EdTech Practices for 2012 – Tools for the Process of Learning

21 Sep

In order to kick off your use of technology in the classroom this year, consider incorporating one of these online tools into your classroom!

This series of posts reiterates and expands upon the list of resources collected for Mr. Chase’s AIMS presentation: “Easy Innovations: Web Tech Tools in the Classroom” from last year. (Resources that did not appear in that presentation are marked here as “new.”)

'Day14-geared-up' photo (c) 2008, Lotus72 - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Tools to enhance the Process of learning

These online resources are ideal for students and teachers to enhance the learning process.

Research Tools

  • Content Curation: Use online bookmarking systems and reader sites that allow you to subscribe to the Internet.
    • Pinterest – Share websites and images you find online on a virtual board. Invite others to share similar images on your board.
    • Pocket (Read it Later) (new) – Create an account with this service to easily bookmark articles and read them later. This service also formats articles with a clean background, removing flash ads for easy reading. Read it Later also offers robust mobile integration.
    • Google Reader – This Google service allows you to subscribe to “feeds” of information across the web. Keep track of new blog posts, comment threads, and more, all in one place.
  • Landing Pages: Instead of using Yahoo or Google as your homepage, make your own website with easy-to-access links. Consider creating pages for your students in order to easily drive them towards appropriate content.
    • Symbaloo – Use Symbaloo to create a web presence filled with bookmarks of your own choosing. You can organize the bookmarks within the intuitive interface in any way you choose.
    • Only 2 Clicks – Use this site to create an account and quickly access your favorite bookmarks in under 2 Clicks. Organize links in clickable folders.
  • Task Management / To Do Lists:  These sites allow users to manage tasks efficiently, with robust notifications and mobile apps to accompany the online experience. Use these websites to keep yourself on track. These sites would also greatly help students who struggle with organization and deadlines.
    • Any.do – (new) This Chrome extension is based on the popular Android and iPhone app to have quick and instant access to your to do lists.
    • Remember the Milk – This simple, free website helps you manage your tasks with a variety of services and apps, including iPhone Siri as well as Gmail integration.
  • Note-taking: Never lose your notes again! With these online tools you can access your notes from anywhere and collaborate with others by sharing with a larger group.
    • Evernote – With a variety of ways to create and store notes, Evernote is an ideal system for note-taking.
    • EasyBib / Noodle Tools (subscription-based) – Each of these services combines note-taking with citation manaagement.
  • File Management: If you forget to frequently backup files, and are sick of saving to email, consider creating an account to one of these services so you can access your files from anywhere.
    • Dropbox – With Dropbox, you can seamlessly create backups of all your important documents so you will never lose important files again!
    • Google Drive (new) – Google’s updated Google Docs system comes with a great downloadable application to sync your online docs with your desktop.
  • Citation: Make the research process easier for your students by using these citation resources
    • EasyBib / Noodle Tools (subscription-based) – Each of these services combines note-taking with citation manaagement.
    • Bib Me – This easy-to-use bibliography site focuses on one thing, and does it well: creating free bibliographies.

Communication Tools & the Social Web:

  • Learning Management Systems – An LMS is a website or web-app that helps teachers organize classroom content and learning through the use of online learning objects, discussion forums, and even interactive assessments. For more information, read Mr. Chase’s article “Blending Learning: Learning Management Systems
    • Moodle – Free and open-sourced, Moodle is an extensible course management system, currently used by Capital City PCS.
    • Edmodo – This social based learning management system is easy to set up, and is sure to engage students.
    • Canvas (new) – This robust course management system provides multiple features with a clean interface.
  • Online Study Groups: Encourage your students to use the power of social media for good!
    • eNotes (new) – This site offers homework help in addition to study guides and other educational resources.
    • Hoot.me – Turn Facebook into a study center to encourage students to connect with classmates and tutors.
  • Online flashcards: These online tools digitally recreate the act of quizzing with flashcards and are ideal as study aids.
    • Quizlet – Create flashcards with your own terms and definitions, or search from a database of flashcards. Share your flashcards with classmates, or assign them to students.
    • Easy Notecards – Search from an extensive library of user-created notecards, or create and share your own.
  • Backchannel – Consider creating a “parking lot” on the fly by having students use instant messaging services to pose questions and take collaborative notes
    • Today’s Meet – Easily create and share a chat room without the need to create registered accounts.
    • Chatzy (new) – Free, private chat rooms without registration
  • Video Conference:  Go beyond the walls of your classroom by letting your students interact with others across the country or world.
    • Skype – The industry-standard of web-based communication, Skype allows for audio-only, or video chat.
    • Facetime (new) – This Mac-app for OSX and iOS allows you to easily connect with other Mac users.
  • Polling: Like clicker systems, online polling sites give you instantaneous feedback from students. Easily create and conduct formative or summative assessments online.
    • Poll Everywhere / Mentimeter (new) – These polling systems allow teachers to easily create polls, but require students answer with their own mobile devices, or through a link online.
    • Google Form – Use your google apps account to easily create a form, sharing it with students in your classes.
  • Petitions/Real World Audiences: Allow your students to work on more meaningful projects by engaging in real world audiences. These sites are ideal ways for students to make a real, significant impact on their world.
    • Care 2: The Petition Site – Start a free petition and share it with your friends and the world.
    • Change.org – Start a petition, mobilize support and advocate for change.
    • See Click Fix – Use this site to report neighborhood issues and see them get fixed. Great for fixing local issues.

Note: This blog post is cross-posted with my other blog: Cap City Technology Tips

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