From IL Fellow Terry Miller. Terry has been collecting links that may be useful to you as an online professor. (ed/Will B2)
Remember: these are unsupported tools. KU Helpdesk won’t be able to help you, so start out with small manageable tests in your class. Make sure you know the limitations of the tools. Also, depending on the tool, you may want to contact your department chair about the advisability of using tools in your class.
I’ve been conducting research for the Innovation Lab, trying to find free and/or cheap applications and services for our instructors to use and wanted to share these Web sites (thank you, PC Magazine for you “100s” article).
http://www.zamzar.com/ – convert files from Word, Excel, PowerPoint to PDF or PDF to GIF, etc. I work at several different computers all over the world and from time to time, I just don’t have the application I need to convert some file format to another. This does the job quite adequately.
http://www.mediafire.com– free online file storage – great for storing PodCasts for your classes – Here’s an example of a PodCast I uploaded for IT 117 http://www.mediafire.com/?7y1tnmn6tr4. Other files to large to load to Doc Sharing can also be loaded here.
Create a PDF of a PowerPoint presentation using zamzar.com and then create a PodCast using Audacity (thanks Michael Bell for showing us how to do this…if you don’t like Audacity…use WavePad and Switch), then upload the PDF to Doc Sharing and email students the link to the large PodCast file. This reinforces seminar and DB exchanges as well as provides students who miss the seminar with someting more than the transcript. Still encourage students to read the transcript, but also encourage them to listen to the PodCast and view the slide presentation.
www.rememberthemilk.com – Give this link to students so they can receive cell phone and email notification about important tasks that must be completed (DB posts, makeup quizzes, projects, office hours with instructor, etc.)
An alternative is www.twitter.com, which Will DeBock and I have been having success with. I like to use Twitter to remind students when I’m in office hours.
www.picnik.com – This is an online image editing tool. Very neat features…..and it’s free.
http://www.only2clicks.com/ – I have about a dozen sites I visit daily. I like this site because it let’s me set up a home page that includes “snapshots” of the current home page of my favorite sites. If something attracts my attention, I can quickly link over……this is terrific for www.cnn.com and www.money.com. One of my clients is NASA so I leave a link to http://www.nasa.gov/ on my only2clicks.com home page to check the updated content.
www.meebo.com – This is another multi-message manager. Ever have a student say “I don’t know how to use AIM for office hours” or “I don’t want to use AIM because it supports communism” or “AIM is a virus and I don’t want to install a virus on my computer.” This app, similar to others, let’s you Instant message on several different apps at one time.
www.eyejot.com – Want to send your students a video message…..this is the free service for you. This could help you personalize your relationship with your students. (Of course, my students have asked me to not to video message them after receiving my first one because my image tends to frighten small children and household pets.) A link is sent…..so you don’t have to worry about large file attachments on Kaplan’s email servers.
www.bubbl.us – Ever need to reorganize meeting notes or redesign a process…..this unique site let’s you “mind map” concepts and input from emails into a neat and logical graphic.
www.ulinkx.com – Ever wish you had an application that would allow you to look for videos on YouTube, yahoo, google, etc at one time. Here it is. www.dabble.com does the same thing but it let’s you save your favorite videos.
http://www.ustream.tv/ – Want to deliver lectures live (and for free)………………….this is the application that let’s you do it. I found it to be a bit choppy but I always test these applications with old versions of operating systems like Windows 2000 and older versions of IE and Netscape….but it works and the sound stays consistent. It doesn’t provide an interface for your students to respond to your video….but at least your students can see your facial expressions…which can be a positive or negative. (I forgot to put my false teeth in when I did my first one and my students couldn’t understand what I was saying. So be sure to comb your hair and brush your teeth before you put on your show.) An added plus….you can save the videos you create.