Written by Erin Branham.
Schools and teachers are rapidly embracing digital tools. Regardless of your level of technical skill, many platforms are easy to use and offer a range of ways to:
1) package your museum’s content for easy digital distribution as classroom-ready resources
2) engage learners for in-gallery or course-based programs, such as professional development offerings for teachers
Here are just a few tools being used by formal educators that could be used by museum educators as well.
SmartBoard, Make Way for EduCreations – this handy article explains how teachers are using a variety of platforms such as Educreations and ScreenChomp to create and share tutorials for their students. We could likewise use these tools to create lessons about our content that would be easily shareable by students and teachers.
And then there’s TedEd, which is a space just begging for museum involvement!
Ookl – designed for museums, Ookl offers a fee-based school group module that allows kids to record and upload video and audio impressions of their visit. They can then create a presentation to share with other students and turn into the teacher as an assessment tool.
MinecraftEdu – via MinecraftEdu your museum can purchase Minecraft at a deep discount. Minecraft allows the exploration of architecture, design, ecosystems, scientific experimentation, logic and programming, and much more. Check out MinecraftEdu’s wiki for ideas.
Glogster – this platform allows anyone to create interactive posters. If you have even four or five iPads, it would be possible to create teams out of a visiting school group and set the kids a task of creating a Glog around a work of art, a moment in history, a scientific concept or an animal in your zoo or aquarium.
Ning – running a teacher institute? Challenge the participants with assignments to blog, share photos, videos and ideas on a private social network created for your program.
Adobe Connect for eLearning – simple to use tool for holding webinars. Convene groups of teachers across the country and around the world. Best part is, the content remains and can be shared with anyone any time so even people who didn’t attend the webinar can benefit.
QuizStar – Finish up a tour with teams of students enjoying a friendly competition to complete online quizzes.
SymbalooEDU – this webmix platform allows the aggregation of material from across the web with a dynamic visual interface. Pull together rich video, audio, visual and text resources for students or teachers to explore.
Sliderocket – Powerpoint is sooooo 20th century. Sliderocket lets you create stunning, shareable presentations to accompany any talk or lesson. Best of all – it’s free!
If you know of, or have created content or programming using these or other platforms, please share!
Featured image: a screenshot of a Symbaloo webmix showing digital tools with classroom applications courtesy of Tech for a Global Early Childhood Education