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Other Tools of Engagement

So Many Tools, So Little Time

Throughout the course of this Tools of Engagement Project, we have explored just a small sampling of Web 2.0 technologies and websites that enable instructors and students to collaborate and communicate. But given time available, there are so many more we could explore. Although time will only tell which of these new collaborative, social networking and information tools will remain on top, one thing is for sure, they will not go away (at least anytime soon).

Other Tools of Engagement in Teaching and Learning

To begin exploring alternative tools, you may wish to investigate the Padagogy Wheel, developed by Allan Carrington of Designing Outcomes in Adelaide, Australia. It is a graphical representation of the interface of web 2.0 iPad apps with Bloom's Cognitive Domain Categories and the SAMR Model of technology integration. Consider more fully exploring the back story to the wheel, by visiting Carrington's blog, In Support of Excellence. To quote Carrington: 
The Padagogy Wheel was born out of a desire to help teachers at the coalface of teaching. I wanted a model that could be applied to everything from curriculum planning, development, writing learning objectives and designing student centered activities. Then quickly help teachers access relevant educational technology e.g. individual iPad apps or sequences of apps, to enhance those activities. Finally to help teachers use that technology to redefine activities to include tasks previously inconceivable. I believe this will increase student engagement, improve learning outcomes and empower a student towards transforming into an excellent graduate.


Click on the image for a larger version of the Padagogy Wheel, with links to the embedded apps.

In addition to exploring the Padagogy Wheel by clicking on the image above, you may wish to view the following resources on the SAMR model, developed by Ruben Puentedura:
  • This 2-minute video describes SAMR (Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition) introduces you to the model, a theoretical framework for scaffolding technology integration into education.
  • The Classroom Connections website provides rationale and application exemplars for the model.

Discovery Resources

Other Web 2.0 and Emerging Technologies
There's so much to explore. Don't think you have to check them all out, but take a little time to find one or two that will help you (or your students) fulfill some of your lifelong goals. 
  1. Check out the list of the 100 Best Web 2.0 Classroom Tools Chosen by You.
  2. Another site to explore is Go2web20. This site will help you stay up to date with all the new and hot services that are born daily into the web. In many cases, Go2web20 has been the first to report the existence of a new application.
  3. Goodwill Community Foundation's Free Online Learning site provides free quality, innovative online learning opportunities about many of the tools introduced in TOEP. Tutorials for commonly used software applications (like basic computer skills and MS Office) are also included.
  4. The Top Tools for Learning in 2013 will help you find collaborators, stay organized, build community, and get creative. 
Mobile Apps
A relatively new tool in education is the smart phone (iPhone and Android phones). Smart phone owners can purchase or freely download thousands of useful  apps, not just games. An "app" is short for software application. Not only is it an abbreviation for application, but it is a shortened or less robust version of a "full" application. Apps tend to be narrower in scope than a computer application. They often provide one function or a pared down version of an application. Apps can be web apps for use on computers or mobile apps. There are also apps for Android tablets and iPads.

Mobile apps increase productivity and extend the reach of instruction tremendously. Many of the technologies covered in TOEP offer mobile apps. For instance, students in a biology course could download the Flickr app to their smartphones, take photos while hiking in nature, and upload the photos of flora and fauna for discussion and identification. Students in a nutrition class could could create a photo journal of everything they eat for a set period of time. Other useful apps are metronomes, voice recorders, speech-to-text, weather, I.C.E. (in case of emergency) and many more. There are many quality free apps available. Some free apps show bothersome advertisements. You may uninstall apps that you decide not to use. Smartphones come with an app store pre-loaded. To find apps, check out what is available. 

Check out the following links for more useful apps:

42 Best Life Enhancing iOS Apps for 2013 - lifehack.org

Best iPhone and iPad Apps for College Students

For more information, use this link to go to the Other Tools of Engagement section of the TOEP Resource Library.

Discovery Exercise

  1. Choose at least two tools that you have not yet explored, and see how they work.
  2. Go to your smart phone's App Store (or Play Store) to explore free and inexpensive apps that you may wish to try in your courses.
  3. Create a post in the TOEP Community about the two tools that you discovered. What are the pros and cons of the tool? How could they be applied in the classroom setting? Would you recommend this tool to your colleagues?
  4. Comment on a colleague's post about some of the tools they have discovered.

Now, Request Your Badge!

Complete the badge request form to earn your TOEP Other Tools Badge. You will need the URL for the file that results from this Discovery Exercise as detailed above in the Discovery Exercise. Use the URL to your post in the TOEP Community if there is not a public URL that results from your exploration(Note: Review this tutorial to learn how to copy the URL link  for your post in the TOEP Google+ Community. You will need to paste this URL link into the badge request form as evidence of completing this Discovery Exercise.)

What Does the Research Say?

Besara, R. (2012). Apps for assessment: A starting point. Reference Librarian, 2012, 53(3), 304-309. 

Charles, K., & Dickens, V. (2012). Closing the Communication Gap: "Web 2.0 Tools for Enhanced Planning and Collaboration"Teaching Exceptional Children, 45(2), 24-32.

Courts, B., & Tucker, J. (2012). Using technology to create a dynamic classroom experience. Journal of College Teaching & Learning, 9(2), 121-128. 

Eales-Reynolds, L., Gillham, D., Grech, C., Clarke, C., & Cornell, J. (2012). A study of the development of critical thinking skills using an innovative web 2.0 toolNurse Education Today, 32(7), 752-756.

Kukulska-Hulme, A. (2012). How should the higher education workforce adapt to advancements in technology for teaching and learning? Internet & Higher Education, 15(4), 247-254.

Olthouse, J., & Miller, M. (2012). Teaching talented writers with Web 2.0 toolsTeaching Exceptional Children, 45(2), 6-14.

Sadaf, A., Newby, T., & Ertmer, P. (2012). Exploring pre-service teachers' beliefs about using Web 2.0 technologies in K-12 classroom. Computers & Education, 59(3), 937-945.

Saunders, F., & Gale, A. W. (2012). Digital or didactic: Using learning technology to confront the challenge of large cohort teaching. British Journal Of Educational Technology, 43(6), 847-858.

Tambouris, E., Panopoulou, E., Tarabanis, K., Ryberg, T., Buus, L., Peristeras, V., & Porwol, L. (2012). Enabling problem based learning through Web 2.0 technologies: PBL 2.0. Journal Of Educational Technology & Society, 15(4), 238-251.

Additional research information is available in the Other Tools of Engagement section of the TOEP Resource Library.

*Note: Access to the research articles may require logging into your campus' library system or you may request an article through Inter Library Loan (ILL).