This week I chose to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of a web application called Tagxedo. Tagxedo is an online word cloud creator that allows you to customize the shape the word clouds form. A similar common word cloud creator is Wordle, which allows you to create word clouds, but not to a specific shape.
In Ko and Rossen’s Teaching Online, it talks about different ways of communicating with your students. They mention internal email, external email, instant messaging, texting, chat, whiteboard, and other collaborative tools (Ko and Rossen, 2011). One collaborative tool that allow online meetings for many people is DimDim. This type of resource is great for the institutions that do not provide collaboratie software tools. Unfortunately, this book was written back in 2010 and DimDim was bought by Salesforce.com in early 2011 and no longer offers their services. However, the alternatives today are Google+, Skype, ooVoo, and many other group video conferencing tools. From my experience, I have really enjoyed using Google+ in my graduate studies. I have not yet held a group video conference in teaching my high school students or my continuing education students, but I would love to start doing this.
Currently, I teach a continuing education course for teachers titled “Google Drive Across the Curriculum”. The institution I teach through does not have any type of collaborative software system, so all of my teaching is done through Gmail, Google chat, and Google Drive. This course is a class where students can join at any time and go at their own pace. Because of this, most students are at different stages of the course, and all of my instruction is done through videos, reading, and collaboration with me on their documents. I would like to start incorporating some type of group video conferencing using Google+ once a week or every other week to enhance the learning experience of all my continuing education students.
Ko, S., Rossen, S. (2010). Teaching online: A practical guide.(3rd ed.) New York, NY: Taylor & Francis Group
Salesforce (2011, January) Salesforce.com acquires Dimdim. Salesforce. Retrieved from http://www.salesforce.com/company/news-press/press-releases/2011/01/110106.jsp