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									           Twelve Essentials for
          Technology Integration
A free resource from Richard Byrne author of Free Technology for Teachers.
Permission is granted for non-commercial reproduction of this document.
 A free resource from Free Technology for Teachers"                                             

    Creating Documents              Communicating with            Places to Create             Alternatives to YouTube
    and Presentations               Students and Parents          Collaborative Projects       YouTube does have great
    These tools don’t               Three free tools that         Three tools students         content, but unfortunately
    require any software            can improve your              can use to collaborate.      it’s often blocked in schools.
    and are completely free         communication with            VoiceThread,                 These sites provide quality
    for teachers and                students and parents.         Wikispaces, and Ediscio      content accessible in most
    students.                       Page 3                        Page 4                       schools.
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There are many free tools on the
                                                  This guide is designed to provide         All of the resources in this guide
Internet that teachers can use in
                                                  teachers with a selection of tools        are 100% free for teachers. All
their classrooms. Figuring out
                                                  that can be used in most classroom        resources have been previously
which ones to use can be daunting
                                                  settings regardless of content area.      featured on Free Technology for
and time-consuming.
Image via One Laptop Per Child

Contact the author via email at richardbyrne (at) !                                                                1
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                     Document and Presentation
                          Creation Tools

Documents, Spread Sheets, Presentations                   Documents, Spread Sheets, Presentations           The End of Boring Slide Shows

                                                          Zoho Show is part of a suite of free              Animoto's tag line is "the end of slide
This guide couldn’t possibly be worth                     web based tools offered by Zoho.                  shows" and while Animoto has not
its salt if it didn’t start with Google                   Zoho also offers document,                        stopped the creation of boring slide
Docs. Google Docs gives you the                           spreadsheet, and quiz/survey                      shows, it certainly has provided a
power to create documents,                                creation tools. You can sign into Zoho            great alternative to slide shows.
spreadsheets, and slide shows using                       using your Google or Yahoo account.               Animoto allows students to create
any Internet-connected computer.                                                                            great looking videos without the need
                                                          Zoho Show offers more editing
Google Docs gives users the ability to                                                                      for any editing skills. The process of
                                                          options and templates than those
collaborate on the creation of                                                                              using Animoto is simple, select
                                                          found on Google Presentation. Zoho
documents, spreadsheets, and slide                                                                          images, select music, click go, and
                                                          Show presentations can easily be
shows. Collaboration through Google                                                                         Animoto does the rest.
                                                          embedded in a blog or shared via
Docs allows for peer-editing of                           email. I also like Zoho Show because
                                                                               Animoto for Education gives you the
documents at any time or place that                       my students can work collaboratively
                                                                               opportunity to register as a teacher.
students can get online. Online                           to create group presentations.
                                                                               Registering as a teacher will allow
collaboration also gives students that                    Interestingly, when my students have
                                                                               you to create videos longer than 30
are working in groups the ability to                      to create a presentation I give them
                                                                               seconds for free as opposed to paying
add to and edit presentations and                         the choice of Google Presentation or
                                                                               the fee Animoto charges regular
papers any time they discover new                         Zoho Show and most end up using
                                                                               customers. The other benefit of
information or have a new thought                         Zoho Show.           Animoto for Education is that you
about their topic of study.                                                    can manage your students’
                                      It should be mentioned that Zoho also
Finally, having students use Google                                            usernames and passwords.
                                      offers a wiki service and conferencing
Docs eliminates the excuses of “my    service. All of the services in the Zoho
printer broke” or “my computer        suite of products allow for
crashed” that students will sometimes collaboration between users.
use to justify having a late

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               Tools for Communicating with
                   Parents and Students

Free Blogging Platforms                                   File sharing, conferencing, podcasting

There are numerous free blogging                          Getting started with is                      Just as with blogs, there are numerous
platforms on the web. Many of these                       extremely quick and easy. In fact, it's              free platforms for creating a
platforms are great and have excellent                    easier than setting up a blog. Using                 classroom website. Weebly was
support networks, but they were                  doesn’t require registration                 selected for inclusion in this guide
never designed with the express                           and is completely free for up to                     because of the excellent user support
purpose of classroom use the way                          100mb of storage. You can create as                  provided by Weebly.
that Edublogs was.                                        many “drops” or pages for
                                                          free.                                                Some people get intimidated by the
Edublogs provides teachers and                                                                                 thought of trying to create a website,
students with a free blogging                             Some of things that you do with                      but with Weebly if you can send an
platform. Using Edublogs teachers                include recording podcasts,                  email, you can create a website.
can set up and moderate blogs for                         posting slide shows, posting lecture
their students to write on. For                           outlines, posting rubrics, posting                   Wondering why you would want a
teachers just getting started with                        links for students, leaving voice                    website instead of a blog or a
blogging, the customer service/                           messages for students on the days                    page? The quick answer to this is;
support network provided by                               that you’re out of the classroom, and                websites are good for providing a
Edublogs is second to none.                               collecting students' assignments                     static resource of information with
                                                          without cluttering your inbox.                       many indexed pages and blogs are
Wondering why you should have a                                                                                good for frequent updates and
                                                 also gives you the capability
blog for your class? Consider this;                                                                            communication. This is a very
                                                          to conduct online conferencing for
blogging creates less work for                                                                                 simplistic explanation, but often that's
teachers as it allows for rapid,                                                                               all people need to know when
widespread communication with                    is lead by some very smart,                  creating their first online presence.
parents and students. Maintaining a                       forward-thinking people who are
blog provides teachers,                                   continuously working to improve the Some other good options for building
administrators, parents, and students                     service’s offerings.                a website are and
with an ongoing record of the                                                       
academic year.

Twelve Essentials for Technology Integration!                                                                            3
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            Tools for Creating Collaborative
                    Student Projects

Wikispaces - Create a Reference Together                  VoiceThread - Conversations About Artifacts           Ediscio - Collaborative Flashcards

                                       VoiceThread can be described as an
                                       online slide show accompanied by
As with most resources mentioned in commentary (voice and text) from
this guide, Wikispaces is not the only other VoiceThread users. To start a
                                                                                                                Ediscio is a little different from a lot
option in its category. PBWorks is     VoiceThread one person posts images                                      of flashcard creation tools because
another wiki service that is popular   and records their commentary about                                       Ediscio lets you build sets of
with educators.                        those images then other users can                                        flashcards individually or with the
To date, Wikispaces has provided       login into their accounts and share                                      help of other Ediscio users. The other
educators with more than 100,000 free their commentary on the same images                                       distinguishing feature of Ediscio is
advertising-free wikis. The user       or what was said by the previous                                         that flashcards can include images.
interface of Wikispaces is clear and   person. In short, it's like having a
                                       conversation at an art gallery, but the                                  Ediscio could be used by an entire
intuitive. There aren’t a lot of fancy
                                       conversation is held and recorded                                        class to create a "card box" that all of
bells and whistles, but Wikispaces
                                                                                                                the students can study. Not only does
does offer everything you could need online instead of in-person.
                                                                                                                studying flashcards help students
in a wiki including video embed        Voicethread has been used by math                                        retain information, the process of
options, image hosting, and easy       teachers to create "how to" videos                                       creating flashcards also helps
navigation.                            about math problems.                                                     students learn. The option to include
One way to use a wiki in education is                     VoiceThread could be used as a great                  images in the flashcards makes
to build a resource page with your                        tool for students, parents, and                       Ediscio a good choice for students in
students for your students. As                            teachers to collaborate on a local                    courses that require the identification
students progress through course                          history project. Gather and scan some                 of items by sight.
curriculum they can share notes and                       pictures of your community from             
references through a wiki. For                            years past then have students and
example, throughout the year                              parents talk about the history of the
students could build a wiki about the                     town.
topics they’ve studied. The students
can then use the wiki as a study guide          
for tests and assessments.

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                     Educational Alternatives to
          YouTube is blocked in many schools, these alternates
                        provide quality content.

Snag Films - Free Documentaries                           SchoolTube - Share Videos                           DotSub - Videos With Subtitles

Since Snag Films launched in the                          SchoolTube is similar to TeacherTube                DotSub is a great resource for foreign
(Northern Hemisphere) summer of                           in that both are designed for                       language teachers, ESL/ EFL
2008 I have been able to watch dozens                     classroom use. SchoolTube was                       teachers, and teachers of students
of NOVA and National Geographic                           chosen for inclusion in this guide                  with hearing impairments.
films that I otherwise would have had                      because it generally has less
to buy or rent.                                           advertising and faster upload times                 DotSub is full of user generated
                                                          than TeacherTube. That said, both are               content that is subtitled into many
Snag Films solves two problems for                                                                            different languages. Transcribing of
                                                          good alternatives to YouTube.
me. The first problem is overcoming a                                                                          videos is done by volunteers. Anyone
limited budget. The second problem                        SchoolTube’s purpose is to give                     with the time and patience can
is providing a way for a student that                     students and teachers a place to find                transcribe a video for use on DotSub.
is absent from class to watch the film I                   videos and share videos. You can                    One of the better channels on DotSub
showed in class without having to                         locate videos appropriate for                       is the TED Talks channel which, in
lend out a dvd.                                           classroom use on SchoolTube. If your                some cases, has videos available in up
                                                          students create videos of their own                 to 40 languages.
All of the movies on Snag Films can
                                                          they can share those videos with the
be embedded into the blog that you                                                                            Foreign Language teachers could
                                                          world. Sharing videos provides
maintain for communicating with                                                                               have students find their favorite short
                                                          students with an authentic, real-
your classes.                                                                                                 YouTube videos or SchoolTube videos
                                                          world audience for their work.
                                                          SchoolTube occasionally runs contests               to transcribe into the language that
                                                          to which students can submit their                  they are studying.
                                                          video entries.

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Below you will find links to all of the resources mentioned in the guide as well as
some additional resources that may be of interest to you.

Page 2                               Page 3                             Page 4                     Page 5                                              

Additional presentation              Additional blogging and            Additional collaborative   Additional Alternatives
tools.                               website tools.                     project tools.             to YouTube                                                                                 

About the Author                                                                                   Contact the Author
                         Richard Byrne is a high school social studies                             Richard Byrne can be reached via email at
                         teacher in a western Maine high school. He                                richardbyrne (at)
                         currently teaches US History and has previously
                                                                                                   Follow Richard Byrne on Twitter @rmbyrne
                         taught Contemporary World Studies.
                                                                                                   Follow Richard Byrne on FriendFeed @rmbyrne
                 The award-winning blog Free Technology for
                 Teachers is written by Richard Byrne. Free
                 Technology for Teachers is written for a global
audience of teachers interested in discovering and trying the latest
free web-based technologies in their classrooms.

Need help putting this guide into action?
Richard Byrne is available for inservice workshops and

Contact Richard via email richardbyrne (at)

Twelve Essentials for Technology Integration"                                                                  6

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