Here is a list of free tools and utilities that every teacher ought to know about. They are quick, easy and efficient to use, and dare I say, the foundations of starting one’s own personal educational technology program with students.
Cool Tools for Educators
URL shortners: Tired of sending out those enormous URLS that nobody would ever remember or retype? Or that somehow get cut off at the end and then don’t work? Then shorten it! It is as simple as: 1) submit long URL, 2) get short URL that forwards to the long URL. Voila!
Social Media Aggregator: Whatchatalkin’abou’? Alligator wha’? A social media aggregator combines all your social media posting into one tool, in one place. It allows you to make one post to multiple accounts at the same time. It is a great time saver. See my list of favorites at this article link.
Screencast-o-Matic (SOM): This tool is easy to use, quick, and friendly. You create a quick screencast and quickly upload it to your YouTube or Vimeo account. It works for iPad screencasting too: I used AirServer to mirror my iPad screen onto my computer, and then used SOM to do a screencast of ‘how to use an app’: http://www.screencast-o-matic.com/
Video Sharing: No teacher can survive in the modern millennium without an online video sharing account. Here are two popular ones (both of which work with SOM above):
Presentation Sharing: I should put SlideShare (http://www.slideshare.net/ ) and Scribd (http://www.scribd.com/ ) here, both of which allow teachers to share PowerPoint slides, reports, brochures, and other media with students. I did hesitate though, as I really believe that the plain-ol’-PowerPoint is a tool of the past. I would akin it to using an abacus to do your math. Okay. I exaggerate. But, if a PowerPoint presentation doesn’t at least have an audio lecture with it, then it’s near to useless, IMHO. So instead I am going to share free tools that allow one to create an audio lecture out of a PowerPoint, making it more multimedia, and attending to more learning styles… Presentation Tools for audio-enhancing media and presentations:
Vcasmo (beta): http://www.vcasmo.com
And, last but not least: a fantastic article with a long list of ‘cool tools for schools’: