zondag 16 oktober 2011

Playing with Technology

The Cool Tools for Schools Wiki is a very nice website which offers links to all kinds of 'tools' that can be used in the classroom. In fact it is a libary of digital/online tools that can be used by teachers. These tools can be for example:

* Presentation tools like PrezentitWebPoster and Photoshow
* Quiz tools like Yacapaca, Hot Potatoes and Quizlet
* Collaborative tools like DebateGraph, Google Docs and Ninehub (and their slogan is learning anyone, anywhere, anytime :) )
* Writing tools like Bookr, StudentPublishing and Flipsnack
* ...and many more...(see website)

The basic idea is that by putting all these programs together, teachers can more easily find them (and indirectly more easily use them in practice). Most of the tools are user friendly and need no long registration sessions. Also, most tools offer the storage of documents online, which creates good opportunities for storing and sharing documents online. This can be very handy when students have to engage in collaborative learning. 

With two fellow students I have tried some tools from the section 'Presentation Tools'. Prezentit was sort of simple version of Powerpoint and containted many templates for making a fast but professional looking presentation. WebPoster was a program in which you could make quite simple posters with again many templates in the program. Photoshow was an interactive photoalbum, it is meant to share photos. You can add your own comments and music to it, if you like. With this tool we have created a very nice show about Nijntje :) We thought that this tool might be interesting when students have to express their learning trough making pictures. Sometimes assignments include taking pictures and this is a nice and handy way for the students to share their findings with the class. By making the presentations and seeing the photos again, students might repeat the things they learned during the assignment. Or it can be just for fun, for example for showing pictures from an excursion :)

Some features of these cool tools make it really appropriate for usage by teachers. This includes the easy sharing and storage of files made with these tools online, this can improve collaborative learning between teachers and students, and between students. Sometimes teachers might find it difficult to find the tools they need. Here they have a website that gives them a list from which they can choose. Also, new cool tools can inspire teachers to try new things and use tools for learning they would have never thought of themselves. And most of the tools are quite user-friendly. You can use the the program even if you have little digital skills. Therefore, I would suggest that all teachers have a look at this website (and student to, you can probably find something interesting for yourself there!)

2 opmerkingen:

  1. Noooooooo not our presentation about Nijntje! :)

    You are really positive about this websites and the tools. I found the list of tools really impressive and I was asking myself of teachers would know how to select the right tool for their lessons. But may be I am underestimating the technology knowledge of teachers? I agree with you that most tools are user-friendly and easy to store and easy to use for collaboration.

  2. Yeah Nijntje :)

    I think that for teachers it is like for the most of us: just trying out and thinking of what the benefits of one tool could be for their class. And than they select one or more tools.

    I don´t think it will cost a lot of time to learn how a certain tool work (but I can imagine some form of addiction to trying out the tools) and it is of course a big advantage that so many tools are grouped together already, teachers do not need to search for it on the Wild Wild Web...

    Cannot really think of a downside of Cool Tools for Schools right now, it is just really cool :)