I have to thank Elena Verlee from OnLineDegrees.org for bringing the following information to my attention. The blog, 50 Indispensable EdTech Tools for 2012, lists some great sites and resources that I've not seen before. In this blog I'm covering Grockit, LiveBinders and Animoto tech tools. Click the link above for the full list.
GROCKIT is a social learning media which gives all students the opportunity to undertake tutoring and practice sessions online. They can also join study groups to support their learning and learning style. From what I experienced when I accessed Grockit, there are more positives than negatives about using this site.
> Join using Facebook - I found this a simple method and was able to access the lessons etc within a minute. The downside of this is Grockit auto posts results or an activity you've completed onto your Facebook Timeline. Don't think this is something everyone would like to see on their timeline.
> Initially you receive a three day FREE trial.
> Hmm? At $29.99 per month I wonder if parents or students would be able to afford this learning tool in the current economic climate.
> They do offer study material and different admission test practices (US) that would assist many learners.
The best way to gauge if this site will help you, your students or your children is to access the three day free trial. I'm sure you'll know by the end of that time if you want to pay the monthly fee.
Considering the years I've spent trawling the internet for useful teaching resources, I have never come across this site. I Signed Up for FREE and am in the throes of creating my first binder. The video tutorials are straightforward and offer information on every aspect of using the tools. The videos give you an overview of the site and tools available - worth- while resources.
The binders you create can be for public or private viewing. You can ensure only people you invite or your students access the binder by using an access key. I'm currently developing a binder that covers aspects of numeration that my adult students require. Developing the binder is "a piece of cake" and I applaud the developers. At one point, when I wanted to include a specific web page, there did seem to be a glitch. However, the program informed me the creator of the webpage doesn't permit it being viewed on any other site. No problem! LiveBinder created a link in the nominated tab that takes you directly to the page.
I have just created my first photo video (click this link to view My Ride To Conquer Cancer) using this site. I used the LITE version to develop the video, but I'll be upgrading to the PLUS version when I'm finsihed this blog. Why? From both a teaching and personal point of view, for $30 per year you can create an unlimited number of videos. You can also download the video to your computer and/or DVD. These two factors alone are a big draw card for me. There are also the PRO and RESELLER versions available if you like what you see. These are $249 and $499 per year respectively.
FEATURES Lite Version
- select from a number of templates for your background
- background music from over 600 songs in the Animoto library
- option to upload a video and embed in the Animoto video
- add captions
- edit caption slides
- share on social media or email link
- sequence scenes by clicking and dragging
Using this TechTool from a teaching point of view -
> Students can create a graphical procedure using their own photos.
> Record a visual account of science experiments.
> Writing notes to develop script.
> Completing script in consultation with teacher.
> Working in a group or pairs to develop interpersonal and employability skills.
> Students select appropriate music from Animoto's library to support video. They can also upload music for the 30sec video.
> You can add text to the video, but characters are limited in the LITE version. I'll check the PLUS version to see if the number of characters are more generous.
> Self evaluation
> An historical walk record
> Steps to completing an equation
> Recount of an experience
> Demonstrate an exercise e.g. crunches on a fitball
This is a limited list of activities, but I'm sure you will have many more to add to this list.
Screen shots of ANIMOTO web page (above)