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.
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.
Prezi is a free, visual presentation tool. It has become very popular over the recent years, and many have already replaced their Powerpoints with Prezi-presentations, because the tool gives some new visual possibilities and is easy to use.
Prezi is suitable primarily for the monological or the polyphonic form of teaching.
In the monologic form of teaching, Prezi can be used by the teacher tointroduce to a topic, and to present the main concepts of the subject to the class.
Within the polyphonic form of teaching You can let students collaborate on the development of a Prezi — you can, for example, allow groups of students work simultaneously with different parts in a Prezi-presentation, and turn it into a kind of common ' mind-map ' on a topic. The tool can also be used for students ' presentations – it will for many be motivating pupils to be able to make a nice, visual presentation, and since the tool is intuitive and easy to use, the vast majority of learners will be able to use it after a short introduction.
If you need technical help getting started using Prezi in education and to exploit the features of the tool, You can read a detailed guide here: Getting started with Prezi in Education.