ELearning Tools: Profusion!


As on online teacher, what tools do you have in your toolbox?
Toolbox.jpg
Image from http://kidunot.com/tool-box-work-bench.html

When it comes time to choose eLearning tools, as online teachers we have a tremendous number of tools to choose from.

We can visit the Top 100 tools for learning to learn about the most popular tools teachers use. It is organized in order of popularity.

We can also visit 321 Free Tools for Teachers to learn about complementary tools. It is organized according to the media or means of communication used by the tools (e.g. annotation, podcast, video).

Another great resource to visit is EduTools' WCET Learn EduTools . The matrix therein lists and describes features we should consider when purchasing a Course Management System (CMS), which is comparable to a bundle of tools in one system.

What criteria to use when choosing a tool?

For the online teacher, "free" may be an important criteria for choosing one tool over another. But what about all the other criteria we may want to consider? For example, what about ease of use? We want the tool to be simple to use for our students and for us, the teachers! And what about accessibility? Can it be accessed from anywhere, anytime? And then there is flexibility to consider, customizability, applicability...the list goes on and on. In fact, it is challenging to find one tool that does it all. And that is why we, as online teachers, must expect that we will need several tools to be effective in our instruction.

Our Choice of Three eLearning Tools

In Boettcher and Conrad's 2010 edition of The Online Teaching Survival Guide, the authors divide a course into 4 phases: The Beginning, Early Middle, Late Middle, and Closing Weeks. They then suggest tools that could be used for each phase and some of the tools they list are repeated across phases. We borrowed and adapted this same concept when selecting tools for our wiki. We have chosen three tools that are flexible enough to be used at the beginning, middle, and end of a course.

The three eLearning tools we explore in this wiki are:

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LectureScribe: a very easy to use free tool to write and capture your whiteboard lectures.
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QuizStar: a great free online quiz maker.
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Tumblr.: a microblogging platform and social networking website.


We invite you to click on the tools above and explore for yourself!

References


Boettcher, J. V., & Conrad, R. M. (2010). The Online Teaching Survival Guide: Simple and Practical Pedagogical Tips. San Fransisco: Jossey-Bass. e-book.

A CALP resource. Top 100 Tools for Learning. (2013). Retrieved from http://c4lpt.co.uk/top100tools/

EduTools. wcet LEARN. Retrieved from http://wcet.wiche.edu/learn/edutools.

Papas, C. (26 August 2013). 321 Free Tools for Teachers - Free Educational Technology. Retrieved from http://elearningindustry.com/321-free-tools-for-teachers-free-educational-technology