Playing with Technology

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. ~Arthur C. Clarke

Some tools to keep an eye on

Now that we have a number of faculty switching their course management out of Moodle and into WordPress, there are a couple of tasks that need tools to be identified. The two big ones are file sharing and grading. There are a couple of options to monitor for file sharing: Dropbox and Google Drive. There are a number of faculty using each and probably a number that use both. It may come down to personal preference as to which one works best for a given faculty member. There are a number of plugins for WordPress that allow for some amount of integration. As of now, there are not any obvious ways to do similar things for Google Drive.

For online grades I am checking out Engrade and LearnBoost. These seem to be fairly feature rich and easy to use. Again, I don’t know if there can be one perfect gradebook software package. A package that is flexible enough to meet every faculty members grading scheme is usually too confusing to get setup. At the same time the simple packages usually are missing features desired by a number of faculty. I’ll try to have a few faculty use each and see what kind of feedback they give.

I’m also interested in having a few faculty try Learning Catalytics as a classroom response/personal response system. We currently use Turning Technologies TurningPoint audience response system, but have not tried their ResponseWare solution. This may be another option to investigate.






2 responses to “Some tools to keep an eye on”

  1. Jedidiah Rex Avatar

    Hi jon,

    I had the opportunity to sit in on a Google Apps training session with a group of faculty. One of the tools the trainer discussed was Flubaroo ( This tool allows you to use a Google form and spreadsheet to create and automatically grade an assignment. It might be an option for some faculty. You can watche a demo here:


    1. Jon Avatar

      Nice. I’ll have to check it out. Thanks.