Saturday, 16 June 2012

My #scoopit digest - the most popular tools in May/June

I looked through my scoopit website to find out which tools and software have produced the largest number of reactions during the months of May and June. The number of responses may indicate how serviceable and practical the technology is. It may also suggest which tools are in greater demand or more called for.

Free online mind mapping software - MAPMYself (Mapul) - 57 reactions
Multimedia tools for educators - 54 reactions
6 Top Tools For Creating Presentations In 3D - 54 reactions officially launched today - 52 reactions
TweetShow - 52 reactions
Create interactive infographics - - 50 reactions
PDF Presenter - 42 reactions
Ezvid - Record Screencast And Create Slideshows - 41 reactions
How to create an animated presentation with #PowToon - 37 reactions
Viewbix - empower your video - 36 reactions
Open Sankoré | The Free Interactive Whiteboard Software - 36 reactions
Add Speaking Animated Characters To PowerPoint Slides With SitePal - 36 reactions
How to create a great prezi (iPad) - 36 reactions
Grabilla – ScreenShot and ScreenCast tool - 34 reactions
Conceptboard for education - 31 reactions

There are some fantastic tools that have failed to attract due interest from the site visitors therefore I'd like to point out some of them.

SnapCrab for Windows - Screen capture software (free) - easy screen capture with one click of the mouse.

CanvasDropr - How to create and back up multimedia presentations virtually? - a web based visual collaboration service that is available for free. It helps you to create presentations and place them on the digital canvas in real-time.

LittlePPT - Free Powerpoint Reader and Presentation Editor - a free powerpoint processing program similar to Microsoft PowerPoint, compatible with all formats.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Summer holidays and computers

Image by Spree2010
I have been trying to accustom my students to using online sites for creating their personal pages. They started with wikis a few years ago, went on to using class websites and ended up with writing their blogs.

As an example, you can take a look at the class website of my 15 year old students which was mainly used for posting tasks and (sometimes) asking for their responses. Students learned to write comments and read what other classmates had written. Very often an online task was accompanied by a follow-up at the next lesson to ensure they would read what the others had written.

My 17 year old students tried out blogging last summer which you can see here. I created a class blog and each of them had a page (some students did not feel like doing it, the others worked all summer, so I did not insist). They could post on their pages their summer reflections and pictures. For all of them it was the first time they published something on the web, and they unanimously declared it had been a wonderful experience, though not exactly child's play.  

On the last day of school I discussed with my students what they could do online during the long summer holidays (on rainy days, on being-sick days, on I-am-bored days) and, not without a bit of resistance, we made a deal - they create their own page of choice and I give them grades in autumn.

I made several suggestions about the websites and tools they could use, depending on what they felt comfortable with.

Beeclip is a website for creating a personal scrapbook. If you gather your summer impressions in pictures and don't feel like writing a lot, that's the right tool.
Update! Beeclip has now been updated to Biteslide. It is a beautiful site for creative projects and presentations, and students can work on them collaboratively.

Diary is a free, personal online journal which is available to anyone older than 13 (Terms of Use). Write entries and post images on your page, keep it private or show it to everyone.

Penmia is a free, secure online diary for capturing your impressions, reflections and thoughts. Penmia lets you upload pictures and attach links to your posts.

Notepub is a free online notepad which can be made public or kept private. It allows you to write posts, upload pictures and attach files. It is simple and easy to use which makes it great for students.

Orbs is an excellent option if you'd like to share editing and posting on your page with another person. It allows to create a webpage with 2 editors for free so it's a fantastic opportunity for two best friends!

September will (or won't) bear fruit and I'm keen to see how tech-minded my students are.