Technology in Education: An Exploration

Last week I met with Vicki Butler, Seattle Academy‘s Tech Director.  She’s been in the education/tech world for awhile and had a plethora of items to share with me.  Over at Seattle Academy they’re a 1:1(student:laptop) school and they’ve had years of experience with creative web services.  Here are just a few of the outstanding items that I was introduced to.

VoiceThread is a web and iOS app that allows users to make multimedia slide shows.  This includes but isn’t limited to: text, drawing, voice, and video.  VoiceThread is a great alternative to the basic written analysis of labs and projects completed in class.  Students are more engaged with the content and they’re less boring to grade!

Glogster takes the idea of the poster presentations into the 21st century.  A user can combine pictures, audio and animation all into a familier poster style layout.  This is a better way to show off what you’ve learned in a project, class, or entire school year, rather than a tediously normal capstone assignment.  Creating Glogster posters can be a be a fun time in the computer lab exercising some creativity.

Wordle scans documents for frequently used words and attractively arranges and colors them.  Wordle is an easy supplement to any project and can add a lot of aesthetic value to the finished product.  The text heavy posters are also a good way to get an overall summery of what a particular subject is being presented just from a quick glance.  On the right, I took literally 20 seconds of copy and pasting this blogs URL to create that wordle.

Although I haven’t arrived at a place to be able to use these online tools yet, I’m excited with their potential.  Tools like this make learning exciting again and allows students(as well as teachers) to stay creative, even in classes that may feel void of creativity.

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