About Mike Dunn

Mike currently serves as the Director of College Counseling and Upper School History teacher at a small independent school outside of Philadelphia. He teaches courses in interest/career exploration, college essay writing, college admissions fundamentals, and World History. He is also the Principal Consultant for Mike Dunn Educational Consulting.

The “Omega” List…
1) iPad
I want to like the iPad. I really do. I find it’s size, weight, and mobility very attractive. But, for a school setting, it’s simply not ideal for anything. Apps — those awesome little 99 cent downloadable gizmos that we love — are too limited in their purpose to serve anything in education well. They tend to do one thing and if that one thing is not what you’re looking for, then you are left searching for a different app, or convincing yourself that you should build your own. Word processing is also chore, especially for those who appreciate the rhythm of keystrokes on a typing device. For fun, give this article a read.

2) Clickers
Over the past couple of years, I have seen more and more teachers using these tools for compiling immediate quiz or assessment results. For some reason, schools feel like they need to get rid of the overly-used very traditional hand-raise, and replace it with a pricey tool.

3) Glogster
I began using glogster about three years ago. It was a nice platform for students to create interactive digital posters. My students were excited about using it, and engagement was high. The hang-up with Glogster is in part the community in which it exists. Many people are creating personal Glogs and other such things, which is awesome, but not always appropriate for school. There were countless days that my students came into the classroom eager to show me some nearly inappropriate Glog that they had found.

4) SMART Boards
There is only one reason why SMART boards ended up on the “other” list, and that is cost. I love the concept of interactive whiteboards, but the fact that these pieces of technology represent a considerable portion of many school’s tech budgets is upsetting. All the more reason to be excited about Microsoft Kinect’s push to make any surface an interactive surface.

5) Animoto
The positive comments I could make about Animoto are great. It is, indeed, an awesome tool for many purposes. In fact, I often use it for personal presentations. The issues with Animoto come on both the technical end, and with its promise. Yes, you can make beautiful slideshows, as it says, but you have to have some technical know-how to make it happen. The audio uploading process is a little spotty, as it only allows you to upload one song in specific formats. This automatically makes your slideshow limited to the song’s length, unless you want to be listening to loops of Fun.’s Some Nights over and over. Additionally, to get long, higher quality videos, there are embedded costs. This is maddening if you are like me and wanting to put together a professional looking slideshow without spending twenty dollars. Toy around with this tool, but do not get your hopes up.

6) Jing
I consider screencasting one of the most crucial tools in a 2.0 educator’s arsenal. Through screencasting, you can easily share content that students can view as many times as they need to aid comprehension. Salman Khan has made a revolution out of this idea. But, if you are looking for a tool to make this process easier, don’t look to Jing. First, if you are running a high resolution OS — really anything beyond 8-bit — the software lags and its video resolution is poor. Additionally, the upload quality is terrible, and audio leaves little to be desired.

7) Moodle
Although Moodle is open-source and free, both qualities that usually place tech at the top of my list, its interface on both the front-end and the back-end are clunky at best. With the vast pool of edu-tech resources that are less expensive and more easily adaptable, it is time to place Moodle on the bottom of the list.

*For tips and/or ideas on how to use tools such as these, or other edu-tech tools, find me on Twitter – @michaeltdunn.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email