This blog will actually showcase someone else’s work…
because Michael Zimmer has done a great job of putting together a publication that explains some useful, current tech tools. I am familiar with many of the tools, but others are new to me. I’m REALLY excited about one of them (Dropbox) because I think it may solve a file transfer issue I have. Hopefully YOU will find a tech tool that will excite you too!
BTW, the purpose behind this post is to ENTICE YOU to go to Mr. Zimmer’s publication to find out more! I have gone to the trouble of listing all the tools he discusses so that you might come across one that has intrigued or puzzled you, or perhaps one that you think might enrich your own technology!
Here is a brief synopsis of this information you can explore in depth
at “Tools for the 21st Century“.
Twitter is a social networking tool which has allows educators to quickly share very short comments, valuable links, questions, and helpful answers. It’s how I found THIS useful resource!
Blogging is a great way to share your interests online (eg. Edublogs, Blogger, WordPress). Classroom Blogs provide an interactive way of communicating between school and home, as well as providing a wider audience for student work.
Once you become interested in reading, or hopefully creating, blogs you need a way to organize your favourite blogs and a way to find out when new information becomes available. RSS feeds bring the updates to you, instead of you having to go searching yourself.
Glogster is a “digital poster board”, so you can add images, audio, and video to your creations. I was inspired when I saw it used in a teacher website, and my computer club has been trying it out at school, via a “Glogster Education account“.
I’ve heard about Prezi from several different sources, but I really need to do more exploring here! Mr. Zimmer says it is one of his favourite new tools, so it must be good! He describes it this way: “The best way to describe Prezi is to think of it as 3D Infinite Canvas for creating a presentation.”
Dropbox offers free online storage for 2GB (think of your flashdrive size). This is the one I’m going to sign up for right after I finish this blog!!!
Evernote is another way of organizing your information. It can be information that you find on the internet, but it could also be notes you are taking at a conference or something you would jot down on a post-it, a napkin, or the palm of your hand. There is a free app for using it with your phone too. Hmmmm….. this sounds interesting!!!
Quizlet allows you or your students to create online flash cards. I just took a peek at it… it looks worth a longer look!!!
Wallwisher is like a virtual bulletin board where you can stick your post-it notes, photos, videos etc. I had heard of this before, but thought “why would I want to do that?” Mr. Zimmer provides some good reasons!
TitanPad allows you to collaborate with others in real-time. Evidently there are several such programs out there, but this is one of the more popular ones. Each person gets a different colour of type, so you can easily see who is adding information to a document or conversation.
Skype is a hugely popular and free video conferencing web-based software. Basically, it allows you to talk to others in real time, just like on the phone, but free! Lots of people just use it for personal reasons, ie. talking with relatives.
Wordle is a very popular program that allows you to make “word clouds”. The title page of Mr. Zimmer’s publication is a Wordle. Basically, it ranks the number of times you use a word in your article (the, and, etc are removed) and then highlights these in larger font. It’s fun and attractive too!
Wikispaces is a place to store as well as share information, links, videos, photos, and files. I have tried out Wikispaces with my grade 5 computer club and want to do more with it. Mr. Zimmer has created a “Wiki Wednesdays” post to highlight useful wikis he finds.
THANK YOU SO MUCH, MR. ZIMMER!
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your publication and plan to follow up on several suggested programs.
I hope that this blog will inspire others to do the same!