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Five “Cool Tool” Takeaways

Recently, several Campbell University faculty and staff attended the 50th annual ASCUE conference!  The conference enables higher education information/instructional technology professionals and educators to network and share ideas.  There were several sessions, workshops, and keynote speeches that enabled collaboration and engagement.

One useful workshop was conducted by Julie Straub and Janet Hurn entitled “Cool Tools.”   There were approximately 20 “Cool Tools” discussed during the workshop.  There were five tools that stood out as helpful resources for online and blended instructors.

  1. Quizlet

Quizlet is a free tool for instructors and students to use to create content review materials through “flashcards, learn, spell, test, match, gravity, and live.” Quizlet is useful for preparing students for a mid-term or final exam in a fun and interactive method.  Instructors can create content in Quizlet and have active learning participation during a blended course.  There is also a Quizlet app in the iTunes app store or Google Play for students to use the tool on mobile devices and in class (blended courses).  Instructors and students can also search for pre-existing study sets based on different subjects through the search feature.  Online instructors can embed the Quizlet study sets in Blackboard for engaging content review.

  1. Atomic Learning

Atomic Learning is an online tutorial and training tool.  The Atomic Learning resource is integrated into Blackboard.  Instructors and students have access to Atomic Learning 24 hours a day through the “My Campbell” tab and the “Atomic Learning” module in Blackboard.  Hoonuit by Atomic Learning offers personalized online learning by learning, doing, sharing, and proving.  Individuals can search in Atomic Learning about topics such as Google, Microsoft products, APA formatting, plagiarism, and grammar.  Instructors can assign training videos for students to watch for a grade.  Also, blended and online professors can benefit from the “Discover” tab in Atomic Learning for professional development.  The discover tab offers video resources with a variety of topics such as:  Instructional strategies, online teaching/blended learning, and software/technology.

  1. oTranscribe

oTranscribe is a free tool that allows you to transcribe videos.  Students with certain disabilities might need video content transcribed for easy accessibility based on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for compliance.  With oTranscribe, instructors can “Start transcribing” in the web tool.  Instructors can upload videos from their computers or a YouTube video.  Once the transcription has been typed in oTranscribe, the transcript can be distributed to individual students or a class within Blackboard.

  1. Piktochart

Are you tired of using PowerPoint or Microsoft Word?  Consider using Piktochart!  Piktochart is a free infographic and presentation online tool.  There are several templates available in Piktochart that will allow your presentations to have a high quality of graphic design.  Instructors can turn text documents into attractive engaging infographics that share the same information.  Infographics can be downloaded as an image and inserted into Blackboard.  You can also create custom presentations in Piktochart.

  1. Rocketbook

Rocketbook Wave is a cool tool because it is a microwavable notebook!  Rocketbook is an 80 page notebook that you can write on and when the pages fill up…you can microwave the notebook and reuse the notebook five times.  The Rocketbook also comes with a special pen.  When you use the Rocketbook and pen, you have the ability to save pages to the cloud with the Rocketbook app. You can also share content from the Rocketbook pages through cloud accounts such as Google.

Five “Cool Tool” Takeaways
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