I’ve been playing with a few new tech tools as of late, so I thought I might share a few with you today. I should be grading, but I just can’t get myself to read another paper. Each of the tools have great mobile apps as well, which is why I found them interesting.
I’m really liking teaching with Google+ although my students are just using it as a blog. We’re not making them do much else, but I can see the possibilities, and they like commenting on each others posts without any prodding from us. It’s a learning community – team taught with a reading teacher. Good stuff. Anyway, I like that SlideShare has made it possible to share presentations in a hangout. Google+ is really getting good. I have lots of ideas of how I could use this. Speaking of online presentations, check out MyBrainshark. This tool makes it easier to add voice over to your PPT slides and other features for that matter, and it works on iOS and Android devices.
The next one is Piazza. Piazza is a question-and-answer platform designed to get students great answers from classmates and instructors fast. Here is a list of key features. Ask questions on Piazza rather than emailing the teacher so everyone can benefit from a response. Every question has a single Students’ Response that students can edit collectively (and a single Instructors’ Response for instructors). If the Students’ and Instructors’ Responses aren’t clear, ask a Followup below the responses. You can comment on Followups, too, or start a new Followup thread for a different topic. Shy about asking a question? Select an “Anonymous” option before you post. Tag your posts so classmates can easily filter questions of the same topic. Type a “#” before a key word to tag. Surround code with HTML pre-formatting tags and LaTex blocks with “$$”. This is a great tool to handle questions in courses.
The last one is StudyBlue. Make, share and compare online flashcards and notes for free with StudyBlue. Bah, sounds boring, but it’s actually kind of cool. You can add audio and pictures to your cards and you can share them with a class. It integrates well with your mobile device and sends reminders when it’s time to study.
Presentation for the TYCA-West conference in Clarkdale, AZ. Using podcasting in freshman composition courses.