Using technology in education is useful when it provides a benefit or solves a problem. Education is like any other business, sometimes the technology helps, and other times it becomes a hindrance. SpeakPipe, Quizlet, and Padlet are three, easy to use tools, that help with voice communication, quizzes, and collaboration.
SpeakPipe lets you record audio, free of charge, and share the recording with others. It's simple to use. Click the Start recording button, speak, and click the Save on server button. You can email or share the link to your recording. Your recorded message can be up to 5 minutes in length, and your message is accessible for three months. SpeakPipe also offers monthly subscription plans.
SpeakPipe is perfect for language learners and teachers. Students can practice their pronunciation, send the teacher a link, and the teacher can review it. For students preparing to take the TOEFL, IELTS, or other test that has a speaking component, they can use SpeakPipe to practice their speaking ability.
Quizlet makes it easy and fun to test your knowledge of a subject. It uses the flashcard paradigm. You can use it in a traditional manner, a flashcard appears with a word, phrase, image, etc. and you click on the card to flip it to the other side. Quizlet also provides other ways to test your knowledge, for example, you can display both the front and back of all your cards and then drag and drop the matching pairs together.
Flashcards can display text, image, and audio. Your flashcards are public so anyone can use them. You can upgrade to a teacher's account if you need additional functionality.
Since a lot of people use the free version, there are many sets of flashcards that you may find useful. For language learners, there are French, German, and Spanish flashcards. There are also flashcards for English language learners. Other flashcards include: orchestral instruments, stomach anatomy, tectonic plates, London boroughs, etc.
Padlet is a post it board like Pinterest. You create topic-based boards and post relevant information. There are templates you can choose from when you create a board. One of my favorites is the Question and Answer board. This is a nice way to gather information and have others not only share their answers but express their opinions about the other posted answers. Some other templates include: a story board, a Kan-Ban board to track the progress of a project, and a KWL chart - What I know, What I Wonder, What I Learned. Some of the topic padlets include: Which fast food chain has the best burgers?, Whiteboard: to rebrand or not?, Podcasts, Setting Goals, Best Restaurants in San Francisco, etc.
There are upgrade plans for schools, businesses, and individuals.
Have fun playing with these tools. I hope you find them useful.