Technologies to Consider

As with course models, consideration of possible technologies employed when a course is redesigned toward increased online activity can help raise awareness and inspiration of faculty. Again, though, beware the "ooh, shiny" syndrome of simply selecting something that sounds appealing without fully considering the factors that have led to deciding that a course is ripe for redesign. Because there are so many technologies available to faculty, this page does not attempt to exhaustively provide resources or examples of online learning technologies. Typically, when faculty are new to online teaching and learning, it is in the interest of faculty, students, and the institution that the technologies used by the faculty are the institutional standards. Once a faculty person has become more comfortable both with technologies as well as learning in the online environment, they may be ready to branch out into other kinds of more participatory web 2.0 tools.

Learning Management Systems

Example: Blackboard at SDSU

Many institutions create exemplary courses, courses demonstrating different features of an LMS, and courses which offer a "sandbox environment" for faculty to experiment safely in; these courses exist within the LMS and thus are generally just open to faculty at that institution. Check locally to find out what your institution has available if you are not sure.

Here are example courses in Blackboard in several disciplines. is an example site of tutorials and guidance for faculty and students using the Blackboard learning management system at SDSU. Most universities have comparable sites customized for their LMS.

SDSU also has the Wimba suite of Voice Tools for voice-enhanced asynchronous and synchronous interaction, and the online Wimba Classroom for rich synchronous interaction. See for an example of a site designed to introduce faculty to these tools and their purposes.

The document WebbasedLearningSp09.pdf provides a taxonomy of the tools provided at SDSU through Blackboard and Wimba into types of learning interactions. This can help faculty get a quick view of the online learning opportunities and tools provided by the institution and decide which ones might best fit into their course design. Clearly, this may be limited in its applicability depending on what is provided by your institution; still, this may provide ideas useful for you with your locally available tools.

Web 2.0 Tools

Engaging the YouTube Google-Eyed Generation: Strategies for Using Web 2.0 in Teaching and Learning
"Web 2.0 technologies provide educators with many possibilities for engaging students in desirable practices such as collaborative content creation, peer assessment and motivation of students through innovative use of media. These can be used in the development of authentic learning tasks and enhance the learning experience. However in order for a new learning tool, be it print, multimedia, blog, podcast or video, to be adopted, educators must be able to conceptualize the possibilities for use within a concrete framework. This paper outlines some possible strategies for educators to incorporate the use of some of these Web 2.0 technologies into the student learning experience." This paper is a good basic introduction to Web 2.0 concepts, focusing especially on blogs, wikis, and YouTube.

Web 2.0: A New Wave of Innovation for Teaching and Learning?
"we can survey the ground traversed by Web 2.0 projects and discussions in order to reveal a diverse set of digital strategies with powerful implications for higher education. Ultimately, the label 'Web 2.0' is far less important than the concepts, projects, and practices included in its scope." This paper is more philosophical and traverses wider ground that the one cited just above.

The Machine is Us/ing Us

video on Web 2.0 by Michael Wesch

Social Media Classroom
"The Social Media Classroom (we’ll call it SMC) includes a free and open-source (Drupal-based) web service that provides teachers and learners with an integrated set of social media that each course can use for its own purposes—integrated forum, blog, comment, wiki, chat, social bookmarking, RSS, microblogging, widgets , and video commenting are the first set of tools."

50+ Web 2.0 Ways to Tell a Story
"It was not long ago that producing multimedia digital content required expensive equipment and technical expertise; we are at the point now where we can do some very compelling content creation with nothing more complex than a web browser. In this workshop you will:
  • Design a basic story concept that can be created in a web 2.0 tool using images, audio, and/or video.
  • And then create it quickly using one of 50+ different web tools that are free to use."

"23 Things"
"the original Learning 2.0 Program. This site was created [as] a discovery learning program designed to encourage [library staff - also very relevant for educators] to explore new technologies and reward them for doing 23 Things. Since the program's launched, it has fostered Learning 2.0 programs all over the world."

Creating and Sharing Online Presentations

Screen and Audio Capture Software: A Comparison of Development Tools and Techniques
This document from fall 2007 compares various software for creating narrated presentations. Additionally, it includes a "conceptual framework for types of learning object development."

Slideshows 2.0
These two sites provide links to a number of websites that allow for online development and sharing of rich media presentations, including but not limited to PowerPoint style slides, web tours, sharing of images and documents, and more. (Beware of accessibility issues!)

The CSU was a key partner in the development of this "easy-to-use multimedia authoring tool. Designed for people with little multimedia experience, Pachyderm is accessed through a web browser and is as easy to use as filling out a web form. Authors upload their own media (images, audio clips, and short video segments) and place them into pre-designed templates, which can play video and audio, link to other templates, zoom in on images, and more. Once the templates have been completed and linked together, the presentation is published and can then be downloaded and placed on the author’s website or on a CD or DVD ROM. Authors may also leave their presentations on the Pachyderm server and link directly to them there. The result is an attractive, interactive Flash-based multimedia presentation."

Free Tools for Synchronous Presentation and Collaboration
This page has a list and some brief remarks and comparisons about free tools available for live online meetings and presentations.