Selected IT Links

Learning Management Systems

  • Google Classroom and Google Apps for Education. Free integrated approach. Courses have a feed to which students as well as teachers contribute.
  • Edmodo. Similar feed to Google Classroom, now integrated with Google Apps for Education and Microsoft OneNote and Office; has communities for teacher sharing.
  • Moodle. Open source learning platform. Your school needs to set up a server, but has great flexibility in terms of activities and resources that can be configured with a course. Still rather instruction-driven compared with Google and Edmodo.
  • Consumer comparison of learning management systems, PC magazine 2017.

Presentation software

  • 40 alternatives to PowerPoint. Most of these are made form business presentations, but so is PPT. Prezi and Keynote are popular in education.
  • Nearpod. Combines information slides with question slides. Students use their mobile device to respond to questions.

Cyberbullying and Privacy

The use of digital media for bullying is an important concern, and can take many forms. It has some specific features that are not present in other forms of bullying. What do you think you need to teach students about  cyberbullying?

Blogging

  • Blogs in plain English. From TeachTube. Click the add away to see the video.
  • WordPress. Free environment for blogging, presenting content (page) and course management. If you want to set up your own environment at school.
  • Tumblr. A simple blogging environment. It doesn’t allow commenting and does not support a tag cloud. Good for younger children.
  • Kidblog. A WordPress service, but simplified for young children with safety in mind.
  • Classroom examples. A list with good examples to explore.

Concept Mapping Tools

  • Bubble.us. Simple brainstorming, mind mapping tool.
  • Mindmeister. US $4.99 per user (expensive!). basic free version with up to 3 mind maps.
  • Coggle. Similar to Mindmeister.

Voicethread

Many tools for collaboration are text-based, which is not good for all learners. Why not have students interact using their voices? Voicethread is an environment in which you can combine different media (audio, video and slides) to make a presentation, and students can interact with the content and each other. Website | Example

Using Media

  • Pages of Life (Hong Kong). A documentary by a junior secondary student.
  • Grade 8 GarageBand project. CAPTION: “At my previous school I was able to develop a program in teaching Film Music to year 8 students like a PBL (project based learning) environment. The students created their own sound effects, voice overs and background scores (either using loops, MIDI or own compositions).”
  • Getting started with GarageBand. Good for recording music and audio presentations.
  • Video capture software: This is software that you can used to record screen actions and narrate your actions. A good way to show students how to complete complex tasks on the computer. The session is recorded as a digital movie and edited. It is important to set the area on the screen that you want to capture big to improve resolution; you can reduce the size later. The software I have used is Screenflick but there are many other options. QuickTime, included with Apple OS, also has this function.
  • Audio and video files are large and need to be compressed. There are different methods for compressing and decompressing files, which gives rise to different file formats. If you have a file that is not the right format for your program, you need to use a codec (a program that decompresses and compresses files of different formats). Click here for a FAQ on codecs for Windows. Codecs.com is a website that provides a collection of codecs.

Podcasting

A podcast is a broadcast that you play when you want it, on the devices of your choice. Many podcasts are published to iTunes. You can subscribe to the podcast series that you want to follow. When you sync your mobile device with iTunes, any new episode will be pushed to that device and you can play it. Good for students or teachers. E.g., 12 of my favourite podcasts for teachers.

Social Networking

social media

Subject Specific Software/websites

  • Geogebra. Amazing software for all areas of high school math, with good integration of visual and algebraic representations.
  • Graspable math. Grab parts of algebraic expressions and literally more them around. Get a physical sense of algebraic operations. Watch learning scientist Dr. Erin Ottmar explain the background.
  • WISE: Web-based Inquiry Science Environment.  Excellent environment and research-based curriculum to engage high-school students in science inquiry projects. There is a server in China.
  • EcoMUVE. A MUVE is a multiuser virtual environment. This one developed by Dr. Chris Dede and colleagues (Harvard University) provides an immersive virtual environment, a digital world in which students can carry out inquiry about ecological questions. In conjunction with this they also do field studies in the physical world.
  • The Concord Consortium. This centre has been developing innovative hardware and software to support STEM learning for decades. Have a look at their resources page. Based on and contributing to learning-sciences research.
  • PhET: Interactive simulations for science and math from the University of Colorado. Founded by physics Nobel laureate Dr. Carl Wieman.
  • GoLabz: Online repository of online labs, apps, and inquiry spaces from a large project funded by the European Union.
  • TeachArchives.org: Archival material to teach history. (US-based.)

Reports

  • CIRCL: Center for Innovative Research in Cyber Learning (lots of projects/ideas)