Friday, March 30, 2007

[TIPS] Did You Know - The Sequel?

http://thefischbowl.blogspot.com/2007/03/did-you-know-sequel.html

I KNOW you've seen this so you know what I'm talking about. The "Did You Know" powerpoint. It's been shown, and edited, and re-mixed many times, and it's done more to make America aware of this global "Race" we're in than anything. I don't think anyone could argue that point.

Now, a company (XPlane)has approached Karl to put some more production value into this video. Read the brief quote from their letter to him. They want to help him make it into what they call term, "... a more visually-charged event."

But, to do that they want to know what action points folks should take away from viewing this. That's where Karl is asking for our help. He'd like you to help him formulate some questions. These are the action points that folks might consider after watching the presentation.

Now that you've watched this presentation, we would suggest the following:

  • Ask yourself this question: . . .
  • Ask your child(ren)'s (school's?) teacher(s) this question: . . .
  • Ask your child(ren)'s (school's?) principal this question: . . .
  • Ask your child(ren)'s (school's?) superintendent/school board this question: . . .
  • Ask your state representative/senator/governor this question: . . .
  • Ask your congressperson/senator this question: . . .
  • Ask your employer this question: . . .
Answer as many or as few as you like. And, if you think he's missed a good question, tell him that, too. And remember, this just may also be another case of, "Ask NOT what your country can do for YOU; ask what YOU can do for your country." Let's pitch in to help make this as powerful as it can be. For example, "Ask you child's principal, 'What can we, the parents, do to help you in your efforts keep our school in the race?"

This is yet another way that the Internet, and blogs (see? they're NOT always a bad thing!!) are helping to change the world.

[TIPS] Cyber Bullying Project - Stop Cyberbullying

Today is Stop CyberBullying Day. This is largely in recognition of the horrors that plague Kathy Sierra. (Remember this link: (http://headrush.typepad.com/) I do hope that Computer teachers everywhere will take a moment today to mention this problem.

Here are some video resources to use for the day:
1.
http://stopcyberbullying.ning.com/video/video/show?id=665344:Video:199
2.
http://www.netsmartz.org/resources/reallife.htm
3.
http://www.need2know.co.uk/images/downloads/richmedia/Beat_Bullying_Video.mpg - not CYBER bullying, but still good

Looking for a good assignment? How about having the kids make their own video about cyberbullying. Have a contest. Post the winners on teachertube and youtube!

We CAN stop this, but we MUST teach them NOW that it's wrong.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

[TIPS] State's Technology grades

http://www.edweek.org/media/ew/tc/2007/PA_STR2007.pdf

Thanks to John for sharing this on another listserv. For access to technology we get a B. Not bad. For USE of technology - we get a D. Could it be that the @#$%^ lawyers are cutting the legs out from under us every time we try to use it? Could it be rampant paranoia? Could it just be that teachers don't KNOW how to use it? A combination thereof?

Not from PA? Check YOUR state's grades here: http://www.edweek.org/ew/tc/2007/30stc.h26.html

Good luck.

[TIPS] Conservapedia - The "trustworthy" encyclopedia

http://www.conservapedia.com/Main_Page

From the front page: "Scripps Howard News Service, in a story about Conservapedia, quotes a Conservapedia editor: "The reason Wikipedia has become anti-Christian and anti-American is that it is a mobocracy - rule by an unrestrained mob. There are no real principles to guide it, and so bullies end up dominating it." Conservapedia avoids this defect."

Oh my....

[TIPS] An official wikipedia policy

Someone just sent this to me. It's a direct quote from their technology newsletter:

"The major problem with Wikipedia is that often times incorrect information is entered by users either intentionally or unintentionally. There have also been reports of inappropriate messages being posted in place of accurate information on
certain topics. Because of this possibility, most school districts, including ours has blocked Wikipedia from its list of approved websites. Wikipedia is still a good resource, but make sure your students realize the information they receive from wikipedia.org may not be correct and they should verify their information with another source."
- - -
It is blocked now and forever more, as far as the current leadership is concerned.

I'd LOVE to read that a parent group has formed to sue that district to have them open it up. Agreed - don't cite it, but DO use it for its external resources, if NOTHING else. DO TEACH the kids about it. But DON'T BLOCK IT!, for crying out loud!!! ARGHHHHH!!!!!

[TIPS] the rappin math teacher

This is fun - The Rappin Math teacher. Check her out here: http://www.teachertube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=46495a8da1e5352d03ca

[TIPS] wiki note of caution

Just a few moments ago I happened to be in my own wikispaces wiki. For about 15 seconds I was distracted by the conversation at hand and when I looked back down to my page there was some text there that had no place in my wiki. Granted, I didn't spend much time looking at it, and immediately I assumed that my wiki had been spammed. So, I did what any wiki owner would do - I deleted the content.

It turns out that I had been invited to attend that wiki, and for SOME reason I was taken right there. I hadn't even seen the email invitation yet. So, I had no way of knowing that I wasn't looking at my own wiki. Yes, I COULD have looked at the name in the corner, but why would I even think to do that? I had clicked a link in my own wiki, turned my head, and saw what I thought was spam.

The good news is that we were able to recover all that text, although the formatting was largely gone. The bad news is that I felt like a REAL schmuck for doing that. I'm supposed to be a techie kinda guy.

Bottom line - let's be careful out there. :-)

[TIPS] Jott and gmail trick

http://lifehacker.com/software/to-do-list/jott-%252B-gmail--to+do-list-by-phone-247701.php

Imagine that you can create an online to-do list with a phone call. That's what this little tip explains how to do. You use Jott which converts voice to text and gmail to get this working.

Pretty interesting, eh?

[TIPS] New from Dell

http://weblog.techruminations.org/2007/03/dell-coming-with-desktop-and-laptop.html

Kurt Paccio brings us this article about Dell shipping laptops with pre-installed LINUX!!! Read Kurt's article. Makes sense, eh?

[TIPS] more fonts - betterfonts

http://betterfonts.com/

I've had this one sitting around for a couple of months. Not sure where I learned of it. It's another site with fonts. These are saved as zip files. If you need help learning how to get the font out of the zip file and what to do with it afterwards, let me know and I'll either send you my handout on it, or I'll post it to my blog.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

[TIPS] stop cyberbullying images

http://www.dangerouslyirrelevant.org/2007/03/stop_cyberbully.html

Dr Scott McLeod, author of the above blog, has made available some "Stop CyberBullying" images that you can freely use on YOUR website. I put one on our Moodle site here: http://moodle.caiu.org. Check it out.

He has created this image in three different sizes. I encourage you to download one and put it on YOUR site, as well. Let's do what we can to STOP cyberbullying.

[TIPS] Stop CyberBullying Day

http://www.pbs.org/teachers/learning.now/2007/03/march_30_participate_in_stop_c_1.html

Cyberbullying is not new. If you've ever seen an i-safe presentation then you've seen this topic discussed. What a shame that some folks are using this medium to reach out and bully - even THREATEN - others.

But, the above article is from Andy Carvin (the one who brought us the video of Amanda) and he's trying to generate momentum to declare this Friday as Stop CyberBullying Day. Why now? Read this: http://headrush.typepad.com/

I didn't mention this before because I was afraid that folks would latch on to this as the latest reason that they don't allow student or teacher blogs. While this is a serious issue, it is rare, but I'll bet that this new publicity will make it more common - regrettably.

So, if you can, take a moment this Friday to comment to your students about cyberbullying. The i-safe.org site has some excellent resources, and I know that there are many other cites that have excellent resources, as well. If you can stop those in your school form participating in cyberbullying, and others are successful in their schools... we just may eliminate this very ugly side of life online.

[TIPS] Another reason why I read blogs

http://www.infinitethinking.org/2007/03/itm-5-calculate-this.html

Watch this video. From it you'll get some excellent ideas for using spreadsheets, you see a great google earth challenge, and much more. This guy does some great stuff. I encourage you to subscribe to his blog. Excellent stuff!

But, whether you subscribe to it or not, do watch the movie above.

[TIPS] Two free goodies for PBwiki educational users

Do you use the PBwiki? That's the PeanutButter wiki at pbwiki.com. If you do then you probably also received this email from them. If not, then this may be a reason to create your wiki at pbwiki.
---
Hi,

We have two free new goodies to announce for educational PBwikis.

Don't feel guilty if you have the urge to forward this email to 10 of your
friends. We won't mind.

1. PBwiki Presenter Packs
If you're giving a presentation about wikis, we'll ship you a free PBwiki
t-shirt, an easy-to-read PDF about wikis, a Powerpoint with pictures of
real PBwiki users, and 3 FREE Gold Premium wikis to give out to your
audience. We've already distributed over 100 Presenter Packs to educators
around the world, and we'd love to give you one, too.

Get your PBwiki Presenter Pack here:
http://educators.pbwiki.com/PBwiki%20Presenter%20Packs


2. The coolest videos in the world
We went out and filmed real educators who use PBwiki, asking them
questions about how they use PBwiki, what they like, what we can improve,
and common concerns that they had using PBwiki. Now we're thrilled to
unveil 7 gorgeous videos about using wikis in education:

* "How do you use PBwiki?"
* "Is PBwiki safe?"
* "How does collaboration work?"
..and more. Use these videos in your classroom, show them to friends who
are new to wikis, or just watch them endlessly over and over.

The PBwiki Educator Videos:
http://educators.pbwiki.com/PBwiki

Enjoy!

David, Ramit, Nathan, Emily, Brian, and Darren
Your PBwiki Team
- - -
The only part of the videos that drives me UP A WALL is the one woman who makes statements with the inflection in her voice of a question. Drives me Up A WALL!!! ARGGGHHHHH!!!

::sigh:: Don't get me started. Or should I say, "Don't get me started?" :-)

[TIPS] fonts fonts fonts

This one comes from Kim Komando's list. http://www.creamundo.com/index.php?lang=en
 
Fonts are tons of fun. Holiday fonts are a must-have for every elementary school teacher. Even high school teachers can use fonts to help set the tone for a lesson. The problem with fonts is two fold. First, you can't install them on your school computer. Second, if you install them on your home computer then you have to know how to save them in your document if you wish to print the document at school or send the file to someone else. If they don't have that same font then it gets replaced by Arial, and it looks AWFUL!
 
So let's assume for the moment that you've installed a font on your home computer and you've created a document that you will email to yourself at school, or you'll take it to school on your jump drive. Here's how you save the font IN your document so that you can see it at school.
 
On a windows machine, in Word, choose Tools>Options. Click the Save tab. In the top section of the save options is a checkbox to "Embed Truetype Fonts." Check that box. Two more become visible. The first suggests that you just embed the letters that you've used. That's fine if you 100% sure you won't be changing anything. But, the fonts don't add that much to the weight of the file, I'd leave that alone and have the entire font embedded in the file. Sadly, this option isn't available on the Mac version, and if that person sends you (Mac user) his file with the embedded fonts, you still can't see them.
 
Then, the second checkbox suggests that you NOT embed regular system fonts. Leave that checked. No sense weighing the file down with the Times New Roman Font if everyone has it anyway.
 
Now you can send the file to anyone (windows users only) and they'll be able to see your cool font - and print your document, as well.
 
Now, how can you use those fonts at school? Create a file that contains maybe just one word written in that font. Save it as a template. Send it to yourself at school. When you want to use that font just open that template file. You can always switch fonts at any time to a system font, but at least the cool font is there for your use.
 
There's more than one way to skin the cat, eh? ;-)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

[TIPS] techenhancedlearning Â* Vicki Davis

http://techenhancedlearning.wikispaces.com/Vicki+Davis

For those of you who are still gathering your data about the wikis, this may be one that will help you find what you're looking for. Vicki Davis, aka CoolCatTeacher, (here's an interesting recent post of hers: http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com/2007/03/back-over-to-teacher-tube-when-laughter.html) is one of the featured folks on this wiki, and she's got lots of great information on here. While you're there, check out Anne Davis' page, and Chris Craft's. Also check out the links about blogging and Project Based Learning (PBL).
There's lots of good material here.

Monday, March 26, 2007

[TIPS] Kapp Notes: Content Guide

Dr Karl Kapp is a professor at Bloomsburg and is in the process of writing a book about gaming in education. He's posted many blog articles on the subject but THIS article lists them all from his blog. Yes, your districts wants to block ALL games. But, check out some of these. The list is HUGE!
 
Check them ALL out, if you can get to them. And, if you're so inclined, leave a comment on his blog to tell him what you think of the link and of educational games in general.
 

[TIPS] If you missed the PETE&C conference...

Thanks again to Chris C for sharing this with me via the for:jgates513 tag in del.icio.us.
 
If you missed PETE&C then you missed the keynote speaker, Joe Caruso, who spoke about the Education Revolution. Now, ala the Ted Conference, perhaps, you can watch his keynote address - or at least the meat of it. See it here: http://snipurl.com/17k9n
 
There are some spliced-in sections from some other conference. :-) Can you tell which one?

Friday, March 23, 2007

[TIPS] Top web tools for college bound students

Thanks to Kevin C for sharing this via the for:jgates513 tag on del.icio.us

http://www.nextstudent.com/NextPath/nextPath-Online/Top-Web-Tools-for-College-Students.asp

Check out this list of web tools that every college bound senior should know about - according to this review, at least. Some great sites.

[TIPS] Build your bridge contest

THIS is cool. http://bridgecontest.usma.edu It's the 2007 West Point Bridge Design Contest. Students ages 13 and up can download the software, design the bridge and submit it for national Judging. Teachers can conduct local bridge designing ocntests and track the event with their own web-based scoreboard.

You should see how slick it is. The software tells you how much your bridge will cost, and when you're ready, a truck will try to cross the chasm over your bridge. Will the bridge hold up or collapse under the weight of the truck? Great graphics.

The only down side is that it's a windows only application. I know... I'm broken hearted, too.

Thanks to John Z for sharing this with me today.

[TIPS] A solution to YouTube?

Thanks to Kurt for his post (via Cliotech - http://cliotech.blogspot.com/) regarding what just may be the solution to our You Tube frustrations. TeacherTube! http://teachertube.com/ Doesn't the very THOUGHT of this bring a tear of joy to your eye?

Hurry - check it out.

(I really don't like sending these tips via our groupwise webaccess - I can't make links!)

[TIPS] Reports from a Warming Planet

This one comes from the Education World Review newsletter. http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/earlysigns/index.html


Again, this is meant to be a site that you examine, perhaps along with the others I've sent out, in an effort to find the facts. I think a global warming wiki would be a fascinating project, don't you?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

[TIPS] PBS Teachers site

Many thanks to Leann C for sharing this one.
Here's what the site says about itself:
"Free Resources for Teaching & Learning

PBS Teachers is PBS' national web destination for high-quality preK-12 educational resources. Here you'll find classroom materials suitable for a wide range of subjects and grade levels. We provide thousands of lesson plans, teaching activities, on-demand video assets, and interactive games and simulations. These resources are correlated to state and national educational standards and are tied to PBS' award-winning on-air and online programming like NOVA, Nature, Cyberchase, Between the Lions and more."

Thanks, Leann!

[TIPS] March07-issue of Bits n Bytes

http://www.caiu.org/43833812384423/lib/43833812384423/_files/March07-issue.pdf

Almost forgot! The latest edition of the Bits n' Bytes newsletter. We hope you enjoy it.

In this issue:
The Sorenson System - for the deaf
Learning Focuesd Schools info
Safe Online Banking
Staff Profile
Online student newspaper

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

[TIPS] list of cool flickr tools

I'm using citebite again to share a list of cool flickr tools. Two things to learn here. The first is how citebite takes you right to the spot on the page that I want you to see, now highlighted in yellow. The second is the list of flickr mashups.
 
 

[TIPS] lit2go

Thanks to Ken P for sharing this one: http://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/index.htm - Lit2Go
 
From the site:
 

Lit2Go is a free online collection of stories and poems in Mp3 (audiobook) format. You can:

  • Download the files to your Mp3 player and listen on the go
  • Listen to the Mp3 files on your computer
  • View the text on a webpage and read along as you listen
  • Print out the stories and poems to make your own book
VERY cool site!!

[TIPS] the clustrmaps PROVE it!

I hesitated for the longest time to put one of these on my blog, but I finally gave in. My curious ego won out over my fragile ego.
 
Clustrmaps are tiny maps that your put on your website. They give you the code - free - and you put the code on your website. When people visit the site it registers the location of the IP address of that person. I figured I'd keep it there for a couple days and if the only hits I got were from the local area (Thanks to my family and friends!) I'd take it down, ever humbled by the experience.
 
But, I just looked at it, and it's saying that I've gotten hits from Alaska, Africa, Australia, China... oh WOW!!! What a RUSH!!!
 
Now, I'm not so naive as to think that these are all real people. The hits could be from hackers and bots trying to comment spam. Fine! Spoil an old man's fun, why don't you? *I* choose to think that they are real people, and that they will leave a comment to prove it! (An obviously transparent ploy?) So, don't rain on my parade, bucko. I'm going to bed tonight thinking that this little blog has world wide attention! YES!!!
 
:-)
Oh... you say you only get these tips via the listserv and you didn't even know I HAD a blog? ::sigh:: Well, here it is: http://tipline.blogspot.com. Check out my clustrmap in the top left corner. Wooohooooo!!!

[TIPS] NPR : Have You Heard About B Flat?

OK, so YOU may not be intrigued by that subject line, but music teachers (and former music teachers) ARE. Send this along to your favorite music teacher.
 
Just like there are mysteries about certain numbers and ratios, it appears that  good old B flat has some mystery surrounding it, as well. Did you hear the story on NPR the other day? If you missed it, you can listen to it here:

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

[TIPS] The Futures Channel Movies and Activities

Thanks to Kristin for sharing this one via the for:jgates513 tag in del.icio.us. This website has video of real world applications of math and science. Perfect for your skeptical students. Excellent quality and lots of them. From their About page:
 
"The Futures Channel was founded in 1999 with the goal of using new media technologies to create a channel between the scientists, engineers, explorers and visionaries who are shaping the future, and today's learners who will one day succeed them."
 
Check it out.

Monday, March 19, 2007

[TIPS] Four math sites 4 U

Someone recently asked for some new math sites. Here are three that I know I haven't done before, and the last one I think I HAVE given you before. All came from browsing through the Math tag at del.icio.us.

http://home.swiftdsl.com.au/~mattg/

[TIPS] Google Gadgets For Your Webpage

Do you have a web page? You do? Excellent! How would you like to spruce it up? Maybe add the pacman game, or the weather, or any of a number of different little gadgets. Well, here is the place to start looking.

http://www.google.com/ig/directory?synd=open&num=24&cat=all

You can add all sorts of things right on your webpage with the code they ultimately provide. What fun!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Read how nanotechnology will change EVERYTHING

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/robotics/2007-03-15-batteries_N.htm?csp=34



Batteries that will let us get 150 miles per gallon? Batteries that we will WEAR? Read about these amazing advancements in batteries. Project this out 25 years. Amazing.





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[TIPS] Blackwell's Best - Online Projects

Here's another link that came from PETE&C. Kristen had this on her links wiki for her workshop.

http://www.vickiblackwell.com/projects.html

This is a list of Internet projects of all sorts. While you're there check out Vicki's other links on the left.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

This was a pleasant surprise

Today was out high school computer fair. I had 52 high school age kids in a large room while judges reviewed their projects. I decided to use our CPS system to have them play a little trivia for "valuable prizes" - cans of almonds. They really seemed to get into it, in spite of the fact that they knew very few of the answers.

One question was, "To eliminate household odors, put saucers of ___ around the house." Something like that. The answer was vinegar. I then paused to interject a story of how I removed the smoke odors from my car when I quit smoking. I began with, "About 13 years ago I quit smoking and when..." But before I could finish, this group of 52 kids broke into applause! Can you imagine that? First that they would even care about my story, but then that they have such strong feelings about smoking. How 'bout that?

I applauded them in return for feeling that way about that ugly addiction, and I once again realized how much I miss working with them.

How 'bout that?

[TIPS] Easy School Search

Here's another one that I found.. somewhere. It may have been on del.icio.us. Someone may have used the for:jgates513 link to send it to me. Or, although doubtfully, I could have discovered it on my very own. If I found this through YOU, please let me know and I will credit you.
 
In any case, check it out. When you get there type in your zipcode and it will show you the schools around that area along with some interesting data about them. Not test scores (whew!) but demographic type of data. YOUR school is on there.
 

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

[TIPS] Quizlet - The End of Flashcards

 
From the site:
"Here's how it works:
  1. You enter a vocabulary list of any words or data you want. (ex. SAT words, history dates, French-Spanish translations, etc.)
  2. Quizlet gives you a specialized learning mode, flashcards, randomly-generated tests, and collaboration tools for classmates to help you study those words.
  3. You ace your test."
- - - -
Here's the cool part. While you're there, check out the "About" page.
 
My apologies to whomever told me about this site. I didn't write your name down when I bookmarked it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

[TIPS] GoogleLit Trips

This tip came from Will Richardson's blog via Sue S in CYSD. When you get here click the 9-12 link or the resources link at the top of the page. What you're going to find are links to .kmz files for Google Earth) that plot various locations that are mentioned in various pieces of literature, from Macbeth to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. A great idea. Subscribe to the site to learn when new adventures/lit-trips are posted.
 
Oh, and you can contribute a lit-trip of your own, as well. Maybe have your students team up to do one. Yes?

Monday, March 12, 2007

[TIPS] Welcome to a worldwide learning network - OER Commons

http://www.oercommons.org/

Wow... this one is HOT! Several people sent this me after reading about it on various blogs. Called, "A WorldWide Learning Network", this site contains over 8000 resources that fall into the Open Educational Resources (OER) category. Read what the site says about itself:

"OER Commons is the first comprehensive open learning network where teachers and professors (from pre-K to graduate school) can access their colleagues' course materials, share their own, and collaborate on affecting today's classrooms. It uses Web 2.0 features (tags, ratings, comments, reviews, and social networking) to create an online experience that engages educators in sharing their best teaching and learning practices.

The emergence of OER signals the growing trend toward openness for teaching and learning materials."

- -

Do you follow that? Open access to educational materials. Remember MIT's open courseware project? This is great news in itself, in terms of providing for an educated world. But, when you combine this with the $100 laptops and the great strides that other countries are making in bringing high speed connectivity to the people... The Race has now picked up its pace. What is YOUR school doing to make sure your students are prepared for this race?

Thursday, March 08, 2007

[TIPS] Evoca - Easily create, organize, share and search voice recordings.

I was pointed to this a while back when following the progress of the Flat World Wiki Project. I think I even wrote about it once, but it must have been before I started posting to the blog, as well.
 
Anyway, here's what the site says about itself:
 
"Evoca makes it very simple for everyone to instantly create, organize, share and search voice recordings.
  • Create a recording using your phone, PC mic, SkypeT or upload an existing recording.
  • Organize and share with tags, albums and groups.
  • Search the content of your recordings word for word. Really."

Game 3.0???

http://www.playfuls.com/news_06448_Web_20_Is_Old_News_Sony_Gives_You_Game_30.html

Thanks to Joe B for sharing this on a listserv that I receive. This is the next step in gaming software. Here's a quote from the article:

"The power of consumer creativity via Game 3.0 leverages trends such as online collaboration and user-generated content with the goal of creating an engaging new experience in interactive entertainment and new streams for creative game development. In contrast to the current game development and publishing paradigm, Game 3.0 reverses the trend of “pushing” content dictated solely by the developer, and puts the spotlight back on the consumer, encouraging them to become part of the game creation process. What is different is how this can be applied to an even broader degree creating new business models that expand the audiences and scope of interactive entertainment."

And, "
The new service, 'Home', puts users into a real-time, networked 3D community, where they can interact, join online games, communicate, share content and even build and show off their own personal spaces. Home will be available this fall as a free download from the PS3 Store."

Think about the possibilities! Project this out another 5 years. Ten years! Holy mackerel!

Also think about this, "Where will all this stuff be stored?" Do you have stock in companies that build hard drives?







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[TIPS] underground ocean found

Science teachers... have you seen this?
http://www.livescience.com/environment/070228_beijing_anomoly.html


"Scientists scanning the deep interior of Earth have found evidence of a vast water reservoir beneath eastern Asia that is at least the volume of the Arctic Ocean. "

Livescience is a great website for science teachers. It has an RSS feed, too. You can subscribe to it and pull in their new articles right into your Moodle class. But, of course you KNEW that, didn't you? :-)

[TIPS] A movie to see - Animal School

Another one from Karl Fisch. THis was posted some time back, but I hadn't taken the time to watch it until recently. This short video (actually a slideshow with sound and automated advancing) is very thought provoking. What if the ANIMALS had their own school? THAT should run perfectly, shouldn't it? Unless someone meddled with it. Unless someone tried to make one school for all animals, and .... Well, see for yourself.

http://thefischbowl.blogspot.com/2007/02/once-upon-time-animals-had-school.html

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

[TIPS] what's happening here

Anne Davis pointed us to this post: http://possibilitiesabound.blogspot.com/2007/03/theres-something-happening-here.html by Lani from Ohio in her "possibilities abound" blog. Read that post. Read the comments from the students. Read what she says about Eddie. Read this: http://adifference.blogspot.com/2007/03/good-day.html
Now let someone ask you what you're going to do with your computers and what good is this blogging thing and why aren't those blogs blocked in this district? I hope that you now know some of the reasons.
This is my professional development. There are GREAT ideas to be found in these blogs. Remember, this is my blogroll: http://www.bloglines.com/public/jgates513
Who's on YOUR blogroll?

studytxt - class notes on your cell phone

How about THIS? Will Richardson will no doubt LOVE this site. :-)

"Welcome to the StudyTXT web site. StudyTXT is an on demand study support system using text messages on cellphones. This service has been in trial since October 2005 and is now fully operational in a number of educational institutions within New Zealand.

StudyTXT is available free to educational institutions in New Zealand"


My point - New Zealand is in the race!

http://www.studytxt.com/






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[TIPS] Backyard Jungle . Backyard Jungle Basics | PBS Kids

Another site provided by a classmate. I think I had sent this out a good while ago, but in case I didn't, here is a very nice site from the pbs network. Do check it out.

[TIPS] eFieldTrips.org

This site was provided to me by one of the folks in my grad class. SHe says it changes frequently, too. No RSS feeds, but VERY good information.

http://efieldtrips.org/

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

161 exabytes of data

OK... I'll admit it. I subscribe to Kim Komando's Daily News column. And for the reason. Today I was directed to this article that says, "Add it all up and IDC determined that the world generated 161 billion
gigabytes – 161 exabytes – of digital information last year."



Wheeeeeeee ooooooooooo! That's a heap of data. But it's causing problems. Read about it here: http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/tech/20070305-1529-informationexplosion.html



UPDATE: 161 exabytes, plus about another couple hundred for THIS post. :-)





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[TIPS] Welcome to Webkinz

You buy these little stuffed animals - they're very inexpensive, I'm told. Each one comes with its own secret code that is used to create its own virtual environment where you register its name and state it's a boy pet or girl pet. There you feed it, exercise it, and.... SO much more. You "buy" things for it (no real money used) and if you get another webkinz pet they can play together. (Just watch out that one doesn't eat all the food!)
 
I don't know. I'm torn. On the one hand I thinking, "Wow! How cool! Those little 4-10 yr old kids ( or older) are using that toy to get even more savvy on the Internet." But, on the other hand I think, "Go outside and PLAY!!!"

[TIPS] googlesightseeing recent posts

Time once again to remind you about the ever-improving, ever-amazing Google Earth. More and more hi-res images are being taken every day, revealing all sorts of things. Take these three examples:
 
http://snipurl.com/1c6ju - Parking on the SIDES of buildings! Can you find it? (story here: http://googlesightseeing.com/2007/02/12/extreme-parking/)
 
What's VERY cool about the last one (make sure you read the story and comments) is that 2500 people DUGG (used DIGG ) the story overnight - in one night. DIGG is... well.. here is what DIgg says about itself. Makes you recall the video about how the web is changing, doesn't it?

Monday, March 05, 2007

VERY cool sketchup video

You know, of course, that Sketchup is now owned by Google and it's still free. But how easy is it to use? How could you use it with your classes? Check out this video: http://www.infinitethinking.org/2006/12/itm-extra-sketchup.html



Oh my... what great tools the world has at its fingertips nowadays.





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Writing for the 21st Century

http://www.assortedstuff.com/?p=1697



I've had this one bookmarked for some time, so when it says that a NEW study reports... just understand that it's not all that new.



But the study does talk about how and why writing needs to be taught differently in schools. Among other things it mentions the need to get practice in writing collaboratively. A wiki, maybe? Zoho office of Googledocs, maybe?



Read the article. If you want to know of some good tools to help you do these things, just give me a shout.





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Foxmarks Bookmarks Synchronizer

I LOVE the Firefox browser. LOVE it! The extensions that you can add to the browser are excellent. For example, I'm writing this post via an extension called, "Performancing." I click the icon, an editor window appers, I type my blog entry and click Publish to: and off it goes.



But This one: https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/2410/ just may be my favorite. Install it on all the computers you use and it syncs your bookmarks so that no matter which machine you're on you'll have all your bookmarks. Too cool!!



And thanks to TJ for telling e about Morning Coffee, an extension that lets you define (or save) sites that will each open in a new tab with one click of the icon. What sites do YOU read each morning? With one click they all come up.



This is just too much fun! (Said the geek)





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[TIPS] Blogs vs Forums

This one was pointed out as a resource by someone in my grad class. It's a nice chart that she uses to explain the differences between a blog and a Discussion Forum. If you've got the chance to use both, which do you choose? This table may help.

http://www.suestudios.com/articles/article23.htm

[TIPS] Peregrine Falcon Page of Pennsylvania

While not much is happening at the moment, the Peregrine Falconcam is up and running as of today. A sure sign of Spring.

Friday, March 02, 2007

[TIPS] Cool Cat Teacher Blog: The frontier of education: Web 3D

I can't begin to describe this post. But, I can say that YOU should see it. YOU should read the article and watch the videos. YOU should think about this in the context of cyberschools and the challenge that they pose to your districts. Take this out ten years. Twenty years. Fifty years. Will kids put up with the stuff they must endure in public schools when they could be going to school in 3d as a dragon or a butterfly?
 
Make time to watch this today. There are four videos and tons of links to see. I do hope you'll spend the time.

[TIPS] zoom in on the picture

Now THIS is very cool. Check it out. Click anywhere on the face, then keep clicking on what comes up. Keep going. Wow! eh?
 
Of course, this isn't going to raise anybody's test scores at all, but it is fun technology. :-)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

[TIPS] splashcastmedia redux

I KNOW I sent this one out, but I think the title isn't the same as the tip - or SOMETHING, because I can't find it easily when I'm looking for it. Hence the redux. :-)
 
This VERY cool website lets you create flashcasts that include text, pictures, movies, audio (either an audio file or record your own right through the site), and more. Then it gives you the code that lets you put that flashcast right in your own website. It truly is easy to do. I've done demos that take less than 3 minutes.
 
You get three channels and each channel can contain a number of different flashcasts. You could have a channel for Health, another for Science, and another for your own personal family shows that you create.
 
Want to see one in action (if you didn't see the Opera video from a previous tip)? Check out http://home.comcast.net/~jgates808/scfile.html and click the splashcastmedia link on the left. THen the tiddler opens, click the Arrow in the center to begin playback and then sit back and listen and watch.
 
Imagine having a series of these that the students have created!
 
 

[TIPS] Photoshop online?

 
I love the Techcrunch blog because they always seem to hear about this stuff first. Well, at least they hear and report about it before any of the other bloggers do. Or at least the ones that *I* subscribe to, anyway.
 
But this could be a REAL event if Adobe puts photoshop online in a free, ad supported version. They must be reinventing themselves in light of all the online editing sites there are now. That has to be eating into their customer base - or at least it's posing a great threat to it.
 
Anyway, check out that article, then watch in September for the major announcement.

[TIPS] The Fischbowl: 1001 Flat World Tales Project

That Arapahoe High School.. they're doing such cool things. Take this project, for example. "Thousand and One Flat World Tales." It's an online storybook for students of all grades from around the world. Check out the wiki here: http://burell9english.wikispaces.com/ with the teacher's wiki here: http://1001teachers.wikispaces.com/
 
Rather than me trying to tell you about this idea, read Karl Fisch's story (top link) to see how it all developed. Then when you get to the wikis check out the discussion tab on the home page and on some of the others. Ask yourself, "How can a tool like this, with its ability to allow students to easily enter text and images and links to a page as well as carry on discussions about that page, help my students learn my content better?" Are you teaching a novel, for example? Use a wiki to flesh out the characters and the plot and the importance of the location and times and use the discussions as an area to discuss the ideas. Studying the Civil War or Revolutionary War? Use the wiki to define the major players and battles and dates, etc. Remember this about a wiki - once you make a word a link in a wiki, any time the word appears anywhere else in that wiki it is automatically linked to that page. Now... consider inviting the world to join you. Too much to handle? How about inviting another class in our area to join you?
 
Check this article, for example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saddam_Hussein. As you scroll down the page there are lots of other hyperlinked words (one of the VERY good things about wikipedia). Now click the Discussions tab at the top. Look at the discussions going on "behind the scenes." Transfer that to the education arena and you can see that the discussions are a GREAT way to help engage the students in the topics at hand.
 
Doing good things with your class and a wiki? Let me know about it. I'd love to point the world to your examples.