Initiative for Digital Education for Accelerated Learning (IDEAL)
Digital tools are great. Free digital tools are even better.
Truthfully, the number of digital tools available to faculty and students can be dizzying and trying to learn them all potentially mind-numbing. It is actually more important to understand the broader categories these tools primarily fall into, what they are good at doing, and then allow time to play and explore with the ones that seem interesting to you. The goal is not to become an expert in all of any of them. Instead, it is better to understand them, learn some functionality, and then introduce them to your students so that they may explore, practice, and create content with them. Play is very important. Understanding that you will not break these tools while playing, even more so.
Here, we will cover the following sections: Digital Tools and Student Agency, Tool Categories, Tool Ecosystems. Note that the numerous tools covered are grouped into Tool Categories. Simply click on each one to the right to jump to that section.
DIGITAL TOOLS and STUDENT AGENCY
AUDIO, MUSIC and PODCASTING
DATA, MATH and CODING
VIDEO EDITING and PUBLISHING
WEB DESIGN, HOSTING and PUBLISHING
ADOBE CREATIVE CLOUD
MICROSOFT OFFICE 365
Digital Tools and Student Agency
Before we dive into an overview of some hand-selected digital tools below, we should also understand how and why these tools exist and what they ask of us as users. To best accomplish this, we should each (solo and with our students) ask and attempt to answer the following questions:
Researching the answers to these questions may or may not discount a tool’s use, but it is important that we are clear on a tool’s intent and that of its creators and owners. So long as we are informed, we can then make decisions about the use or our digital tools and how they fit into our education and our lives.
> the four questions above are sourced from the Digital Pedagogy Lab at the University of Mary Washington, VA
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