Quite a few students have asked for links to some of the software and online tools we use in class. I’m going to list some of my favorites that I use in class and at home. All of these programs are free.
Google Earth – “Google Earth lets you fly anywhere on Earth to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings and even explore galaxies in the Sky. You can explore rich geographical content, save your toured places and share with others.”
Google Maps – A lot like Google Earth, but online instead of a download. There are not as many features.
Cooliris – This is a visual picture viewer that we use in class. You can search for images and video about a topic. It is a really visual way to experience the Internet. This is a browser-add on.
Skype – We are not able to use this at school, but it is a video conferencing tool. If you have a camera hooked up or built in to your computer you can audio and video conference with other people that have Skype installed. It is a great way to keep up with family and friends.
Google Docs – By signing up for a Google Account you can access Google Docs. It is a lot like Microsoft Office, but completely online so you can use it from any computer with Internet access. It has a word processor, spreadsheet application, interactive forms, and a presentation tool. You can also share documents with other people and they can edit them. Up to 10 people can be editing a document at one time. This is great for collaborative projects or documents that you want to be able to access on more than one computer.
UStream.tv – “Experience live video. In just minutes, you can broadcast and chat online with a global audience. Completely free, all it takes is a camera and Internet connection.” If you have a camera and microphone you can have your own video broadcast. I’ve seen this used for classroom presentations, professional development videos for teachers, and live video of different events. We have not used this in class yet, but it is a very interesting tool.
VoiceThread – “A VoiceThread is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to leave comments in 5 ways – using voice (with a mic or phone), text, audio file, or video (via a webcam). Share a VoiceThread with friends, students, and colleagues for them to record comments too.” We will be using Voice Threads soon for a science picture dictionary. It is a great tool to share student work with the world. There are some examples from my previous classes on this blog.
These are a few of the interesting tools we’ve used in class or that I use personally. If you have any questions about any of the software or websites please feel free to contact me or leave a comment on this post.