Tools and Resources

The "tool belt" for applications that supports online learning is vast and growing vigorously. Some of the applications listed below are discipline specific. Many are useful in multiple settings. The descriptions include a brief preview of each applications. The applications are grouped by topic. The most student-friendly and teacher-friendly are listed first in each group. Select any icon for additional information.
Physical Science Tools
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Photo Credit: Vernier (@VernierST)

 A suite of supportive Physics data gathering and analysis software is available to support and interact with Vernier's LabQest2 interface.

 

The Graphical Analysis software is free. Logger Pro can be loaded on classroom laptops, but a licensure fee is required. Video Physics is a remarkable tool for use in evaluation of motion, but this application is only available for iPads and also requires licensure fees.

 

This suite of Vernier products  interface with probes that share data which can be converted into varied graphs for quick and easy data collection.

This interactive tool provides an incredible collection of resources for the study of relationships between elements and the organization and structure of the Periodic Table.

 

Students can access multiple informative videos and blogs. The general information of chemical and physical properties is beautifully organized.

 

The site is international, so students encounter some alternative spellings for words. The page is not available as an app.

Photo Credit: RSC.org
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The software empowers students to work in small groups or independently to experience virtual lab experiences.

 

Lessons come assembled with clearly written objectives and also supportive forms and a teacher guide. Each Gizmo includes a quiz that affords immediate feedback to the  teacher and student. The product is available for use by Chromebooks, iPads and IOS devices.

 

The Interactive resource is aligned with state standards. The product is not free, but is less expensive when purchased for larger numbers of student users.

Photo Credit: edsuge.com
Presentation Tools
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Prezi affords a more animated and interesting presentation than a simple PowerPoint. The animation of transitions creates a sense of unity to the presentation.

 

Prezi affords the use of music under the entire presentation. One limitation is that the audio track continues to play under any added movie that already has a sound track.

 

Prezi also affords the potential to create a movie from the presentation. The cost is $50.00, and the turn around time is usually 48 hours. The time to create the video can be shortened by request.

Heading Photo Credit: smartsocial.com
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Haiku Desk is a versatile site that can be used to stimulate creativity in presentation.  Many choices for fonts and layouts are available to the designer. 

 

The application is available for free. The presentation supports simple and powerful text and images to inspire an inviting presentation. Simple to produce, practical and elegant, the simple format is specifically designed to support. illustrate, and enhance the message.

 

Keyword search is very helpful to access evocative Creative Commons imagery. Haiku Deck is simple and fun.  Sometimes the simplicity can be a challenge. The limitations of what can be printed can be frustrating, even if the product is stunning.

Photo Credit: embracethemachine.com
Movie Creation Tools
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Photo Credit: logodix.com

Camtasia records and edits content captured by a computer. Camtasia can also edit content captured from anywhere else. The software is surprisingly easy to learn and use. It may take some time to explore everything Camtasia has to offer.

Camtasia sports an impressive array of video-editing tools. Not only can it perform the most basic video-editing tasks, but it can add effects, adjust the audio, include media from your computer, insert titles, annotations, and captions. Camtasia also has options to add transitions,  animations, and more.

Camtasia exports video in five of the most popular formats: MP4, WMV, MOV, AVI, and M4V. It can also export a project as an audio file, but  there is only a single format option: MP3.

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Photo Credit: macworld.com

iMovie is a user-friendly editing software that provides multiple options for video production. Multiple transition effects, animation of text, including the Burns effect, and numerous transitions for slides provide an impressive set of options for movie creation.

 

Mulli-track audio editing is also included.  Novice version of iMovie are free. The app does not operate as smoothly on iPAd as the web page.

 

Also, multiple versions of iMovie have been created specific to Apple operating systems. Some operating systems do not support iMovie.

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For the formation of creative and professional looking short videos, Animoto is an excellent choice. Multiple versions of Animoto exist.

 

Most of the video creation features are available in the least expensive version. Students upload images that are then animated within the constraints of the pre-programmed limitations.

Multiple video backgrounds are available. The availability to add any text is severely limited. Adding audio tracks is not available unless the marketing tool is selected. The marketing tools offers less support and variety in presentation options.

Assessent / Feedback Tools
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Socrative is a great resource for obtaining quick feedback from students. Questions posed by the teacher can be open ended, multiple choice, or true and false.

 

Another great advantage for this resource is that it can be used to prompt classroom discussion. Socrative is a good tool for generating formative assessments.

 

One downside of Socrative is that students cannot change answers after they have been submitted. Socrative works better when used as a website.

Photo Credit: thedailystar.net

This application affords an entire class the opportunity to make Post-it notes and share as a large group. The tool can be used to generate discussion and also as a formative assessment tool.

One great aspect of this application is the ability to change the background for the posting site. Posts can be placed in specific areas of the background image.

 

The post-it notes can be color coded. There are a variety of options. One constraint is that the teacher cannot make a direct written response to a Post-it note.

Photo Credit: lino

Kidblog is designed for young bloggers. Students can safely share their thoughts. Teachers can monitor all posts and share feedback before posts are published. 

 

Students can comment on the posts of their peers, offering feedback and support. Kidblog is an excellent tool for written feedback, encouraging open discussion and interaction between classmates.

 

The blooger audience is selected by the teacher. Teachers may select classes within a building or school district, or they may choose to  connect  with an international audience. 

Photo Credit: pvusd.net

Creative Learning Resource Tools

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Insert Learning can shake up the way that students can use your website! The learning experience literally jumps off the page.

 

Students can highlight text, adding sticky notes, insert questions and videos, and support a discussion format.

 

All these options are rolled into one exciting application! The app facilitates differentiation for each student. Students can choose primary sources to add and reinforce written material or images. Interactive questions can be embedded in lessons.  

Photo Credit: infobright.info
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The student version of Evernote affords an excellent organizational tool for students. Students can organize assignments and place class notes in separate notebooks.
 

The Evernote app used with an iPhone allows students to take photos of hand written words on a board or notepad and print the handwitten text. Evernote can record discussions and lectures and draw or write on PDFs and also has a highlighting function. 

 

Evernote is available for Macs, Windows, Android, and iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. The free version offers fewer services. The price for this app has been going up.

Photo Credit: louisville.edu
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WordArt appears everywhere. It is a great tool for association. Students can use this application to build discipline specific vocabulary. It creates beautiful graphics that can easily be shared. WordArt is great for responses to open ended questions.

 

Students can use this tool to search through a reading for key vocabulary words and post them to a word cloud.  WordArt is lots of fun, and versatile. Students can choose from a wide variety of shapes and images to design colorful creations.

Photo Credit: chipperman designs
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Visme provides multiple examples of free templates for infographics. 

 

Sometimes the spaces for added graphics or text are not clearly defined. The final product is easily shared. The app is free.

Photo Credit: jpaul.me
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Students share data on tables and represent models of data in multiple graphs. Infogram provides a format for the creation and presentation of these models.

 

The infographics affords students with not only graphing and charting, but also a presentation format for photos and content.

 

This application caters to students who are visual learners. The organization of images demonstrates student understanding of content. 

Photo Credit: medium.com
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Imgflip is another fun application. Students will enjoy creating and sharing the humorous creations. 

 

The memes are recognized by the students. Students can create memes for quick responses. Teachers must be able to monitor the words that are added to the images.

Photo Credit: facebook
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SketchUp is a design application. The tutorials should be required reading before beginning to make models with the app.

 

There are many options that can be attempted in the simple menu. A more complex menu is also available in the free version. This is not an app that can quickly be mastered.

 

Extended time is needed to master the skills to select design options. One nice affordance is the warehouse of furniture that can be added to a designed space. The option to look at the same space from different perspectives is also a very valuable affordance.

Photo Credit: Pinterest
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