I use the term create to refer to tools that you can use to deliver content and ideas.  Whether you are presenting an idea at a conference or in a class, or you want to post a screencast or presentation online, there is a tool that can meet your need.  I really like the use of wikis or websites to host topic specific content.  These are also great tools for collaborative work, which I will discuss later.  As far as revamping the old PowerPoint, I am a huge fan of Prezi, which is also collaborative.  Lastly, instead of a static embedding of a presentation or idea, screencasting is an amazing way to really get an idea across to an audience in an effective way.  I'll take a few minutes to discuss a few of these tools.

Website/Wiki Creators

Google Sites  To be perfectly honest, this is my least-favorite Google tool because it is a bit clunky and hard to mangage, plus it doesn't always look the same from browser to browser, but with enough work, you can create an effective website for free.  It is also easy to add collaborators, which eliminates the bottleneck that only having one person edit a site can cause.  Here are a few examples of sites that I have either created or collaborated in creating:

JCCS mLearing  This site was created for a training I conducted on integrating iPads into the classroom.

JCCS One-Stop Shop  I created this site to allow JCCS Independent Study teachers to share content on the courses they teach.

Jeffery Heil LEC  This is a portfolio for a trainer of trainers course from the Leading Edge Alliance. It's not my best work, but does model how you could use Google Sites for an online portfolio.

Weebly is my current favorite free website creation tool.  They also have an educator account that allows you to give your students accounts without email addresses.  It is really easy to use and utilized drag-and-drop editing features for each page.

Here is an example of a site for one of our JCCS schools:  SPA

Here is a site my daughter created for a 4th Grade location project: Manzanar War Relocation Center

Some other wiki and website tools that are highly recommended:

Wikispaces  No frills, but functional and free for educators.

Wix  This is a free website creator that looks really clean.  I don't have much experience with it.


I love screencasting as a way to present information or deliver content for my students.  I have learned that the most effective screencasts are less than five minutes long.  There is just something about the magical five minute mark that can hold a viewer's interest, anything longer and the screencast tends to lose its efficacy.  Here are some great tools:

Snaggit/Camtasia  These tools come from the folks at TechSmith, who really are on the leading edge of this type of technology.  Not only do their products allow you to take screenshots and annote them, make screencasts, but they will host your screencasts on their servers.  Snaggit used to be only for picture clipping but has also recently entered the screencast venue (replacing Jing, another TechSmith tool.  Camtasia is more like the professional-grade tool for screencasting, which allows you to edit and add effects.

Screenr and Screencast-o-Matic are free, web-based tools for creating screencasts which you can then embed into a blog or a website. My single-subject students at CSUSM recorded some awesome digital reflection projects with these tools.

Presentation Tools

Prezi  When it comes to online presentation, Prezi is the way to go.  It is a non-linear presentation tool that is fairly easy to use and produces visually amazing presentations.  You basically start with a blank canvas, add content, create a path, and watch even the most boring presentation become interesting. I do; however, caution the beginning user to still remember that it point of the presentation is still to present information, not to showcase all the bells-and-whistles that Prezi can do at the cost of the material to be presented. . .Here is a example of a PLN presentation that I gave at the San Diego CUE Fall 11 Conference.

Google Docs and Spreadsheets (now known as Google Drive) is also a tool you can use to create presentations that can be embedded onto any blog or website.  One thing that GoogleDocs allows you to do is to upload your PowerPoint file and have it converted to Google Present so it can be easily shared. is a type of hybrid between presentations and screencasting.  You can upload your presentation and record yourself giving the presentation.  The free version gives you three 15-minute presentations per month.

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