Thursday, October 16, 2008

Audio Dropboxes

CLEAR: Michigan State University Documentation Information Login and program (free)

A dropbox for paper assignments is a box where students place their homework,papers, or other assignments. Teachers can then retrieve the papers at their convenience.
An audio dropbox is an audio collection tool that can be put on any web page.Students record themselves using the tool, and their recordings are placed in the instructor╩╝s dropbox automatically.
Audio Dropboxes can be used to add speaking to language courses. You can have students describe pictures on a web page, read a text passage, or respond  to open-ended questions.

Center for Language Education and Research: CLEAR Michigan State University

"Welcome to CLEAR's online store. CLEAR was established in 1996 as a Language Resource Center (LRC) through a Title VI grant from the U.S. Department of Education. As an LRC, CLEAR strives to promote and support the teaching and learning of foreign languages in the United States through its various projects and outreach activities.
The majority of our products are available free of charge. This includes web applications for language learning and teaching, CD-ROMs, and a variety of downloadable PDF publications. Some products, such as language learning software, workbooks, and videos, are available for a modest cost."

Yugma: Online Collaboration Tool Free, unless you want more robust usage features. " Yugma is the easy, secure and reliable collaboration tool for Windows, Mac and Linux. With Yugma, you really can collaborate better. Yugma enables any group to spontaneously collaborate on projects in real-time. Collaborate anytime with off-site team members, give virtual presentations, host webinars, streamline workflow, provide remote tech support, and much more."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Learn Spanish, Italian, German or French easily online. Learn vocabulary, situational language , grammar, tutorials and more. Requires a short, free signup.
"Learn languages in a playful and intuitive way. Unlike traditional learning methods, our concept is about fun, individual interest and the joy of learning. Join the Babbel community. Babbel's at its best when you're having fun and working together with others. Apply and improve your language knowledge in active conversations with other Babbel users. Learn at your own pace
With Babbel you learn what you want, when you want. No matter what your level is, the system adapts to your learning speed so you can learn on your own, or it gives you guidance to follow.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

dabbleBOARD: Collaborative Whiteboard

Here's another collaborative whiteboard that was suggested by a reader. If you need visuals, dabbleBOARD is a great tool for letting you collaboratively draw your ideas. This is their blurb:

Dabbleboard is a powerful online whiteboard that's actually easy and fun to use. With a revolutionary new interface, Dabbleboard gets out of your way and just lets you draw.
Draw with flexible tools. Reuse previously-made drawings. Share and collaborate in real-time. All as naturally as using a marker or a pencil.

Reader Zohair gave this review: " Looks like you're covering a bunch of collaborative whiteboard apps today. I suggest giving Dabbleboard a try as well. As a whiteboard, it's got an innovative UI that makes drawing much easier and faster than anything else.
Admittedly it's just a whiteboard app and doesn't include other conferencing features, which we believe can be handled by several other applications anyway."

Thanks for sharing, and I will work on my skills of drawing with a mouse. We do so many planning sessions here at the college, and having a tool that can be quickly accessed to draw out ideas seems to have a lot of value. I think it could save time as well by sending to others at different sites and getting their immediate input, without the cost of everyone driving to the same campus. It's all about sustainability. Saving green while going green seems to be an absolutely brilliant plan.

addendum: I just realized that the program automatically detects basic shapes, and turns my squiggly rectangles and circles into something that looks quite professional. Very cool tool.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Cool Tools: Collaborative Web 2.0 Apps

I've been going to meetings and finding new Web 2.0 apps that allow for collaboration, meetings and even sketching and drawing, using only your browser. See posts below for ideas, and the right hand column for some easy access to the sites. Very Cool Tools. Would have been nice if they were used in place of actually GOING to the meetings....

Campfire: Instant Messaging for Groups

Campfire is a web-based group chat tool that lets you set up password-protected chat rooms in just seconds. Invite a client, colleague, or vendor to chat, collaborate, and make decisions. Link to a room on your intranet for internal communications.

Campfire is especially great for groups with remote workers. There's no better way to keep everyone together when everyone's apart. It's as simple as visiting a web page.

Your Campfire chats are password protected and safe from prying eyes. You decide who you invite. You set up the rooms. You specify who can see which rooms

There are so many ways to use Campfire. Chatting, file sharing, image previewing, decision making, etc. Up to 60 people can chat at once. You can even browse previous chats by person,
room, or date.

The free plan allows up to 4 simultaneous users, 10MB storage and transcripts. Upgrades are available to allow more users and storage space.

Thinkature: Real Time Web Collaboration

Simple collaborative space that can be shared in real time. Free

With Thinkature, you can create a collaborative workspace and invite coworkers, friends, and colleagues to join you in just seconds. Once inside your workspace, you can communicate by chatting, drawing, creating cards, and adding content from around the Internet. It's all synchronous, too - no need to hit reload or get an editing lock.

Twiddla: Free Interactive Space

Mark up websites, graphics, and photos, or start brainstorming on a blank canvas. Browse the web with your friends or make that conference call more productive than ever. No plug-ins, downloads, or firewall voodoo - it's all here, ready to go when you are. Browser-agnostic, user-friendly.

Don't like to sign up for stuff? No worries! You don't need an account to use Twiddla - and neither does anybody else. The people you invite to meetings will never see so much as a login screen.

VYEW: Free Collaboration and Live Web Conferencing

  • Why Vyew?
    Instant use from any computer No installation

  • New and improved collaboration
  • Together in real time or independently at any time

Free collaboration similar to Go To Meetings

Interaction with all forms of content: Office docs, .pdf, Flash, MP3, video, graphics, screen captures, etc.
Saving, tracking and logging all meeting activity

WiZiQ Virtual Classroom

Anyone can Teach & Learn Live, Online
WiZiQ Tour

Join Now for Free

WiZiQ is a place where you can teach and learn using an easy-to-use Virtual Classroom. You are welcome to give private and public live online sessions. As a learner you can attend public sessions on various topics from academics to anything under the sun.

SKRBL: Online Interactive Whiteboard

Here's a great Web 2.0 tool:

Simple and easy online multi user whiteboard, start skrbl, give out your URL & start working together. Sketch, text, share files, upload pictures all in one common shared space. There are no new tools to learn, nothing to download, nothing to install. Brainstorm on our simple whiteboard to start thinking together, everyone sees the same screen, everybody gets on the same page.

There's a widget for it in the right hand column so you can try it out.