Monday, December 24, 2007

Tools and Applications of 2007


Reflecting on the year - just Wow!!! what a plethora of tools and applications have appeared in various guises this year - there have been Beta releases of some interesting and very useful tools for the education community this year.
But I believe that as the year end approaches we really need to critically appraise those which have merit and allow those which do not to quietly leave the stage.

For me in the classroom this year :

Voicethread - comes in at Number 1 - great interactive tool allowing almost synchronous commenting on short slide based podcasts ( Allanah K's class did an excellent Voicethread on Money, money, money which received comments from around the globe). Kids love the immediacy of Voicethread - simple, just upload your pictures and make your slidehow, then add your commentary.

Voki is an application which pupils also love as it allows simple recording along with the ability to chose an avatar to speak your words allowing the anonymity which pupils in Primary classes need.

Skype - has allowed us to chat in class to friends in Europe ( our E-Twinning Group) and across the world in New Zealand... though I must say that Skype is now being caught up by other similar applications.

We have continued to find Audacity the winner over Garageband as a podcasting recorder this year.... sorry Apple! ( Garageband is great for creating media as are the rest of the Apple Mac creative media suite) - personally I wouldn't touch anything other than iMovie for dv film making in school ( Digital Blue - poor relation).

For my personal contacts both keeping for keeping in touch with colleagues globally and CPD ( Continuous Professional Development) :

Twitter has been a revelation this year ( many thanks to Sheryl Nussbaum- Beech for introducing me to it) - just great for short notes to friends and colleagues and also a great place to tell people about what you are doing to drum up an audience.

FlashMeeting - has been excellent as a video conferencing application, I have used it for Global Educators Meetings this year - it has also been used for meetings of the UK based EdTechRoundup Group ( more of this in 2008!!!). It has also been tried out by Sharon Toner as a means of communicating to the Voices of the World Group.

Wiki's - I have used Wikispaces to create a place for students to carry out research on The Tudors - which was really useful as a webquest. there are as they say - other wiki sources out ther PB Wiki to name but one. Wiki's have also been a place for organising meetings with teachers - again through EdTechRoundup.

I have dipped my toe into the murky commercial world of Facebook - great for keeping in touch with friends and colleagues - but I like others worry about the commercial use of our data on Facebook. I have also been looking into the uses of Ustream.TV - this could revolutionise the way key notes are given at conferences - live streaming I believe will eventually become the norm.
I must also put in a word for the K12 Online Conference 2007 feeds ( both audio and video podcasts - subscribe and grab them to your iTunes) - and also my aggregators - Bloglines, Netvibes and more recently Google Reader....
Jing also for a while was a great favourite of mine allowing excellent screen capture with audio for walk throughs of programs.... as was Skitch for a while on the Mac.

Top 2 for 2007
School/Class Use - Voicethread
Teacher Use - Twitter

2008 looks like being just as exciting as many new variants of the above programs appear - with a twist - I hope to make greater use of Google - Docs, Spreadsheets and Presentations in 2008 along with video streaming applications for teacher training..... so from Ddraig - Goch - I hope that you receive all you wish for on Tuesday - Happy Holiday and Best Wishes from Wales

1 comment:

Moturoa said...

I pretty much agree with your choices of 'best of' for 2008.

So much of this year has been a learning curve for me. At the beginning of the year I didn't have an edublog, hadn't met Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, David Warlick or Ewan McIntosh, didn't know so much.

It seems like a long time ago and I am surprised that it was only 12 months.

Enjoy Christmas with the grandchildren. Wonderful to see Christmas through the eyes of a child.

AllanahK

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