Technology Tools and Tips

Google Apps and Forms

Google Apps is a suite of free tools available free on the internet.  While most of the basic functionality is similar to a simple version of Microsoft Office, it offers sharing and storage cababilities not available in the closed environment of MS Office.  For this unit, Google forms is offered at a method for gathering student responses into a pictorical form using charts.   The use of Google forms is disussed in the following tutotial.

Wordle is a free tool available on the internet at  It allows the user to create and customize a colorful word cloud.  Words that most frequently used appear in larger and bolder letters and least frequent words appear in smaller letters.  It excludes articles, coordinating conjunctions, and helping verbs.  The product is stored in the virtual cloud for access and can be printed as well. While it is fairly intuitive, a tutorial is available.

Audacity is a free sound editing tool.  This programis more complex and may require installation on your system.  To install audacity, watch the tutorial at the following link    Once the program is installed the publipsher offers an online manual that contains not only text instructions, but some valuable tutorials. 

Power Point is a part of the Microsoft Office Suite but can be purchased separately.  It allows the user to make slide show presentations that can be enhanced with effects, transitions, sound, embedded video and other externally linked content.  Microsoft offers an excellent page that gives "skill builders" which help to introduce you to the program quickly and easily. 

A document camera is a piece of hardware that projects in color whatever is placed in the dock area.  Most commonly, a paper or photo is used.   There is no additional hardware needed except a projection screen or white wall.  This video gives a valuable overview of this technology.