Web Guide

A quick guide to various educational resources and pedagogical tools available online.  Last updated 2/18/2016.

Remind.com

The service (https://www.remind.com/) is free to educators and students, and it essentially sends a text message or  email reminder with a short message you create (140 characters or less).  The messages can be scheduled ahead of time or sent immediately, and they are an ideal way to remind students of upcoming due dates and tasks.  Students can text or email to enroll, or you can add people by email invitation.  Managing the messages is easy: you can create, edit, or delete messages through their website or app.  Both students’ phone numbers and your number (if you run it through your phone) remain anonymous.  You can even allow students to reply to your messages or chat with you.  The setup is quick and easy.

Forvo.com

Forvo (http://forvo.com/) is a crowd-sourced website that offers pronunciation audio files for words and names in hundreds of languages.  You can search without creating an account, but with the creation of a free account you can also request a pronunciation, add your own, and create a list of favorites or download the .mp3 file for specific words.  Regional variations and pronunciations with both male and female native speakers are often available too.  Audio files are limited to 2.5 seconds and words must be less than 40 characters, but the website’s goal is to provide a reference for every word in the world.  This is an ideal quick reference for anyone learning a new language or curious about a pronunciation they read in a text.

Ginkgotree

Ginkgotree (http://ginkgotree.com/) allows you to create your own collection of journal articles and materials for a course.  It is free for instructors, and creates a course portal where you can build lessons and content.  The course can contain websites, documents and materials you create (including html), or collections of chapters and articles from published journals and books.  Ginkgotree takes care of obtaining the copyright permissions for materials in the course “pack.” Students are charged $20 plus the cost of copyright materials.  Ginkgotree has partnerships with multiple publishers, including: McGraw-Hill, Pearson, Cengage Learning, Waveland Press, bluedoor, FA Davis, and OpenStax.  And in terms of integrating with an existing LMS, they have also partnered with Blackboard, Canvas, Desire2Learn, and eCollege. It is a promising site to bundle materials for students at a reduced cost, while allowing students to read some of the latest articles in a field where your institution’s library may not have a subscription to those journals.  It also can potentially serve as a way for faculty to build courses (minus assessments, of course) and keep that content easily “transferable” from semester to semester or one LMS to another.