Other Technologies

Popular Technologies in the Classroom

Picture_1.pngGoogle Maps is a map function of Google that allows one to see satellite images, a street map or a combination of the two in a selected geographic location. It gives direction and they recently added a function that allows one to view the area from street level. This is called street view. There is a function of Google Maps that allows one to share ones marked places on the map with others. This could be used as a communication tool to easily help people find a place in order for them to get the correct direction, to give them perspective on the physical size of a particular area, etc. For further information check out Mapki.com, the Google Maps wiki. We used Google Maps to show you a map of our school.

Open Source Office programs are more or less Microsoft Office without that hefty price tag. They have all the functions of Microsoft Office applications, but were coded by people who want to put it out on the Internet for free, and, thankfully, its totally legal.The programs include a word processor, a spreadsheet, and a slide creation program. There are few very popular ones such as Open Office, NeoOffice, and Google Docs. Google Docs, unlike the other two, is online and updates real-time. This allows multiple people to collaborate so they can work on the same thing at once updating what the others have done immediately.

Mind Mapping is more or less the use of graphic organizers. It is often used in business to discuss and organize just about anything, but it is also used often in schools. Students all across the country use graphic organizers on a daily basis to organize thoughts and plan out essays, or projects. It is good to get people comfortable with them early because they are used often in business and are very helpful when tasked with a large project. Here are a couple examples of mind mapping programs.

Popular Technologies not in the Classroom - Yet

Instant Messaging (IM) is the real-time communication between two people over the Internet, and is most widely used by teenagers as a form of communication. It is used in business so people can talk to colleagues at the same time as they are talking to a client on the phone without having to disturb the client on the phone with their other discussion. There are several highly popular IM programs such as AIM and YIM. Both are free and extremely popular.

Forums are very popular. There is an infinite number of forums on the Internet spanning just about every topic you can think of. Just about every website has at least one forum for either tech support or discussion. Any video game you can think about has a forum devoted solely to it. They are great for getting dozens of people together to discuss something, and are invaluable for game companies because people use them to address tech issues or just to say what they do or do not like about the game. There are also dozens of forums devoted to politics and the things said on those forums are widely read by the people and the candidates alike and basically decide the issues of the day. This is one site that has a database of thousands of forums, and it allows you to make your own for free.

Emerging Technologies

Note Taking is a very useful tool. Many students in high school bring laptops to school and use them in class, and in college a laptop is more or less a must. So being able to take notes quickly on the computer is a very helpful thing to have. There are several sites that allow you to take all your notes there, and then you can save them to your computer at your leisure after class. It is handy for those who have terrible hand writing. This is an example of an application that allows you to take quick and legible notes.

SparkNotes is a most invaluable tool for students. The SparkNotes web site has hundreds of book and poems analyzed and summarized for your studying pleasure. This site, however, is not a replacement for reading the books because the summaries pale in comparison to what you get out of the book itself.

Internet Radio is online broadcasting that one can stream to their computer and listen to just about anything if you can find the right station. There are sites solely devoted to broadcasting certain types of media. There are several free online radios that stream music based on a band or song you give them and they fill out play lists for you based on the genre of the band or song you tell them to play. Pandora.com is one of the better online radios. It is free to create an account and you can listen to just about anything you want, they have a massive amount of music in their arsenal, though unless you pay you are limited to five or six skips an hour, but that is rarely a problem. There are also sites that broadcast regular radio stations, interview, and streaming personal podcasts. You can find just about anything.

Internet Phone is exactly what it sounds like, an online phone. There are a couple free ones like Skype that allow you to make free online calls to other users (Millis Skype name: Millis High School). It is not to widely used at the moment because people have cellphones and such, but online voice chat is becoming increasingly popular. A lot of gamers use voice chat programs like Ventrilo or TeamSpeak to communicate while in game, that is assuming the game doesn't have built in voice chat, or the games voice chat is bad quality.

Online Calendars allow you to organize yourself, and you can set it to alert you when you have something coming up via email or some other form of notification. They are very useful for business people who don't want to shell out for a Blackberry or don't want to write it all out in a little pocket calendar. There are a few popular ones like Google Calendar and CalendarHub

VoiceThread - Voice thread is another free website, and it is a tool for having conversations around media (video, images, Power Point Presentations). It allows a group of people to have conversations about the media upload. They can communicate through video, telephone, audio, text, or file upload. It is a space that allows people to have a large discussion via the Internet over a piece of work that someone has done.

We have provided you with a few of the emerging technologies that fall under the Web 2.0 category. For a more in depth and larger list of technologies check out Web 2.0 Backpack. It's a great site and has a large list of sites pertaining to Web 2.0 and the classroom.

Last updated Dec 17, 2008 7:14 am

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