Blog Post #8 – My Toolkit

Hello all:

Creating a toolkit was an interesting experiment. However, I think my efforts were stymied by the timing – our semester ended Friday except for finals – and the limited options within I was disappointed that several pages and sites were no longer active. And I would have liked for there to have been a way to add pages that weren’t listed on

Having said all of that, I decided to create a toolkit that would serve the needs of my colleagues as well as my students.  This decision is in line with my focal point for all of my work throughout the semester. As I have noted elsewhere, working in a college setting presents a unique challenge of meeting the needs faculty as well as adult students who come to the table with a wide range of knowledge and technological savvy.

As a college adjunct, the biggest challenge, I feel, isn’t that people are anti-technology. It’s more a matter of familiarity and sufficient time to acclimate and learn new systems and get to a point where new technology can be fully utilized.

My toolkit includes links to a lot of tools that both faculty and students need to facilitate classroom work and class-related projects including tips for using Smartboard, blogging, video editing and more efficient web searches.

I also was happy to find one working link to an English class resource site that included an entire section on journalism related topics, and another link to a great NBC news site that could certainly be used for classroom work.

With that said, I have pasted below my Toolkit:

Journalism classes toolkit

By Karyn D. Collins

This toolkit includes links to websites, videos and software that may prove useful to teachers as well as students completing course assignments, planning and execution of classroom instruction and activities.

10 Smart Ideas for Using a Smartboard

Use this resource for a quick list of suggestions for using a Smartboard, which is essentially an interactive whiteboard.


This website includes a wide array of tools for teachers to use with students, and for professional development teachers to use with teachers. Plan projects online and explore all the different options for online PD.


Accessify is dedicated to furthering the cause of web accessibility by offering free tools and other useful resources. The website includes web accessibility news, accessibility tools and wizards, an archive of features, and links to useful accessibility resources.

Better Web Searching

This resource is a quick guide to more efficient and effective web searching.


Learn what a blog is and how to create your own in three easy steps at the blogger website.

Classroom Technology Management

Discover tips for arranging classroom technology to maximize learning and minimize potential disruptions.


“Elgg is an open source social platform based around choice, flexibility and openness: a system that firmly places individuals at the center of their activities. Your users have the freedom to incorporate all their favorite tools within one environment and showcase their content with as many or as few people as they choose, all within a social networking site that you control.”


Created by NBC Learn, the educational arm of NBC News, the site’s name—iCue—stands for Immerse, Connect, Understand, and Excel. Its learning platform uses a patented technology, based on research from the MIT Education Arcade, called the CueCard; it’s a combination media player, flash card, note-taking tool, and trading card. This “flip-card” technology allows users to watch streaming videos from NBC News and then “flip” the CueCard over for additional information.


This resource allows users to design and create newsletters online with templates that allow users to concentrate on content rather than design.

No Fuss Video

Read this resource to learn the what, who, when, where, why, and how of integrating video technology into the classroom.


NoteStar is a free online tool that students can use as they prepare and plan their research papers. The Student area allows students to take notes, track information, collaborate with other students and create bibliographies; the Teacher area gives teachers tools to monitor student progress, assign projects, check sources and correspond with students.


Use PBwiki to engage your students online with collaborative tools and post classroom materials and products for students and parents to view. It is easy to use and no html experience is required.


Integrate Podcasts into your lessons to engage learners. Search from among thousands of free podcasts at the Apple store. You can browse by category, review descriptive summaries, and read ratings and reviews.

School Tube

SchoolTube is for educators who want to share approved videos nationwide; empower students and encourage creativity; join recognized leaders in video broadcasting; access lesson plans and helpful classroom information, and encourage students to compete in moderated competitions. SchoolTube puts a special emphasis on student-made products, shares tips on unblocking SchoolTube on your school’s network, and provides instructions on how to share videos from your own school.


This blog delivers daily computer tips in the form of web sites, files, and news for educators, parents, and administrators.

Web English Teacher

Find lesson plans, WebQuests, videos, biography, e-texts, criticism, jokes, puzzles, and classroom activities. This site is a great resource for any English teacher. It has everything from critical thinking, to grammar, mechanics, and usage, to vocabulary, to reading and writing. It has a great number of literature resources as well from Shakespeare, to young adult fiction, to poetry, to mythology, folklore, and the hero, to prose, drama, and children’s literature.


This website allows users to convert files into a different format without downloading any software. This can be handy, for instance, for teachers who want to use videos found on YouTube or Google Video but are blocked from accessing them at school. The website can convert the video into Windows Media or other formats and then email it to you. Teachers can then load the video onto their computer at school and get around the school filtering software. This could be a good way for teachers to be able to show topical videos (presidential debates, etc.) that they may be unable to otherwise.


2 thoughts on “Blog Post #8 – My Toolkit

  1. Hi Karyn,
    I definitely agree that I would have liked to have been able to add sources to my toolkit that were not connected to I think you make a great point when you say it “isn’t that people are anti-technology. It’s more a matter of familiarity and sufficient time to acclimate and learn new systems and get to a point where new technology can be fully utilized.” I think this is very true. It does take time to get used to using new technology even for those of us who are tech savvy. You seem to have picked some great resources and I am interested in checking some of them out, especially Notestar and 2 Learn. Have you used either of these or any of the resources that you’ve listed? I’d love to hear your feedback if you have.


  2. Karyn, Nice choices. I personally like SchoolTube and the Podcast resources. SchoolTube definitely keeps the students in the mindset of school and education rather than seeing it as YouTube, that is only for videos. Additionally, with your work that you are presenting in your MMP, the podcast resource will most definitely be helpful.


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