Some useful bits
At last year’s VITTA conference I presented a range of “Cool 21stC Learning tools” (the article has now been printed in the current Education Technology magazine, and although they are all still great and relevant tools, I know I have moved on and found some more very useful productive tools.
If you have been following my blog posts you will have seen me using CoverItLive for some of the conference sessions I have attended. It allows me to “blog” live, putting what is happening in the presentation straight into my blog. Through Twitter connections and email I can share the post with others who can either join me live, or view it later. I can also use Twitter hashtags to add extra comments ie: anyone adding that particular hashtag when tweeting (adding a post on Twitter) has their comments added to my blog post/recording. People who join in my coverage can also add comments, ask questions etc. I have had some sessions where the comentary I was making was enhanced through this interaction, getting more than one point of view on what is going on, and in some cases, adding bits I had missed, like weblinks etc.
I have also attended conferences in other countries by joining in other Coveritlive sessions. An incredibly powerful tool for sharing resources. A great reference to reflect back on. We have been discussing Connectivism, among other ways of learning, in our leadership team meetings, and I feel CoverItLive epitomizes this approach.The downside is you do need an internet connection, but I have no problems as my little mobile broadband USB stick travels with me to provide access in most places.
My other most used tool of the moment has to be Evernote. I first saw this at a conference presentation with Megan Iemma, and since downloading it, I use it all the time. I have a PC based notebook, a Mac, a phone, and now and iPodTouch which I can link to the same account. Once set up you don’t need an internet connection to use it, just to “sync”. I can write a note on my Mac, and then go back to it from any of my devices, as well as any computer through my Evernote account online. Never lose those notes you take again. You can set your account for private or public.
You can add tags to your notes, to easily find them, or just search for keywords. So if I wanted to find the note I wrote at the Curriculum committee, I could just enter “curriculum” in the search and all of my notes with this word in it will be highlighted. It has been a great help for me to try and be more organised. If I am recording information, as I used to in notebooks, exercise books, bits of paper, I will always know where to find them now.
You can take photos and text notes with your phone, sending them to your evernote account, and next time you sync your Evernote, it will pop into your notebook. The iPod touch (or if you have an iPhone) has an Evernote app, which allows you to add a range of note types very easily. And if I am not in a wifi zone with my Touch, I can write the note, then sync it when I next have internet access.
If you have any really useful new tools, I would love to know, add your comments to this post. I am currently exploring a range of web 2.0 web creation tools, which will blow the old “make a website” but don’t know how to get it online a thing of the past. More on this next time 🙂