Which software has the most educational benefit?
Over the past few weeks, I’ve learned about lots of software which gets me really excited by its potential for classroom use: WordPress, Wikispaces, flickr, Flock, ComicLife, Picasaweb, Google Earth, iTunes, iMovie, iDVD, Garageband, LiveWriter, del.icio.us, technorati… you get the picture. There’re also a lot of tried and tested programmes that have an invaluable place in the teacher’s armoury: Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Keynote… Then there are the subjects specific programmes like… er, I’m an English teacher so I don’t actually get any programmes like crocodile clips to play with, but I know they exist.
Anyway, all this software has got me thinking, which single programme (for example, iMovie as opposed to the whole iLife suite, or Powerpoint as opposed to the whole of M$ Office) do you think has the greatest potential for classroom use? I know this is a vst question, but I’m just curious what you use and couldn’t live without.
I’ll start the ball rolling by saying that I think ComicLife is one of the best programmes I’ve found for classroom use. I like its ease of use, but in a classroom, I think it is a stunning tool for helping low achievers to tell a narrative. Give a group of pupils a digital camera and ComicLife and they can script, photograph and composite a really complex narrative that they would never have done if left with just a pen and paper. It is for this reason that I am trying to persuade my PC loving school to buy a couple of MacBooks or iMacs. I can use ComicLife with the less able/motivated pupils to help them achieve more than they would otherwise be pushed to do.
So… over to you! Which single bit of software do YOU think has the greatest classroom potential?