Tools used in PiE

A rich array of tools and applications now exist to support the design and implementation of learning experiences. Tools exist both at an institutional level via your desktop and also on the open web.

The best tools are those that teachers and learners can quickly master so they can get on with the task at hand - learning! Engagement can be as simple as using a digital camera or can involve the use of complementary and connected tools and spaces.

No ONE tool will meet all our needs; typically we require a suite of technologies to address the needs of a group of learners in a unique context. Our challenge is to analyse those needs and to select the most appropriate tools and resources to maximise good learning outcomes.

This page will develop during the course of PiE as a collaborative resource to support your experimentation and course design as you find new tools. Please add or edit the content as you feel is needed, and use the PiE Learning Tools forum for general questions, suggestions and feedback. Also can you add you thoughts on the PiE tools i.e pros and cons


SWSITools are Tools that are supported currently by the Innovation and Technology Based Learning unit and are available for use by institute staff.
For a full list click here (SWSI SharePoint login required)
Click here for the center for learning innovation tools resources in Moodle.

Open Internet tools used in PiE

Voicethread is an online tool that enables you to build collaborative, multimedia slideshows using any combination of images, documents, and videos. Once your slides are constructed people may leave comments in 5 ways - using voice (with a mic or phone), text, audio file, or video (via a webcam). Voicethread offers a Moodle filter plugin, iPod compatible exports and can easily be embedded into wiki pages.

Diigo PiE Group sites tagged 'voicethread' - if you find other good sites please use the voicethread tag and add to the list
or - explore some examples of voicethread in use (tag 'voicethreadeg' )

can be accessed from any connection
to allow easy comments, voicethreads need to be public
unless individual invtes are sent
non-text based communication medium


One of the most popular and effective e-learning strategies for education at any level is digital storytelling. Digital stories combine images, voice-overs and sometimes music/sound effects to create a short mini-movie. Typically digital stories are no more than 4 minutes long and are designed to view online. There are a number of desktop and online applications available to create digital stories. One of the easiest for PC users is Photostory3; this should be available on your TAFE netbook.
Photostory is a free Microsoft application down-loadable from the Microsoft site for users with a valid version of Windows.

Other good software options are Adobe Premiere Elements and Movie Maker.
One online tool that looks promising for video editing and digital storytelling is Mixmoov

Diigo PiE Group - sites tagged digitalstorytelling
Diigo PiE Group - sites tagged photostory3

For more info go to Digital Storytelling in SWSITools
Robyn's Photostory3 guide -
ease of use
exports only as a .wmv file which will not play on Macs or mobile devices

will not accept video files

Adobe Connect Pro

Adobe Connect pro is a virtual meeting room software that enables synchronous presentations, meetings or classes. The workspace is based on 'pods' which provide specific functions such as text chat, whiteboards, notes etc. While thre are a number of virtual meeting room options (eg Elluminate) Adobe Connect Pro is the preferred DET platform and the one we will be using for PiE.

Diigo PiE Group - sites tagged adobeconnect

For more info go to SWSITools

can be recorded and revisited
difficult to find times that suit everyone


Online photosharing in plain English
Robyn's 'FlickR in Education' guide

free accounts
some free account limitations
allows students to create a personal visual portfolio
that they can carry with them beyond TAFE
students must learn to manage their account
embeddable slideshows and RSS feeds



Social Bookmarking

Robyn's 'Getting started in Diigo' guide


ePortfolios - Mahara




Robyn's "FlickR in Education" prezi presentation
Prezi Guides


Podcasts (Recording audio)

Stephan Ridgway's recording audio resources


Underpinning concepts


RSS or Really Simple Syndication works like a subscription service.
It makes it possible for people to keep up to date with changes to favourite sites via subscribed 'feeds' which send summaries of new content in an automated manner to your email account or into special programs called aggregators or feed readers.

Once you begin to access and use social software sites you really need to establish some form of RSS feed reader/ aggregator to make life easier.
Google Reader is one popular aggregation service.
While some aggregators are intelligent enough to subscribe to a feed with only the site's primary URL (eg. Bloglines) some require the actual feed URL. Sometimes this is difficult to locate!
Most blogs provide this information via an icon or link in the navigation menu. Look for a simple 'Subscribe here' worded link or this type of icon...

external image RSS.png

The feed address will look something like this (but does vary)-


A tag is a keyword or term assigned to a piece of online content (such as an internet bookmark, digital image, or computer file). Tags help describe the item and allow it to be more easily found again by browsing or searching. Tags are chosen informally and personally by the item's creator or by its viewer, depending on the system. Mostly they have no spaces although it is possible to use underscores (eg. socialbookmarking).

If you are working in a course, group or team it is useful to agree upon a set of tags that will be used for group items in addition to your own personal choices. By doing this you can be sure that content will be easily located by everyone. A TAFE College for example could agree on tags that include: the college name, a format for each course and another for each section.