I have a love/hate relationship with Wikis. They are GREAT tools for collaboration. They present a wide variety of possibilities for educators.
On the other hand, there is a fair amount of work for the teacher on the front end; but once the wiki is set up, it becomes a product of the users. There are wonderful examples of wikis out there (maybe you have heard of Wikipedia).
A wiki requires an investment. It is intended to grow and using it for a single assignment may result in frustration. A wiki that grows, assignment to assignment, semester to semester, year to year could prove to be an invaluable tool.
THIS TUTORIAL is a little old, but the basics are the same. Remember that completion of the Cybersense training allows you to get a free WCPSS professional educator account.
Like it or not, PowerPoint seems to be here to stay. 280Slides is a very nice alternative. In some ways, I like it better. It incorporates media much easier. Inserting videos from YouTube and Vimeo is a snap as is inserting an image from a website.
On the otherhand, it's not going to wow you with graphics and options.
It truly is a no hassle alternative. Files can be downloaded, shared, embedded.
Spicynodes is new on my radar, but I like it very much. It is part graphic organizer, part presentation tool. Students and teachers can use this, but to this point, I have been exploring this as a presentation or virtual organizer for students.
The end product can be embedded into a website, wiki, blog, etc. or shared via a direct link.
Here's a sample that I put together for a class. (Budgets)
Google Docs and Google Tools and Apps provide a wealth of options for educators. Docs can be used for collaboration, storage, polling, etc. And it's FREE. This means, as I have explained to many a student, that you don't need Microsoft Office (Bill Gates forgive me and/or provide a grant).
You need a free Google account (and really, you should have one for the myriad of options provided).
I just discovered this one and I have to say that I'm a fan. It is basically a chatroom in terms of its functionality, but it is designed to be used in a classroom. Students can ask questions during class that a teacher can address. These questions can be projected as well (use your best judgment).
You basically create a room, name it and select the duration. The room disappears when you are done. So simple. No tutorial needed.
Stop, collaborate and listen...(yes, I just dropped some Vanilla Ice on you). But, it's appropriate when talking about Shareslide.
What I like about Shareslide is the share function. If you always feel that someone has created a better tutorial than you or that you don't want to recreate the wheel, then Shareslide is a great place to start. You can search slide based presentations that you can use. You can also upload your own. These can be shared via social networking, rated and tagged. Maybe that presentation on the Krebs Cycle you created will go viral. Oh, and listen? Yes, Slideshare has a nice feature that allows you to add sound/voiceover.
OK, this one is pretty addictive, but I think it has some classroom potential for both teachers and students.
Pose a question, answer a question or both. You get responses in real time, see the responses on a map.
Combine this tool with Twitter and you are likely to get a lot of responses. Political questions have the ability to show a break down by region. It has lots of possiblity.