Initial thoughts on emerging tools

We have quite a few tools on our list and I don’t think we have even scratched the surface of what is out there.   It is daunting how much stuff is available and how long you can spend looking for the one that suits your needs best.   Knowing that you could do it all over again in a year with completely different results is kind of exhausting.

Of the ones we’ve chosen, I would say that most of the presentation tools could be used for either instructor presentation or turned around to be used as an active learning tool for students.
It is pretty easy to envision creative student projects involving any of the video creation or screen casting tools too, though I think Camtasia’s high sticker price and steep learning curve make it less useful for many classrooms. What is also interesting here is what is missing. I didn’t notice until just now that none of us had included a blog/website tool.

I wonder why?   Have website building tools for the non-coder been around so long we don’t think of them as tools anymore?   It seems especially interesting in that there are so many ways to incorporate them into an active learning scenario and for building that community of learners that aren’t necessarily old hat.   We are using blogs and ePortfolios or personal websites to display our work for this class even. And now that I am thinking along those lines, what happened to the wiki?   Has it been replaced?   The google sheet of emerging tools is pretty wiki-like in nature. I don’t have the answer here, I just thought it was interesting!

Back to the review. Remind, Evernote, Edmoto, and slack are all team communication tools that would aide collaboration, and community building in online venues: the modern day (and less dreaded) discussion board.   I’ve been assigned a project using Google Forms in another class this semester, so that leaves just a few course management tools and maybe Responseware that wouldn’t easily be used by students to demonstrate learning.   In fact, so many of the tools are useable it is a wonder anyone uses discussions boards with mandatory word count and number of responses at all these days.

2 thoughts on “Initial thoughts on emerging tools

  1. Hi Kim,

    You seemed to grab onto the potential for creation and delivery tools to be handed back or turned around to students for their own creation and active learning. Well done.

    I agree that websites or website building tools are great for demonstrating understanding. Weebly is a popular one in K-12 that I’m aware of. As is Google Sites, of course, and WordPress and so on.

    Google Sites is actually a sort of wiki more than anything.

    And Wiki’s are still a thing. Blackboard has a wiki built into various course shells if the option is turned on and I think they’re great for open collaboration or community content curation. They are a little bit yesterday, but none of their potential has dissipated.

    I look forward to your further inquiry.


  2. “Have website building tools for the non-coder been around so long we don’t think of them as tools anymore?”

    It’s certainly starting to seem that way! Weebly, WordPress, Google Sites, etc. are all just the evolution of Freewebs, Geocities, and other tools like that. It’s becoming so common to have your own website that these are becoming tools in the same way that my Foursquare app on my phone is. They’re extensions of what we think is normal! People always talk about how we need to get students to create websites in classes and stuff and I suppose if these tools become increasingly more and more normal, that might just get to be commonplace.

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