Summer Infobytes part 2

There were a slough of new tools to pick and choose from at the summer conference here in Denver. Here are a few more favorites:

Wallwisher is a program similar to the virtual sticky notes.  You can use this as a collaborative tool for posting comments from the class in a more visual format.  You can drag and drop posts to rearrange them, embed pictures, and create some effective collaborative projects.

I’m sure this blog has mentioned Dropbox before, but this is another tool that merits a second mention. We use Senduit at TJ, but Dropbox is more flexible and can be used for collaboration. Students can create an account and add teachers as collaborators for documents. In this way, the teacher has the option to offer feedback during the drafting process. While Dropbox is a download, it is also an online storage option so, unlike Senduit, it’s permanent.

Still not jumping on the GoogleDocs wagon? Try TypeWithMe for an online collaborative document creation tool. Students share the link for the document and each student is assigned a different text color. You can see revisions and you know who typed what. This can be a good tool for in-class collaboration.

Want to use the clickers in the classroom but can’t yet purchase the set? Try Microsoft Mouse Mischief. This downloadable plug-in allows students to click on polls, charts, and other options using wireless mice. You can attach multiple mice to your computer and students can interact with your lesson plans. The introductory video on the homepage is a bit self-aggrandizing but this is a free interactive tool for use in the classroom.

Many of us have been using Zamzar for our online file conversion, but here’s a new fun tool: online-convert. This tool offers options for audio and video files,  documents and images, and even includes a hash tag generator and an e-book converter. I have bookmarked this one and put a shortcut on my desktop!

DPS offers kids NetTrekker, a subscription  moderated search engine that translates results into different languages and includes a read-aloud option. Another search option for free is Sweet Search. I’ve used it for the last couple of weeks and found the results to be satisfactory. Students get results that are teacher and librarian-approved, but the next test will be to see if any are blocked by the filtering system.

Hopefully these will be enough to play with until school begins. See you in August!


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