Web Tools to Enhance Learning

Here’s a new mindmap containing my recently organized collection of great sites and tools for learning and teaching.  The collections are:

  • Google Sites and Apps
  • Video Collections
  • Synchronous Communication Tools
  • Asynchronous Communication Tools
  • Mindmapping Tools
  • Data Visualization
  • Scheduling, Appointments, and Information Collecting

Mindmap: Web Tools to Enhance Learning

To see more digital mindmaps, go to Resources: Mindmaps.

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Best of the Ed Tech Freebies!

In a “pilot” program, we used Camtasia to record several sessions at the 2009 AMATYC Conference in Las Vegas.  Several of these recordings are now available on the AMATYC 2009 Conference Proceedings Website.

In particular, you might want to check out my live presentation “Best of the Educational Technology Freebies” … at least, you can check out the first 24 minutes of it (before my spectacular graphics-overload-induced red-screen-of-death computer crash).  The live presentation starts approximately 1 minute into the video.

2009-amatyc-talk

There is a Part II (audio with a few PowerPoint slides – all my computer was capable after burning up the graphics capability temporarily), but I guess they haven’t put it up yet.  Update: Part II is now also available here.  Incidentally, this incident sealed the deal on my getting a new tablet PC (I was running with the memory capacity and hard drive maxed on the old one).

Word to the wise: You should not attempt to simultaneously record new audio narrative for a Camtasia video project running in the background, while running that video in a player on the notebook and projecting to a screen.  Sure, it works for 5 minutes, but will it work for 60? [no, unless you have a really powerful computer and graphics card]

The easy way to find all the recorded videos from the 2009 AMATYC Conference is to search the Conference Proceedings website (Ctrl-F for find) for the word “flash” (as in Flash video).

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The Rules of the Brain

Do you ever feel like you’re on “auto pilot”?  Or that you’ve lost the ability to learn new things?  John Medina is a developmental molecular biologist and professor at The University of Washington and Seattle Pacific University.  He  has written a book called Brain Rules, which discusses some of the key components in enhancing our brain activity.  Here are some YouTube videos highlighting a few of those rules.

Rule #1 Exercise


Rule #7 Sleep

Multitasking…

These might make good “Easter Eggs” to embed in your online course shells to get studnets thinking about how they learn.

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Math Videos at the Sputnik Observatory

sputnik1

The Sputnik Observatory, is dedicated to providing a venue for viewing and sharing ideas and philosophies of contemporary culture.  Jonathan Harris, who worked on the mindblowing sociological website We Feel Fine, is the site director and blog creator for Sputnik Observatory.  Sputnik also has a host of codirectors with diverse backgrounds in journalism, architecture, and ballet.  Members of Sputnik have spent the last ten years interviewing scientists, philosophers, academics, and the like.  They have over 200 videos of conversations on themes such as coherence, interspecies communication, and urban metabolism.

Sputnik Observatory is a New York not-for-profit educational organization dedicated to the study of contemporary culture. We fulfill this mission by documenting, archiving, and disseminating ideas that are shaping modern thought by interviewing leading thinkers in the arts, sciences and technology from around the world. Our philosophy is that ideas are NOT selfish, ideas are NOT viruses. Ideas survive because they fit in with the rest of life. Our position is that ideas are energy, and should interconnect and re-connect continuously because by linking ideas together we learn, and new ideas emerge.”

Here are some of the short interviews that involve mathematics (and all really COOL mathematics).  All of these can be embedded into course shells.

Will Wright – Possibility Space

Ian Stewart – Alien Mathematics

Ian Stewart – Pattern-Seeking Minds

Lord Martin Rees – Simple Recipe

Trevor Paglen – Geologic Agents

Jacques Vallee – Information Universe

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eLearning Tools for STEM

For anyone who has ever had trouble convincing your administration to give you the proper tools to teach online, I give you this little gift: eLearning Tools for STEM, published today in eLearning Magazine.

elearning-tools-for-stem

The tools for STEM eLearning

  1. Tablets
  2. Recording & editing software
  3. Jing
  4. Equation software and training
  5. Synchronous communication system
  6. Online homework system

Other head-turning resources for STEM

  • Wolfram Demonstrations
  • Digital libraries (a lengthy list)
  • Video collections (another list)
  • TI-SmartView

Other tips (about accessibility, computer labs, etc) can be found at the end of the article.

You can read about all the tools, and why I recommend them, by going to the article, eLearning Tools for STEM.

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