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 screencast.com, and then she shares the students a link so they can view video.
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 http://web20guru.wikispaces.com/Web+2.0+Resources ). 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.