vrijdag 14 oktober 2011

Cool tools for schools

This week in college I got to know some cool tools for school. We got the assignment to check out some tools on the website http://cooltoolsforschools.wikispaces.com/. In a group of three students we had chosen the category “Presentation tools”. From this category we all chose one tool to play with for ten minutes. After that we had al little group discussion about what the tool is about, the weaknesses and strengths of the tool and for which purpose it can be used.
I found it very nice to see what kinds of presentation tools are available. When I make a presentation I use PowerPoint or Prezi, because that are actually the only presentation tools I known. By playing with the tools I discovered that there are much more tools and most of them are free to use. Isn’t that great?! The tool that I played with is called “Photoshow”. With this tool you can make a photo presentation within a few minutes, see figure 1. You can use your own pictures and customize them by adding text, music and effects.  

Figure 1: Photoshow

I think this tool is cool to use when students went on an excursion in which they made a lot of pictures. The tool is probably less suitable when giving a lecture, because it’s aimed at showing pictures. If your purpose is to show pictures in the lecture, then it’s of course a great tool to use.

Other groups played with drawing tools, quiz and poll tools and file and storage tools. They also found some very interesting tools. For example the group that played with the drawing tools found a tool in which they can easily create and share interactive floorplans.
One group did another assignment, they played a very cool game on their mobile phones. This game is called “Seek ‘n  Spell”, http://www.seeknspell.com/.  Seek ‘n Spell is a game that can be played outside. It uses GPS to create a game in which virtual letters are scattered around an area, see figure 2. The goal is to collect this letters by walking to them and make words. By making words you earn points, the one who earns the most points wins. I think this is a really cool game to play with a group of friends. Unfortunately my phone isn’t suitable for this game. 

Figure 2: Seek 'n Spell

As you see I got to learn some cool tools during this college. By playing with these tools I realized it isn’t that hard to use new technology. Teachers are often scared to use new technology because they think they can’t handle it. I can tell you, don’t be scared, just do it! In college we discussed that it’s also possible that teachers don’t use technology because they don’t know what the possibilities are. That’s why I think schools should create a database in which tools that suit the school are available and can be shared. In this way every teacher has access and they don’t have to search the whole web looking for a tool.

1 opmerking:

  1. Nice that you tried this tool. I think it's very cool! Would be nice if we could find something like this in Dutch!