CALICO 2014 – Athens, OH

May 7-11 I attended the annual CALICO conference at Ohio University in Athens, OH. CALICO is always a great conference because it brings together people who share a passion for computer-assisted language learning. This year’s conference theme was “Open, Online, Massive: The Future of Language Learning?” A multitude of sessions was offered that addressed diverse topics including virtual realities, research issues in CALL, specific tech tools for the classroom, and other SLAT-topics. 

Today I want to share what I think will be useful information for other teachers interested in working with technology, not just in the classroom but also for work purposes. I attended a session  on “Top 10 Technology Tools for Foreign Language Instructors” and found some of the presented tools to be very interesting, so I thought I’d share them here.

  1. http://bit.ly This website can be used to shorten a website, so if you created a website or have a link that is really long, you can paste it here and it will give you a shortened URL. It’s useful if you often write links on the board, for example, and don’t want to write a really long URL.
  2. http://dropmark.com/  This website was very interesting and I will need to try it out a bit, to really see what it can offer. It’s a tool that allows you to upload different documents, images, videos, websites, and organize them, as well as use a slide show to present it. You can also work collaboratively with others, so it’s a bit like sharing a google doc folder, only that here you can view everything right away. Check it out, it’s pretty neat!
  3. http://tubechop.com This website helps you to cut out only a segment of a youtube video, if you want to show only a part of it. You can combine this tool with tool #4
  4. http://dragontape.com With this tool you can combine youtube videos to create a medley of different videos.
  5. http://keepvid.com This tool allows you to download a youtube video to your computer. You can choose from different file formats, for example you can download only the audio.
  6. http://videolan.org/vlc/  This tool can do two things: you can use it if you need to make screenshots from a DVD; and you can use it to play all region DVDs without having to change the region code on your laptop!
  7. http://mirovideoconverter.com With this tool you can convert files into different formats. I don’t usually do this, so I am not sure when you would use this 🙂
  8. http://zamzar.com Here you can convert documents and other files into other formats (doc, pdf, …)
  9. http://jumpshare.com This is a tool for sharing and viewing files even if you may not have the required program (Adobe) installed on your computer. it supports over 200 different formats.
  10. http://screencast-o-matic.com This is a tool similar to Jing that works like a screencast recorder. It has some advantages over JING, for example you can record longer videos.

I hope that some of these tools sparked your interest and maybe you will try them out! If you tried them out, I would love to read about it in the comments. Do you think there are other tech tools that should make the list of “top ten tools for instructors”? 

 

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