Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Summary of The Technology Toolbelt for Teaching

Manning, S., & Johnson, K.E. (2011). The Technology Toolbelt for Teaching. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

This book is a good source for teachers who are just beginning technology integration or are looking for a few news ways or tools.  I had heard of or used most of the tools already, so the book was not as useful to me as I had thought.  There are a few tools that are now obsolete - a common problem with any book written about technology tools for education.

I really like the way the book was approached and is set up with a focus on matching tools to pedagogy and offering a decision-making matrix that includes consideration of the following: the problem the tool solves, the platform (online or traditional), what the tool is best used for, cost, accessibility, special equipment/technical requirements, level of expertise, synchronous/asynchronous, and special vocabulary.

Some of the tools and techniques mentioned in the book’s chapters are the following:  mind-mapping, social bookmarking, discussion forums, VoIP, blogs and wikis, web conferences, audio, video, screencasting, narrative PowerPoints, quizzes, avatars, social bookmarking, quizzes/tests/surveys, rubrics, e-portfolios, social networking and students’ identities, and emerging technology etc. For each of the chapters, there are examples or ideas for use in K-12 and higher education and two suggested tools detailed side by side in a table with the aspects of the matrix detailed for comparison.

A few tools that are mentioned in the book that I either have not heard of or that I would like to try are the following:

·       Tinychat (alternative to Skype or Google Hangouts)

·       Yodio (like a narrated PowerPoint – for digital storytelling or presentations

·       E-Portfolio tool Mahara (which, unfortunately, requires a download)


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