There are several different applications and multimedia resources available to adult educators today to help with facilitating learning and engage learners within our classes. The first application that I would use to help enhance the learning environment would be Google docs. I have prior knowledge of this application and I have found the application to be resourceful. Google docs would help me to bring learners together outside of the classroom so that they are able to collaborate on group assignments. Having a collaborative tool application as a best practice would also help me introduce learning communities for my learners. I teach a career planning course and working on different areas of your career can be a challenge. Learners can use Google docs to start a circle for their specific career field and make connections to help them network, goal setting, and other important steps they need to take to enhance their career and learning within the class. Google docs is also known as Google drive as this is where all of the features are available for use. Google docs can be used after the class as well so the learners take a technology resource with them to help to continue with their learning and development.
The url for Google drive which is Google docs is https://www.google.com/intl/en_US/drive/start/index.html this link can give you an overall view and features of the application.
The second application is Edmodo, now this application I do not have experience with; however, this application would be great as a collaborative tool as well. Edmodo has similar feature to Google drive, but this tool is design for the educator. For example, Edmodo focuses on the classroom and helping “teachers make their classroom a community” (Edmodo, 2013). Some of the features for Edmodo are “shared content, discuss lessons, form communities, and media presentations” (Edmodo, 2013). There are plenty of other useful features within this application. I think everyone could find something that would help with their own set of best practices when facilitating their courses. I selected this application tool because the features of this application can help within my teaching practices. For example, I would be able to have my own professional community within this application. Other educators would be able to share their best practices, as I would be able to. With all of the technology that we have today I think that is important to have a professional community that educators can use as a resource and Edmodo allows this benefit along with the tools to facilitate a successful learning experience for learners. The url for Edmodo is http://about.edmodo.com/ .
The multimedia resources that I use currently while facilitating courses online are a whiteboard and Power Points for presentations. Through the school that I teach at, we use Abode tools to facilitate live chat sessions and give presentations via Power Point. The multimedia resource that I researched to compare is CoSketch is a resource that allows for you to share information on a whiteboard. A feature of CoSketch is “simple sharing” of ideas or information (CoSketch, unknown). Other features that are nice that I could use within my teaching practices would the “embedded feature for forums, blogs, and websites” (Educational technology, 2012) as this is not available to me in the resource, I currently use. I selected CoSketch because it is easy to use by the learner and educator not to mention it is a free resource. Learners could also find this helpful when brainstorming for assignments as well as educators would find it useful for explaining assignments and giving examples.
The url for CoSketch is http://www.cosketch.com/
Second multimedia resource I would like to use is Skype in the classroom. I know this maybe a bit surprising but from what I learned, educators and learners can benefit from this resource. For example, a “learning community, discovery, language skills, and cultural exchange” are some of the benefits of using Skype in the classroom (Skype, 2013). I selected the multimedia tool because for online educators and learners building a support team to help facilitate learning is important. Another reason for selecting Skype would be that leaners and educators could build a rapport and connection with a face beyond words on a screen and have that “audio content” as a resource, Author Will Richardson quotes “Personally, I think there is a huge potential for using Skype this way in the classroom” (Richardson, p. 119, 2010). To incorporate Skype into my professional practices I would use the feature of cultural exchange “to help learners see new ways of seeing the world” (Skype, 2013) and build language skills as this would be helpful for ESL learners.
The url for Skype https://education.skype.com/about
CoSketch. (unknown). CoSketch. Retrieved from, http://www.cosketch.com/
Educational technology. (2012) Educational technology and mobile learning. CoSketch. Retrieved from, http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2011/02/cosketch-teachers-virtual-online.html
Edmodo. (2013). Edmodo. Retrieved from, http://about.edmodo.com/
Edmodo. (2013). Edmodo features. Retrieved from, http://www.edmodo.com/features
Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
Skype. (2013). About Skype in the classroom. Retrieved from, https://education.skype.com/about