For teachers

bullet1 Recommended Software

    Useful software for teachers

    Here's a list of low-cost software I have been using on my site (most of the software has been acquired by private funds, by the way!):

    I'll be adding links to sample pages created with this software soon so you can get an idea what the software is good for.

    MindManager

    Educational discounts bring this software down to around $120. 

    I have been using Mindmanaging software for years now. First there was the free version mmPersonal which creates mindmaps but does not convert them into web-pages. Then there was version 3.5, and now I am using version 4. The 2002 version did not offer any useful extras for my purposes that I could afford the upgrade for. Some of the clipart comes from the 2002 trial version and could be used with version 4 as well. The latest version, launched in October 2003, called Mindmanager X5 Pro is around 100 incl. VAT and has some neat new features for web-page creation.

    If anyone wants any advice on how to create web-pages with this software, contact me through the button on the left and I'll help!

    Examples: Image maps such as the one of this home page
    Course home pages and all the pages linked to with complete navigation!
    Hot Potatoes

    FREEWARE for educational purposes. (I bought a license, as I have been commissioned to create e-learning materials for some companies)

    A suite of 6 tools to create interactive web-pages. Current version 6 was launched on November 28th, 2003

    • JBC for multiple choice tasks (in version 6, this has been merged with JQuiz)
    • JQuiz for short question and answer tasks
    • JCloze for gap-filling tasks
    • JMatch for all sorts of matching tasks, including Flashcards and memory games.
    • JMix for tasks to rebuild words or text 
    • JCross for crossword puzzles
    • plus the Masher to generate consistent output for a whole series of exercises.

    Can also be used for creating handouts to be printed!

    Definitely my favourite! 

    Thanks Martin, Stewart and Michael!

    Scripts for Hot Potatoes

    by Michael Rottmeier.

    Michael is very helpful and has written great plug-ins for Hot Potatoe, including Flashcards, Memory, Find it, and Translate it scripts.

    Click here for PDF files explaining how to create

    Flashcards (you need to download the script, too)

    Memory games (script download)

    Markin

    At only 32.59 a real bargain

    You can use predefined categories of feedback to quickly and effectively mark written work and create challenging interactive webpages. Current version 3.0.5 has allowed me to programme in a few nifty extras: direct links to exercises straight from the error marking; and for the research side, there are great features such as multiple file statistics. 

    Every teacher hates marking, but markin makes it bearable!

    Another great tool by Martin Holmes published by Creative Technology.

    Quandary

    At Can$ 60 you'll get some action on your website.

    This tools helps you create action mazes and quizzes that can story assets like scores and, depending on your choices, develop different scenarios through student interaction. For simulations, decision-making etc. Very flexible.

    Every now and then, this is just what I need to help some self-assessment or create a challenge.

    Yet another great tool created by Martin and Stewart.

    Textoys

    At 32.59 very good value for money. Version 2 is out now.

    Two very easy to use tools for creating challenging interactive web-pages that let students rebuild texts by sorting fragments of by typing in letters.

    Students rebuild what teachers have demolished!

    Martin Holmes and co. have done it again. Thanks to Creative Technology.

    Crossword Express

    At US$ 80, an investment I will not regret.

    Another very easy to use way to create excellent looking interactive crossword puzzles on your website through a Java-applet. Lots of extra applets available.

    Now you can go cryptic, too.

    MCQ At 80 this allows you to create a range of different types of exercises, similar to the output created by Hot Potatoes semi-automatically or automatically.

    This plug-in for Microsoft Word will help you create a range of interactive web-pages by simply adding some formatting details and then exporting your document to html format. Also good for handouts.

    Realproducer 
    (for download link scroll to bottom of the page!)

    FREE basic version to help you record audio and video files for your website. 

    For audio, all you need a soundcard and microphone or other audio source. For video, you can use a webcam or video capture card (WMF or Video for Windows) to create your streaming files. If you have no space on a Realnetworks MediaServer, create files for http streaming and use any webserver! There's a tutorial on my website on how to use this software. 

    Visitors need Realplayer to listen to / watch your files. 

    RealPresenter Basic
    (for download link scroll to bottom of the page!)

    Free basic version to convert your powerpoint presentation into a narrated video! With built-in server software for sharing your files on the intranet.

    If you use powerpoint, and don't like Microsoft's narrating feature, here's a great alternative to creating a video of your presentation you can also upload to your website. 

    Visitors need Realplayer to listen to / watch your files.

    RealSlideshow Basic
    (for download link scroll to bottom of the page!)

    If you want to create a slideshow with pictures, photos etc, and don't want to use Powerpoint, you can use this free tool to create a video with sound.

    Visitors to your website need Realplayer to listen to / watch your files.

    Paltalk

    FREE: Chat client that allows you to host your own virtual classroom or chatroom!

    Communicate with students through text-chat, microphone and web-cams. You can see up to 4 participants and control who's allowed to talk! File transfer, voice-mail etc. Just plug in your microphone and web-cam and meet people!

    Live Person's HumanClick

    This is actually customer relations software and allows you to have a virtual salesperson on your website. 

    Last year, this was freeware for non-profit making organisations, and I registered. In October, HumanClick discontinued the free service, and I managed to negotiate a 1-year deal at $150 to continue using their service. The follow-up product offers the same functions but costs an awful lot more: currently they are charging $500 a month!

    It allows me to monitor who's on the website, how long, and track previous visits and chats. I can also search previous chats for key-words. When I log in with the Humanclick agent on any of my computers, the system will display the "ready-to-chat" button and allow visitors to call me to chat. When I am logged out, or report, I am busy, the button on the left will change to "I am busy" and, when clicked, will open a mail message window instead of a chat client for the visitor.

    When my license runs out in late September, I may re-negotiate a license, or try a messenger client like ICQ or Yahoo messenger instead. We'll see. Ultimately, it's a matter of what I can afford, if I cannot find some funding from the university.

    Editing web-pages:

    EditPad Classic
    (click on the Classic button on the left!)

    Postcard-ware:

    This is a basic but extremely flexible editor for all text documents. The main feature which makes it so valuable is that you can open umpteen, hundreds of files simultaneously and then find and replace strings of text or code in one quick swoop. 

    A God-sent for anyone who can do without WYSIWYG editors!

    Eversoft 1st Page 2000 version 2

    FREE!

    A great editor with lots of scripts, applets and three different interfaces for beginners, advanced and hardcore programmers. Not a WYSIWYG editor but you can see what your code looks like instantly at the click of a button.

    Microsoft Frontpage 2000

    After MS Frontpage 98 which I started my web-services with, this version is an improvement in that it does not change basic existing code any more. Yet it still changes some DHTML and XML code when you manipulate objects in WYSIWYG mode.

    It's certainly easy to get started, and makes it easy to create forms for learning logs on IIS Servers, as well as forms for integrating a database into your website, provided you can run a website with Frontpage Server extensions. The university does not supply this service which is why I started my own server. Less messy and easier to get started than CGI or Perl scripts for really interactive web-pages.

    Comes at a price though! Educational discounts make this affordable.

    On the Web:

    Try Quia (sorry, no longer free) and the Discovery Channel (FREE) for teaching tools to create exercises you can link to or print out for handouts!

    FREE: To search the Internet more effectively and efficiently, get WebFerret or try Copernic 2002. Once installed your search uses all sorts of search engines automatically. You can also save your findings as a web-page. See the results of a sample search for business English CD-ROMs here.

    FREE: Webstatistics for your website are available in many places: I use Nedstat basic, which gives  me a lot of information.

     


    Latest update: 14 March, 2003