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Session 50: Tech Tuesdays Top 10

Page history last edited by mary.mcglasson@... 10 years, 9 months ago

It's a special occasion - our 50th workshop! Today we'd love to share with you the Top 10 instructional technology tools from the first four years of Technology Tuesdays -- tools that are free, easy to use, quick to implement, and have a high impact on teaching and learning.


1. PollEverywhere


    Uses for PollEverywhere: 

     PollEverywhere can be used in the classroom for semester start-up, or any time to: 

  • Ask about student expectations
  • Let students suggest some of the rules
  • Ice breakers
  • Student questions
  • Student feedback
  • In-person follow-up to online discussion
  • Quick assessment


    Need resources to get started?


2. Flickr



    Uses for Flickr:


    Need resources to get started?


3. Fotoflexer

Fotoflexer is a free, extremely easy-to-use online photo editor. In addition to the "free and easy" part, fotoflexer allows you to easily retrieve photos for editing from a variety of sources:

    • your computer
    • your flickr, Facebook, MySpace, or Photobucket account
    • the web, if you have the URL for the photo
    • many other social networking/social media sites!


Original photo, downloaded from Flickr:
Fotoflexed photo:


    Uses for Fotoflexer:

  • Use basic editing features for images to include in presentations, or in your course website
  • Students can use Fotoflexer for projects
  • Use FotoFlexer to cite the Creative Commons photo(s) that you are using:




    Need resources to get started?



4. Animoto


    Uses for Animoto:


Introductions/learn students' names (just passed digital camera around, and used file folders for tent cards)

What to expect this semester (created the flyers using Word)


    Need resources to get started?


5. Wordle

    Uses for Wordle:

  • Create a Wordle of classroom expectations, based on student input
  • Use Wordle to show your syllabus in a whole new way
  • Summarize/analyze papers, articles, or speeches
  • Want more ideas? Check out 46 Ways to Use Wordle in the Classroom!


    Need resources to get started?


6. YouTube

     Everyone knows about YouTube, but not everyone knows how to embed the YouTube player into their Blackboard (or Canvas) courses!


    Uses for YouTube:

  • In class, to illustrate a concept
  • Engage students in current events.
  • Motivate thinking and reflection. 
  • As part of an online announcement, discussion board or a quiz. 


    Need resources to get started?


7. Voki


With Voki, you can create an animated announcement in minutes; the voice can be created by recording via phone or microphone, or you can type in your message and Voki will use a text-to-speech converter to give your creation a voice. A voki can be created without registering for an account, but if you want to save your vokis, you will want to sign up.





    Uses for Voki:


    Need resources to get started?


8. Join.me  (join us September 11, 2012)




Join.me is an INSANELY easy way to share your computer screen with collaborators -- with a simple click of the "Share" button on the Join.me site, you create a shareable link that others can use so that they can see your computer screen on their computers.


    Uses for Join.me:

  • Students can use Join.Me for study groups
  • Assist students with technical questions, or with assignment questions
  • Online conferences


    Need resources to get started?


9. Weebly (join us October 9, 2012)

  Weebly is the drag'n'drop-easy website creator! With the education account (http://education.weebly.com), you can create two separate websites free of charge. Also, Weebly has now added the capability to have multiple editors of one website, so it would be great for group projects, as well.


    Uses for Weebly:

  • Create a public webpage with basic information about you and/or your courses for prospective students.


     Because the new Canvas LMS allows students to submit a webpage URL as their assignment, you can use SpeedGrader to evaluate student-created websites within Canvas! 

  • Small-group projects
  • Individual projects


    Need resources to get started?


10. Screenr (join us March 5, 2013) 

       Screenr is a very simple screencasting tool that is entirely web-based. Why is Screenr a good tool for a beginning screencaster?

  • Extremely easy to use
  • No download required; entirely web-based
  • You can log in to Screenr with existing Twitter, Facebook, Google, or Yahoo accounts
  • Video displays within the Screenr player
  • You can re-size or move the Screenr recording frame, so you have the flexibility to record only a portion of your screen
  • You can send straight to Twitter or YouTube
  • You can download a video that you have recorded, so that you can play it from your computer
  • You can get the URL or the embed code (i.e., allows you to easily include/share video via Blackboard, social networking sites, or other webpages
  • Works with Mac or PC
  • We haven't seen anything that stipulates a storage limitation within Screenr -- I used my account to create about 40 screencasts within 2 days (average 4 minutes each) and had no problem.


    Uses for Screenr:

  • create video tour for students
  • create demos for students
  • video message to students about an assignment
  • have students create video tour
  • have students create demos 


    Downsides to Screenr?

  • The video is one-shot - no editing after the fact
  • Although Screenr videos are not searchable by others, your screencast will appear in the Public Stream (shows "Recent Screenr Activity") for a few hours after you have posted it.


Here is a sample Screenr video that I created to give feedback to a student on a website that he was building for class:


    Need resources to get started? 


    Screenr Tips:

  • Because Screenr records everything in one shot, with no post-recording editing options, you want to :
    • have an idea in advance what you want to say. Five minutes goes fast, so plan accordingly! Feel free to record in small segments, using the Screenr "pause" feature to pause your recording while you gather your thoughts.
    • if you are going to go longer than 5 minutes, leave some time at the end for a "to be continued" sort of a statement, then start another video.
    • if you don't like the finished recording, don't fuss about it - just delete it and start again. Remember, it only takes a few minutes.
  • The player size never changes, so the more you try to fit into your capture screen, the smaller it will look on playback (however, there is a fullscreen mode that you can use for playback, and you will get everything in clear detail, even if it looked small in the regular player).


Click here to complete the evaluation!



  • Ask about student expectations
  • Let students suggest some of the rules
  • Ice breaker
  • Student questions
  • Student feedback (includes expressing concerns about the course)


Need resources to get started?

  • Video demo: (New feature!) How to change the background color/pattern of your poll.(NOTE: There were some minor changes to PollEverywhere in August 2010 - the instructions to get to the customization options are the same, but the actual options have changed)
  • Note: At this time, Polleverywhere does not integrate perfectly with Blackboard 9.  The "Live chart" widget works, but the "Web-voting" widget (which would probably be more useful in the context of Bb) does not.


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