Social Learning Environment

Today has been a terrific day for the most part.  It was final exam day, but instead of grading exams as the students turned them in (which I probably should have so that they would be done), I spent the day surfing the Internet for new ideas to use for next semester.  And here are few that I have uncovered:

1.  Edmodo – Edmodo is a a Social Learning Environment.  It is something that I have been looking for, but not been able to find until now.  It brings what seems to be the best of features of BlackBoard together into what looks something like Facebook.  And best of all, it’s free.  So far, just through the few minutes I’ve put into exploring the website, I have found it extremely easy to set-up new classes, which they call “groups”, and create alerts, notes, assignments, and polls.  (Major hint:  I tried to use twitter with my students one semester, and it was a major fail.)

2.  Einstruction Mobi – Had I not already bought a portable document camera earlier in the week, I would have probably bought this on the spot, because it was only little bit more than I paid for the document camera, and I think it would be more useful in the long run.  Essentially eMobi is an interactive whiteboard for those who can’t afford the “real deal,” such as a SmartBoard.  A suggestion made to me by a colleague today is that I should buy a Bamboo Pen Tablet, as it is a very cheap alternative.  For ideas of how to use these in the class, see the Teaching Math with Technology blog and the Teaching College Math blog.

3.  Glogster – I heard about this website for creating web-based posters a few months ago, but became quickly discouraged when I found out that the Education Accounts were free, but with limited access.  And even the “premium” full-access account “without limits” has a very unnecessary limit of 200 students, as I may have more than that many students in a single semester.  So, for those of you who are willing to fork out the $99 a year to provide a special learning opportunity for your students, I salute you, and hope that you send me links to some of their work.