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How many tools do you use and how do you decide?

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Started by Iona Rait 04 Jul 2012 11:01am () Replies (23)

Hiya.  Just curious about what web 2.0 tools you use and how your staff and students find using such a variety when they all need passwords and use different interfaces.  For example do you use drop box AND google docs AND an lms AND mathletics AND sumdog AND studyladder etc.

How have you made your decisions about what to introduce and when?

I am using quite a few at the moment and realise one tool does not do it all.  I add another one when I have a need.  But when you have different interfaces, multiple passwords for staff and students, it gets a bit much for those that are not so tech-savvy.

Do people use dropbox and google docs?  Do you need both do you think?  Would you mind sharing your experiences with me? :-)




  • Rebecca Ronald (View all users posts) 04 Jul 2012 5:04pm ()

    We are just embarking on this journey at our school, and I'm trying to keep if down to 5 tools that all teachers should eventually know how to use (eg blogger, googledocs, dropbox, googlesites...not sure what else), with all the other tools being optional extras that people are welcome to use, provided they can do so fairly independently. I'm interested in finding out what other people regard as the 'Top 5' online tools?


  • Rebecca Ronald (View all users posts) 04 Jul 2012 5:07pm ()

    oops- forgot to answer your other question - yes I use Google Docs and Dropbox - Google docs for editing online and collaboratively, and dropbox just for shifting things from my phone to my laptop when I can't be bothered getting up to go and find the cable. Also, I think we need both because at PD sessions often the tutor will share their notes in one form or the other, and I want to be able to access everything on offer.


  • Iona Rait (View all users posts) 05 Jul 2012 12:08pm ()

    Thanks for sharing Rebecca.  I agree about the ease of using dropbox to automatically transfer photos from your phone.  It's so easy I wish I'd done it sooner.

    I like evernote, it's my top app so far and dropbox a close second.  Google mail/calendar/docs third (although I haven't used docs much yet).  Blogspot we used to use, but we've moved to an LMS now so don't use that any more or wikispaces as they are already built into our LMS.  I also use delicious bookmarks.  I wish that staff could see the value of this last one though.  

    I like the online and desktop functionalities of the first two apps because they make life more convenient and efficient.  It makes it easier to share with your colleagues too.


  • Jo Flavell (View all users posts) 05 Jul 2012 2:45pm ()

    Wow! Thanks for that awesome info!  I've never heard of the apps/programs evernote and dropbox so that was great to have a look at those 2 tools!  I have played with a lot of those web 2.0 tools but not really seriously used them.  Recently we have had an influx of equipment in our school, ipads, netbooks and digital cameras and not that these tools are easily accessible i think i should take it and run! lol  So now i plan to use that equipment in my classroom programme and will be looking at wonderful ideas to support me! 

  • Iona Rait (View all users posts) 05 Jul 2012 3:48pm ()

    Hi Jo.  Just read your profile and was wondering what apps for iPad or sites for te reo you use regularly?

  • Jo Flavell (View all users posts) 05 Jul 2012 3:54pm ()

    Hi Iona :)

    We only just got the ipads which means the IT guys have to sort them out before we can even use them... i am also VERY new to apple as i totally resisted it and have only caved as i got an iphone 4s for my birthday! and now i am hooked! i didnt even know what an app was! lol so i am very new to apps and to be honest ive never even THOUGHT about looking up apps to support te reo maori??! =D  Do you have some that you use?  This is something i should search :)  But as i said use of ipads for me are very new, we have our school is totally pcs and these 10 ipads we have recently recieved will be interesting to use... :)

  • Iona Rait (View all users posts) 05 Jul 2012 4:01pm ()

    I've only got one app called 'uTalk Māori' which is basic word and phrases supported by games.  Have you joined the iPad group on here? I usually check out recommended and tried and true apps from there.  I've just started using the 'book creator' and 'scribble press' ibook creator apps which have many uses across all areas.  Puppet pals and sock puppets would be great to use with te reo, role playing spoken Māori.  

  • Jo Flavell (View all users posts) 05 Jul 2012 4:09pm ()

    I instantly looked up the app 'uTalk Māori' and thought $13.99??? lol im so budget!! hahaha ive only been downloading free apps! lol But i suppose now that i am looking up educational apps do a lot of them cost?  Also since you said you looked at my profile i've just realised i really should update that! lol i've moved from new entrant to year 5/6, i am still te reo maori lead teacher but due to a drastic move in year level i decided to relinquish my ict duties which probably explains why i am out of the loop in regards to programs and apps etc... however now that i have (kind of) found my feet as a year 5/6 teacher i am beginning to spread my wings and work on implementation of ict thinking tools into my classroom :)  I see puppet pals are free! =D

  • Iona Rait (View all users posts) 05 Jul 2012 4:14pm ()

    Ha ha sorry, I didn't download that one myself!!!  Is it really that much? Ouch.  I have a feeling Scribble Press might be free, but book creator you pay for too.  But book creator you can add in audio too, so that's why I decided on that one.  I'll have to trial them well and truly this term with some real teaching examples with my year 0 class.


  • Jo Flavell (View all users posts) 05 Jul 2012 4:31pm ()

    Wow! That book creator looks really good! That would be a real incentive and encouraging tool i think to get students to write! I tried to ddownload the app for scribble press but you can onmly downmload it on an ipad (not iphone), i feel a purchase coming on! lol

  • Gerard Macmanus (View all users posts) 05 Jul 2012 3:02pm ()

    We have been looking at this for a long time, we have made a decision to used web 2.0 tools, however, we need them to support single sign on.

    see www.iam.school.nz

    Google Apps - this provides students with a cloud based drive of 5Gb, email account, productivity tools, with the introduction of Google Drive it now means that we dont have to look at dropbox to provide the cloud storage.

    Aviary - image and video creator as well as audio production, all within the cloud

    Moodle - Learning Management System - based upon the moodleinschools.org.nz version hosted by watchdog, to provide teachers and students a framework to handle course related material, resources and assessments.

    etv - video on demand service for us to put up content that is only viewable to those with a login account.

    myportfolio - eportfolio based upon mahara, currently funded by ministry of education 

    All of these accounts are access through one username and password, if a student changes there password on the network it is carried through all the services listed above.

  • Iona Rait (View all users posts) 05 Jul 2012 3:45pm ()

    Hi Gerard


    I'm very curious about the single sign on site that you linked to.  I will have to investigate.  Are they adding sites that can be accessed in the same way regularly?


  • Fiona Robertson (View all users posts) 05 Jul 2012 3:50pm ()

    Hi I have a google account and through this you can access google docs, youtube, blogger google+ etc. I also have a google account for my class so we can access google docs and several children work on one presentnaion at the same time. I  also use picture trail and animoto for creating slide shows for pictures. As a school we are having our students learn how to use voicethread, photstory prezi and glogster. We also created a overview of what we wanted the students  and teachers to be able to do/ use by the end of each year level. We were using ULTRANET but have moved away from it for a number of reasons, such as cost and the fact that there are other tools out there that can be used for student e- portfoilos and at our school we all have class bolgs and a school web site so it was kind of doubling up. 

  • Moana Timoko (View all users posts) 05 Jul 2012 5:38pm ()

    Hi there - great reading! My daughter (6 years) is an emergent...emerging learner of Te Reo Māori and I've recently purchased an IPAD (Well actually my Dad...her Big Dad bought it for her LOL) and I've been encouraging her to record basic conversations using Sock Puppets.  She LOVES it and it's a free app.  You can purchase extra characters/props/recording time etc if you want to but for now the 30 sec recording time is ok!  I guess it's about finding apps that can record voice and there appear to be soooooo many.  When we've mastered another app I'll post here.  I envisage sitting beside her with one of her teachers (native speaker - works one to one with my daughter for approx 15min a day - working on pronunciation/vocab etc)...listening to the sentence structures/phrases that they are using and then supporting her learning by encouraging her to use  her ipad apps to practice what she's learnt.  We'll be learning together and she'll enjoy it because she just LOVES her ipad!!!!

  • Iona Rait (View all users posts) 26 Jul 2012 7:13pm ()

    Hi Moana.  I downloaded Sock Puppets.  It's so cool!  Can wait to put it to the test.

  • Rebecca Ronald (View all users posts) 05 Jul 2012 9:57pm ()

    I have a bit of a random collection of other online tools I like here, which may be useful to some readers.

  • Iona Rait (View all users posts) 06 Jul 2012 12:44pm ()

    Hi Rebecca.  Thanks for that link.  I'll have some fun using and sharing some of those tools.  I like the jigsaw one that you could use at the start of your topic as an ignition- kind of like the old picture reveal idea.  The cube one seems to take a good while to load.

  • Iona Rait (View all users posts) 06 Jul 2012 12:51pm ()

    I thought the answer garden tool could be useful in a staff meeting to get all teachers to respond. Seems to work on an iPad in html but also runs in flash.

  • Louise Tredinnick (View all users posts) 19 Jul 2012 8:20pm ()

    Hi, I have until tomorrow to think of any more software applications and tools that we can add to our school computers as we are in the process of upgrading the network.  I thought of 'Jing' today, ensured that we had 'Inspiration',along with all the microsoft suite and Comic Life.  There's more but can't think of them right now.  If anyone can think of any other essentials I'd very much appreciate it.  Perhaps I should have 'Format Factory' too.  What do others use for movie making now as I don't think it comes naturally with Microsoft Office now and we don't have Macs.



  • Rebecca Ronald (View all users posts) 21 Jul 2012 11:30am ()

    Hi Louise,

    I don't know your situation, but I couldn't live without:

    Skype (talking to my kids), paint (hardly ever use it but students do), Gimp (photoediting), notepad++ (web page editing), audacity (sound editing), scratch (programming intro for younger peeps), firefox (as well as IE, for using multiple logins without needing to login repeatedly), office picture manager (for quick image retouching and cropping), AB Tutor (on teacher computers for keeping tabs on students), windows live movie maker (video editing), dropbox (more for teachers, tho kids could use it...) . Plenty more probably, but these are the ones that leapt out at me.


  • Sonya Van Schaijik (View all users posts) 22 Jul 2012 2:58pm ()

    Hi Iona

    From a personal perspective,  I have an online list that I keep so that I can see where I have created the accounts. Because the list is extensive, I can see that several tools have similar features.



    When I work with children, I ask the question-

    Do children need to put in an email?

    If so- then I would hesitate at using it with children under 13.

    So that eliminates most of the tools.

    If the tools are particularly important for a project, then I would actively supervise them online while they are accessing it.

    I like tools that are creative, eg: Scratch, Sketchup, These need downloading and and saving to our system. I like using paint too for the same reasons.

    I enjoy reading the discussion so look forward to other viewpoints.

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e-Learning: Technologies

e-Learning: Technologies

Where we explore how different technologies can support learning.