NOTE: For more information on any of these technology tools, please click on the tools name and it will take you to the coordinating website.
simSchool : Instructors can use this tool with pre-service teachers as an applied activity in classroom management and differentiated instruction in this game-like application.
I am presently piloting this technology tool in my Child Development course and I am hoping that I will be able to expand it to the Adolescent Development and Contemporary Education and Technology course.
VoiceThread : Students can engage in an on-line forum discussion using varied modes of responses (microphone, webcam, text, phone and audio-file upload). Instructors can present the topic for discussion several different ways: uploading a document, image(s), audio file(s) or video(s).
This tool was piloted in my Contemporary Education and Technology course last semester. At the end of the semester, I found that students enjoyed using this tool and that their level of discussions were at a higher level in comparison with the other courses that used the “written text only” forum discussion in Moodle. I now use this as a tool in all my online, hybrid and “on the ground” courses.
PollEverywhere : Instructors can embed classroom polls into PowerPoint lectures and student responses can be seen on the screen within 2-5 seconds of responding. Poll questions can be either open-ended or multiple choice in format.
I piloted this tool last semester in my Contemporary Education and Technology course as well. In order to keep the students’ responses anonymous, at the beginning of the class I took attendance so that students would receive class participation points for participating in this in-class activity. There is an option in Poll Everywhere to track individual student responses instead of having the students’ responses be anonymous.
Panopto : Instructors can use a webcam to record their image in sync with PowerPoint lectures or use audio to discuss a document.
I use this technology tool predominantly in my online courses. I have also had my students use it to give presentations to upload to the Moodle course shell. This tool is beneficial when the instructor cannot make it to the regularly scheduled class time (illness, weather, conferences).
Rubistar : Instructors and pre-service teachers can use this tool to create rubrics for a variety of assignments. Rubistar allows you to select from a wide variety of grading categories to add to the template and permits editing of any content.
For years I have hand-made my grading rubrics as a teacher, administrator and as a college professor. Rubistar saves me time and increases the clarity of the rubrics for each of the courses that I teach.
Congratulations to Tracy for recently having her work published in the online peer-reviewed Journal of Interactive Technology & Pedagogy. The article, Inspiring Student Engagement with Technology, addresses the question of how to replicate the educational benefits of in-class discussions and lectures in an online environment.
Kudos to Tracy and the other technology fellows for their ongoing work!!