As the time approaches for voting in Jane Hart's 6th annual poll of the Top 100 Tools for Learning, I am reading two excellent books that will "guide" my vote. I have spent considerable time the past seven years using most of the tools Jane identifies (see link above). This year I agreed to become a Carroll "Technology Fellow." Therfore, I feel it imcumbent upon me to deploy into the classroom (to a greater degree) the tools which in my experience will most benefit my students' learning experiences.
Two books that I am currently reading are 1) Susan Manning and Keven E. Johnson's (2011) The Technology Toolbelt for Teaching and 2) Michelle Pacansk-Brock's (2013) Best Practices for Teaching with Emerging Technologies. I especially like Pacanek-Brock's book despite the fact that I'll need a razor blade to separate the pages which were not cut (!) and that I've already found some rush-to-press-caused errors. Still, she writes well, clearly understands the strengths and limitations of the tools. In her own words, "…the tools themselves are not important—it's the experiences they create [for learners] that is critical. I wholeheartedly agree.
In the next few days I'm going to focus on one element from her "Essentials Toolkit" chapter 3—specifically screencasting software (Camtasia vs. Screenflow vs. Screencast-o-matic vs. Jing). It's time for me to stop merely collecting such software and instead mastering all the features of the screencasting tool which best addresses my teaching and learning needs.
Here's an example of a screencast on my MacbookPro using Screenflow and Vimeo (as the online content hosting service) :
What technological tools do you feel add value to your teaching effectiveness and your students' learning experiences? What evidence do you have of their effectiveness?