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Learning Technologies

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Whether it’s for school, personal use or business, wherever the need for learning takes place, the potential of online tools to enhance our education is very great. Paula Lepore Burrough reports.

Vocaroo

Vocaroo, providing vocal feedback, is the simplest of online tools. Just click the red button to record, then listen, and, if happy with the result, click to save. If not, try it again. Various sharing options will appear for social-media sites: an embed code, a link, or the option to email or generate a QR code. I’m thinking about recording my family singing Happy Birthday and sending it off to family members. Educators have said that they can provide more detailed feedback to their students with Vocaroo. The link is live for a couple of months, but you can download the file as a MP3, OGG, FLAC or WAV file to keep a permanent copy.

Symbaloo

Symbaloo is a fun way to visually organise your favourite online resources using tiles, which you custom-design with your own image, colour choice and name. Log in to your account to create your own webmix and/ or explore the gallery of webmixes ranked by users. Accessing it from any computer is easy. Also, each webmix can be set to a private or public setting. The gallery is a great way to discover new websites for your latest hobby or subject specialty. Schools or businesses can build their own webmix of links that are commonly used and publish them on their website. Symbaloo provides an html-embed code for each webmix.

Edcanvas

This tool allows you to create a collection (canvas) of resources arranged in a customised grid. It uses the easy drag-and-drop gesture. An abundance of different resources can be included: YouTube videos, personalised text, bookmarks, weblinks and Flickr images. You can upload or access files through Dropbox and Google Drive. The canvas opens in a pop-up window and is interactive. Viewers can write comments at any point. If you find a canvas, but would like to tweak it, just copy and edit. Canvases can be emailed, embedded into any html page and shared via Facebook, Twitter or Edmodo.

Nearpod

Need to create enriched media presentations with interactive features? Nearpod is the coolest of tools to bring any presentation to life. It was voted the Best Collaboration Solution – EdTech Digest Awards 2012 and Audience Favourite – Launch Edu and Kids 2012. The creator uses the Nearpod site to create a customised presentation and then broadcasts via a mobile device such as the iPad that has the (free) Nearpod app installed. It’s perfect for monitoring activity through polls, quizzes, videos, drawing interactivity, website sharing and more, in real time – especially when presenting to large groups such as a classroom.

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