The place where Technology meets Education

The importance of ePortfolios

As e-portfolios become a more formal part of assessment, many institutions are looking to standardize on one platform campuswide. An e-portfolio is a collection of electronic evidence assembled and managed by a user and may include text, files, images, multimedia, blog entries, links, etc. It is maintained online over time, demonstrating the user’s abilities and serves as a platform for self-expression. This can be extremely beneficial for people who have to showcase their work, such as graphic designers, programmers, developers, teachers or even academic institutions.

Padlet is a digital bulletin board in a web environment that allows teachers and students to post on the virtual board anything that is requested by the instructor.

 

Lately I came across a website called Courseduck. It is certainly something that I haven’t seen before and immediately draw my attention, so I started digging into it.

CourseDuck is a website meant to help users search and compare courses offered by various institutions and organizations like Udemy, edX, Coursera, etc. Simply put, Courseduck is a search engine for online courses.

If you make a tour at pages about education and education technology you will find out that in 2019 Virtual Reality remains one of its biggest trends. Of course most of the applications currently available are about foreign language learning.

I recently came across a new application that aims to enhance their learning through a virtual discussion process between the student - user and the VR system. This application is ImmerseMe, which as its name suggests expects to immerse the student into a virtual world by simulating everyday conversations in foreign languages. . The question is, can it stand out from the rest of VR applications?

Monday, 12 August 2019 10:14

Flipgrid: Empower students' voices!

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Flipgrid is a video discussion platform which allows the sharing of user-generated videos, among groups of people. It is currently used in over 50,000 classrooms to empower students and ignite discussion.

What is it?

The process is really easy. In Flipgrid, teachers post discussion topics to which students then reply using videos. Learners can pause and flip their camera while recording, add pictures or documents, trim unlimited clips and include a whiteboard, video styles, text, emoji, inking to their stories. Teachers and students can post replies to videos, like them and provide feedback to their peers. Every video along with its replies forms a Grid. Grids are the meeting place for classrooms, schools, departments or any learning community to discuss specific topics. Those Grids can be easily embedded in a variety of other platforms such as Wordpress, Moodle etc.

Life-long learning

Learning is not limited to a single, specific phase in life, that of the years at school, but also happens in different contexts, over the course of a lifetime. With its strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training, ET2020, the European Union supports the concept of lifelong learning by coordinating cooperation between Member States on training and formal, non-formal, and informal education.

Therefore an extensive variety of educational platforms have been developed that offer courses which spread from business and computer science to public health and marketing. One of the most notable is Coursera.

What is Coursera?

Founded in 2012 by professors of Stanford University, Coursera has gradually accumulated a catalog of hundreds of courses from elite institutions such as Stanford, Duke, Michigan and HEC Paris. Coursera possesses the largest and most eclectic catalog for online higher education.

 

Class Dojo is a student behavioral management system that is used by 35 million users worldwide according to the app’s developers.

We are really excited with Google's Expedition updates. A few months ago Google implemented Augmented Reality "Expeditions" to the application. Now, the Silicon Valley giant, allows you to guide your students to the expeditions that you have created using external tools. This is actually huge news. 
 
Saturday, 17 November 2018 11:18

Panolingo – Learn Languages in VR

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Panolingo is a relatively new application that stands out from the plethora of Virtual Reality tools for learning foreign languages ​​that are available nowadays. The main reason for that is the excellent quality of the graphic depictions in the application. High-quality 360 ° panoramas are able to offer the user the viewing of environments in a natural way therefore enhancing the immersion of use, while limiting possible feelings of nausea due to the use of the medium.

 So you have been using Kahoot! to evaluate students for a while now, but have you ever considered to implement Kahoot! when presenting a new lesson or concept?

Monday, 24 September 2018 07:24

Mondly VR: a well made VR application

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If you tell me I'll listen if you show me I'll see but if you let me experience I will learn.

Lao-Tse 

Mondly VR is a new application by Mondly, which uses virtual reality to help students expand their language learning skills. What makes Mondly VR stand out is its language recognition ability. Users can take part in conversations with virtual characters in a variety of different real life scenarios. Those scenarios include talking to a taxi driver, a hotel hostess, a waitress in a restaurant a stranger at the train station and a few other interesting choices.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018 11:06

Virtual Speech (Language VR)

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Undoubtedly, virtual reality has been one of the most discussed topics between educators since the past year. Multiple applications try to exploit its characteristics in order to enhance students’ learning process.

Virtual Speech (Language VR) is an application which through scenarios and a wide range of language situations, aims to use the virtual reality to teach foreign languages. Besides English the user can choose between the following languages: French, Spanish, Portuguese, German and Chinese. Russian, Japanese, Italian and Korean are soon to be released.

Welcome to the magical world of Virtual Reality through Google's Expedition

Google Expeditions is a virtual-reality teaching tool. It gives students an opportunity to explore a variety of amazing environments and areas that they may never have the chance to visit in person. You can swim with sharks, visit outer space, walk through a museum, and more without leaving the classroom. There are over 500 Expeditions trips available at the moment. Everything from the Great Wall of China, to the Buckingham Palace, and even the outer space are available as destinations for your students. Each Expedition is a 360-degree experience that allows students travel to an amazing place while being guided by a teacher.

Νearpod is an extremely powerful presentation tool. It allows teachers to create digital lesson plans, share it with students during class, and track individual progress. Lessons are comprised of teacher-created slides that can include text, video, images, websites, questions, quizzes, polls, and assignments. 

Johnny Grammar's Word Challenge is an application suitable for Android and IOS devices. It is really beneficial for students who learn English and want to improve their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary. The aim of the game is to answer as many correct questions as possible within a minute, with the user receiving badges depending on his performance (Grammar Guru, Word Wizard and Supreme Speller badges). By winning badges the player is placed on a leaderboard competing with other players worldwide.

Socrative is a tool primarily designed to evaluate the learner. The application (response system) allows the educator to create several kinds of quizzes: Multiple Choice, Right or Wrong, Brief Response, etc. Those quizzes are accessible by the tutor who has access to view the responses of each student (Kokina, & Juras, 2017). There is also another option called “Exit Ticket”, which provides a direct insight into the students' understanding of the main points of the course. (Tretinjak, Bednjanec & Tretinjak, 2015).

Tuesday, 05 December 2017 10:24

QuizUp

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QuizUp is an application designed for IOS and Android devices where two compete in a quiz. This means that there is a need for an internet connection throughout the game. Initially, the user creates his or her own account, uploads an image that differentiates him from the other contestants and selects the categories of interest, thus giving the necessary meaning to the game.

Saturday, 02 December 2017 09:36

Toondoo

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Toondoo is an easy-to-use web-based application for creating comic books. That is why it is preferred by educators. It is so easy that even Elementary school children are able to use it without any issues.

Children are asked to imagine and make their own little stories by cultivating their metacognitive skills such as creativity and imagination.

One of the most popular and well-known tools for learning a language online is Duolingo. Duolingo is completely free, easy to use and makes it a lot of fun the acquisition of a new language. There is a variety of languages you can choose from, including English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Dutch, Swedish, Turkish, Japanese, Norwegian, Danish, Polish, Hebrew, Vietnamese, Greek, Ukrainian, Welsh, Hungarian, Swahili, Korean, Romanian, Czech and Chinese.

The "Civilization" computer game series is a creation of Sid Meier,a well known digital video game producer and creator.

All games of the series follow the same pattern. These are strategy games in which the player is asked to take on a historical culture and develop his imaginary empire through the different periods of the past and of the future (Sakic & Varga, 2015). The player is called upon to exploit the natural resources in the game, to enter into trade agreements with other cultures, to build cities, to conduct warfare in order to show his culture as the strongest in the game (Squire, 2008).

 

Minecraft is a building game in which the user is called within its virtual world to place and customize bricks (or as they are called in this game, Blocks) and materials to build constructions that can be functional or not. The user also has to choose from a series of playable scenarios that are distinguished in creative, adventure and survival modes and can also chose to play alone or with others in the multiplayer mode (Nebel, Schneider & Rey, 2015). The particularly useful scenario of creativity is one that provides the greatest potential for educational use as players have unlimited materials to develop the constructions they desire, without being limited by drawbacks such as slow movement from one place to another or the risk their virtual character experiences death, like it happens in the survival mode (Overby & Jones, 2015).

The integration and exploitation of technology in in recent years takes place through pleasant environments of learning, collaboration and authenticity. Such an environment is the Quizizz. It requires the student's active engagement and the emergence of a learning experience that no longer relies on the sterile knowledge of the content. The use of such tool keeps students' interest and commitment to acquiring new information (The effect of Kahoot, Quizizz, 2017).

Quizizz is a free learning application designed for mobile phones that uses wireless handhelds to collect student responses and then show the results in the classroom while collecting direct feedback by answering questions posed by the educator (Kahoot, Quizizz, 2017). The teacher selects a quiz that has been structured for the particular subject of interest and then provides a pin for the students. Students then use the pin and the questions appear on their mobile devices. They are required to answer a timeframe predetermined by the teacher. Questions appear randomly to each student, and then the learner observes the results of the choice he/she made (Boulden, Hurt & Richardson, 2017). The total results are also shown at the interactive whiteboard with the help of the teacher’s computer and a projector.

Classcraft is a free eLearning system that transforms class into a role-playing game, based on the theory of the gamification of learning which attempts to make the learning process even more accessible to students (Analysis of Factors Affecting, 2015). It is basically used as a means of managing the classroom and the behaviors of its members (Sanchez, Young, & Jouneau-Sion, 2017; Bicen & Kocakoyun, 2017). Classcraft transforms school by taking the video game mechanics that provide rich and interesting play experiences and applying them to the classroom setting.The teacher is responsible for coordinating the game since he is the game master.

Vocaroo helps your EFL-ESL learners improve their pronunciation and accent

 

Games in education are the teacher’s weapon to try and involve students in activities that combine the element of fun and learning with a meaning. Mobile devices have reshaped the way of teaching and have created new opportunities towards this approach.

This article will present one of the most useful tools, Kahoot! which combines beautiful graphical representations and sounds, turns the classroom into a playroom, with the teacher being the "show" coordinator and the students to be the contestants (Fotaris, Mastoras, Leinfellner & Rosunally, 2016). Students are asked to give the appropriate answer to the current question they are dealing with using their mobile devices and according to their responses they earn points that rank them in a rating scale (Wang, 2015).

Tuesday, 21 November 2017 12:16

This War of Mine: a serious game

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This War of Mine is an electronic video game developed by the 11 bit studios. The game’s background is inspired by the Yugoslav civil war and the siege of Sarajevo, which lasted four years in which approximately 5,000 mainly civilian civilians were killed (Kirkpatrick & Schiltz, 2016).

What makes it special is that, unlike the other games that put the user in the position of warrior, this game puts him in the position of a citizen and the way he experiences a warring conflict having survival as his main concern (Noack, 2014). The player is called upon to manage the survival of a group of citizens through organizing the distribution of available resources such as fuel, food, water and medicine in particularly difficult situations that affect the mood and vitality of each member until a ceasefire is declared.