Online Learning Part 5 – Tools
by Mark Sivy
According to the Center for Learning and Performance Technologies, there are currently over 2000 digital technology tools and applications which can be used for education, with most of them being relatively easy to use and free or low cost. Mixing these up as you’re developing different online learning or e-learning lessons and activities or mobile learning chunks can make your instructional design and course more exciting and engaging. Most of these tools can be included in the following categories:
- Personal Productivity – includes calendars, concept mapping applications, computer utilities, organizers, and accessibility tools.
- Web Browsers and Related Tools – allow for accessing, subscribing to, searching, aggregating, and reading web content.
- Web Information – offer the ability to create, post, and read information using websites, wikis, and blogs.
- Communication Tools – permit both synchronous and asynchronous options such as email, instant messaging, texting, and discussion forums.
- Documents – these provide for offline creation and presentation of information such as documents, spreadsheets, and presentations
- Public Information – present many forms of information access including but not limited to frequently asked questions (FAQs), tutorials, podcasts, and open courseware.
- Course Management Systems – enable the creation and delivery of course content as well as interactive participation, social exchange, collaboration, tracking, communication, and grading.
- Instructional Design and Development – support course content authoring and learning assessment
- Audio, Video, Images, and Graphics – allow for the creation, review, editing, and presentation of a variety of multi-sensory presentation
- Virtual Environments – facilitate the interaction of individuals with environments and other individuals through the use of avatars within three dimensional surroundings.
- Web Conferencing and Web Meetings – allow individuals to meet synchronously using voice, voice and video, whiteboards, and screen sharing.
- Social Networks – permit the creation of various online communities, and allow for the formation of personal and professional networks.
- Collaboration and Sharing – provide for common digital work spaces for groups or teams to collectively create, share, and modify content.
“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” ~ William Arthur Ward