Home > No. 58 Alternative Web-based Tools

No. 58 Alternative Web-based Tools (2010年05月10日)

カテゴリー: The Treasure Hunt Club
As time goes by, I find I am mostly interested in getting better at
using the tools I have. But occasionally I come across some websites
that offer an alternative
to what I am using now. And that’s the theme of this month’s Treasure Hunt.

Let’s start with PowerPoint. The ubiquitous presentation software is
so common that it would be hard to imagine doing a presentation
without it (apologies
to Mac users who have been living happily without PP for years, but I’m speaking
mostly to PC users here). But when you see a different style of
presentation it can be really
impressive. At an Adobe conference last year I saw a Flash
presentation that featured items
floating in space and the screen zooming in on them one after another.
It was impressive, but it was out of reach for anyone but someone with advanced Flash
skills. But now there is Prezi. Prezi lets you create presentations much like that Flash
presentation I saw. You put all your “slides” on one large sheet and zoom in and out of individual
items. It’s kind of hard to understand unless you see it. Take a look. Give it a try and
impress everyone at your next presentation.

Next, there are many drawing tools that people make use of. Most
computers come with one drawing tool pre-installed and there are free
tools available on the web (Open Office’s Draw is very good, for example). But Board800
is a little different. For anyone who would like to have a web-based drawing tool that can be
used simultaneously by multiple users, it’s a nice application. You don’t need to download
anything and you don’t even need to register or log in. Though it’s not a powerful
drawing tool, Board800 can be a nice tool for online collaboration and I could imagine many
uses for it in CALL rooms with learners in virtual groups.

And finally, I have often introduced games in this space before. But
recently I found a site that has two types of games. One type is
single-player games, the sort of Flash or Shockwave games that are very common on the web. The other
type is multi-player games that any learner visiting the site can access. With these games,
learners can play competitively with 2 or 3 other players. The games that would be of
interest to language learners are mostly spelling and easy grammar games found on the Language Arts page.

That’s all for this month.