration, communication, games, mobile tools, note taking, podcasting, polls/surveys, portfolios, text speech, wikis, etc.

Most are free, some are old, some links are even bad, but there are some gems! If you are looking for a place to explore, this would be a fun place to start. But don’t hit this page unless you want to spend an hour clicking around… there is a ton of stuff…

What do you think about these technologies? I would love to share with my group what you:

  • What you like/dislike about the tool
  • What you wish the tool would do but doesn’t
  • How easy it was to pick up and use the first time
  • How easy it is for your students to use, what they find difficult
  • Advantages/disadvantages of using the free version
  • Discuss your cost incurred (if)
  • The maintenance involved
  • The customization or lack of

More to come on my involvement in this group.


About DaveHallmon

With experience in web, graphic, and instructional design, Dave maintains a balance between what is efficient and effective in every message. He always focuses on the why and how rather than "just doing it" to get the job done. By day he works at a leading university designing online courses that support 9,000 students in 64 countries. He works directly with faculty to brainstorm, design, and develop their online instruction utilizing the Adobe suite. He also teaches for the university as an adjunct faculty member in the area of web design. By night he is a devoted husband, father, freelancer, and adventurer of the outdoors. His other interests include LifeHacker, Science Fiction and Hayao Miyazaki movies, Settlers of Catan, and coffee with friends. He currently lives in St. Louis and has an M.S. in Instructional Design and aspires to pursue a professional degree in content marketing and strategy. Visit the links below for more information about his interests and design work.
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