Using eLearning tools to maximize summer PD

How to use summer PD eLearning tools

Wikis, Google tools, social media, shared bookmarks, tag clouds, podcasts, and streaming video that teachers either construct or access are examples of Web 2.0 e-Learning tools that educators can use to collaborate on curriculum planning and maximize professional development during the summer.

A Wiki can be a tool for content writing collaborations. Teachers can select and securely set up a Wiki tool such as PB Wiki or Wet Paint, for example. Teachers can grant access to others to change content or just to read content. Teachers participating in the Wiki can collaboratively create content such as a thematic unit plan or a lesson plan. This is ideal for cross-curricular lesson plans born of collaboration between history, fine art, and English Language Art content specialists, for example.

Teachers can access word-processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software in Google Drive to create and share content. They can work from different locations asynchronously or synchronously editing content in real-time. Work products are stored in the cloud and accessible from anywhere by those with access privileges.

  • Social Media

Teachers can share content with designated recipients on social media such as Facebook and Twitter. During the summer, as individual teachers discover or create interesting content, a link can be shared via Twitter or Facebook.

  • Social Bookmarking Tools

Once teachers create or locate interesting web based resources, they can share the URLs by using a bookmarking tool such as or Google Bookmarks.

Teachers can use a tag cloud generator such as Wordle or TagCrowd to create visually appealing text. The tag cloud can embed on a wiki, web page, or other web-based applications.

  • Streaming Media

Teachers can create videos or podcasts to share with peers and students. Audacity is a free online tool to create audio tracks that for podcasts and then upload the file to PodOmatic, for example. Many computer operating systems include movie-making software. Teachers can create Power Points and convert the file to a movie. Teachers can upload movie files to Teacher Tube or You Tube and share via a blog, website, wiki, social media, or a social bookmark.

(Next page: eLearning standards to consider)

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