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10 Internet Technologies Educators Should Be Informed About – 2011 Update

by Kelly Walsh on September 4, 2011


These Technologies Are Changing Education. Are You Familiar With Them?

It’s been nearly two and half years since the publication of the first “10 internet technologies that educators should be informed about” article on this site and given the fast paced evolution of technology it’s time for an update. The start of new school year is the perfect time to refresh this list!

Below you will find updated information for 5 of the technologies from the original posting, and 5 new technologies that have earned their rightful place in the list (displacing 5 other types of tech, that while still worthy, are not quite as relevant today, IMHO). This is not intended to be a definitive listing, but rather an informed resource that provides insights and raises awareness. Lots of links to example apps and articles have been provided, so readers can learn more about each application category.

1. Video and Podcasting Resources – One of the most widely adopted internet technologies for use in instructional settings is video streaming. In addition to the ubiquitous YouTube, there are several education-specific video hosting sites, including TeacherTube, EduTube, and SchoolTube. There are an abundance of lectures, how-to videos, and similar materials available on the web, perfect for supplement both face-to-face and online courses. Check out “A Dozen Great Free Online Video Lecture Sites” for a wide selection of lecture content. Podcasting has also been used to provide similar offerings of audio materials through popular sites like iTunes U (learn more about Podcasting here).

2. Digital Presentation Tools – There are dozens of tools on the Internet that can be used to create and share presentations. This summer’s post, “8 Great Free Digital Presentation Tools For Teachers To Try This Summer” provides a good starter set of tools to try if you wish to learn more about these fun applications. These tools can be used to support classroom teaching or distance learning, and provide engaging ways for students to create and deliver reports and presentations.

3. Collaboration & Brainstorming Tools – This is another wide ranging category, including thought-organizing tools like mindmap and, and collaborative tools like web based interactive whiteboards and Google Documents. There are many collaborative environments on the web, and this category can even include tools like wikis and virtual worlds. Click through to the C & B category to learn even more.

4. Blogs & Blogging – Despite the ongoing growth and popularity of blogging, many educators are still not very familiar with the “blogosphere” and all it has to offer. In addition to the ever expanding body of education focused blog content available for free, educators should also be aware of sites like Blogger and WordPress, where users can quickly and easily create their own blogs for free. To learn more about the many ways in which teachers, students, administrators, and technologists are using blogs, check out last year’s series of posts, “Blogging in Education Today”.

5. Social Networking Tools – The article “7 Reasons To Leverage Social Networking Tools in the Classroom” makes the case for the many benefits that can come from using social networking tools in a social learning context. Posts about the use of mass media tools like Facebook and Twitter generate a lot of traffic, indicating a high level of interest in these tools. There are also many education-specific social networking tools available today that enable teachers to explore this avenue without having to worry about exposing students to inappropriate content.

6. Lecture Capture – This technology has tremendous potential. One of ways in which lecture capture can change the nature of teaching is by enabling teachers to “flip the classroom”. Students can consume lecture content outside of the classroom and use valuable in-class time to reinforce the material covered in the lecture and make sure students are understanding the new content. For more on this topic, read the article, “Learning about Lecture Capture Technology”.

7. Student Response Systems & Poll/Survey Tools – Student Response Systems, or “clicker” technology is gaining a lot of traction in educational institutions. One winner of last year’s EmergingEdTech contest focused on uses of technology in the classroom demonstrated clear learning outcome improvements while engaging students with this interactive education technology. One the most common uses for clickers is poll taking, which can also be done using a computer or smart phone, utilizing any of the dozens of tools out on the web that do this, like Doodle or Polldaddy.

8. Educational Gaming – The “gamification” of education is another tech trend that is gradually taking hold in educational practices in academic institutions across the world. The 2011 Horizon Report, which provides insights into education technology trends, claims that game-based learning is only 2-3 years from mainstream adoption. While waiting for this technology to mature, there are many educational games available today in the form of online sites like these.

9. Open Educational Resources – OER is a transformational idea that can play an important role in changing the nature, and availability, of educational materials, content, and tools. Click over to “Learning about OER – Open Educational Resources” to discover more about this topic and access a host of resources on the subject. How wonderful would it be if Open Education Resources evolved into the predominant way in which educational resources were delivered?

10. The iPad and other tablet devices – Since the launch of the iPad2, this Apple technology has really taken education by storm. Posts here like, “10 Excellent iPad Applications for Teachers” generate a huge amount of traffic, confirming the tremendous interest level in this platform. We’ve been learning more about this phenomenon through articles like, “iPads In Education – How’s It Going So Far?” and “Using The iPad As A Digital Whiteboard (Plus 4 Cool Free Apps To Try It Out)”. Schools across the world are considering uses for the iPad and similar tablet devices, and the market for tablets is really heating up.

Another important education technology trend is the exploding use of mobile devices. While this has not been included as it’s own category here, it is implicit in several of the technologies above. For example, smart phones and other mobile devices go hand-in-hand with social networking and consumption of video and podcasting resources and lecture capture content. I mention this here specifically because tablet devices seem to have risen to the fore of the mobile device category this year.

Well, there you have it – ten technologies that teachers, administrators, and educational technologists should be keeping an eye on and considering for their schools and classrooms, if they aren’t already using them. Please be sure to visit EmergingEdTech frequently (and subscribe if you haven’t already) to stay on top of these powerful tools and technologies that are impacting and changing education.

Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
Free Productivity Resources for Educators
5 Internet Technologies That School Administrators Need To Know About
8 Great TED Talks About The Future Of Education And Teaching


Kelly Walsh is Chief Information Officer at The College of Westchester, in White Plains, NY, where he also teaches. In 2009, Walsh founded He frequently delivers presentations and training on a variety of related topics at schools and conferences across the U.S. His eBook, the Flipped Classroom Workshop-in-a-Book is available here. Walsh became the Community Administrator for the Flipped Learning Network in June of 2016. In his "spare time" he also writes, records, and performs original music ... stop by and have a listen!

[Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my own, or those of other writers, and not those of my employer. - K. Walsh]

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer February 26, 2014 at 10:18 pm

This is a great resource list! I would enjoy seeing an updated one for the coming school year. I’m glad to see WordPress on the list. The seo course I just completed emphasized the utility of this web software.

Nisha February 7, 2012 at 1:00 am

Great list. This is very useful for kids. I would also like to suggest which is a web application that enables its users to create interactive digital timelines on the topic of their choice. This tool has been used by students to create some cool timelines on a variety of topics. As an example look at this timeline
based on the history of multimedia

Romesh Jain January 20, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Wonderful list of resources. For me, it would take a while to go through all the material in such a short period of time.

I liked the “Digital Presentation Tools” part specially its ‘SlideShare’ and ‘Prezi’ sections

Nancy Petersen January 19, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Wow, in exploring these sites, I was thinking of so many ways that my speech students might benefit from these ideas. We can start using YouTube etc. to watch speeches. We can critique the speeches using our Ipads and SmartPhones. We can text each other suggestions for improvement and comments on a job well done!

Joanna Perry-Folino January 19, 2012 at 9:48 am

Wow! There are so many new things and areas to explore. It is overwhelming. I need to read through each of these and determine what suits the needs of my students best in each of my classes, all which aim for different objectives. Time consuming for certain.

Henry January 5, 2012 at 7:03 pm

I love the brainstorming and blogging tools you suggested. Excellent article, thanks for posting! 😀

K. Walsh December 28, 2011 at 12:54 pm

I combed over and fixed the broken links in the article – thanks to Robin for pointing them out! If anyone notices any other broken links here, please don’t hesitate to comment and let me know. Thanks!

Robin December 23, 2011 at 12:37 pm

I was really excited about this article as I teach a course for teachers about emerging technologies. Your summary is excellent-big problem though-a bunch of your links in your article got a Gnarly Dude page that isn’t there anymore???? Please help! Can you fix your links- I am very anxious to present this to teachers, but the last thing they need to see are dead links to reaffirm that technology will fail them when they need it! :(

Joyce Grant November 6, 2011 at 9:59 am

Thanks for this terrific roundup.
I’d like to draw your attention to another great resource for educators, We offer daily kid-friendly news (grades 1-8) with curriculum connections for each article.
It’s free and simple for teachers to put up on a smartboard for shared reading, or print out for individual work.

Dean Vella September 14, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Technology is blazing a new path for education. Love the gaming approach and believe that to be a hit with the younger population. I’m a little surprised that I’m not seeing more curriculum’s geared towards social media, mobile, internet marketing, etc. I can tell you that university’s are offering online courses. University of San Francisco is one of a few that does offer internet marketing training courses.

K. Walsh September 11, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Your educational games site looks great Jonathan! Thanks for sharing it.

K. Walsh September 11, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Thanks for sharing this Sandra – and for the kind words!

Sophus Ng September 7, 2011 at 2:18 am

i think educators would appreciate it even more if you link each technology with desirable educational outcomes, explicitly how to use the technology to improve critical thinking, communication, entrepreneurship, self-directed learning, collaborative learning, … etc beside the traditional test/exam scores.

John McLear September 5, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Also really-real time collaborative writing tools such as PrimaryPad.

Collaborative sticky note tools such as PrimaryWall.

Games sites such as Primary Games Arena

Sandra Rogers September 5, 2011 at 4:47 pm

I agree with your top 10. Fortunately, I’m using most of them. As Steve mentioned, this is a great list for newbies. Therefore, I’m headlining this article on my e-newspaper, The Online Educator:


Jonathan Wylie September 4, 2011 at 8:16 pm

Great list, and all very valid points. It is an exciting time to be an educator who likes to use technology!

Number 8 is particularly close to my heart right now as I have seen a lot of the positive influences that gaming at school has had on my students.

So much so that I started my own collection of educational games at All the games are free and educational, so check it out if you have time.

Steve LeBlanc September 4, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Fabulous curated list of resources. The best I’ve seen for teachers new to the tech space. My advice is to work though all of the articles and sites suggested to get the lay of the land. This is a great first stop for all tech newbies.

I would have liked to see a more clear distinction in the articles between the pay services and the free services. So much is free online that newbies should start there before the pay services. When they know better what they need and what is available, they are in a better position to purchase something of lasting value.

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