tools I used most in 2011

Can technology enhance learning? Some people think this is not possible. And while I agree that cutlery can’t make a meal tastier, I think cutlery can enhance the eating experience.

always?... is there such a thing...

always?... is there such a thing...

Could we say the same about technology? Just wondering…

What I used most this year

What I used most this year

  • Flickr – storing images to capture moments, teaching and learning situations. Using in my practice and started sharing photos under a Creative Common Licence. But I am also using great images shared by others through Flickr and I have used many in my photovoices and blog posts. Also, feel free to access our PGCAP flickr space and explore the different sets we have for different purposes from capturing visual memories to creating resources for teaching. We also share the login details with our PGCAP participants so that they can experiment with Flickr and upload their photos. It was used for our mixed-reality game on the core module, for example.
  • WordPress – where my personal learning space is. Also using it as an e-portfolio on our PGCAP programme. Ok, lets give you some links to some of the public e-portfolios. Check out Neil’s, Sarah’s and Fabrizio’s for example.
  • Slideshare – sharing own presentations (also using QR codes to retrieve them easily on mobile devices) but also accessing presentations by others. Feel free to access our Academic Development Slideshare page and explore some of the presentations we have shared. We usually upload presentations in advance of a session, provide the link to it via Twitter (then people with a smartphone can also use them in class electronically or access them on the go before/after the session too – making mobile learning possible) and in Blackboard and don’t provide printed versions. Saving some trees this way.
  • Skype – getting together synchronously online with family, friends and colleagues. This has been very useful and I have had the opportunity to also use it during a session and connect with an expert remotely who couldn’t join us otherwise that day.
  • YouTube – creating and sharing videos but also accessing videos made by others and adding some to our favourite list. I have a personal and a PGCAP account. My personal one is mainly to share clips I record with my boys and keep track of some cool videos. The PGCAP account has multiple functions. First of all we upload clips in which  our participants talk about the programme, then we have the series “Food for thought” (this will grow further) were we invite specialists to briefly share their expertise with the viewers and engage in a discussion with them and then there are educational videos by others which we collect in our favourites. Then I started also usingit for a mixed-reality game we are playing on the core module. We also share the account details with the participants so that they can upload videos without having to create their own account.
  • Diigo – sharing my bookmarks there. My bookmarks can be accessed here. Also started creating lists now. This provides a good way to pre-select resources for a specific module, session, event, workshop etc. For an example see my current list for the core module of our PGCAP programme. I will use this feature more in the New Year. Also, what I haven’t tried yet is create shared lists.
  • Twitter – keeping up-to-date with the exciting things that are happening. At the moment, I have a personal account and one which we use for the PGCAP programme.  to keep in touch with our participants, share useful links and make announcements.
  • Dropbox – this is a really cool service! Most of my files are now there… Don’t remember last time I used a USB stick. Great! So easy also to collaborate with others and share folders. The good thing is, the more folders you share with others the more additional space you get ;o)
  • (Digital) camera -still using my little camera… forgot it recently in the cinema but found it again! Always with me in- and out-of class. I just love taking photographs and am using them a lot for digital storytelling and creating resources. Have made flashcards for PBL scenarios, to group people, use as triggers for discussions, reflection etc. etc. the opportunities are endless.
  • Camcorder – I think this is the first year I recorded so much video. New was recording teaching observation snippets which will be evaluated soon and the “Food for thought series” which will grow further in the New Year.
  • iPod – from which I can access most of the above (when I have wi-fi access) which is amazing. It was especially useful to access PGCAP e-portfolios on-the-go, as well as Twitter and Skype. However, my little iPod is getting a bit old and doesn’t have a camera. If it did, I could probably stop using the camera and the camcorder. Less stuff to carry around,  simpler to upload and share. Is there an iPod on 3G? Must investigate soon.

In 2011 I also got more into game-based learning, participated in the CMC11 MOOC and started using GoogleDocs much more for creating shared and collaborative documents but also surveys and for admin and to organise events and staff development too. We even started working on a module together remotely with a colleague from Sweden.

What about you?

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