You don’t have to use them all, but I think every teacher should become familiar with the technologies on this list.
Many things, such as RSS feeds, Skype and wikis, are powerful tools that will save you time and allow you to do remarkable things in the classroom.
Knowing about these technologies may also help you learn more about your students. Some items on this list, like iTunes, instant messaging and social networks, are becoming a part of every student’s entertainment and social life.
- Audacity: a free and easy to use audio recording and editing program
- blog: they started as online diaries, but blogs have become an easy way to create websites
- Firefox: an Internet browser that is better than the one that comes preinstalled on your computer
- Extensions: little applications that make Firefox do just about whatever you want
- Creative Commons: licenses that provide a variety of protections and freedoms for artists, authors, and educators
- Google Earth: this is a map on steroids, it allows you to fly around a virtual Earth; download it and check out the Grand Canyon
- IM: instant messaging allows you to chat with a group of people; it’s like real-time email
- iTunes: buy music and movies, download podcasts using iTunes; iPod owners need this program to put files on their device
- iPod: the most popular portable media player; this is a pocket entertainment system
- mp3: a file type that is used for audio; mp3 files can be relatively small in size because the technology removes the frequencies of sound that we don’t need
- PDF: the most common way to share documents online that are usually printed; typically used for things like manuals, prospectuses, newsletters and forms
- podcast: an audio or video program that is set up to be downloaded automatically to your computer on a regular basis
- RSS (News Feed): a way to allow websites to deliver their new content to your computer without you having to visit each site
- Skype: this program allows you to talk to anyone in the world for free; it also does chat and video conferencing
- social network: when you’re online this label refers to websites that have create an easy way for you to share your favorite pictures, websites, music, recipes and much more with others; MySpace and Facebook are two of the most popular social networks
- TiVo: like ‘Kleenex’ for facial tissue, the word ‘TiVo’ refers to the technology that allows you to save your TV shows to a hard drive so you can watch them on demand; TiVo is just one brand of digital video recorders or DVRs
- Wi-Fi: this allows you to connect to the Internet wirelessly; laptops come standard with this technology but other devices with Wi-Fi, such as printers, are popping up more and more
- wiki: a website technology made famous by Wikipedia; wikis allow users to edit the content of a webpage; a great way to work collaboratively on projects
Of course, I don’t claim that this list is exclusive. I’m sure I’ve missed a few. I welcome you to make suggestions in the comments.