Tech Teaching Tools

swiss-army

As the newest addition to my teaching team, I’ve been able to attend a number of trainings and workshops on incorporating digital technologies into teaching to promote student engagement and facilitate learning.

I have been enjoying trying some of these things out and wanted to share them with you. I haven’t gotten around to using them all yet so most of these are not proper reviews, just short introductions to the tools.

If you do give something a try, I’d be interested to hear how you get on with it!

  1. CATME – http://info.catme.org/

CATME is a system of secure, web-based tools that enable instructors to implement best practices in managing student teams.  You can have students take a survey that you create and the software will help you use their answers as criteria to build effective teams (I was too late to use this with New Venture Creation this year but I would definitely try it for next time!)

Summary PDF here: http://info.catme.org/wp-content/uploads/Team-Maker_brochure_-_8_5x11_2013.pdf

  1. Padlet – https://padlet.com

If we’ve spoken lately, it’s likely I will have mentioned Padlet. It’s my new favourite way to try to get students in my massive lecture to interact and ask questions. It functions as a wall to which people can post notes, thoughts and questions – super simple, no logins or usernames needed.

I have been using the same Padlet wall for each session and just changing the prompt at the top. After the session, I answer any posted questions and export the file as a PDF which I then post to Moodle as an additional resource for that session. If the students are particularly young or rowdy, I’d recommend selecting the Moderated version so you can choose what gets posted and shown.

  1. Peerwise – https://peerwise.cs.auckland.ac.nz/

Peerwise seems like an interesting tool to get students to do peer-to-peer teaching and evaluation. It is a repository of questions created by students. Students post questions and answer each other’s questions. There’s some built in incentive for them to do it, as they can’t see others’ feedback for them unless they first feed back to others. Intro video here: https://peerwise.cs.auckland.ac.nz/docs/1min_Intro.php

  1. Panopto – http://panopto.com/

This is a bit of a bigger deal than the others, as it is an organizational-level subscription-based platform for recording, streaming and managing video. Could be useful, if everyone’s using it.

  1. Explain Everything – http://www.morriscooke.com/applications-ios/explain-everything-2

Super cool and seemingly very popular content creation app for the education sector. Versions available for iOS, Android and Windows. Makes screencasts simple, allows you to annotate and move all objects. Seems to work best with a tablet, which I don’t have yet so I haven’t gotten to try it. But I’m thinking of investing in one soon, so I plan to give this a go.

  1. Big Red Pen – http://www.redpentool.com/

An online marking, annotation and assessment tool that allows you to provide feedback on digital files. Looks like there is a way to hook this up with Moodle. I’d be very willing to experiment with this one, especially for formative assessment purposes.

That’s it for now! I’ll update this post if I come across any other fun and functional tech tools that could possibly assist us with the wide variety of tasks that teachers today are meant to undertake, despite there still being only 24 hours in a day…

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