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Enhance Project-Based Learning with These 10 Powerful Tools

by Robert Morris on December 26, 2013

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A fun set of Applications (Many Free) for Project Based Teaching and Learning.

The contemporary classroom can be rather different than what we were used to even just a decade ago, thanks partly to the advancing nature of Internet based technologies. One form of teaching which has benefited from these types of tools is Project Based Learning. A main goal of project-based learning for students is to make the process of putting theory into practice easier.

project based learning diagram from http://modelschoolscnyric.pbworks.com/w/page/40580862/Project-Based%20Learning

(This great PBL image is from http://modelschoolscnyric.pbworks.com/w/page/40580862/Project-Based%20Learning)

There are countless applications available on the web that can enable students to apply learning concepts in practical forms to further their awareness and understanding of learning materials and concepts. Just as students, teachers can also find these types of applications alternatively fun, productive, and/or engaging. Following is a set of some wonderful and effective tools for project-based learning.

1. Glogster EDU

This is an excellent creative tool that enables students to create multimedia projects and digital posters easily. You can use Glogster as a great way of highlighting research, as a pre-tool for major projects, or as a supporting presentation tool in a project. There are great templates to choose from and importing sources is as easy as it gets. This app is free to use on the Internet and there is free Glog reader available at the Apple Store.

2. MindMeister

Mapping out ideas becomes a much easier and more creative process with the use of MindMeister. This tool is a great way to start a creative project by setting the main ideas and determining its essence. This free web based tool also has a free versions available for both Android and iOS users.

3. Pixton

Students love comics, and this fun web-based tool will bring that dynamic environment into the lessons. The app has various cool features, including images, background templates, and different expressions that make the lectures much more interesting. There is a free trial for teachers, after which the app can be licensed for around $1 per student per month (less when licenses for longer periods).

4. Myhistro

This is a browser-based tool with versatile features that combine photographs, videos, and blogging on interactive Google Maps and Google Earth. The tool features a chronological timeline that can be used for elaborate representation of school activities, presentations, and projects. A “light app” is available for free at the Apple Store.

5. Animoto

This is a great tool for presenting learning concepts and field trips through slideshows. Students can use Animoto to illustrate their projects with text, photos, and videos. All they need to do is choose the style of video and start adding their visual material. There isn’t a better way to give that polished finish to all school projects. Animoto is also available for free as an app for Android and iOS users.

6. Reeldirector

This $1.99 Apple app has some similarities to iMovie, but comes with some advanced video making features. Students can use it to combine clips together, smooth out the video flow and put transitions between the clips. The app also allows its users to record voice-overs and add text and photos to the videos they create.

7. FotoBabble

This tool enables students to create slideshows by recording voiceovers for images. Collaborative projects can be greatly enhanced with FotoBabble, which enables students to start their projects by analyzing the concepts and expressing their creativity. Teachers can use the tool to create quizzes and test the knowledge of their students in a less scary way. This free Internet app is also available for free in the Apple Store.

8. VoiceThread

This versatile tool allows its users to comment on different types of media, from photos to videos. VoiceThread is an Internet application that can be very useful in learning foreign languages, as well as for group projects where students can use the tool to add voice comments to stories or images. Apple Store offers a VoiceThread app for free.

9. Capzles

Digital storytelling becomes a brand new concept with the usage of this browser-based timeline-style tool. Students can select their favorite template from the wide choice and use it to share visual narratives and stories with soundtracks. It doesn’t matter whether the students need to work on in dept multimedia projects or simple stories – Capzles can be a great tool in both cases. It is available as a free app on the Internet, and for iOS users.

10. Popplet

Popplet is a great planning tool that students can use as a mind map enriched with videos, photos, and drawings. This is an interactive app that’s easy to use for adding comments, creating galleries, and generating concepts. The app is available at the Apple Store for $4.99.

Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
Instructional Technologies CAN Improve Learning Outcomes and Help Address the Challenges Education Faces
Flipping the Classroom Facilitates Active Learning Methods – Experiential, Project Based, Problem Based, Inquiry Based, Constructivism, Etc.
Simplify Project Based Learning With Biteslide

About 

Robert Morris is an author of this post. He is a content writer from writing service NinjaEssays. As a writer he specializes on academic research.

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