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14 Great Tools for Teaching, Learning and Collaboration

When delivering introductory courses for teachers that want to start using Moodle, the most popular LMS used in Slovenian schools, I also like to share a list of my favorite tools that can be used with Moodle or independently. I think it’s important for teachers to realize that a LMS can be a good starting point if you want to provide your students with an online hub for your course, but that there are many other tools out there that are better suited for certain needs.

And I just realized I haven’t shared this list on my blog yet, so here it is: 14 great tools that can help teachers create interactive content, collaborate, and facilitate learning. All of these tools are free and available either online or on multiple platforms (Windows, Mac).


Desktop software

 Hot Potatoes - a simple, free tool for creating quizzes and other interactive activities that can be easily included into Moodle.

 eXeLearning - a free, open source software for creating and publishing web content. Teachers can easily export content into SCORM and add it to Moodle. Great for our teachers because it’s also available in Slovenian (and other languages).

Xmind - an open source brainstorming and mind mapping tool.

Google tools

Google Docs - easy to use collaborative tool for documents, spreadsheets and presentations.

 Google Sites - a simple tool for creating web pages.

Blogger - free, simple to use blogging platform. If my grandpa can use it, so can your non-tech savy teachers and students. Love the fact that you can have private blogs, available only to specified readers.

Picasa and Picasa web albums - Google’s free image organizer and editor that also supports free web albums. I admit - I don’t really use Picasa (I have iPhoto on my Macs), but my grandpa loves it, so I like to recommend it to non-Mac folks.

Multimedia

ScreenToaster - free online screen recorder. Can easily be used for simple screencasts.

Audacity - open source audio editing software. Again, as an iLife user, I don’t really use it myself, but I know a lot of teacher who use it in classrooms.

Anywhere, anything

Evernote - my absolutely favorite tool for notes and what not. I use it to write drafts fro blog posts or messages for my students, to save notes while grading, as a collection of links and ideas and so much more. I love the fact that it’s both a desktop and online app, so you can really access all your notes from anywhere (even on my mobile phone).

Google Reader - web RSS reader. My favorite way of keeping track of blogs on all sorts of different subjects.

Dropbox - I’ve got to agree with their tagline: “the easiest way to store, sync, and, share files online”. I even know teachers that use Dropbox to collect student’s assignments, and it’s also great as a personal backup tool and as a way to collaborate on files with others.

Sharing

SlideShare - my favorite tool for sharing presentations that can easily embedded almost anywhere on the web.

Scribd - simple tool for publishing docs and embedding them almost anywhere on the web.


And that’s it, that’s the list of tools I like to show to teachers starting to explore digital learning and learning. Yes, yes, I know there are many other tools that would deserve to be on the list, so I also provide a link to Jane Hart’s amazing Top 100 Tools for Learning 2010 List (but a list of 14 items is usually easier to digest for beginners).

So, here’s my questions for you: which 14 tools would your put on your list, while keeping in mind they should be easy enough for beginners and freely available on all platforms? Let me know in the comments!



Originally published at http://ialja.blogspot.com/2010/12/14-great-tools-for-teaching-learning.html