THIS MONTH'S COLUMN IS PREDICTING THE COOLEST EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY TOOLS of 2012. Educators on the Association for Career and Technical Education's (ACTE) social networks provided their opinion on the tools that will change the classroom in 2012. Here are just a few that could revolutionize your teaching.
Learning management system
The 411: Pearson and Google have teamed up to create a free learning management system that merges standard course management tools with advanced social networking and community-building. With its open architecture, teachers can import material from e-books to YouTube videos. OpenClass has a Facebook-like news stream that captures activity and comments for each class, and a page that highlights who is taking a course, along with the questions, problems and solutions that they post online.
Online multimedia posters
The 411: With Glogster EDU, teachers and students can create Glogs, or online multimedia posters, for presentations, study guides and projects. Working in a Glog is like playing in a sandbox that can be populated with text, photos, videos, graphics, sounds, drawings, data attachments and more. Once you've added an element, it's easy to rotate, transform or delete. Glogs can be created in a private virtual classroom and then embedded in a wiki, blog or Web page, or shared in other ways.
The 411: The MakerBot 3-D printer allows anyone to engage in personal fabrication and rapid prototyping. It prints objects by melting layers of plastic, one on top of the other, to form 3-D objects. Prices vary based on whether you build it yourself or buy it ready-made; but the custom, fully assembled MakerBot Thing-O-Matic 3-D printer sells for $2,500 in the MakerBot store. MakerBot is also collecting curricula. much of it project-based and collaborative, for the education community to share.
These and other great predictions for the hottest educational technology tools for 2012 were crowd-sourced by:
* Kerry Eades, assessment specialist, Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education (@CareerTechTest)
* Kerry Jo Richards, blogger and #EDU evangelist, Do You #EDU? (@kerryjor)
* Renee Florio, instructor, South Seattle Community College's CTE Teacher Education Program
* Lee Smith, CTE coordinator, DeQueen-Mena Educational Service Cooperative (@Docendo)
* John Echols, governing board member, Coconino Association for Vocations, Industry and Technology (CAVIAT.org)
* Keith Watson, president, AspirePath (www.AspirePath.com)