Top Ten Tools – My Update

I’ve participated in Jane Hart’s Top 100 Tools for Learning 2008 (http://janeknight.typepad.com/pick/2008/11/top-100-tools-for-learning-2008.html) but somehow missed the fall 2008 update.

Top 100 Tools for Learning 2008

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Tools come and go but a few stand the test of time.  Here is my updated list from Fall of 2008.

  1. Google Apps for Education – New tool rises to the top:  I started using Google Apps (Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Sites and custom Start Page) with my computer students this school year and it has made ALL the difference with collaboration and communication in my classroom.
  2. Gmail. I love this web based email system and the fact that I can access it from any computer. Not only do you get tons of storage but I like the way it keeps the threaded conversations together. Gmail chat is awesome and the new Video Chat is very cool.
  3. Google Docs. Google docs are great for collaborating and sharing information with others. You must invite friends to participate in your documents but it’s so easy to edit ALL AT THE SAME TIME!!!.
  4. New to the list this year is Google Reader.  I used to use Bloglines but when it was bought out and then stopped updating some of my feeds, I switched to Google Reader.  I also love reading blog posts on my new G1 phone.
  5. iGoogle Ok, ok, so I love of all the of the Google products – but I do use them and find them easy to use. iGoogle is a personalized page (which I make as my own homepage) that you can customize with all kinds of widgets like: weather, calendar, CNN news, Google Reader (RSS), Gmail notifier, jokes, etc…
  6. Twitter – Another new tool this year is Twitter.  I have come to depend on it for sharing collaborative projects and keeping the pulse on what’s happening in the Blogosphere.
  7. del.icio.us. I can’t believe how much I depend on this social bookmarking tool to remember sites I have visited but also for sharing cool sites with my friends. Now I don’t need to be that annoying friend who always sends emails recommending websites (I can’t help myself) – if I find a site and know my friend’s del.icio.us name I can tag the site as: for:ccassinelli and then when that user goes to their del.icio.us account they can add my favorite to theirs. This is very helpful for group projects!
  8. flickr. This web-based photo sharing site is awesome for uploading photos to share with friends. I like how you can create different albums and tag photos for easy sorting. I also love snooping through my friend’s albums too!
  9. Google Sites – lets you create simple, secure group websites. Share information with a few people, a whole organization, or the entire world.
  10. Audacity. This easy to use FREE audio editing software is easy to use for podcasting and editing audio files. You will need the LAME Mp3 encoder if you want to export your audio files at MP3 instead of WAV – but it’s easy to download and install.

Off the list this year:  Bloglines

Still like:

  • Voicethread – A great tool for encouraging collaboration in your classroom. Upload photos and add text, audio or voice comments with a web cam. My new personal favorite way to get students to share comments with each other.
  • Wikispaces. I’ve already mentioned my love of wikis i for collaboration and easy editing – wikis are the way to go. – but with the addition of Sites to the Google suite – I don’t use Wikispaces as much as I used to.  I also love the fact that Wikispaces gives FREE wikis to teachers. Thanks for the support!
  • Moodle. I started using Moodle this last year with a few of my computer classes but will use this open-source course management system with all my classes this year. It’s easy to use, has built in blogging and modules (quizzes, journals, docs) that make it easy to keep all class documents in one area.

3 Replies to “Top Ten Tools – My Update”

  1. Remember when Google was just another search engine, like Yahoo? Wow, they sure have come a long way. How can we NOT be a fan of all that is Google? I love maps.google.com AND Google Earth, using each for a different reason. To think I had to PAY for Keyhole before Google bought it and made it FREE! Love your list. See you on Twitter. OCTechguy. aka Alan Lutz

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