Friday, January 22, 2016

Analyzing and Categorizing Online Digital Tools and Systems for Education – Getting Started

decorative image of a magnifying glass looking closely at a course website

The second module of #EDUC5101G (Digital Tools for Knowledge Construction) @uoitmed looks at analyzing and categorizing online digital tools and systems for education. I figured that I would start course participants off by compiling an off-the-cuff (and far from exhaustive!) list of types of online digital tools frequently used by teachers and learners. I’ve also posed a few questions for consideration in the Week 3 round of blog posts.

Types of Online Digital Tools and Systems for Education:
  • Learning Management Systems (LMSs)
  • Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs)
  • Reusable Learning Objects (RLOs)
  • Learning Object Repositories
  • Academic and Scientific Databases
  • Resource Storage / Sharing
  • Collaborative Workspaces
  • Scheduling Tools
  • Web Authoring and Hosting
  • Multimedia Production
    • Document Production
    • Graphics and Images
    • Audio
    • Video Production
    • Screencasting
    • Multimedia Hosting / Publishing
  • Communication Tools
    • Email
    • Discussion Forums
    • Social Media
  • Data Collection and Analysis
    • Survey Tools
    • Online Polling
    • Data Analysis Tools
    • Environmental Data Collection (Sensors, etc)

Week 3 Blogging Questions
Considering the (far from exhaustive) list of types of online digital tools:
  1. What types of tools do you think are missing?
  2. What types of tools from the list have you used as a teacher? As a student? (Can you provide examples?)
  3. Which of those tools have you found most (and least) useful as a teacher? As a student? Why?
  4. Which types of tools from the list have you NOT personally used as a teacher or student? Why?
  5. Find an example of that type of tool that might be useful in your personal teaching / learning context.
  6. What would be your first questions / steps when evaluating how (or if) you would use such an online tool? (We’ll be looking at more formal assessment strategies for digital tools over the next few weeks!)

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I knew I kept my old ePortfolio online for a reason (even if it’s not updated, and the homepage has a notice redirecting visitors to my new ePortfolio at I was looking for something totally unrelated, when I came across a couple of gems from my MEd studies. They’re a couple of papers I wrote with a colleague (Jing Yang) about software evaluation for education. One is a checklist that we developed for English Language Arts teachers, based on the (then current version of) Atlantic Provinces Education Foundation curriculum guidelines. The second was a paper we wrote comparing two multimedia software packages, using the checklist we had developed (The ELA Software Evaluation Checklist).

    I’ve added these two documents to the EDUC5101G Zotero Library group (under the Digital Tools category) ( I offer NO COMMENTARY here on the validity or value of the checklist Jing and I developed. It’s certainly a bit older (from February 2003) – BUT, it would be interesting to see what #EDUC5101G participants (and others) think about it.

    - Is it complete?
    - Is it still valid or relevant?
    - What would you add (or take away) from it?

    All the best,