Friday, September 29, 2006

[TIPS] - Exploring language and Google Reader

 
This is an excellent series about language. Sometimes it's what is NOT said that says the most. Very interesting.
 
- - - Bonus - - -
 
This is Google's version of an RSS aggregator - like bloglines.com. I don't know, I tried it, but I still prefer bloglines. See what you think.
 
- - mailinglist in testing - - -
My mailing list IS ready but we're testing it now to make sure that it works correctly. Next week, for sure!
 

Thursday, September 28, 2006

[TIPS] - StainedGlass Collage and a correction

Do you have digital pictures? Do you have a Flickr account, maybe? Either way you'll love this fun and easy to use mashup that lets you make collages out of your pictures. Here's the website:  http://www.stainedglasscollage.com/ Want to see a sample? Well, as luck would have it, I've got one. Can you guess what the images are? :-)  http://www.stainedglasscollage.com/ext-view.jspx?id=ub7w40tf
 
- - - Correction - - -
A correction to yesterday's late tip about the K12 Online Conference. Once again Groupwise messed up the URL for some reason.  Some of you were able to see the mistake and correct it. The correct URL for that online conference is: http://k12onlineconference.org/ The conference is free, it's online, and it's purpose is ... well, here:
 
The "K12 Online Conference" is for teachers, administrators and educators around the world interested in the use of Web 2.0 tools in classrooms and professional practice! This year's conference is scheduled to be held over two weeks, Oct. 23-27 and Oct. 30- Nov. 3 and will include a preconference keynote. The conference theme is "Unleashing the Potential." 
 
- - - Coming Soon - - -
I thought it was going to be today, but someday soon you'll see a link here that you'll click to generate an email that will subscribe you to the NEW tips list coming from a real mailing list (listserv software). You'll have two options. First, you can subscribe to the email list and get the tips in your email. Or, you can always just subscribe to the tipline blog (http://tipline.blogspot.com) and get the tips in your aggregator.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

[TIPS] - Bonus - K12Online Conference

You can use the following as an annoucement!

www.k12onlineconference.org

Announcing the first annual "K12 Online 2006? convention for teachers, administrators and educators around the world interested in the use of Web 2.0 tools in classrooms and professional practice. This year's conference is scheduled to be held over two weeks, Oct. 23-27 and Oct. 30- Nov. 3 with the theme "Unleashing the Potential." The K12 Online 2006 blog has just gone live.

On the conference blog you will also find the web form we will be using for the submission of proposals. Everyone is encouraged to submit a proposal. More details are on the conference blog: www.k12onlineconference.org. The blog will be updated regularly with everything you need to know about the conference.

Tags: k12online, k12online06


K-12 Online Conference 2006

[TIPS] - techLEARNING.com article on keeping kids safe online (and a bonus)

You'll have to create an account here to read the entire article, but once you do you can download the pdf file of this article and many more. Very nice, I think. No spam, either.
 
- - BONUS - -
Still using IE for your web browsing? Here's another article about yet another flaw in IE that could compromise your computer: http://snipurl.com/xe4y
 
Or, get Firefox here: http://www.mozilla.com/firefox/ 
- - -
Almost ready to put these tips on a mailing list of their own. Watch for the notice soon.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

[TIPS] - everystockphoto.com - and eternal sunsets

- - - snip - - -
everystockphoto.com is a search engine for creative commons photos, located in Vancouver, BC. We aim to be a community for designers, developers, photographers and other media publishers who want better, easier access to license-specific media on the web.
- - - -
And here's a bonus for every one of you who enjoys a sunset. This page: http://www.eternalsunset.net/more.php has links to cameras around the world that will show you sunset, almost at any time during the day. Not quite, but close. There's also a map at the bottom of the page that shows the areas of the earth in daylight and in darkness. Notice the shape of the two areas? What's coming up soon?
 
Does that remind you of the clock at nist (http://nist.time.gov/timezone.cgi?UTC/s/2/java) that we talked about last year? How many of you will be doing that with your students again this year? Take a screenshot (Alt-PrintScreen) of that page once a week and post it on your bulletin board. Watch the seasons change as the maps change.
----
P.S.
The new mailing list is almost ready. Watch this space for details of how you can subscribe.

Monday, September 25, 2006

[TIPS] - Colleges warning about social networking sites

I'm a big advocate of the use of blogs in education, if you haven't guessed. I think the blog tool can be used for GREAT things in the classrooms. Sadly, however, sites like My Space and Xanga, and Live Journal have given blogs a major black eye. But that's like saying that car accidents are giving automobiles a black eye. The tool is still a good one, but people use it poorly.
 
Take this article, for example: http://snipurl.com/x3xy . Colleges are warning their incoming freshmen about the public nature of blogs. People have been fired for what they say in their blogs. Others have been denied jobs, or, as you'll read, entire sports programs have been suspended due to blog postings.
 
Let's EDUCATE the kids about blogs. How many of your students do you think would cringe if they thought that their parents were reading their My Space blogs? For that matter, do you know how to find out if YOUR child has a My Space blog? Check this article: http://www.komando.com/tips/index.aspx?id=807
 
It's nothing to be cavalier about, for sure. It's serious business.
 
But, the blog tool is STILL a good tool. The ax is a great tool, too - in SPITE of Lizzie Borden. :-)
- - -
Coming soon... a REAL Tips listserv. For several reasons I'm going to be moving this tips list onto a real listserv. When it's ready I'll include a link in this email and all you'll have to do is click the link and send the resulting email message from the address where you wish to receive the tips. Watch for it.

Friday, September 22, 2006

[TIPS] - a wiki example

Want to see an example of a wiki used with a class? This one is for a class that's studying the Scopes Monkey Trial. It appears that the teacher set up the front page and the students are filling in the other pages. What do you think?
 
 
- - - CONGRATULATIONS! - - -
Congratulations goes out to the districts in our IU who received the Classrooms For the Future grants.
Big Springs, Camp Hill, Shippensburg, Lower Dauphin, and West Shore. The laptops are coming. Will YOU be ready for them? 

Thursday, September 21, 2006

[TIPS] - Net Family News - kid-tech news for parents

This links to where you can choose to subscribe to a newsletter chuck full of articles dealing with Internet safety. Parents, get this one so you know where the dangers are. It's nothing to be cavalier about, for sure.
 
Teachers with Moodle classes - you can subscribe to the RSS feed for this newsletter using this link: http://netfamilynews.org/newsletter.xml Just paste it into the Manage My Feeds section in your Moodle class to have those news items brought right into your class.
 
Oh, teachers... ever heard of http://stu.dicio.us/ ? Can you get to it at school? Check it out. Maybe you'll want to get this one blocked. Here's what the site says about itself:
 
- - - snip - -
 Studicious is a service created for students, by students.

Our goal is to break down as many barriers as possible towards what should be the objective of all educational institutions: the free flow of information.

Sharing notes is not cheating. Everyone should have every advantage possible in increasing individual knowledge.

[TIPS] - Video Mash-Up

Mashups are when two sites combine their resources to produce a third product. This isn't really a mashup. but it IS clever. The Washington Post has produced a short video of a reporter asking certain questions. The goal of the viewer is to find other clips and edit them into this video to produce a (hopefully) funny result. While they may want you to use real footage, this might be a good project for your class.
 
(This was the tip I didn't get to send yesterday)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

[TIPS] - Net Family News and Moodle story

This may be a newsletter that you'll want to subscribe to. What is Net Family News? "A nonprofit public service providing a forum and "kid-tech news" for parents and educators in more than 50 countries. The forum is 24/7; news is weekly via email and podcast and daily via blog and RSS feed. " Check it out. If you've got kids at home then this is something you're going to WANT to have.
 
Here is the RSS feed: http://netfamilynews.org/newsletter.xml I've added it to the front page of Moodle, too.
 
Oh, and speaking of Moodle, check out this story that was posted in the Moodle forums:
- - -
This is our first year of committed Moodle usage at a high school in Texas. With over 100 faculty and staff and about 1000 students we are averaging over a quarter of a million hits per day. All of the teachers have a Moodle presence.

Last night as I walked out to our home football game, with a custom-made shirt with MOODLE written across it a chant grew in the stands. The chant was "MOO-DLE, MOO-DLE". The student's cross their middle figures to make an "M" during the chant. I am waiting for the next chant to develop "We've got Moodle yes we do, we've got Moodle how 'bout you?". It is exciting to see so many Moodle fans!
 

Monday, September 18, 2006

[TIPS] - Wanna work a wiki ?

:-)
 
I've set up a wiki page at the wikispaces site that I mentioned last time. I know that many of you just aren't brave enough yet to create one of your own, so here's a chance to work with one. http://jgates513.wikispaces.com/
 
So far this is open to the public, but if the spammers find it I will have to force users to enroll and then log in to edit.
 
This will be easy and (hopefully) fun. It'll be basic - unless one of you brave souls wants to try to add an image somewhere, that is. Here's how it works. This is a place to go to share links to your favorite sites. On the front page and in the side navigation area I've got links for Math, Science, etc, etc. Click on the one for your subject area. When you get to your page, click the Edit This Page button just above the text area. Now you can edit that page.
 
If I've missed it and you don't want to be filed under Misc then please add it. Just type the word and then put double brackets around it, like this: [[Homework Help]]  That will automatically be turned into a link when you save the page.
 
To link to a site, type the name of the sight, say, "Math Forum" (without the quotes), and then click the Hyperlink icon in the editor toolbar. It's the globe on the left. A dialog box appears. Click the radio button next to External Link, and then paste in your link in that field. Oh, remove the http:// part as it's already  selected for you in that dropdown box. This sounds harder than it is, as it's often more difficult to talk about something than it is to do it, right? You can see my help page here: http://jgates513.wikispaces.com/My+Help
 
The goal here is to give you a non-threatening place to learn to work a wiki. If we get some good links out it all the better. They may turn into Tips one day. :-)
 
OK. Click the link above and give it a try. The first ten people to make an entry WIN!

Friday, September 15, 2006

[TIPS] - wikispaces and Day 5 - the final installment

I've mentioned this before, but it's worth mentioning again, I think. http://www.wikispaces.com is a place to go to get your own wiki at no cost. Go ahead, give it a try. Foreign language teachers, start a wiki for your students where they may only speak/write that language. English Literature teachers, start one about the books you're reading. Social studies teachers, start one about the Revolutionary War or the Lewis and Clark expedition, etc. Let the kids add links and descriptions and images. I KNOW you'll be pleased with the results.
Audio files of this series are available here: http://odeo.com/channel/57888/view (They're not in top-down order, so play according to Day titles)
- - - Day 5 - The Final Installment of Nothing Important Happened Today - - -
I’ve re-read the postings from the past few days, and I’m getting that pit in my stomach again. Our kids aren’t hungry! Worse, many of our TEACHERS aren’t hungry, either. What will historians say about this time in our history 50 or 100 years from now? “They were fat and happy, pompous, and complacent. How could they have missed what was happening all around them?” Move over, King George.

According to this article (http://sanjose.bizjournals.com/sanjose/stories/2004/03/29/focus1.html ), “This year, online enrollment for U.S. degree-granting schools represents 14 percent of all enrollments, up from less than 6 percent in 2000, a compound annual growth rate of 33 percent, according to research company IDC.” Humph! It goes on to say that 16 million people are seeking degrees online – 16 million and one, to be more precise. I started after MY online degree through Bloomsburg after that article was written. :-) Another article claims, “This fall, 2,700 charter schools are in operation across the nation, serving more than a half-million students.” And, according to this article (http://www.uscharterschools.org/cs/n/view/cs_bmsg/3912 ), “Pennsylvania now has 11 cyber charter schools, with more than 10,000 students enrolled statewide, an increase of nearly 50 percent from last year.”

Why are they leaving us? What are they looking for?

Could it be relevance? Could it be, perhaps, that they want to be able to use the tools that they are growing up with in order to study, gather information, collaborate, publish, and learn? Could it be that they’re finding the public schools to be so far behind the ball when it comes to even KNOWING about those tools that the schools have become irrelevant? David Warlick, in his “2 cents worth” blog, wrote, “Never before has a generation been so well prepared to enter the Industrial age.” *Pause for laughter* *Another pause for reflection and panic*

We’ve GOT to start using the tools that they know and use elsewhere or we WILL become irrelevant. We – the TEACHERS – MUST get hungry. We MUST seek professional development opportunities that will provide us with the skills and tools we need. We MUST take them seriously. I’ve been in too many sessions with teacher/prisoners who were there only because they HAD to be there, but NOTHING was going to make them learn anything. You know what I mean. WE must get hungry and we must make our kids get hungry, too …

… before it’s too late.

I’m offering classes – many of them evening classes – on the new web tools like Moodle, wikis, blogs (don’t panic!), and on the Web 2.0 tools in general. I’ll show you how to use RSS feeds to gather and share information with your students. I’ll show you ways that you can use the web as a publishing platform for your students and how to set up collaboration sites, and where to take notes and much more. I DO hope you’ll sign up for some of them. There is SO VERY much at stake here, and another powerpoint isn’t going to save it.

Thank you for indulging me these past few days. I’ll leave today with this blog/diary entry, “Yes, something VERY important IS happening today and we MUST heed it before it’s too late.”



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Thursday, September 14, 2006

[TIPS] - Drawspace and Day 4

Did you ever want to be able to draw better than you do? This site is for you - and for your favorite art teacher. You must register, but it's free. If you've got a "throw-away" email address use it to register. I haven't been registered long enough to know if I get spam from it. I don't think so, though. Choose from Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced lessons. Very nice.


- - - Nothing Important Happened Today - Day 4 of 5- - -
So far we've got... well, I don't want to think about what we've got so far. Do you? Let's just say that we're not quite as happy as we were three days ago. Let's talk about some cool stuff that's going on. Sorta take our minds off of this race.

Google processes about 7.5 Billion queries per month according to this article: http://battellemedia.com/archives/002093.php Weeeeeeeee-yoooooooooo! That's a lot of people asking a lot of questions, don't you think? And that's just ONE search engine.

A quiet revolution has been happening online over the past few years. Some call it Web 2.0. Others eschew the label and still others reject it all together. But, what they're talking about is the change in the web from that of a medium to that of a platform. (Huh?) It went from just a place where you went to get information to the place where you go to publish YOUR information. Blogs, for example. According to the blogherald there are over 100 MILLION blogs - and growing. They could be personal journal/blogs, or they could be informational, like the google sightseeing or the gearth blogs. Granted, many kids are using their blogs in very unsafe ways, but they are being published.

Social bookmarking is another phenomenon that is changing the way people gather or find information. Tagging. I save a bookmark to the site (like del.icio.us, or furl.net, for example) and I tag it with keywords to help categorize it. Now, anytime that someone goes to that site and looks for sites tagged with any of those keywords they'll see MY bookmark, as well. Plus, I can subscribe to, say, the science tag and then anytime anyone posts something and tags it with the word science I'll find out about it. (Thanks to those who have used the for:jgates513 tag!!)

Flickr.com is a great website for sharing pictures. My favorite story of the power of flickr was told by Will Richardson at NECC. His 7 yr old daughter had to write a recipe book about the weather for her teacher. What ingredients go into Summer, Spring, etc. She used her crayons to draw the pictures and write out her ingredients. Her dad then helped her to scan and post her images to flickr. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/wrichard/sets/96435/) Some time later the daughter was admiring her pictures at flickr and noticed that there were about 1100 visitors - people who had seen her pictures. She asked her dad what that it meant and when he told her she paused a while, then said, "I'm going to write a book." That tool so motivated her to think that SHE could put her picture story online and people would read it. How cool is that? Of course, the DOPA act will prevent schools from accessing flickr, but don't worry, the rest of the (hungry) world can - and we're teaching 'em how to make powerpoints. Don't worry about it.

Wikis are web pages that anyone (registered users only) can edit. Wikipedia is the best known, and if you didn't listen to that speech by Jimmy Wales I encourage you to do so. What if you could give YOUR students a web page that either starts off blank or maybe it starts off with a few paragraphs from you in which you set the stage for this unit of study, and you allow the kids to edit it as they see fit? WHAT? Let THEM edit it? Am I CRAZY?

Not at all. I'll BET that if you set up a wiki for your classes, and you commented positively on the growth of the wiki from time to time in your classes, you'd find that the kids would be writing about your content and posting links to great websites and linking to each other's posts and creating this "Web" of information the likes of which you've NEVER seen before. And you'll find those quiet kids who never contribute in class are suddenly making links, too. I can recall one 8th grader who rarely spoke up in Social Studies class, but who was the mischievous computer kid. I KNOW that he would have been the type to make a wiki page about something (on the topic) and he'd show off a bit by making his links a little fancier or he'd find out how to add an image before anyone else, etc. He would start to bloom! Yes, it's possible that someone could get in there and trash someone else's work. But, it's also possible to restore it AND to determine who it was who trashed it so you can change his password for a while so he can't get in. In the meantime, the kids are talking and writing about your content.

All over the world, kids and adults are using technology to share thoughts and ideas, and to collect the thoughts and ideas of others, yet in many schools in America we're not able to do that. We're not able to use the very tools that the (hungry) honor students in China and India and soon to be the kids in the underdeveloped nations are using. What's happening?

Tomorrow I'll share more about some of this very cool stuff, plus examine what's happening to the way kids are getting educated in general. But for today, I'll close with my blog/journal entry, "Yes, it appears that SOMETHING important IS happening today."


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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

[TIPS] - Top 50 Coolest sties and Day 3

Time's 50 coolest websites: http://www.time.com/time/2006/50coolest/index.html How many do YOU use?
 
- - - -  Nothing Important Happened Today - Day 3 - - -
Let's see, so far. they've got more (hungry) honor students than we've got (fat and happy) students. The number of new computers each year world wide will triple - and will be going to the (hungry) children in underdeveloped countries. http://snipurl.com/wcim (And, the top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010 didn't exist in 2004. Fine.
 
Here's a sobering quiz question that I saw presented by the former Gov of Maine (originator of their one-to-one laptop program) and also in Karl's presentation. If you didn't download and watch his powerpoint yet, this will be fun. Ready?
 
Name this country:
It's the richest in the world.
It's got the largest military
It's the center of world business.
It's got the strongest education system.
It's the world center for innovation and invention. (Got a clue, yet?)
It's currency is the world's standard of value. (You're on to it, now, eh?)
And, it's got the highest standard of living. (BINGO!)
 
Think you know it? Yep, the correct answer is. ENGLAND. In 1900.
 
What happened? For that matter, what happened to the great Roman Empire, or the Persian Empire, or the Mongoleans or the Aztecs? Well, nothing lasts forever, right? But, that won't happen to us, though. We're. well. fat and happy - and we're teaching them how to make powerpoints! Relax.
 
Why do the great heavyweight boxers or the top ranked football teams lose to opponents with much less skill? Could it be because those opponents are hungrier? Were the stronger players just too complacent? As Thomas Friedman said regarding this race we're in, they're not racing us to the bottom.
 
Gotta go for today. That's enough to think about. But, my blog entry. sorry ... my journal entry for today reads, "Well, MAYBE something important is happening today."
 
Oh, here's the link to Karl's slideshow. http://thefischbowl.blogspot.com/2006/08/did-you-know.html It's his blog, so you may not be able to find this excellent resource from school. When you do, download both the sound file and the powerpoint and then run the powerpoint to get the full effect. The first few slides focus on his district.



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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

[TIPS] - Goodsearch and Part 2

This article: http://snipurl.com/l602 explains why this website: http://www.goodsearch.com/ may be just what your school needs - an EASY way to make money. Every time you search from this site (search powered by Yahoo!) revenue is generated for the school that you have specified. Thanks to Deb E. for sharing that one. :-)

Oh, and thank you to those who have used the for:jgates513 tag in del.icio.us to share some websites with me. They'll become tips soon, too.

- - - - And Now, Part 2 of "Nothing Important Happened Today" - - -

Yesterday we learned that we're outnumbered by the people in China and India, and we didn't even factor in the rest of the world. Remember , "They've got more (hungry) honor students than we've got (fat and happy) students?" And did I mention that China will be the number one English speaking Nation soon?


Yes, well. so what?


Something else to consider: There are roughly 49 million computers shipped out each year world wide. But, according to Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the $100 laptop initiative, he will send between 50 and 100 million computers to (hungry) children world wide in the first year alone. The global competition will instantly heat up. Listen to his TED conference speech here: http://www.ted.com/tedtalks/tedtalksplayer.cfm?key=n_negroponte


And another point from Karl Fisch's presentation, according to a former Secretary of Education, "The top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010 didn't exist in 2004." Whoa! How are we to prepare our kids for jobs that don't even yet exist? Well, Governor Rendell is trying to put a computer on each of the desks of the major subject areas all across PA. That should help, right? But, what will we do with those computers? I've got it! More powerpoints! Yesssss! That should do it. (Whew!) OK... next issue.


That's enough for one day. All is well with the world. My diary entry still reads, "Nothing important is happening today."

- - -

If you read my blog (http://tipline.blogspot.com) you'll notice that I'm including the podcast (audio file) of this entry at the bottom of the post, thanks to Odeo.com.


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Monday, September 11, 2006

[TIPS] - Solar system model, and Part 1 of 5

We've all either made or have seen one of those Styrofoam ball solar system models of the planets (we had NINE - what were we thinking?) but those models really do justice to the vastness of the solar system, right? Well, how about a true-to-scale model? The scale is 1:93,000,000 and it's the project of Aroostook County in Maine. Check it out: http://www.umpi.maine.edu/info/nmms/solar/index.htm
-----
Today is perhaps an unfortunate day to begin ANYTHING with the title "Nothing Important Happened Today", but do understand that there is no connection between this and 9-11-01. This is part 1 of 5. For the next few days, if you aren't interested reading it, you can of course stop with the tip at the top.
- - -

Nothing Important Happened Today

One of my favorite stories from History class (and there weren't many, as I recall) had to do with King George III and his diary entry on July 4, 1776. It said only, "Nothing important happened today."


Oh, really?


In fact, EVERYTHING changed that day. Forever! How could he POSSIBLY have been so blind to the facts around him to have missed what was happening? In retrospect that comment makes him appear to be arrogant, pompous, and every bit the fool. He and his countrymen were fat and happy, and quite complacent while at the same time there were people in the world who were restless, hungry, and who wanted more. They wanted what HE had!


Lately, I've been reading books like, "The World is Flat", "Collapes: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed", and watching excellent presentations on this topic and I've got this pit in my stomach over the fear that America is fat, happy, and complacent while the rest of the world is hungry and wanting more. So let's take a look. Here are some frightening facts that I found in an excellent powerpoint by Karl Fisch. (I'll post the link later this week. I don't want you peeking.)


Karl says. If you're one in a million, in the United States there are 300 just like you. In India there are 1100 just like you, and in China there are 1300 just like you. He also says, "The top 25% of the people in China with the highest IQ's is greater than the population of North America! And in India it's the top 28%." Continuing, "Translation for teachers: They've got more honor students than we've got students." And, I would add, THEY ARE HUNGRY!!! They want what WE have. As Thomas Friedman ("The World Is Flat") put it, "My parents used to tell me, 'Eat all your vegetables; there are children in China who are starving.' Now I tell my children, 'Do all your homework; there are children in China who want your job! And in a flat world they CAN GET IT!'" YIKES!


We'll take a breather here. Just time enough for my diary entry for today. Let's see. Nope. Nothing important is happening today.


To have this read to you - just because I can make it happen, click the play button below.


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Friday, September 08, 2006

[TIPS] - Water on the Web and a Nettrekker tip

http://waterontheweb.org/
- - snip - -
Water on the Web (WOW) helps college and high school students understand and solve real-world environmental problems using advanced technology.

WOW is a complete package containing two sets of curricula, data from many lakes and rivers nationwide, extensive online primers, data interpretation and Geographic Information System Tools, and additional supporting materials.
- - - snip - -
 
Bonus:
When you log into your Nettrekker account you'll find a button called "Open Read Aloud" above and to the right of where you enter your keywords for searching. Click it to Open that feature. Then, just highlight a paragraph or sentence or even a word and wait a few seconds while it loads. Wow!- it reads that text to you!
 
Know any students who could use that feature?
 
Don't have a Nettrekker account yet? Ask your Tech Director for the information - or email me.

*** still waiting for someone to tag a del.icio.us site with "for:jgates513" - who will be the first? ***

Thursday, September 07, 2006

[TIPS] - 3-d software available, plus fun veggies

Tomorrow is the last day to download - at NO cost - Poser 5. It's a 3d graphics program that, admittedly isn't for everyone, but is very cool for those who do that sort of thing. But don't delay - get it today! :-)
Now, for fun, how would you like to grow novelty vegetables?
- - snip - -

For growing novelty vegetables, these 1/8" thick, clear plastic forms are very effective. Just fix a mold over a growing vegetable, and the vegetable will conform to the shape of the mold.

Available in the form of an elf for shaping eggplant, melon, pumpkin, and squash, or the "pickle pair", corncob or heart (makes heart-shaped cross sections when sliced) for use with cucumber, zucchini and summer squash.

http://snipurl.com/w25w

P.S.

For some reason, names are being dropped from my group addresses. So, if you hear someone say that they're not getting my tips any longer have them email me and I'll add them again.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

[TIPS] - Gore's Ted speech, and a fun mashup

No matter WHAT you think of the man as a polititian, Al Gore's speech is funny and it's thought provoking. Science teachers especially will appreciate this speech given at the TED conference (I've GOTTA get there someday!) about his "An Inconvenient Truth" research. This is the link to stream it: http://www.ted.com/tedtalks/tedtalksplayer.cfm?key=al_gore and this is the link to download it: http://ted.streamguys.net/ted_gore_al_2006.zip This would be an excellent video to watch and then ask your students to write a blog or journal entry about it. They should also try to verify the facts as presented to see what they come up with, etc. Here's the accompanying website: http://www.climatecrisis.net/ Science teachers - this one's for you.
 
Now for the fun mashup. A mashup is when you take data from one website (in this case Google Maps) and mash it together with your own stuff. There are MANY examples, but this one is just for fun - and so may be blocked at school: http://www.isoma.net/games/goggles.html 
 
This creator even lets you use your hometown as the flight area. See the link at the top.
 
 

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

[TIPS] - Sir Ken Robinson at TED

Back again! Last week I sent you a link to a speech by Jimmy Wales on Wikipedia. I do hope you were able to watch that. It's a great perspective on that valuable resource. Here's another speech from that conference (I'm still looking for sponsors) by Sir Ken Robinson. It's both funny and thought provoking, I think. Give it a listen.
And, as a bonus :-) ...
You say you need some video editing software? OK, you Mac folks don't, what with iMovie, and all, but the rest of us might. He's a free one to take a look at http://www.zs4.net. Works on Windoze, Linux, and OSX.
Reminder: to tag something for me at del.icio.us, use for:jgates513