Kaizena is a free add-on to Google Drive, which makes it possible to record spoken comments. With Kaizena, you can select specific sentences in the students' written work, and record your comments as voice instead of writing them.
Within the monological and dialogical form of teaching Kaizena can be used in conjunction with the guidance and tuition of students. Kaizena provides the opportunity for both spoken and written comments, and it is possible to answer to the comments in both writing and speak.. It can be an advantage for students, that there are several modalities to choose between when communicating with the teacher.
Within a polyphonic form of teaching Kaizena can be used to support students' work on the development of a common text – it can be easier for some students to make their points clear, if they are given the opportunity to give them in speech, instead of having to type them. This way Kaizena can contribute to the differentiation between students with different prerequisites.
Kaizena is not a new learning tool, but the integration with Google Drive has been absent for a couple of years. As a result of many of us having problematised this, it is now again possible to use Kaizena directly in Google Drive. All you have to do, is to install the necessary plugin in Google Drive, and log in with your Google account.
If you need help getting started using Kaizena in teaching, there are guides online here.
Lino.it is a free, web-based message board. The tool provides the ability to communicate and collaborate in real time, and is especially suitable for use within the monological and the polyphonic form of teaching.
Within the polyphonic form of teaching Lino.it can be used as a collaborative workspace for groups of students or for a whole class. It is possible to upload photos, to insert images directly from URLs, to insert videos from YouTube and other services and to insert documents and Post-It notes on the Board.
The boards can be shared with others, and you have the option of only allowing others to see a board. In this way, Lino.it can be used as a communication tool within the monologic form of teaching, , if the teacher creates a board with information which she shares with her students.
Lino.it is in many ways similar to Mural.ly. In Mural.ly however, you also have the opportunity to comment on the items on the boards, and to chat with other users who are online. On the other hand, you can create groups in Lino.it, and share boards with group members.
Lino.it is easy to use, and you can use the tool without having to create a user. If you want to share a message board, however, you are required to login, and you can create a profile using a Facebook, Twitter or Google account. It is also possible to set up an account with an email address. If you need help getting started, you can read this introduction to Lino.it.
Soundtrap is a free web-based tool, which allows to let students to record audio, both from the computer's microphone, external instruments and from a variety of electronic instruments. It is also possible to import audio files into the tool. Soundtrrap allows students to work individually with audio production, and for them to collaborate online on a common audio production. It is suitable primarily for use within the dialogical and the polyphonic form of teaching.
In the dialogical form of teaching Soundtrap can be used as a tool for students' individual production of sound-collages and music, and it can be used in pronunciation excercises in language teaching. Another possibility is to use Soundtrap in relation to reading aloud.
Within the polyphonic form of teaching the tool can be used for many of the same activities, but here the option of online collaboration in real-time will be in focus. Students can record different tracks in a project, and edit each other's tracks.
Soundtrap provides both the ability to record sound in a simple version (Easy mode) and in a more advanced version (Pro mode). At first, most will probably be plenty challenged in Easy mode, but when adding effects to reading aloud or recording music, there are plenty of exciting options in Pro mode.
To use the Soundtrap requires that one have an account. Such can be created on the frontpage, where you. have the opportunity to create it with an existing Facebook or Google account. It is free to use Soundtrap if you create no more than 5 projects.
If you need help getting started using Soundtrap, there is help to find in these tutorials for Soundtrap.
Quip is a simple text editing service, which lets students cooperate on documents regardless of the devices they are using. Quip is primarily suited for use within the polyphonic form of teaching.
Within the polyphonic form of teaching Quip can be used as students' common writing tool. It is possible for several students to work simultaneously in a shared document, and it is possible to see who has written what. There is not as great opportunities to format text as in Google Docs, but you can create to-do lists and insert images and videos in the shared documents.
It is possible to chat in Quip, just as it is very easy to invite others to join in the work of a document or a folder with several documents. The documents and folders you have created are displayed in a very uncluttered visual layout.
Quip can be used with a computer, as it is possible to download it as app for iOS and Android. This provides excellent opportunities for all students to participate, regardless of the device they are using. It's free to use Quip, and you can either sign up with an email address linked to a Google Account, or you can create an account for Quip here.
MindMup is a free mind mapping tool, which allows you to collaborate online on a shared mind map. Where Mindmeister requires that you create an account, you can use MindMup and store your maps offline without creating an account. MindMup is primarily suited for use within the dialogical or the polyphonic form of teaching.
Within the dialogical form of teaching MindMup can be used as students' tool to generate ideas and organize information. It could be in connection with the tasks they have been asked by the teacher. Students can use MindMup without creating an account, and they can save their mind maps in the browser's memory, and work on them later.
Within the polyphonic form of teaching MindMup can be used by students to create shared maps for generating ideas when solving group assignments, project work and similar tasks. Students can, simultaneously, enroll their ideas in the mind map and they can build on each other's ideas in real-time, and the teacher also has the ability to read and participate in the evolvement of ideas. An online mind map can also serve as a tool to manage the collaboration process between a group of students.
If you wish to use MindMup's opportunities for collaboration, both between students within the polyphonic form of teaching, and between the teacher and the individual student within the dialogic form of teaching, You must activate the extension realtime collaboration under ' Extentions ' in the menu bar. In order to enable this extension you are required to, linking MindMup to your Google Account. This also provides the ability to store maps on Google Drive. You can read more about the possibilities of online collaboration in this Guide to MindMup.
Etherpad is a free writing tool, which allows you and your students to work simultaneously in a simple text document. EtherPad is reminiscent of Google Docs, but it requires no login, and is therefore easier to start using. On the other hand the editing options are not quite as good, and there is no access to eg spreadsheets, questionnaires and presentations. The tool is suitable primarily for use within the polyphonic form of teaching.
Within the polyphonic form of teaching EtherPad is a good tool for the students' project work, where students must collaborate in groups. By having students work in Etherpad, you can continuously follow the teaching process – it just requires that you know the URL of the pupils ' joint document. Students can also use Etherpad to write simultaneously on the same document, although they do not sit together, and they have the opportunity to chat with each other.
If the teacher creates a document and displays it on the projector, Etherpad can also be used as a shared whiteboard, where students can write simultaneously. Each student gets her own color as shown in the image above, and she can enter her name in the upper right corner, and get an overview of who wrote what.
Etherpad is an Open Source project, and you can download the software and install it on your own server. However, it is also possible to create documents on one of the many servers that are already running Etherpad. You can find a list here. Once you have selected a server, you can create a document, either by clicking ' New Pad ' or by entering an optional name on document.
Etherpad is free to use, and it works best in the Google Chrome browser.
Mural.ly is a free, visual collaboration- and communication tool. The tool allows for multiple simultaneous users to communicate and collaborate on an online visual board. The tool is primarily suited for use within the polyphonic form of teaching.
Within the polyphonic form of teaching Mural.ly can be used as a collaboration platform for groups of students or for an entire class. One of the major advantages of Mural.ly over other online collaboration platforms, is the great emphasis placed on the visual elements. It is possible to upload photos, to insert images directly from Google Image Search, to insert videos from YouTube and to insert various shapes, figures and Post-It notes on the board.
It is also possible to connect ones Google Drive to Mural.ly, after which one can insert documents on the board. It is then possible to edit documents directly within the tool. By using the ' spaces ' in Mural.ly, one can divide the board into smaller fields, to make it easier to grasp the common work.
It is possible to collaborate in real time. Collaboration is supported, among others, by the ability to add comments to the various elements placed on the board, and by the opportunity to chat with other users of the board. It is possible to mention other users in the comments and chat, after which they will receive a notification.
Mural.ly is easy to use, and you can create a profile using a Facebook, Twitter or Google account. It is also possible to set up an account with an email address. If you need help getting started, you can watch an introductory video on the front of Mural.ly.
Storybird is a free web-based tool, which allows you to let the students write stories based on pictures. The tool allows students to work alone on writing texts, and to work together on a common history. It is suitable primarily for use within the dialogical and the polyphonic form of teaching.
In the dialogical form of teaching Storybird can be used as a tool for students' creative work. The teacher can create and organize students in classes in the system, and can then ask them to solve a common task, which is based on a picture. It is possible to upload a photo from your own computer, as a basis for this sort of writing task. You can also let the students create their own stories in Storybird. For such more free writing tasks, the many pictures in Storybirds database can serve to inspire the students. The student chooses a picture in the Storybird collection, as the starting point for the story, and then builds a story around a series of images, which relate to the first selected image.
It is possible for students to write part of a story in Storybird, and share it with someone else, who can then continue writing on the story. This feature is well suited for use within the polyphonic form of teaching. Students may for example be organized in pairs, and alternately write two different stories. This gives both the opportunity to inspire each other in the writing process, and it becomes possible for the students to edit, what the other has written.
To use Storybird one must have an account. Such can be created here. In order to be able to create classes and make common tasks for students, one must create a Teacher/Class Account. The teacher can very easily create students as users, so they can begin to write stories immediately. It is free to use Storybird, if you don't create more than 3 classes and 75 students.
If you need help getting started using Storybird, it can be found here.
Hangouts is a free, web-based collaboration- and communication tool, developed by Google. Hangouts allows for many simultaneous users to communicate and collaborate in a virtual space, and the tool is integrated with several of Google's other services, including YouTube and Google Drive. The tool is particularly suitable for use in the monological and the polyphonic form of teaching.
In the monologic form of teaching, Google Hangouts can be used to instruct students in the use of specific digital tools. When the teacher shares her screen with a group of students, she can go through through specific functions in a program, which students should learn how to use. She can also review a text with students, who will have the opportunity to ask questions continuously, either in chat or using the built-in videochat. A Hangout can, by activating the ' Hangouts on Air ' in the creation of Hangout'et, be recorded and posted on YouTube. In this way it will be possible for students, who could not participate in the teacher's lecture, to view it at a different time.
Within the polyphonic form of teaching Google Hangouts can be used as a collaboration room for groups of students or an entire class. It is possible to watch a video on YouTube together while doing a common analysis of it in the chat, and it is possible to collaborate in Google Docs, while communicating through video chat.
In Google Hangouts it is also possible to add a number of additional plugins that could further support collaboration. For example, there is a plugin for Google Art Project. By adding this plugin, one can let students search a large collection of artworks from many different museums around the world, and let students collaborate on analyzing selected artworks within Google Hangouts.
Google Hangouts is easy to use, and it only requires, that you have a Google account. If you don't already have an account, it can be created for free here.
Mindmeister is a free mind mapping tool, which allows students to co-create and co-edit mind maps.
MindMeister is suitable primarily for use in the polyphonic form of teaching.
Within the polyphonic form of teaching it is obvious to use MindMeister as students' common mind maps, for generating ideas prior to common writing assignments, project work and similar tasks. Students can, simultaneously, enroll their ideas in the mindmap and they can comment on and build on each other's ideas in real-time, and the teacher also has the ability to read and participate in the evolvement of ideas. An online mind map can also serve as a tool to manage the collaboration process between a group of students. By the help of Mindmeisters 'history' feature, which allows you to see how a mind map has evolved since it's creation, it can also be used as students' documentation of their idea-generation and collaborative process.
MindMeister is available in a free version, that you can access here. If you would like to try Mindmeister without registering, you can follow this link.