I chose to examine the emerging tools Moodle, Prezi, and VoiceThread. These tools are a great resource for students and instructors.
I started by examining Moodle. I was unsuccessful in downloading the software needed to create a course. So that link will not be in this post.
The first page I reviewed on the webpage was the Course Homepage: https://docs.moodle.org/30/en/Course_homepage
This page gave step-by-step instructions on how to create a course on Moodle. It also had YouTube videos for How to lay out a course, and What is considered a course.
The links are here:
These videos were helpful and started the learning process from the very beginning. As I stated above, in order to create anything on Moodle I needed to download the program and all the necessary software. This process did not work and I ended up at a dead end. But from prior experience with using Moodle I can say it is fairly easy to use. But instructors have to pay attention to the organization of the course. Each heading that describes where to find Assignments, Resources, Discussions, ect. all have to be inserted into the course. I’ve enrolled in courses as a student in Moodle where instructors just dump all the course resources into weeks but there is no instruction or organization to the course.
The next tool I reviewed was Prezi. Creating a prezi presentation only requires the user to have an account. There are options for different types of accounts. There is a free account but there is no security to these accounts. So all work that is created under a free account can be searched and viewed by the public. I created a Prezi presentation from one of my course powerpoints about traditional villages. The PowerPoint was already created and all I had to do was download the slides from powerpoint to Prezi. From there I was able to drag and drop the slides to the Prezi slides. There are presentations that are already created and all the user needs to do is upload their information to these designs. I chose to create my own design. So I found a picture online and uploaded that as the background to my presentation. This process took a few hours. I think it would have taken longer if the Original Territory presentation wasn’t already created. One interesting and user friendly tool that Prezi has the snapping tool. This tool aligns all of the slides to ensure they are all the same size and aligned with each other. It just makes the presentation look nicer. Another user friendly tool is the autosave tool. Once a change is made to the presentation, Prezi autosaves the changes. That way there is no issues with a student’s presentation disappearing. Here is the link to my presentation:
I also reviewed VoiceThread. VoiceThread is another presentation tool that can be used by students or instructors. Again, I used the Original Territory presentation and created a VoiceThread. This program required the user to have an account. This account can be a student account or instructor account. The instructor account is $99/year and will allow for the instructor to have up to 50 students licensed under this account. If the instructor needs additional licenses, they can purchase them. My account is through another course at UAF and I don’t know if I was technically allowed to create a VoiceThread for another course beside that one. So I may delete this presentation after a few days. There are layers to the process of creating a VoiceThread. These layers were not described to me when I created my first VoiceThread for my other class. I had to figure all of this out on my own. So if VoiceThread is used for lower-division students, these layers should be described at some point to the class. The first step is preparing a PowerPoint. This step is pretty self-explanatory and most students already know how to use PowerPoint. The second step is to figure out to some extend what you are going to say about that slide. I usually script my VoiceThreads. Then you upload the PowerPoint to VoiceThread and record a description for each slide. Overall it is fairly easy to use, but I think students need some direction if they are going to be required to use this software. Here is the link to my VoiceThread: