Online technology for teaching, learning and collaborating

Over the last few days I have been introduced to three different online platforms that really opened my eyes to how much technology for teaching, learning and collaborating is moving online.

I’ll start this blog with the credits – thanks to Sam Moskwa at CSIRO for introducing me to Slides, thanks to Nancy Woinoski of the E-Learning Heroes Community for introducing me to Padlet and thanks to Julie Lindsay of Learning Confluence for introducing me to Smore.

So, after a little investigation, here are just a few others that I have come across which I think are worth looking at in the context of effectively creating and presenting information, and collaborating and sharing knowledge, starting with the three I’ve already mentioned.

Slides

Slides offers a framework for easily creating beautiful presentations using HTML and enables anyone with a web browser to create, present and share presentations for free.

Slides is easy to use and has extensive functionality.  Presentations created using Slides can be viewed in any browser, including mobile phones and tablets.  You can broadcast your presentations to an audience of any size and viewers can follow along in real-time from any device, anywhere in the world.

There is also a Pro version which offers functionality including the ability to present offline and sync to Dropbox.  The video below gives an overview of how Slides works.

Padlet

Padlet is a virtual wall that allows you to easily express your thoughts with others on a common topic.  It works like an online sheet of paper where you can put any content such as images, videos, documents or text, anywhere on the page from any device.

The Padlet knowledgebase  is very helpful when you’re starting off and there’s also a Padlet short code for embedding Padlet into WordPress which opens up a range of possibilities for WordPress bloggers!

Smore

Smore is a service for creating dynamic and changeable media, including online flyers and newsletters.

You can create flyers in Smore using different types of media, including videos.  Deleting or adding elements is as simple as dragging and dropping them on or off your page.

Here’s an example of a Smore flyer created by Julie Lindsay to advertise an upcoming professional development event.

This short video gives you an overview of Smore.

IDroo

idroo

IDroo is Skype’s version of a whiteboard.

It’s an “endless canvas for your drawings, learning-lessons and brainstorms” that you can share with anyone in the world.

There are multiple drawing and writing tools and it’s all vector, so you can edit, move, scale and rotate what you create.

Read this review by PC World and access the download link here.

Pasteboard

Pasteboard is an image sharing web app.   The platform only supports images, but it’s simple to use.

Once you upload an image, it’s publicly available but not broadcasted – it’s up to you to decide who you share the image with.

I found the functionality somewhat limited, but for the purpose it seems to have been created, it’s worth taking a look at.

Realtime Board

Realtime Board is “your regular whiteboard, re-thought for the best online experience”.

It’s an “endless online whiteboard where you can organise your workflow, brainstorm and manage your tasks in a highly visual way”.

Get started by viewing the Tutorial Board.

Carbonmade

Carbonmade is a simple-to-use online portfolio and instantly sets itself apart as a friendlier, not-so-serious way to create a page for showcasing your work online.

You basically get a page of thumbnails or horizontal stripes, each of which represent your various projects.  The level of image, text, and colour customisation available on this page depends on your account, the free plan offering mostly generic text and colour options.

Here are some “awesome” examples taken from the 700,000+ portfolios created so far.

This Carbonmade Tutorial shows step-by-step how easy it is to create your site.

SlideIdea

SlideIdea is a free app that gives you the tools to create and display presentations quickly and easily and engage your audience through smart phones, laptops and tablets.

One of the most interesting features of this app is the ability to create interactive slides where your audience can vote or leave messages using their mobile device.

To get an idea of what you can do with SlideIdea, watch this short video.

Prezi

Prezi is a web-based presentation and storytelling tool that uses a single canvas instead of traditional slides.

The canvas allows you to create non-linear presentations that allow you to zoom in and out of a visual map.  You can upload images and videos and include URL links to other resources.

I’ve been using Prezi for a while and find the number of ways you can present content fascinating.  Looking at what others have done is one of my favourite pastimes and there’s no shortage of these.  To point you in the direction of the best presentations, here is The 6 Best Prezis of 2013 – staff of Prezi recommended!

Watch this overview video on Prezi to find out more.

Tricider

Tricider is a free brainstorming tool offering a platform on which people can brainstorm together and find solutions even if they’re scattered around the world.

Read this blog by Nick Grantham for an overview of Tricider, or watch the video below.

Bubbl.us

Bubbl.us is a free and easy to use Web 2.0 tool that allows you to create mind mapping and brainstorming diagrams online.

It’s intuitive interface is visually appealing and “let’s anyone brainstorm and organise ideas without getting in the way”.

You can display your ideas online, print your work, or share with friends by email.

Watch the video below to learn more about the basics of Bubble.us.

Presentation Next

Presentation Next claims to be the world’s most advanced HTML5 presentation builder, and the world’s most fun, yet professional HTML5 presentation maker.

You draw your ideas spatially on an extremely large canvas using a mouse, touch, keyboard or a pen. Pan and zoom effects and animations are used to give the presentation a filmic look and feel. 

Presentation Next comes with customisable templates and one of the most popular features among developers is the capability to create a single HTML5 file that can be attached to e-mails or can be hosted on a website. 

Read this MVP blog for more information on Presentation Next.

Thinglink

Thinglink helps you tell your story by “making your images come alive with music, video, text, images, shops and more”!

With functionality including the ability to link to other resources, it’s claimed that “your ThingLink interactive images form a channel that other users can follow”.

This short “quirky” video gives you an overview of how you can use Thinglink to “upload your images, tag them with media, e-commerce and social profiles and share them with the world”.

Of course there are hundreds of other online technologies – do you have any you use, know of, or recommend?

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