tech tools for teachers

Thanks to Dan Roberts for putting together this great list of tools for classroom teaching. It seems we may still be in the infant stage of exploring how the net can serve as a giant communication tool, these sites below give us even more creative ways we can have our students interact and work with each other. Bring it on!

These tools are all free, easy to use, easy to access and can be used in any subject at any age to enhance the learning experience.

1. Wallwisher http://www.wallwisher.com/
Is a great little Web 2.0 tool principally for collaboration. You have a virtual wall where you can post little post it notes on to it although these are not like the normal yellow sticky notes you get as because they are online instead of just writing text you can add links to websites, images, music, audio podcasts and even videos. You can visit the example of the wallwisher one of my classes used here as a starter activity to a new topic: http://www.wallwisher.com/wall/jameshutton

2. Photopeach http://www.photopeach.com/
Photopeach is basically a really easy, free to use tool to produce slide shows a bit like photostory apart from you can chose music from the library that is has so in some ways also like animoto but less fancy transitions. The best bit that I love about photopeach is the two added little extras that they have at the end. The first is that at the end of your show you can add a quiz section where you write questions and then the audience get to select multiple choice answers and see if they are right. I think that this is a great way to get students to test other students knowledge which could also be really useful for revision not only for the student creating the show who has to come up with suitable questions but also for the ones watching it making them think of the answers. The second is that at the end of watching you then have the option of leaving a comment like you can on most of the video/show type sites however this is different as when you leave a comment it stays on the video itself as if you were watching the credits. I think this has great potential for peer assessment and peer feedback and think it is just awesome. Here is an example of one students work. http://photopeach.com/album/blo8nv 


3. Doink http://www.doink.com/
This is a free web 2.0 tool where anyone can create their own animations really easily. My students have recently created their own and when you have finished the animation you can then publish it to youtube or embed it on your social networking site or blog or email people your animation movie. I think this is a brilliant tool, the students loved using it and a few of them have said they will be using it at home to create their own animations to help with revision in many different subjects. Check out one of my students animations that they created during a 1 hour lesson on enzymes: http://www.doink.com/clips/chloeemily/562254

4. Dvolver moviemaker www.dvolver.com
Dvolver Moviemaker is a simple tool that enables you to create your own animated cartoons by selecting from a range of characters backgrounds and scenarios and adding your own dialogue text bubble. The movies can then be sent by email or embedded into blogs or websites for others to enjoy. I used this within a lesson on homeostasis and the results were fantastic though this creative tool they had demonstrated their new knowledge about Homeostasis this example was produced in just 7 minutes by a student. http://www.dvolver.com/live/movies-304197

5. Voicethread http://voicethread.com/
Is basically a digital-storytelling website that allows teachers and students to share their stories through audio, images, videos or text.  Others can then comment on these in several ways such as 1) voice with a microphone, 2) or voice with telephone), 3) text, 4) audio file, or 5) video with a webcam. You can share these with everyone around the world or just the people you invite to view them, it is also free to sign up. There is also a video tutorial on the site on the homepage showing how to use it.

6. Songsmith
Is a really simple, quick and easy way for students to enhance their learning by creating their own professional sounding songs (well depends who is singing it!). The best news is that it is now absolutely free if you sign up and register at the Microsoft’s Partners in learning Network which is also free for teachers: http://bit.ly/ctVyo4 You can view and listen to some examples of songs produced by students here: http://www.saltash.net/main/index.php?page=experimental

7. Community Clips
This is a free to download application from Microsoft that once you downloads it automatically add’s in to all Microsoft office applications like Word, Powerpoint etc. You can then use it to record what you do on screen to help make how to videos which you can edit afterwards. It captures the image and audio so you can commentate on what you are doing. Teachers have used this while demonstrating things on the whiteboard so students have the video resource to revisit later or students can use it to make their own videos to demonstrate their knowledge about things. You can download it here:http://www.officelabs.com/projects/communityclips/Pages/Default.aspx and here is an example video that was created using it that you can see here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jz2CB7ijl0

 8. Freerice.com http://www.freerice.com/
This is a website where users play various educational, multiple-choice games in order to fight world hunger.  For every answer the user answers correctly, 10 grains of rice are donated. It is an excellent tool to improve literacy, chemistry, foreign languages, maths, art or geography especially using it for the starters to a lesson or as a fun activity to break up a double lesson with a group of students. Here is a video created by one of our students on how you can use it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLnL0HZO4yA

9. Quizlet http://quizlet.com/
This is a free web 2.0 tool where you can create and generate your own quizzes. The part that my students really enjoyed about it was that it did a lot of the hard work for you. For example it generates all of the games that you can use for revision itself, if you make flash cards for revision then this site will do it for you instantly. In addition to this is that you can then share your flash cards with other people all over the world or even in your class. Here is an example by one of my students: http://quizlet.com/1804783/keywords-flash-cards/


10. Glogster http://www.glogster.com/
This is a really creative and free site, the sites saying is “poster yourself”.  A ‘glog’ is basically an online poster web page.  Students can combine text, pictures, graphics, video, and audio to create an interactive online poster. You can visit the site for examples and demonstrations.

 Top ten Tec Tools – from Ted the “Chicken Man’s Blog”

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