ITC 2012 Day 3: Using Free Tools to Support Teaching and Learning

Presented by Shannon Eastep of Northern Kentucky University.

Love love love me some free tools! I’m the kinda guy who will try pretty much any tech tool, just to see what happens, and I’m always looking out for more. So this is really my kind of session. From the handout, I can already see that I’ll be walking out of the session with new goodies in my bag. Tools being showcased are part of NKU’s EDU305 – Conference Presentations course.

  • Audacity: I’ve used this one for years to record and edit audio and find myself using it more and more. It’s cross-platform. It’s open source. It’s flexible. Plug-ins are available to further enhance functionality.
  • AudioBoo: On-the-fly web-based audio recoding.
  • Dipity: Create interactive Web-based timelines complete with embedded multimedia elements. (Alternative: Time Toast)
  • EyeJot: Create and send video emails
  • Jing: Record on-the-fly video screen captures or grab screenshots. Videos up to 5 minutes with a 2GB bandwidth limit for Jing videos. (Alternative: Screencast-o-matic)
  • PB Works: Create and maintain wiki’s.
  • PollEverywhere: Online polls which can be used in f2f sessions to get immediate feedback from students. Students text responses.
  • StudyStack: Create and deliver flash cards and other interactive study aids like hangman, matching, and bug chase. (StudyStack is a free alternative to Respondus StudyMate)
  • Today’s Meet: Web-based meeting rooms for chat sessions or online office hours.
  • Vocaroo: On-the-fly web based audio recordings. Drawback is that recordings may only be available for 3-4 months
  • VoiceThread: Web-based Audio discussion board which provides a presentation and allows users to make comments on the presentation via audio, video, or text.
  • Bonus idea: Present PowerPoint as a video. Export voice-over PPT slides as JPG files then import audio and images into Movie Maker to create videos.
  • Bonus idea #2: Create excel spreadsheet as a formative assessment. Cell presents prompt, students select what they think is the appropriate answer from a second cell, and a third cell tells the student whether or not they selected the correct answer.

Bonus idea… Present PowerPoint as a video. Export voice-over PPT slides as JPG files then import audio and images into Movie Maker to create videos.

Some considerations for all these tools (and others)…

  • Can you download your materials?
  • Are they ADA compliant?
  • What are the Limitations of free accounts?
  • How long will it stay on the site?
  • Mobile compatibility?
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