The Technology in Education Caucus held a beta test of the Virtual My Favorite Tool event on Tuesday, November 10, in preparation for the MLA ’21 annual meeting. Four tools were presented to an audience of ninety participants. As promised, the caucus organized a fun and fast-paced event. Margaret A. Hoogland, AHIP, caucus chair, and Michelle Kraft, AHIP, FMLA, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH, ran the Zoom presentation and moderated the chat, shared the polls to vote, and introduced the presenters.
First up was EdPuzzle, submitted by Erin Elizabeth Ware, Health Sciences Library, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center–Shreveport. Her three-minute overview informed participants about how EdPuzzle can be useful to increase engagement and learning in their online classes. The tool allows quizzes to be combined with YouTube videos.
Next up was Remember the Milk, presented by Peter Robert Oxley, Samuel J. Wood Library and C.V. Starr Biomedical Information, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY. This app appears to be a very fancy to do list at first glance. Oxley’s presentation showed how easy it is to organize tasks in various buckets and noted that the tool saves completed tasks so that there is a record of accomplishments. One situation where this tool could be helpful is tracking accomplishments throughout the year to later list in an annual report.
The third presentation was from Melissa K, Kahili-Heede, Health Sciences Library, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii–Manoa, who demonstrated Workflowy. This list-making tool is very intuitive in its design. It connects notes from one project to another, so that if there are multiple stages, you can create multiple lists for each.
Finally, Tara Brigham, AHIP, Mayo Clinic Libraries, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL, shared PiktoChart, graphic design made easy. It is similar to other online graphics tools but has a more reasonable fee if you choose to subscribe. One example Brigham shared is that she used PiktoChart to create eye-catching flyers to post around her library to remind people to be vigilant about wearing masks properly, washing their hands, and remaining socially distant from others.
After each of the presentations, a link was posted in the chat for participants to vote on what they found most useful and user friendly about the tools. At the end of all the presentations, each of the presenters answered questions from the chat. Hoogland and Kraft solicited feedback from the participants about the format and functionality of using the Zoom platform for My Favorite Tool. Conducting a beta test of this event was fun and useful in many ways for the caucus, presenters, and participants to learn what works best in this new format.
Later in the afternoon, the votes were tallied and results shared on several email discussion lists:
- 1st place with 469 votes: PiktoChart, Tara Brigham
- 2nd place with 448 votes: EdPuzzle, Erin Ware
- 3rd place with 442 votes: Workflowy, Melissa Kahili-Heede
- 4th place with 434 votes: Remember the Milk, Peter Oxley
Keep an eye out for My Favorite Tool at MLA ’21. In the meantime, enjoy trying out these new options in your library and at home.