Online Tools For Use In GNL

Image by Tanja Scherm: https://secure.flickr.com/photos/frauhoelle/8464661409This is a compilation of a variety of available online tools you might find useful for facilitating globally networked learning; they might even give you some ideas of interesting collaborations to try. They are not all, however, supported by UIT at York.

Communication Tools/Software

Learning Management System

Software that aids in the delivery of course material as well as course communication and administration.

  • Note: Because Moodle is the LMS at York University, York is only able to provide technical support for this system. Therefore, if your partner institution uses a different system and you decide to use their LMS you will need to seek technical support from that institution.
  • Moodle—A free, open source learning management system with features that include announcements, discussion forums, a messaging system, course calendar, course content, assessment and assignment submission, marking tools and a wiki. Moodle also supports a variety of plugins.
  • Blackboard—A learning management system with features that include announcements, discussion forums, a messaging system, course calendar, course content, assessment and assignment submission and marking tools. This can be installed on an institution’s local server or hosted by Blackboard ASP Solutions.
  • Sakai—A free, open source learning management system with many features including announcements, a dropbox to share documents, a messaging system, chat room, forums, a polling tool, a presentation tool, a schedule, an assignment submission feature and a grade book.
  • Udutu—A free course authoring tool that can be imported into an LMS or into the Udutu Guru LMS (which carries a monthly fee). The LMS includes features such as a customizable site, a variety of grouping capabilities for students and classes, tracking and reporting capabilities and online assessment.
  • eFront—An open source learning management system that uses icons as the major interface. Major features of the LMS include exam and assignment builders, chat and forum communication options, a calendar, social networking tools, reporting and progress tracking capabilities and a variety of themes.

Blog

A website where a person or group of people posts short entries on a particular subject or theme.

  • WordPress—A free, open source blog creation and hosting site with a template system. WordPress is supported by UIT.
  • Weebly—A free website and blog creation and hosting service with drag and drop as the main feature.
  • Blogger—A free blog creation service hosted by Google’s Blogspot.
  • Edublogs—A free educational blog creation and hosting service available through WordPress. More educational features available with a fee.
  • Class Blogmeister—A free educational blog creation tool with templates available. Teachers can moderate student posts and maintain publishing control.
  • 21 Classes—An educational blog creation tool with free service for teacher blogs and a paid service for classroom and school-wide blogs.
  • Tumblr—A free online microblogging tool owned by Yahoo! Inc. Users can post short multimedia blogs and subscribe to blogs of other users.

Web/Video Conferencing Software

Web/Video conferencing software—Used to connect classrooms or two or more students through video and audio capability.

  • Google Hangout—A free, real time instant messaging system for gmail users that allows the users to send emoji and photos and have live video chats.
  • Skype—This is a free voice-over-IP tool now owned by Microsoft. The service includes instant message, file transfer and video conferencing capabilities as well as the option to call a telephone
  • Facetime—A videochat service available to iPhone users that places calls over WiFi networks from any apple device.
  • GoToMeeting—An online videoconferencing and desktop sharing service owned by Citrix Systems. The service offers both voice over IP or telephone.

Messaging Systems

Students can use these resources to message each other in real time using text without the necessity of video.

  • Google Talk—A free, real time instant messaging system between any two gmail users.
  • Google Hangout—A free, real time instant messaging system for gmail users that allows the users to send emoji and photos and have live video chats.
  • WhatsApp—A free, cross-platform (between Blackberry, iPhone, Android, etc.) instant messenger that works via internet data rather than through SMS.

Social Networking

This software is useful to connect students, share ideas and hold discussions. The advantage of social networking is that it is more or less ubiquitous, many students already have access to the software and are very familiar with it.

Tools

  • Facebook—A free, online social networking system that allows users to build a profile (either of an individual or organization), maintain a homepage, build a network, interact with other users’ homepages, send messages and upload video and photos.
  • Twitter—A free, online microblogging service that allows users to post entries that are 140 characters or less. Users build a network of individuals and organizations that they subscribe to in order to read their entries.
  • Instagram—A free, online photo and video sharing tool that provides users with filters to edit their photos and videos (mainly captured through a mobile device) and the ability to post these items to various social networking sites.
  • Myspace—A free, online social networking tool with a focus on music, Myspace offers a customizable webpage or profile as well as the ability to create playlists and share music.
  • LinkedIn—A free online social networking tool that focuses on professional connections. The network emphasizes the qualifications and skills of users and allows them to form groups, message members and search job listings.
  • Yammer—A free online social networking tool owned by Microsoft with an emphasis on collaborative professional work. Each company creates a network and users can post updates, create collaborative groups, send messages and share files.
  • Pinterest—A free, online social networking tool in which users collect links in collections by bookmarking websites and representing the bookmarks with a photo. Members can subscribe to other members’ collections.
  • Tumblr—A free online microblogging tool owned by Yahoo! Inc. Users can post short multimedia blogs and subscribe to blogs of other users.
  • Ning—An online social networking tool that allows users to create custom closed networks. Users have access to forums, blogs, messaging and can post photos and videos.
  • Edumoto—An online social networking platform that has been created for educational purposes. Some features that it offers include posting and turning in assignments and quizzes, creating calendars, groups and uploading text and video.
  • Capzles—A free online tool that allows the user to create and share timelines that integrate pictures, audio, video and text.

Curation

  • Storify—A free online tool that allows users to curate social media postings into stories and timelines and share their work with others.
  • Paper.li—A free online tool that allows users to curate Twitter links into a newspaper or newsletter-style interface and share their work with others. [http://paper.li/]
  • QuoteURL—A free online tool that allows users to collect tweets onto a single permanent URL that can then be posted to a blog or site or shared.

Management

  • Hootsuite—A dashboard tool that manages various social networking applications such as Facebook, Foursquare, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, MySpace, Reddit, Storify, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube and WordPress. There is a free option as well as subscription plans for premium service.
  • Tweetdeck—A free dashboard tool that manages Twitter accounts using columns that can be used to display various features of Twitter and can manage multiple accounts simultaneously.

Group Work/Text Document Creation

Collaboration (Synchronous)

Software that allows students to collaborate on a project, create notes for a presentation, etc. This can be done in real time or asynchronously.

  • Voicethread—An online tool in which users can upload images, video and documents and record comments on these items using video, audio and text. The basic service is free and there is a fee for an upgraded account.
  • Padlet—A free, online, customizable wall or bulletin board where users can collaborate and add content such as text, a link to a webpage, a photo or a video file.
  • Etherpad—A free, online collaborative document creation tool. Users can enter their text in different colors.
  • Popplet—A free, online, collaborative visual organization tool. Users can create mindmaps, timelines, and charts and import videos and images and comment on others’ work.

Cloud Storage (Asynchronous)

Digital data is stored on servers by a host company and can be accessed from any device by the user who subscribes to the service. This is especially useful for collaborative work because multiple users can access and edit the same document although they are physically in disparate locations.

  • Googledocs/Drive—Cloud software that allows users to upload text documents, pictures, spreadsheets, videos and audio and to share these documents with others for viewing or collaborative work. This service is free but users must have a Gmail account.
  • Dropbox—Cloud software that allows users to upload any files and share with other users. A premium paid service offers more storage.
  • OneDrive—Cloud software that allows users to upload and share any type of files with other users. The service is free to anyone with a Bell Suite email account.
  • Flickr—A free hosting service owned by Yahoo that allows you to upload and share photos.

Wiki

A website where a group of people can collaborate to create and edit work.

  • PbWorks—A group of products used for collaboration for business and education. These products include closed wiki’s and PbWorks offers a free basic wiki service.
  • Wikispaces Classroom—A free, online platform focused on classroom writing and collaboration. Users can collaboratively edit material, embed content, create individual or group projects and also includes assessment tools.
  • Wikipedia—A free online encyclopedia that is collaboratively created and updated by users.
  • WikiEducator—A free website launched by Commonwealth of Learning that provides resources for eLearning. WikiEducator can be used and edited by anyone.
  • Wikiversity—A free online wiki designed to facilitate community learning. It includes teaching, learning and study materials, forums for specific topics and a space for hosting research and developing research communities.
  • Educational Origami—A wiki (and a blog) about using digital technology in education. EO houses a number of resources for teaching and learning.

Collaborative Mixed-Media Production

Podcast

A digital audio or video program, usually in a series and available for download.

Audacity—A free, open source audio editor and recorder available for all platforms. Features in Audacity include importing and exporting, recording and playback, editing, digital effects, noise removal and multitrack mixing.

Ardour—A free digital workstation with features that allow for importing, recording, editing, mixing , creating soundtracks, using plugins and exporting to multiple formats. Ardour is available for Mac OS X and Linux.

Easypodcast—A free, graphical user interface tool that can be used to publish a podcast in 3 steps. Available for Windows and Linux.

Huffduffer—A free online podcast building tool that allows you to add audio links, post your podcasts and subscribe to other podcasts.

Podbean—A free online podcast hosting program that allows the user to publish and share podcasts. Premium services and more storage are available for a fee.

Presentation Software

This software allows students to prepare and present presentations. Many of these tools are used in conjunction with a screen casting or video conferencing tool in order to give the presentation synchronously or asynchronously.

  • Powerpoint—A software program that allows the user to make electronic presentations using a slide system. A variety of themes and templates are available or the slides are customizable.
  • Prezi—A free, online tool that allows the user to create electronic presentations that are stored online. Prezi uses a large canvas with animation that zooms from screen to screen rather than the traditional slide system.
  • Slideshare—An online service in which users can upload slide-based presentations such as Powerpoint, PDF or Keynote formats to be shared privately or publically.
  • Keynote—A free software program developed for iOS operating systems that allows the user to make electronic presentations using a slide system. A variety of themes and templates are available or the slides are customizable.

Screencasting/Capturing

This is a digital recording of a computer screen sometimes with audio narration. This is often used to record presentations or demonstrations that can then be posted online.

  • Snagit—A program that captures video screen display as well as audio. There are more features available for the Microsoft Windows application but it is also available for iOS.
  • Screenr—A free web-based tool available by Articulate that allows you to record screencasts that can be downloaded to your device or published on the web.
  • Adobe Captivate—A tool for Windows and Mac OS X (v. 5 and up) that creates software demonstrations and simulations as well as screencasts and podcasts.
  • CamStudio—A free tool available for screencasting using Microsoft Windows.
  • Camtasia—A screen recording and video editing tool for Windows and Mac.

Video Sharing

Software that allows students and instructors to share their videos with others either within the class or to the general public.

  • YouTube—A free, online video sharing website where users can upload videos that they have made including tv clips, video blogs (vlogs), music videos and educational videos.
  • Vimeo—An online video sharing website where users can upload and view videos. There is a basic membership option as well as paid premium subscriptions.

EPortfolio

An online repository where students can collect and share digital artifacts that they have created.

  • Livebinders—This is a free tool (up to 100MB, 10 binders & an upload limit of 5MB) that allows you to collect links and resources into a virtual binder. Additional storage and upload capabilities carry a yearly fee.
  • PebblePad—An online personal learning environment that offers features such as collaborative resource building around a theme or criteria, auto-submission of work to an instructor, discussion forums, blogs, a variety of feedback tools and a portfolio and workbook creation capabilities.

Peer Review Software

This is software that allows students to engage in peer review activities.

  • iPeer—A free, open source, online tool that enables instructors to create and administer peer evaluations with a rubric.
  • Turnitin’s PeerMark—An online tool that allows students to anonymously review each other’s work.
  • Calibrated Peer Review—An online tool that allows students to submit their assignments, to practice peer review techniques using “calibration assignments” created by the instructor and finally, to anonymously evaluate the work of their peers. Students receive feedback on each of the three steps.

Assignment Submission

Assignment Submission Software

There are a number of stand alone tools that allow for students to submit a variety of assignment formats.

  • Turnitin—An online service that checks the originality of student work in order to prevent plagiarism. [http://turnitin.com/]
  • WeBWork—A free, opensource online homework system for math and science courses in undergraduate university programs.

Assessment/Polling

Assessment/Polling

An instructor can use online assessment tools (quizzes, exams, etc.) or surveys in order to digitally compile and compare data.

  • Clickers—These are wireless devices used in the classroom for student responses to polls, quizzes and questions. Data is digitally compiled and collected.
  • Respondus—Used for creating and administering exams, one can write an exam and print or upload to the Blackboard LMS.
  • Socrative—This free tool allows the user to create quizzes, exercises or games and administer them through a variety of devices.
  • Hot Potatoes—A free group of 5 programs designed to help an instructor create online quizzes, teaching exercises, crossword puzzles, jumble sentence exercises and matching exercises.
  • SurveyMonkey—A free online survey development service that also offers data analysis and data representation tools.
  • Quizlet—A free online study tool with several study modes and a multiplayer game option.
  • Poll Everywhere—An online service in which individuals in a classroom or audience can respond to a poll or question using their phones.
  • Doodle—This is an online scheduling tool that polls users to find an available time for a meeting.
  • ProProfs Quiz Maker—A service for making online tests and quizzes that can be shared online through social media or a webpage. The service also includes analysis tools.

Production Software

Production Software

These tools can be used to create digital assignments (sometimes offline) or to aid with the collaboration process.

Graphics/Images

  • Gimp—A free graphics image editor that includes the capability to draw, crop, size, retouch and edit images. Gimp is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.
  • Blender—A free, open source software for 3D modeling.
  • Adobe Photoshop—A pixel-based image editor that includes features such as cropping, isolating and editing parts of an image, adding layers, changing colors and hues of an image, adding text and objects and even video editing.

Mind Mapping

  • Mindjet Mindmanager—An online, cloud hosted software that allows users to collaboratively produce mindmaps.
  • FreeMind—Free mind mapping software available for Mac, Windows and Linux.
  • Mindmeister—An online mind mapping tool that allows users to collaboratively create maps. Three maps are free, but any more maps require a paid subscription.

Note Taking

  • Evernote—A software suite used for note taking. Notes can include text, images, links, or audio or have files attached to them. There are also various sorting and annotating options and the notes can be shared or synced online. A basic free version is available as well as a premium version with an associated fee.
  • OneNote—This is software that is part of the Microsoft Office Suite and available on its own. OneNote collects and automatically saves notes in the form of typed notes, screen shots, drawings, hand written notes, audio and pictures that can be organized and filed. There is also a multiuser option that allows users to write in a collaborative document. The data can be synced to the cloud hosted Microsoft OneDrive.

Video Editing

  • iMovie—Video editing software that comes free with any Apple product. iMovie allows the user to edit videos and make photo slideshows while adding titles, text, animation and basic effects.
  • Jahshaka—Free, open source video editing software available for all operating systems that includes features such as adding effects, animation and editing audio.
  • Animoto—A cloud hosted online tool that makes video slideshows from photos, videos and music. A basic subscription is free but there are paid subscriptions for more space.

Audio Editing

  • Audacity—A free, open source audio editor and recorder available for all platforms. Features in Audacity include importing and exporting, recording and playback, editing, digital effects, noise removal and multitrack mixing.
  • AudioBoo—An online platform that allows users to record, upload and share audio recordings.
  • Voki—A free online tool that allows the user to create a customizable avatar and upload audio to add speech. The videos can be watched by anyone (no account necessary).

Curation

  • Scoopit—A free online tool that allows the user to collect content and publish it in an online magazine. [http://www.scoop.it/]
  • Pearltrees—A free online tool that gives the user the capability to upload images, notes and other files and organize them with digital objects and URLs found online. Peartrees Teams is a feature that allows groups of users to curate content collaboratively.
  • Diigo—An online curation tool that allows the user to collect and organize resources on the cloud, annotate and share the collection. Diigo offers a free basic service and premium service for a fee.
  • Trello—A free online service that allows users to collect and organize information collaboratively on boards.

Timelines

  • Dipity—A free online tool used to build digital timelines. The features available in Dipity include creating, sharing and collaborating to create timelines that include video, audio, text and images.
  • Myhistro—A free website that allows users to create timelines using maps and various media in order to represent personal or historical events.
  • Capzles—A free online tool that allows the user to create and share timelines that integrate pictures, audio, video and text.

Miscellaneous

  • Wordle—An online tool used to create word clouds that visually represent the most used words in a given set of text. Words that are used more frequently appear larger than those used less frequently. Wordle allows the user to choose from different color schemes, layouts and fonts.
  • Glogster EDU—A free online tool used to create interactive posts that can include video, audio, text, images and other media. Glogster can be used individually or collaboratively.