These useful tools can help you engage students inside or outside the classroom with multimedia polls, quizzes, bulletin boards, or audio and video recording.
Poll Everywhere. Poll Everywhere is a web-based response system that can be used to gather real-time responses from your students to a variety of question types including multiple choice questions, word clouds, and clickable images.
Kahoot. Build quiz-based games to help students reinforce their learning with Kahoot.
Padlet. Imagine an online bulletin board where you and your students can share their work with a simple click. (For an even simpler solution, try Moodle's "Board" activity!)
Turning Point Clickers. Interactive polling software allows instructors to ask questions, track participant progress, and receive instant feedback. Clickers are available for check-out from IT services. Read about best practices for using clickers in the classroom:
A screencast is a video recording of anything displayed on your computer screen. Along with the screen action, you can record your voice as you explain what is happening on your screen. For example, you can narrate your PowerPoint slides, show viewers how to navigate a website, or walk students through the steps of formatting a research paper. These applications represent a sampling of the many screencasting applications available today:
Camtasia. (PC or Mac) In addition to recording your screen and voice, Camtasia lets you add titles, captions, call-outs, transitions, cursor highlights, and many other effects. You can delete sections of a recording, zoom in on specific portions of the screen, and perform other edits. There's also a plug-in that lets you record your slides and narrations directly from PowerPoint. Camtasia does not impose any time or size limits, however, we recommend limiting videos to a maximum of 10 minutes. Contact the HelpDesk to purchase a discounted license for Camtasia Studio for your SOU computer. Discounts are also available from sites such as Academic Superstore.com. Check out Camtasia tutorials for more information.
Explain Everything. (iPad) This is a robust screencasting app that is well worth its $2.99 price tag. Explain Everything lets you write or draw on a whiteboard and narrate as you're writing. It records both your voice and whatever you're writing. You can import multiple images as well as PowerPoint and PDF files. There are several drawing tools, including a laser pointer and text. You can resize objects and move them around. There are a number of options for sharing, such as YouTube, DropBox or email.
Snagit. (PC or Mac) Snagit is a versatile and easy-to-use screen capture program that allows you to capture and annotate still shots or screen shots. (All of our Moodle documentation, for instance, has been created with Snagit.) You can capture your entire screen, a specific window, or a custom region. Snagit is available bundled with Camtasia Studio or purchased alone. See Camtasia tutorials for more information.
Audacity. (PC or Mac) Audacity is a free application that allows you to record and edit voice-only lectures or podcasts. Select the latest version for your operating system and follow the prompts to download and install the program. The download page also provides a link for a program called the LAME MP3 encoder. You will need this encoder to save audio files in MP3 format, which is the recommended format for recordings posted on Moodle or other sites. Note where you installed the encoder, as you will need to locate it the first time you create an MP3 file. The Audacity manual includes links to tutorials and other resources.
GarageBand. (Mac) This program, which comes installed on most Macs, allows you to create music or podcasts. See this GarageBand video tutorial for more information. Be sure to save your recordings in MP3 format.
Infographics are visual combinations of narrative and data that can be useful tools for improving thinking and communication skills. In fact, infographics are a powerful modern form of storytelling; just as maps, charts, and graphs have helped us understand complex information throughout history, infographics are particularly suited for 21st century life where massive amounts of information must be organized and made more clear and concise for popular consumption (Kayur, 2013). An infographic combines storytelling, data, and graphic design in order to "present complex information quickly and clearly" (Wikipedia).
Types of information infographics can help learners communicate about include:
- Timelines and chronologies
- Maps and geospatial information
- Processes and workflows
- Research results
- Complex relationships
Popular applications include Easelly, Infogram, Piktochart (our favorite!), Venngage, and Smore.
Thinglink. With Thinglink, you can embellish an image with text, images, video and/or audio by using hot spots. See these examples to get an idea of what you can do with this program:
- A Bee Yard in Summer (note that a few of the images are no longer available in this example)
- Lose Sleep, Lose Your Mind and Health