Colleague Tea: Web Tools for Teaching

teacookies.jpg Last Friday’s Colleague Tea brought together 7 people to discuss some of the web tools currently available at UVM that can be used in teaching. We had a nice mix of participants, with some having used one tool, others having used another.
What tools did we look at? What teaching applications were considered?

This is such a broad topic that a number of approaches are possible. We could go through a list of tools, describing each and looking for examples, or we could create a list of student activities and desired outcomes and then determine which tool would provide the best fit. After brief introductions we decided to try both approaches, but the discussion was lively enough that we ended up leaning rather more to the former than the latter.
So what tools did we consider? A glossary-in-progress will give you an idea. We spent most of the session on blogs and wikis with a bit of WebCT as well. We also considered some options for image collections and podcasting, both topics which will be explored in more depth at upcoming events. Wikis and the ability to share files brought up the topic of using Sharepoint, a content management system being used, experimentally, by a number of groups on campus. (You will need your UVMNetID/password.)
The web is becoming increasingly complex while, paradoxically, becoming easier to use. Deciding which tool works best for which task will continue to be a challenge. We’d love to build a matrix that displays some teaching and learning activities and the web tools that might best be used for them. Can you help? Send us your ideas and let us know the kinds of activities you would like to use in your classroom, or the learning outcomes you would like to see, along with your ideas for how you might approach them. Together we can consider how IT tools might be applied. Found a favorite web gadget? Let us know about that too! And, of course, come to the next Colleague Tea and snag some great cookies.

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