In today’s world, technology is at the forefront of learning, and as such, educators must decipher what the best tech tools are to deliver the content to their learners. With so many software and technology options out there, where do you even begin? As a starting point, I thought I would share our Education Department’s list of the “top five” tech tools we use to create and facilitate education for Mayo Medical Laboratories:
Videos. Need I say more? Videos may be the number one medium used for on-demand content. Therefore, as educators, we need to be able to produce videos. Camtasia is a great tool for recording voiceovers on PowerPoint presentations, live footage, capturing screenshots, or walking through tutorials. It can all be done with this handy tool. With several superb editing features, you too can be a video producer with the click of a few buttons.
Let’s take the video production concept one step further. With Articulate Studio, you can make content for the end user interactive. This program is a PowerPoint add-on, so if you use PowerPoint, there’s a good chance you can learn Articulate Studio. With features like quiz making, interactive checklists and glossaries, media tours, timelines, and much more, Articulate Studio is a great tool for engaging the end user. This is the next step up from watching your basic voiceover PowerPoint, and it forces the user to actively participate in the education you’ve created.
For those of you who host live events as part of your education, audience response is a must. Poll Everywhere is a great tool to do that with, and no keypads are required. The only item the attendees need in order to participate is their cellphones. Poll Everywhere is also a PowerPoint add-on, so the presenter simply adds polling questions into his or her PowerPoint presentation using the add-on tool, and the audience will get the chance to respond to those questions in real time. Attendees can answer polling questions via text messages or via the assigned URL for the live event. Additionally, the polling results can be saved for your records. This leads us to our first polling question, “Have you used Poll Everywhere yet?” If not, you can check it out here.
Another great live education event tool is using an event app to “house” all of the information attendees could possibly need (or want, for that matter). Cadmium CD has developed a great event app called eventScribe that features an overview and agenda of the conference/meeting, copies of presentations, course director and faculty listings, exhibitor information, maps, lodging/travel information, and more, that the attendee can download directly to their phones. Gone are the days of printing out the syllabus for your courses. Plus, the eventScribe app offers other neat add-ons such as “gamification” and audience response, so you can customize to your event needs.
Now that you have all of these great tools to put into practice, how do you keep track of all of the different projects for which you are using them? Basecamp is the answer. Imagine a one-stop shop for managing your multiple projects and upcoming education events. Basecamp brings everything together in one place to help make the organization of projects much easier and smoother. Additionally, it serves as a place for everyone to be able to check on the status of projects so that team members know where things stand. While this tool may not directly “create” education, we have found that it is an amazing tech tool for project management, which in turn assists with creating education (in the grand scheme of things).
Of note, all of the above-mentioned products do require the purchase of a software license or annual plan. Pricing can be found on each of the product’s respective websites. Realizing this list is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of software and education technology tools, I hope you find it helpful as you begin your tech tool exploration.
Disclaimer: Please note that all opinions expressed here are mine and not my employer's. Information provided here is for educational purposes only. I do not accept any sort of payment or free products/services for writing this article.