Jane Hart, founder of the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies has compiled a list of of the Top 100 Tools for Learning in 2015.
I have explored three of these tools in my discussion below in order to see how I would use these tools in an eLearning environment. I also discuss which level of activity this tool would in when looking at the SAMR model.
Tool #1: Prezi
Although Prezi isn’t much of a new concept now a days, I still love the use of Prezi for a traditional classroom AS WELL as an eLearning environment. No matter which course or type of classroom a student may be involved with, in the end, the student will need to present some sort of assignment/presentation/idea. What better way to do so than with a Prezi? Prezi is a great tool for students who are not very creative/advanced in making videos or other forms of presentation. It is a great alternative to the mundane PowerPoint presentation without requiring too much skill in design and video making. Due to Prezi’s LARGE database of templates and user-friendly tools, Prezi can be used for virtually any subject area.
SAMR Model: Augmentation – Prezi is taking the concept of an old technology, such as PowerPoint and augmenting it’s capabilities with new technology .
Tool #2: Blogger
Blogging is something I have recently begun using (hence this blog) so I thought I should add this tool to my list. As a current student myself, I am experiencing first hand the benefits of having a blog. I was never much of a writer before, but that’s because I was always constricted on what I had to write about and what my topic was. Although I do have a topic I am writing about right now, WHAT I actually write is all up to me, my opinions and my own experiences. I am given free range to discuss what I want and it’s allowing me to simply write without worrying that I’m saying the correct things. Giving students this type of freedom will give them the motivation to be open and candid about a certain topic, especially if you can make blogposts anonymous! I would allow students to make their blogs anonymous but they would have to submit a copy of their discussion to me directly so that I know which student has completed the work. One of the best parts about blogging as well is the ability for other students to (anonymously if they like) provide commentary and feedback on another student’s post.
SAMR Model: Redefinition – blogging allows for instead feedback and commentary between students, people, readers all over the world that may not have been possible in the past. A blog can be posted one minute and the next minute the blogger can be discussing their blog with people from all different backgrounds at once!
Tool #3: Google Hangouts
What better way to learn from your peers than interacting with them face to face, hearing their voice, watching their mannerisms and being able to react? Google Hangouts brings the in-person experience to life without having to leave your seat (bed, bath, hammock). There is no better way to learn from each other than being able to express your thoughts and ideas in real time, talking through your ideas out loud, engaging in deep conversations with other people from around the world, from the comfort of your own home! Students can have group discussions and work on projects together without the headache of trying to find time to and a place to meet each other. What if the students live in different cities, countries or continents? Google Hangouts makes any live discussion possible!
SAMR Model: Modification – this is a better version of the in person meeting, using technology to unite students that are too far away to ACTUALLY meet in person at the same location.