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FASTECH: Overview of digital tools for educationAdobe ConnectWhat is it? Software used to create information and general p...
What is it? A social news website, where users can submit links and stories and share with others.Users can vote and comme...
What is it? The HumBox project aims to publish a bank of good quality humanities resources onlinefor free download and sha...
What is it? A widely used instant messaging service that allows conversations by voice, video, andchat. Phone calls may be...
What are its particular uses? The software scans websites, publications and work submitted toTurnitin for originality, hig...
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Fastech technology & pedagogy


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An overview of social media and online tools, with a particular view to using pedagogically. Based on a document created by Bex Lewis & adapted for the project.

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Fastech technology & pedagogy

  1. 1. FASTECH: Overview of digital tools for educationAdobe ConnectWhat is it? Software used to create information and general presentations, online training materials,web conferencing, virtual classrooms, learning modules, and user desktop sharing.What are its particular uses? Opportunities to bring in external speakers without necessity forphysical presence, allowing wider choice as to who can be brought in for teaching sessions. Staff/students who are physically immobilised/weather-bound can join in live. Recorded sessions canbe played back by students for revision purposes, particularly valued by international and dyslexicstudents.Similar software: Blackboard Collaborate (formerly Wimba/Elluminate), Big Blue Button, MicrosoftLyncAudiobooWhat is it? A web and mobile based audio option that allows quick and simple (maximum 5 minute)recordings whilst on the move, whilst adding useful data such as photos, tags and location.What are its particular uses? In a world of written words and video, audio often gets left behind. Itoffers the opportunity to grab online responses quickly, and share immediately online. Some, who arenot comfortable on camera, are on audio.BloggerWhat is it? A blogging site owned by Google, which makes it easy for Bath Spa folk to embed in otherplaces and share with others in the organisation.What are its particular uses? For personal reflections (you can keep it private if you like),professional discoveries, sharing thoughts with your community of practice, assessment of students’learning journey.Clickers/PRSWhat are they? Clickers (personal response systems) are the tool commonly uses on ‘Who Wants tobe a Millionaire’What are its particular uses? Within a classroom, they offer opportunities for in-class surveys,revision of previous topics, and for triggering discussion between students.DeliciousWhat is it? A social-bookmarking site, allowing users to tag, save, manage and share webpagesfrom a centralised page. Each ‘bookmark’ can be tagged with freely chosen index terms, and cross-referenced with other links tagged with the same term.What are its particular uses? Classes can share, and comment, on the benefits or otherwise of linksupon the web, building up a collection of useful online information relating to a topic.Digg1with special thanks to Dr Bex Lewis
  2. 2. What is it? A social news website, where users can submit links and stories and share with others.Users can vote and comment on submitted links and stories. A story that is voted up is ‘digged’, astory that is voted down is ‘buried’.What are its particular uses? Relaunced September 2010, with a simpler interface, students canbuild a collection of interesting links around a topic, and comment on others links.DropboxWhat is it? A cloud-storage solution for sharing (large) files online.What are its particular uses? Large files can be stored online (no need to drive back for that paperfile you’ve forgotten), although it shouldn’t be used for data covered by the Data Protection Act.FacebookWhat is it? THE most well known social networking site, with nearly 1 billion users. The vast majorityof students, and many staff, are already on Facebook (although most view it as their ‘personal space’).What are its particular uses? The creation of group and fan pages allows contact with studentswithout the requirement to be ‘friends’. Great for ensuring students feel involved before they arrive/throughout the course. Also continue contact with connections made at conferences.FlickrWhat is it? An image and video hosting website, widely used by bloggers to host images that theyembed in blogs and social media. Photo storage, tagging, photo-favourites, group photo pools andratings.What are its particular uses? Access a great pool of images, with the ability to use thosetagged ‘Creative Commons’ legally (with attribution) in presentations. Upload images for disseminationto a wider audience.GoogleApps for EducationWhat is it? Bath Spa University has subscribed to this suite of tools. This means that all BSU emailis Gmail and all staff and students have free access to collaborative and publishing tools such asGoogleDocs, Blogger, Google Hangouts, etc.GoogleDocsWhat is it? You can create documents and share with other people so that you can update together inreal time. You can share word-processing documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more.What are its particular uses? Collaborating with people across various sites, sharing informationwith a team, managing projects. Students can use this for developing collaborative projects.Google Hangouts in Google+What is it? Google Hangouts lets you chat in real time with a group of people, using webcams andinternet connection.What are its particular uses? Great for running meetings or seminars when people are dispersedacross sites. Google Hangouts Air now lets you stream your event straight to YouTube and saves acopy of your video on your YouTube site.Humbox2with special thanks to Dr Bex Lewis
  3. 3. What is it? The HumBox project aims to publish a bank of good quality humanities resources onlinefor free download and sharing.What are its particular uses? Creating a community of Humanities specialists who are willingto share their teaching materials and collaborate with others to peer review and enhance existingresources.PebblePadWhat is it? A online e-portfolio which is has a user group of over 500,000 across 100 HEI’s in Britain.PebblePad is external which makes the e-portfolio the user’s individual and private space.What are its particular uses? There are multiple functions including CV building application,reflection on tasks/assignments, Webfolio, blogs, forward planning facilities and a central informationbank. With the users permission, assets created on PebblePad can be shared with Staff and peers.PicasaWhat is it? Google’s image hosting website. Photo storage, tagging, photo-favourites, create albumswhich can be shared more widely online.What are its particular uses? Access collections of images provided by other users, with the abilityto use those to which permission is given (with attribution) in presentations/websites. Upload imagesfor dissemination to a wider audience.PinterestWhat is it? Working rather like pictorial bookmarking, it offers a ‘virtual’ pinboard social photo sharingwebsite. Users to create and manage theme-based image collections, collecting materials from acrossthe internet, or ‘re-pinning’ images (including videos) from other collections. Pinterests mission isto "connect everyone in the world through the things they find interesting"What are its particular uses? A way of bookmarking images you may want to use in teaching, ideasyou may want to share with your community of practice (e.g., oruse as a collection of visual bookmarks (e.g. links to materials on an e-reading list).PodcastWhat is it? A podcast is a digital audio or video file that is: episodic, downloadable, programme-driven, mainly with a host and/or theme, and convenient, usually via an automated feed with computersoftware. [University of Austin, Texas]What are its particular uses? Regular audio files prepared for distribution over the semester.Software required? Programmes such as Audacity (editable).PreziWhat is it? A flash-based presentation tool, hosted online, allowing multiple authors to contribute (noneed to be emailing files to each other).What are its particular uses? Considered by many as the next step on from PowerPoint (but is infact just another tool), Prezi ‘allows the speaker to encourage a dialogue, and visualise ideas as if youwere drawing a mind map for your audience’.Skype3with special thanks to Dr Bex Lewis
  4. 4. What is it? A widely used instant messaging service that allows conversations by voice, video, andchat. Phone calls may be placed to recipients on the traditional telephone networks. Calls to otherusers within the Skype service are free of charge, while calls to landline telephones and mobilephones are chargeable.What are its particular uses? Great for conversations with peers for collaboration on research, andwith students (particularly tutorials with research students). Conversations can be recorded (withpermission) using software such as Pamela for Skype. Instructions for setting up an account.Similar software: Windows MessengerSlideshareWhat is it? An online document hosting service, particularly known for PowerPoint uploads: upload,view, be inspired, comment & share.What are its particular values? With awareness of intellectual property issues, documents can beuploaded to share with a wider audience, encouraging contact with interest groups. Slideshares canbe embedded into blogs.Similar software: Scribd (particularly known for document uploads)SnagItWhat is it? A screen-casting system which allows you to capture anything you see on your computerscreen, as an image or (max 5 minute) video, then lets you share it, e.g. via YouTube. (Formerlyknown as Jing, and part of the Camtasia family, around £36 to purchase).What are its particular uses? See what is going on on screen without having to ‘explain’ via multiplescreenshots. Comment on a piece of work with audio. Collaborate when creating a piece of work.Similar Software: Screenr, CamtasiaStorifyWhat is it? A social media curation tool. Select tweets, videos, links, etc. from across the web, addfurther explanation as desired, and provide a curated story-line for others to read.What are its particular uses? Great to give an overview of a particular topic (to/from students), andregularly used to feedback from conferences.Survey MonkeyWhat is it? A ‘freemium’ (i.e. the free version allows 10 questions of 100 users) online questionnairesoftware. LTDU has a Pro licence, please email if you’re interested in knowingmore.What are its particular uses? End of module questionnaires, surveys, project/research work. A goodreturn rate has been received through distributing the URL on the portal, emails, and/or through socialnetworking (and the students like it).Similar Software: Bristol Online SurveysTurnitinWhat is it? An online plagiarism detection software funded and endorsed by JISC, which checks theoriginality of a piece of work submitted for an assignment.4with special thanks to Dr Bex Lewis
  5. 5. What are its particular uses? The software scans websites, publications and work submitted toTurnitin for originality, highlighting sections which appear similar to others work. Turnitin also providesonline marking/grading and the ability to peer review.TwitterWhat is it? The most famous form of micro-blogging. Tweets are limited to 140 characters and sharedamongst followers. Few rules, but clear etiquette.What are its particular uses? Making and maintaining contacts with others with similar interest(particularly around #hashtags), especially pre/at/post conferences (as the conversation has alreadystarted). Raising your public profile. Twitter works particularly well if the ‘Twitterer’ has access to asmartphone.VimeoWhat is it? A high-quality video-sharing site, comprised of a ‘community of creative people who arepassionate about sharing the videos they make’.What are its particular uses? Videos tend to be more professional than those on YouTube, but havesimilar benefits: viewed, shared, and embedded. Videos can be commented upon and links made withproducers.WordPressWhat is it? The most popular open-source ‘CMS’ at present: for blogging/websites. Either a simpleonline version, or a more complex downloadable version.What are its particular uses? Reputation building for academics. Encourage students to blog(reflection, participation) to gain public feedback on their work, and build their online confidence. Hasan extra benefit of providing ‘link-juice’ to the University.Similar software: Blogger, Tumblr, PosterousYouTubeWhat is it? A video-sharing website on which users can upload and share videos (usually amateurvideos by individuals), and create themed playlists of favourite saved videos.What are its particular uses? With careful thought, use within lectures. View, share, embed, andcomment upon. The interface continues to change, bringing with it new functionality. Playlists can beembedded on the Learning Network (removing some distractions)5with special thanks to Dr Bex Lewis