Monday, April 30, 2007

[TIPS] Attention tech directors

I've been sitting here thinking about some of the sites I've posted or read about lately, and then contrasting that feeling of excitement with the realization that in order for this stuff to have ANY impact in the classroom some MAJOR changes must occur. And, I'm not talking about the age-old discussion about what gets blocked and what doesn't. In this case, I'm talking about BANDWIDTH!

I think that Tech Directors all across the country are going to HAVE to find a way to get it across to their school boards that they MUST purchase more bandwidth. I know a school that has but one t1 line for the whole district! I'm sure that's nothing new to lots of folks. The tech directors in those districts are going to have to study up on this wave of applications that are is hitting the web and SOMEHOW find a way to make the point clear to those that control the purse strings.

If I was a tech director and curriculum director (combined position, I guess) I would immediately STOP paying for Microsoft licenses for my students. Not another penny. Instead, I'd get them up on Google Docs or Zoho Office of ThinkFree Office. Online storage of documents PLUS the ability to collaborate. (Remember the new NETS standards?) And, they'd use the online versions of excel, as well. No more Powerpoint. They'd use the Open Office version to make the presentations, then post them using slideshare or Spresents. They'd have 24/7 access to their files from any browser. They would use the online tools to, as the NETS puts it, "Create Knowledge." They would be using Skype (perhaps only on the teacher's machine) to connect with classrooms across the world. They'd be using Moodle for their classroom gathering point where they'd be building wikis and blogging and commenting on RSS feeds gathered by the teacher. They'd maybe have a Joomla or Drupal site in the English or Journalism classes in which they'd build out their student newspapers or blog about the books they're reading. They'd be ONLINE!

They'd be watching streaming video from their local IU's (A Pennsylvania thing), and they'd be creating their own videos and posting them on TeacherTube or other such sites. They'd be podcasting regularly. Their entire year would be eyeball deep with technology, and all of it focused on classroom CONTENT.

But, what will allow that to happen is enough bandwidth that students can access the sites or watch the videos etc without having to wait for it. It HAS to be fast. Districts HAVE to have the bandwidth! Get 100 megs (minimum) to the Internet. Get 100 megs (minimum) to your local WAN. Get a GIG! In my opinion, this is no longer an option.

[TIPS] video editing on the web!

Mac users will "ho-hum" this, but windows users will shout for joy. VERY rich video editing online. From Microsoft. But get this - it works in Firefox, too! And on the Macs!!

I learned about it here: http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/04/30/silverlight-the-web-just-got-richer/ - a techcrunch article. That artice does a VERY nice job explaining the site, so stop there first.

Then RUSH over to http://silverlight.net/ and click the Watch It button on the right side to watch movie that demonstrtes some of the power of this tool.

Make special note of his statements at the end f that video. You can get the code to embed this into a blog! Talk about power!!

Now, hurry on over there to see this stuff before it gets blocked!

:-/

[TIPS] New Horizon Project report

A couple of years ago I gave our Tech folks the latest Horizon Report. I think it was either '04 or '05. Since then I'd forgotten about it until reading a post by Vicki Davis in her blog that mentioned it. She's now a part of the project. (Congratulations, vicki!)
 
But, this time I'm going to send it out for you to read. What I like about it is they suggest what what technology you should be adopting NOW, then in the two to three year range, and again in the four to five year range, based on their analysis of the trends. Previous reports can be found here: http://www.nmc.org/publications. Remember, these reports are based on current trends and technology, so they're shooting at a moving target that moves faster every day. But, last year they said that you should be doing blogging and podcasting in a year or less - aka NOW! They were right on that one, yes? And they give the relevance for education for using those technologies.
 
But, this is an excellent report that discusses trends, challenges, and more. If you're in a position to be making policy decisions, you owe it to yourself (and your students) to take a look at this. You may not agree with everything, but it's a great place to start the dialog.
 

[TIPS] An article re:ipods and cell phones in school

http://karlkapp.blogspot.com/2007/04/hire-that-kid.html

Dr Kapp is a professor at Bloomsburg and is writing a book about games for education. His blog often reflects that interest, as does this post, in part. It's in response to the article that reported that kids are using ipods to cheat so schools are now banning ipods. Dr Kapp argues that we've got it all backwards.

"Don't teach kids that the only way to be successful is to memorize
information and then regurgitate it on a paper-and-pencil test. That is
obscene and a lie."

Interesting article. I just wish I could get my mind around the use of cell phones in school. I've still not seen nor heard of a compelling example for how it could be used. And, are we struggling to make a force fit with it? Besides the logistics of who will pay for the minutes the kids use for class purposes, there is no way to filter the internet, something that the Government says we HAVE to do. But, I guess that's material for another day.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

[TIPS] a tribute to VT from around the world

http://masooma.blogspot.com/2007/04/did-you-know.html

Karl Fisch pointed to this blog post, but for a different reason. I'd seen the other commercials on this page but I hadn't seen the top video on this page.

It's hard for me to imagine that people on the other side of this (ever-shrinking) planet could be touched by the news of the horror at Virginia Tech. But, that's exactly what happened. And who would you think would be most or least likely to plant 32 trees in honor of those killed? Russians? French? Iraquis? Iranians? Palestinians? Israelis? Watch this video. Does this show of support touch you as it did me?

As you're watching, note the armed soldiers watching the proceedings. We hold rallies and marches while side-armed police watch, but never with automatic rifles. I'm SO VERY thankful to be living in this country!

[TIPS] one for your science teachers

http://media.howstuffworks.com/national-science-foundati/video/einstein-s-messengers-384.htm

This is a nice video that talks about gravity. But, this isn't your parent's gravity. This is more about gravity than most of us want to know, but high school science teachers may find this to be an EXCELLENT teaching tool.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

[TIPS] Rss explained

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

http://www.commoncraft.com/rss_plain_english

This is a nice little video that does a nice job of showing the newbies how to get started using RSS. In case you're interested, I use bloglines.com and netvibes - but mostly bloglines.com as my reader (aka aggregator).

So, watch this cute 3 minute movie and get started with RSS today! (Did that sound like a commercial?)

Friday, April 27, 2007

[TIPS] link correction on the teachertube movie

I can't understand it. The link I sent out before is the same as this one: http://www.teachertube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=499e50248a3a78f7acfc It seems to work fine from my blog but not in the email. If that one doesn't work, try this one: http://snipurl.com/1iggp

But do be sure to watch the video.

[TIPS] another great teachertube movie - When I grow up

I'm sitting in an Apple training (I'm a lucky guy) and our trainer just pointed to this video on teachertube: http://www.teachertube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=499e50248a3a78f7acfc

Watch it!

[TIPS] green.tv

http://www.green.tv

Thanks to Kristin for sharing this with me via the for:jgates513 tag at del.icio.us

Green.tv is, as you might expect, a site dedicated to showing movies about the climate and other changes taking place on the planet. You may be very much in sync with their line of thinking. Or you may think they're overreacting. Either way, these videos are well done and can be used as writing prompts or launching points to other discussions. I encourage you to check it out.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

[TIPS] vote for your favorite education blog

Thanks to Dr Scott McCloud's post here: http://www.dangerouslyirrelevant.org/2007/04/bloggers_choice.html for pointing to this site: http://bloggerschoiceawards.com/categories/17 where you can go to nominate and/or vote for your favorite education blog. Know one? :-)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

[TIPS] yikes! Check out these sample test questions

Thanks to John G for sharing this with me via the for:jgates513 tag at del.icio.us.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/6589301.stm (Click the "try the two tests" link)

This article talks about the college entrance exam for perspective science undergrads at a Chinese university. It specifically shows two math questions that.. scare me! Ok, not really, but they do make me wonder how many students actually get them right. Then I wonder how many American kids would get them right. Check them out. Especially you math teachers.

I do know ONE thing - I wonder/worry too much. :-)

[TIPS] visuwords, the graphical dictionary

http://visuwords.com/

Thanks to Sue S for sharing this one with me. This is along the lines of visual thesaurus that I mentioned one time. (http://www.visualthesaurus.com/) But it's very cool. Send this to your English teacher friends. Enter a word, say, imagine, and watch it draw connections to other works, ala Inspiration. Double click on one of the bubbles to expand it further. Click and drag the mouse to pan and zoom in using your mouse wheel. I can see lots of uses for this, can't you?

[TIPS] The Race heats up

Some time ago I worried aloud about the fact that the world looked at education with hungrier eyes than did we in America. At that time I referred to the upcoming rollout of the $100 laptop that would instantly add millions more children to the Race. Well, check out this post from Karl Fisch in which he tells about this roll out and points to a movie to download and watch.

http://thefischbowl.blogspot.com/2007/04/goal-change-how-kids-learn.html

The $100 laptop, with free (open source) software and free courses online. WOW!

It has been said that this shouldn't be looked at as a "race" to worry about, but rather a long-overdue expansion of education to the poor countries that should be celebrated. OK. History will probably record this as the start of something much bigger that brought those people into the global economy and made them competitive with kids from around the world. All I'm saying is that if we don't somehow make our kids aware that this is going on, and instill into them the hunger for education that the rest of the world has, we're not going to like the results. We'll become the, "England, in 1900." Someday that slide will say, "United States, in 2007."

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

[TIPS] Another must-see

This post http://www.crucialthought.com/2007/04/23/2007-pulitzer-prizes-feature-photography-works/ by Chris at CrucialTHought points to this site: http://www.pulitzer.org/year/2007/feature-photography/works/

He says you can't look at this collection of pictures without crying. Any takers?

P.S.
Have I ever mentioned that I consider blogs to be my personal professional development? Yes, I guess maybe I did. This is another example of why I say that. It may not translate into higher test scores, but it does translate into one of the many 'moments' that define the quality of life.

Monday, April 23, 2007

[TIPS] 2007 Codie Awards for Education

The Codie awards are like the Oscars, but for software and websites. From ths site:

"What are the Codie Awards?
The Codie Awards holds the distinction of being the only peer-recognition awards program of its kind in the industry, providing a unique opportunity for companies to earn the praise of their competitors. The Codie Awards program, now in its twenty-first year, remains the standard-bearer for celebrating outstanding achievement and vision in our industry."

This is the list of winners in the category of Education:

http://www.siia.net/codies/2007/winners.asp#Education

But, get this - the list is NOT active links to the winning sites. Huh???

[TIPS] views of the Earth

Would you pay $25 million to go on a space mission? Assuming you HAD $25 million to spare, that is. I would. In a heartbeat. And so would - rather so DID - a man recently, and his mission just returned to earth. His name's not important (because I don't want to look it up again). What IS important, or at least interesting, are the pictures of Earth images that the astronauts recently released. When you get to this page, click the link to the photo gallery. Make sure that you read the text with each one, too.

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/space/2007-04-20-earth-day-views_N.htm?csp=34 (Sorry for the popups!)

I once read where one of the astronauts had a very difficult time adjusting to life back on Earth when he completed his mission. Why? His perspective on life was changed. After looking down on the entire planet, and seeing our corner of the solar system and getting a deep sense of the vastness of it all, his day to day problems seemed so trivial, and the horrors going on in the world seemed so senseless. Imagine seeing picture #6 in real time. Try to imagine it NOT taking your breath away.

[TIPS] VA Tech on Wikipedia

Thanks to Tim Lauer (http://tim.lauer.name/2007/04/23/the-latest-on-virginia-tech-from-wikipedia-new-york-times/) for pointing us to this article in the NY Times regarding how wikipedia was used by over 2000 writers to help document the horror of that day. Do check it out. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/23/technology/23link.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

What a powerful tool, is it not? What? You say it's blocked in your school? How very sad that there are those in power who are such obstacles for education.

What sites would YOU buy with $12 billion?

Over the weekend I read somewhere that Google is sitting on $12 BILLION from stock revenues. What do you do when you have that kind of money? It HAS to burn a hole in your pocket, right? You HAVE to buy stuff. We know that they've been busy buying sites already, and I'm sure we'll hear of more as time goes on. But here is MY idea of what they can do with some of it.

They want to own your desktop. That's no secret. They don't care who owns the operating system, but when you turn it on, they want to own what you do when you're using that computer. At home you can do lots of things that you can't do at school, and that's a HUGE frustration for so many of us. YouTube, is the perfect example. It doesn't matter how many EXCELLENT videos there are on that site, it's the few trashy ones that keep YouTube out of schools. That's why TeacherTube was created, right?

So, Google (or Yahoo or someone else with deep pockets) could start buying these
sites and making two versions. One for the masses, complete with whatever trash they feel compelled to put on there, and the other for Education where the trash is removed. There are so many GREAT web 2.0 sites that schools are blocking. Wouldn't it be FANTASTIC is we had our own versions?

I'm thinking of Flickr, Slide, Slideshare.net, splashcastmedia, and even del.icio.us, for example. Wouldn't it be GREAT if Education had kid-friendly versions of these programs?

So, just for fun, what sites would YOU want to include in that pool? (Are you listening Yahoo? Google?)

[TIPS] online scrapbooks

http://www.scrapblog.com/

I'll be honest here, I haven't looked into this at any depth, but it sure looks cool at first glance. Build an online scrapbook complete with pictures (and all sorts of visual effects), hyperlinks, text, and more. Then you can share it out to others when you're done.

The problem that Education always has with this stuff is that there are often folks who like to make trashy scrapbooks. I didn't find any, but that's not to say that there aren't some. Wouldn't it be great if sites like this insisted on folks keeping it clean? Or, like TeacherTube, make a separate site that is Education friendly.

Think about this. Google is sitting on $12 BILLION in cash. What do you do with that kind of money? You BUY stuff. They COULD be buying stuff with the idea of making it kid safe and Education firendly.

Maybe in the perfect world, eh?

Let me know what you think about this site.

Friday, April 20, 2007

[TIPS] play with the news

This was today's cool site from Kim Komando. Play Pong with the news. Yes, you control the paddle that breaks bricks, each containing a news item which falls to the bottom. Sometimes other little... things....are released for extra points, etc. You can pause the game to then go back to read some of the stories you've collected.

This is just one of those sites that you smile at, then go on with your life, I think, but it's still interesting to check out. If you're going to try this at work, turn your sound off. (You're welcome) :-)

http://www.newsbreakergame.com/

[TIPS] more cool flickr tools

This is another site PACKED full of links to flickr mashup sties. TONS of excellent tools to use with your flickr photos.

http://www.pedagonet.com/other/flickr.htm

Thursday, April 19, 2007

[TIPS] weffriddles - BE AWARE!

http://www.weffriddles.com/

Be forewarned - this site is MAJOR addiction waiting to happen. If you like puzzles, especially those with few instructions, then you'll LOVE this site. Heather, who shared this site with me today, said that she's up to some level in the 60's with no end in site. The only hint she'd give is that you should write down the solutions to the levels as you master them. Not sure why. That's all she'd say.

Just my luck - I get addicted to this when I've got SO MUCH work to do!

[TIPS] Pay Attention

I was thinking that everyone had seen this video already, but I found out today that I was mistaken. So, for the benefit of those who are not readers of blogs, here is a video that you may want to watch. It's just short of 8 minutes, but it'll have you watching every moment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEFKfXiCbLw

If YouTube is blocked at school send this home so you can watch it at home. I do hope that EVERY teacher will see this - SOON!

[TIPS] blogging 101

Thanks to Kurt for sharing this one via the for:jgates513 tag at del.icio.us.

http://coe.sdsu.edu/eet/articles/bloggingtech/index.htm

Ever been tempted to investigate blogs as a teaching tool but were unsure where to begin? Maybe this article is just what you need. It's written with the beginner in mind and it's got links to some nice examples.

If you want to give your students a chance to write for a real audience and get real feedback, check this out.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

[TIPS] I am Tyler

This is another one of those inspirational movies that you'll be glad you watched. Thanks to Darren D for telling me about this.

This is another good thing about this new web. People get to tell their stories. This is one you'll want to watch.

http://www.casecec.org/Tyler/Imtyler.wmv

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

[TIPS] A bugs life :-)

Will I get in trouble if I use that title? :-)

Thanks to William M for sharing this one some time ago. http://bugguide.net/node/view/15740 What a cool site to learn about bugs. Nice layout. Easy to use. Send this one to your elementary teacher friends.

Monday, April 16, 2007

[TIPS] GREATTURTLERACE.COM

They've got these Leatherback Turtles, see, and they've strapped satellite trackers to their backs and released them so that they can continue their 500+ mile journey. So what would the average techie person do with data like that? Why he'd post it online for everyone to see, that's what. Tune in here to watch the Great Turtle Race and root for your favorite  turtle. It's animated!
 
It won't raise a test score but it'll be a fun moment for your class and the launching point to your discussion on leatherback turtles.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

[TIPS] a tribute to a passing author

Years ago, and some of you will remember exactly the year in a moment, I had a student who was a BIG TIME fan of Stevie Ray Vaughan. I taught in our relatively new Mac lab, at the time, and we were big into Hypercard and scanning into cards, and inserting sound files, etc - this was pre-windows, so it was only possible on the Macs.

When Stevie was killed in .. a car crash, was it?... this student took it very hard. He came in during his study halls and stayed after school and he made a hypercard stack tribute to SRV. Very well done. A work from the heart. I suppose it was his way of grieving and of finding some closure, as he truly was a big fan.

That was then. Today we've got fancier tools but they're often used for the same reasons. Take, for example, this tribute video to Kurt Vonnegut, Jr on YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atABhlMLYvU (Thanks, Misty) Let go of your thoughts of copyright concerns and just watch and listen. Someone was a very big fan and is missing Mr Vonnegut. Sorta restores your faith in human nature for a bit, doesn't it?

[TIPS] The Universal Timeline Aggregator - WOW!!!

 
Thanks to the post from Tim Lauer (http://tim.lauer.name/2007/04/12/timeline-widget/) who found the above very cool and simple app that takes an rss feed and plots it on a timeline!
 
Think about that for a moment. Let's say you teach a current events class. World Cultures or World History focusing (at least occasionally) of current events. You go the url at the top. In another window/tab you copy the rss feed for CNN's World News. You paste it into the timeline field and... <Presto!> You've got a timeline with the events in the World News category plotted out. You then grab the code and paste it into YOUR page, and then each time the page refreshes it updates the timeline from that feed.
 
Did you follow that? Is that about THE COOLEST WAY to present the world news to your students? What other subjects/feeds can you think of for this? Share them in the comments!
 
Thanks, Tim! What a GREAT find!
 
 

[TIPS] History of Math symbols

I think I found this in the Math tag at del.icio.us. Its a site that tells the history of math symbols. For example, I think I read that the right parenthesis was first used for division. I'd better stop there, as I did only briefly read over it.

But, share that one wtih your math teachers. Little bits of trivia to put at the bottoms of test pages, etc.

http://www.roma.unisa.edu.au/07305/symbols.htm

[TIPS] the true evils of some social networking sites

Thanks to Sherri M for sharing this one with me. http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2112675,00.asp

That points to an article in eweek that describes a social networking site that you (and your students!) should be aware of. I won't mention the name here - you'll have to read the article. But here's a little of what it does. According to this article, when you sign up for it, it makes you enter your web email account information. That would be a hotmail, yahoo or gmail type account. Then it logs in as you and spams the folks in your online address book with invitations to join that network. And you don't even know it's doing it.

Bottom line - READ the privacy policy! Now, go forth and warn your students. :-)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

[TIPS] fora.tv

OK... I've learned SO MUCH in the past two hours. First, I watched a couple more videos at poptech.org. Then, one thing led to another and I found fora.tv. (http://fora.tv) Will I EVER get some sleep again?

The reason I found myself here is that I was searching for a video of Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, in preparation for a session I'm giving at the PSLA conference on Friday. I found a couple good videos, too. The first one was at Ted (I pointed to it a couple of times before). Then I found THIS one at fora.tv: http://fora.tv/fora/showthread.php?t=459

This is what fora.tv says about itself, "FORA.tv delivers discourse, discussions and debates on the world's most interesting political, social and cultural issues, and enables viewers to join the conversation. It provides deep, unfiltered content, tools for self-expression and a place for the interactive community to gather online."

Those of you who are addicted to information or who love to hear the opinions of some of the world's most influential people will want to subscribe to these three sites: http://www.ted.com, http://poptech.org, and http://fora.tv.


This stuff is SO cool, eh?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

[TIPS] This can't wait - pop!Tech

Thanks to this post from Tim Lauer ( http://tim.lauer.name/2007/04/10/poptech-the-impact-of-technology-on-people/) I've just learned of this site that, in my mind, rivals Ted - and you KNOW how I feel about Ted.com, right? Go to Poptech.org then click the PopCasts link to arrive here: http://poptech.org/popcasts/

Now, listen to Thomas Friedman's (You know, "The World is Flat" guy) talk on why this current energy crisis, "...is not your parent's energy crisis." Then when you're done listen to a couple of the others. I've subscribed to the site so you'll be hearing more about it as new videos get posted. I'm sure you'll agree that this is excellent material for your senior high Economics students.

Excellent site! More proof that blogs are my personal professional development.

[TIPS] darfur on Google Earth

Thanks to TJ for sharing this with me tonight in AIM. It may be in some of the blogs I read, as well, but I heard it there first.

I've had to stop listening to these stories from this conflict as the horrors are beyond my ability to comprehend and even beyond my ability to tolerate. But, Google Earth has put Darfur on the map, so to speak. This article: http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/04/10/google.genocide/index.html tell the story behind the addition.

From the article: "Using the high-resolution imagery of Google Earth, users will be able to zoom into the Darfur region for a better understanding of the scope of the destruction. (Interactive: See where Darfur is located)

More than 1,600 damaged and destroyed villages will be visible, as will the remnants of more than 100,000 homes, schools, mosques and other structures destroyed by the Janjaweed militia and Sudanese forces."

If you or someone you know teaches current events, then this is for you - or them.

[TIPS] Over 2,000 sites now exploit animated cursor security flaw

Do YOU have an animated cursor? Those cute little animated cursors that you see on websites? Those that are so often spyware sites? Do you have one? (I hope it's not on a "company" machine) Well, if you do, you'd better check out this article that Kim Komando pointed to in her Daily News briefs today. The article opens with, "More than 2,000 unique Web sites have been rigged to exploit the animated cursor security flaw in Microsoft's software, according to security vendor Websense."
 
So, if you have those animated cursors, then you MUST make sure that you're updated with the latest windows security patch. It's under the Help menu in Internet Explorer, I think. But, DO IT NOW!!!
 
Then, strongly consider whether or not you need that cute little animated cursor or not - and get rid of it! Then make sure you test your computer for spyware. Get Ad-aware (lavasoftusa.com)!

[TIPS] NextVista.org

That post by Wes Fryer in his "Moving at the Speed of Creativity" blog points us to this site: http://www.nextvista.org/. Here's what the site says about itself:
     "An online library of free videos for learners everywhere - find resources to help you learn just about anything, meet people who make a difference in their communities, and even discover new parts of the world. And Next Vista for Learning wants to post your educational videos online, too. Everyone has an insight to share and yours may be just what some student or teacher somewhere needs!"
 
Browse current videos in three areas; "Light Bulbs" (Introductions to topic by students and teachers...), "Global Views (Descriptions of life and activities in schools and communities around the world...), and "Seeing Service" (Profiles of those who make life better for others.) While it doesn't yet have a LOT of videos, this does seem like a place that can become a leader for education.
 
Oh, to post a video you have to click the Share button in the bottom right corner of the video and then click the Link button.

Monday, April 09, 2007

[TIPS] another missing link

I had pasted that text into that last email and the one section was a bit of linked text that didn't go through when I pasted it. It was the link to Michael's article in Eduspaces. Here it is: http://eduspaces.net/sugoii/weblog/163781.html

[TIPS] Elegant Universe

Michael Yardley has a post in his edupaces blog about this site: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/teachers/programs/3012_elegant.html Send this one to your Physics teachers. Note the links on the right to Viewing Ideas and Classroom Activity, and more. The links to the videos are here: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/elegant/program.html

Now, before you leave, click the Eduspaces link at the top of the page. Eduspaces is an ELGG site. Remember elgg.net?

This just might be the solution you're looking for.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

teachers.tv

Another possible solution to the blocked YouTube issue is teachers.tv. I thought I had written about this before, but I can't find it. If I did, or if you already know about .. well... nevermind.



If you're not familiar with it, you should check it out. Lots of videos with teachers in mind. Too many to talk about here. Grab the rss feed to learn when new videos hit the site, too.



Let me know what you think.









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Friday, April 06, 2007

[TIPS] freeplaymusic

See? I've been telling you that blogs are my professional development. I learn SO MUCH from the blogs I read. And to think, in some schools these sites are BANNED! ::sigh::

Here's another example. http://www.crucialthought.com/2007/04/03/freeplaymusic-license/ This blog post is from the blog author, Chris, who talks about This site: http://www.freeplaymusic.com/ I think it's important that you read his article because he talks about his efforts to clear up the copyright issues and educational uses for this music.

Once you've read Chris' article, go check out the site. GREAT STUFF!!!

[TIPS] cyberbullying video

I found this one on CoolCatTeacher's blog. (http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com) I really don't like her new format at all. I do hope she returns to something a little easier to read. In fact, I couldn't figure out how to link to the particular post as you can do with most blogs. I'm sure there's a way, but I gave up looking for it.

Anyway, she points to this video on cyberbullying. Show THIS one to your classes too - if you're able: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seOQyMvG99w

She also points to this site on the Ning network. http://stopcyberbullying.ning.com/ I was going to write about this nig thing :-) but I figured it would be blocked at school for sure, so I didn't. But, maybe you should check it out.

[TIPS] Think before you post

Thanks to Ken P (http://dasdtips.blogspot.com/index.html) for sharing this one. A great public service announcement that every teenager (and college student) should see: http://www.bretagdesigns.com/technologist/?p=97 It is an embedded YouTube video, so if you can't hit YouTube where you are, check it when you can.

Send it to you kids!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

[TIPS] New on Ted Talks... Three new speeches

They're here! They're here! Three more videos on Ted.com!!!

See and hear Bill Clinton, James Nachtwey, and E. O. Wilson.

'nough said!

http://tedblog.typepad.com/

[TIPS] The results are in - we can go home, now

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/1700AP_Education_Technology.html
and...
http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/pubs/20074005/

"Test scores were not significantly higher in classrooms using the reading and mathematics software products than those in control classrooms. In each of the four groups of products-reading in first grade and in fourth grade, mathematics in sixth grade, and high school algebra-the evaluation found no significant differences in student achievement between the classrooms that used the technology products and classrooms that did not. "

Actually, it's not as bad (for us) as it sounds. I'd not want to be a salesperson for one of those companies right now, however.

[TIPS] correction - it's jajah.com!

I HATE when I do that. First, I misspelled it - something I would NOT have done had I included the URL!!!

http://www.jajah.com/

[TIPS] Jalah - voip

This is nothing new to many of you, but it is to some, so here goes.

SKYPE is very cool, right? The ONLY trouble with it is that you need a headset - or a skype phone to use it. Without those and just relying on the built-ins causes way to much echoing. Still, skype is VERY cool.

Jalah (pronounced Jah, I believe) lets you enter your phone number (land or cell) and your friend's number (land or cell) and click the Connect button to have your phones ring to connect you to talk. It's free between Jalah users, and as low as $.028/minute between non-jalah members. SOMEONE has to have internet connection to initiate the call, but then it' just VOIP of your phone lines.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

[TIPS] vizu for polls on your site

 
Vizu.com (click the Go to Vizu.com link in the yellow section of that page) allows you to create a poll - a single question of the multiple choice or number range variety. Once you've done that it gives you the code to put the poll right on your blogger or typepad (or several others) site. Or, email it to people. Or, just put a link to it on your site.
 
Wanna try it out? Visit my blog for an example. http://tipline.blogspot.com The template cuts off part of the poll, but you'll get the idea.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

[TIPS] get your own tiddlywiki

http://tiddlyspot.com/

This site will let you choose your own URL and create your own tiddlywiki. Make them public or private, too. What's a tiddlywiki? Well, here's one that I just modified by changing the theme. http://home.comcast.net/~jgates808/scfile.html


Now, I haven't tried it yet, but it SOUNDS as if this version will allow you to edit and save the changes right there. I have to save the changes to a desktop copy then upload it. This site may eliminate that need.

You say you HAVE a tiddlywiki but would like a new theme? Try this site: http://tiddlythemes.com/#Home (Thanks Chris)

Monday, April 02, 2007

[TIPS] Classroom 2.0

Thanks to Sue S for sharing this one.
 
From this site:
" Welcome to the CLASSROOM 2.0 social networking site! This network is devoted to those interested in the practical application of Web 2.0 and collaborative technologies in the classroom and in their own professional development. Especially we hope that those who feel they are "beginners" will find this a comfortable place to start being a part of the community dialog and to learn more."
 

[TIPS] Innertoob

I think I saw this referenced in another blog, but alas, again I can't recall which one. So sorry!
 
InnerToob is a web application that is quite amazing. If you're a podcaster or podcaster wannabe, then this will surely set you apart from the rest. It's too hard to describe in the time I've got for this today, so I'll just suggest that you watch the two examples under the "What is Innertoob?" and "Are You a Podcaster? Watch this video..." links.
 
Now, giddyup! :-)  I'd LOVE to see some student examples from this.