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More Cool Tools and the ASCUE Conference

June 25, 2012 Leave a comment

I am freshly back from the Association of Supporting Computer Users in Education (ASCUE) conference. It was really great and I got lots of ideas that I want to share with you.

North Myrtle Beach view from Ocean Creek

One idea I liked was using Google Sites for student e-portfolios. You can create custom templates for a program, individual, or course that the students can easily access and utilize. They can upload work and customize their portfolio. Their work is then available for job interviews and keeping a running history of their college careers. This would work in high school as well.

Here is a list of gadgets that I highly recommend checking out that were talked about at the conference:

  • Swivyl camera mount: it works with iphone, ipod touch and flip type cameras. Follows the speaker. Very cool. (http://www.swivl.com/)
  • Finch Robot: for the physicists and computer programmers, this is a great robot to teach programming. Many programming languages can be used so this spans many grade levels. (http://www.finchrobot.com/)
  • One talk recommended the Aver HVC310 HD for video conferencing on a budget. I have not checked it out so can’t say but they were pleased with it.

As for other ideas my friend Tom Marcais described his school’s process of developing video tutorials for faculty and staff. The process heavily involves students which I think is great. They write the script and produce the screen captures using Screencast-o-matic. Once they are proficient, they can create music loops for the background as well. Check out the results! (http://www.youtube.com/user/tmarcais)

As for this year’s cool tools here is my link to this year’s finds: http://www.delicious.com/fyerphys/ascue12

The highlights:

  • TedEd: a collection of educational cartoons that also included lesson plans and quizzes that you can use or you can “flip” a video and create your own lesson for others to take advantage of. (http://education.ted.com/)
  • Screenleap: instant screensharing great for support and impromptu tutoring or meetings. (http://www.screenleap.com/)
  • If This, Then That: Really cool site that lets you really maximize your productivity by connecting your various accounts. For example if you favorite a Twitter post then it sends it to your e-mail (or Evernote). Or if a post goes to a favorite RSS feed then it puts it in a certain DropBox folder. (https://ifttt.com/login)
  • Remind 101: This site allows you to send texts to anyone who has signed up for your “class”. You don’t see their phone numbers and they don’t see yours. They can sign up using an e-mail address too. Great for sending students reminders and important notices. You can even schedule your texts in advance! (https://www.remind101.com/)

If you find a couple of these things helpful, you need to come to next year’s ASCUE conference in North Myrtle Beach in June. (http://ascue.org/) There were many more ideas just like these. Come join the fun!

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ASCUE Conference Ideas

July 11, 2011 Leave a comment

I just got back from  attending the Association of Small Computer Users in Education (ASCUE). (Ok so it has been a couple of weeks.) This year I happen to be the President of the association. The keynote was Tom Kuhlmann from Articulate. He writes the Rapid Elearning Blog and is my elearning hero. He has a knack for breaking down the process of course design down to some simple steps. He also did a session on PowerPoint and showed how we probably use PowerPoint to about 20% of its abilities. And it is not the tool, it is the user that produces “bad” PowerPoint.

Cool Tools

My presentation was about the “cool” tools I found in the last year. I have featured some of them in previous posts. If you are looking for a different kind of blog posting tool, try Posterous. You can e-mail your pictures, videos and words and Posterous will arrange your blog for you. Perhaps you are looking for a way for your students to brainstorm or organize a project. This online stickie note application might do the trick. Lino allows you to do this, and what I like is students don’t have to have an account. This is handy for workshops and meetings too.

I have a lot of flash card creation links but StudyBlue seems to be a nice one that is flexible and has notes and cards out there that others have created. Ok, so you have been trying to do that important work in your life and e-mail and Twitter just keeps interrupting. Download this app and you can schedule time when those applications can’t bother you.

I think the biggest hit was RedKid. It is a website that allows you to customize signs and images. We created an ASCUE vodka as  you see below.

So I will finish with a free webinar tool (AnyMeeting) that so far seems to be a great substitute for some of the pricier webinar tools. Some of the features include sending surveys to the attendees after the webinar as well as the standard screen sharing, webcam and audio features. It also gives you the option of voice over IP or telephone conferencing.

I hope you find something useful with these new tools. Leave and comment and let me know how you use them.

Categories: e-learning, software Tags: , , ,