In updating my syllabus I recently added the following free tools for my students to explore:
Big Think is a site where the discussion of myriad issues starts with interviews with today's leading thinks, movers and shakers. The interactive aspect is that you can continue the discussion by uploading your own views through the use of multimedia or simple text.
Chinswing is a global message board where anyone can add voice messages to ongoing topical discussions. It combines features of podcasting, text forums and live voice chat to create a whole new way to talk.
Record messages using your own phone, create podcasts, post audio to your blog, host conference calls.
Create and share multimedia content for iPod.
Screencast-o-matic is a free online tool which lets you create recordings of your desktop with audio and then upload them to share or export them to Quicktime all from your browser for free.
Vaestro is a free tool which allows you to create your own Vaestro Voice Channel. Each Voice channel is a self contained space where you can create topics for voice recordings.
A VoiceThread is an online media album that can hold essentially any type of media (images, documents and videos) and allows people to make comments in 5 different ways - using voice (with a microphone or telephone), text, audio file, or video (with a webcam) - and share them with anyone they wish. A VoiceThread allows asynchronous group conversations to be collected and shared in one place, from anywhere in the world.