About this Workshop

Description: Work with technology tools to foster the 21st-century skills of communication, collaboration, problem-solving, visualization, initiative, perseverance, and metalearning using free software for any computer.

Purpose & Objectives: The development of 21st Century Skills calls for 21st Century Tools. There is broad agreement that a forward-thinking technology "toolkit" is a laptop with "office" productivity software, e-mail and web browser, and some multimedia tools. But there are some valuable software tools that can better support the development of 21st Century Skills of collaboration, creativity, problem-solving and so on. The workshop will give special attention to software that supports the kind of deep engagement or deep learning that comes from applying knowledge to authentic projects that relate to the real world.

Some of the best 21st Century Tools are open source software products that are not well known because they have neither advertising budgets nor sales representatives. Each software tool will be demonstrated, and then participants will have time to work on supervised tutorials to get a personal feel for the tools and its application. The workshop will focus on appropriate applications that integrate well with the existing curriculum. Websites and other sources for the free software will be shared.

Participants will be able to identify software to support:

  • remote collaboration in writing, calculating and planning
  • simulation projects in science
  • visualization projects in mathematics
  • knowledge and artistic creation

Participants will learn the basic operation of the following software tools:

  • Google Docs, Wiki, CmapTools
  • PhET Physics, NetLogo, Breve
  • Google Sketchup, POV-Ray
  • Nvu, Terragen, GIMP

PhET Physics Simulations

Workshop Agenda (NECC08)