Friday, June 27, 2008

[TIPS] Ted Turns Two

Am I the only one who is grounded by the fact that the Ted Talks videos are just now turning Two years old? One slide in Karl Fisch's "Shift happens" video ( that it takes only 4 years to reach on audience of 50 million on the Internet. I have to believe that the TED site broke that average in a hurry. All you need is top quality material that appeals to a wide audience and you can hit that 50 million mark in far less time. - if you've not been there yet (and I can't imagine that you have not) then this is a gift.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

[TIPS] THE MOST AMAZING skyscraper you'll EVER see!

Thanks again to Alec Couros via a tweet just recently.

Get this - This 1387 ft tall building will house apartments. But, each apartment will rotate 360 degrees, independent of each other, so that the building will never look the same twice. Oh, and they spin - ON VOICE COMMAND!

The picture you see there shows the same building in four different stages. Want one? Me, too. Of course, the price tag right now is between $3.7 million and $36 million and should be ready in 2010.  I guess I'll wait until after the rush and pick one up on the cheap.

Commentary: THIS is what's going on in other parts of the world, and we can't even get wikis opened up in our schools? Hello? Can we PLEASE try to find SOMEONE in this country who will bring some sense to the table when we talk about our filtering policies? WE DO NOT HAVE TIME FOR THIS NONSENSE ANY LONGER!

Monday, June 23, 2008

[TIPS] web 2 tools worth watching - from eweek

Thanks to Kevin White for sharing this with me via email.
or  [www_eweek_com]

This is a slideshow of some tools that the author (Clint Boulton) feels are tools worth watching. I would certainly agree.

"The Enterprise 2.0 show in Boston June 9 to 12 served as both a launching pad for new products and a showcase for technologies that haven't gotten a lot of attention yet."

[TIPS] An Awesome Highlighter

Many thanks to Kathy Blair for sharing this with me via the for:jgates513 tag in Delicious.

Since citebite no longer works with Firefox 3 I was happy to learn of this tool. Create an account and add the firefox extension. Then, when you find some text on a page that youd like to point to, simply click the [AH] icon in the toolbar, highlight the text on the page (up to 2000 characters) and you get a specific url to email to your friends or to post as a link. You can add comments to it, as well. When your friend views that page there is a frame at the top with a button the take the person directly to the highlighted section (Jump to Highlights). They can read your notes, as well. There is even an RSS feed for your page of highlighted sites. Heres a quick example:

This feels much like Diigo to me, but at a much simpler level. Ive not figured out how to add a note without losing my highlight, but Im sure its MY rush to get back to work that is the issue.

Anyway, its a nice way to point someone right to a spot on a page. Oh, and dont forget eyejot, the site that lets you record a little movie that shows up in the top frame. Like this example:

Thursday, June 19, 2008

[TIPS] Another entire three counties can't use wikis!

I'm so angry I could spit fire. In planning a workshop for a district in another Intermediate Unit nearby I'm told that all blogs and wikis are blocked - at the IU level! So are most of the other "web 2" tools that I had listed to show. This is SO outrageous that I can't even focus long enough to adequately voice my outrage and frustration. That means that the students in those three counties cannot use these tools unless they happen to stumble on them at home and have reason to use one. What a HUGE disservice this is to those 75,000 (or more) students. SOMEbody there needs to lose a job and get the heck out of the way! Is THIS the best view of 21st Century learning that they can envision? And why are the rest of the curriculum folks allowing that to happen? Who is going to step forward to challenge this nonsense?

Haven't they read "The World Is Flat?" Haven't they seen the "Shift Happens" video?



Live Blogging from IU9

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

[TIPS] The Birth of the Computer - at TED

Send this to ALL of your computer teacher friends. This is perfect! It's a must see for the computer teacher at YOUR school district.

[TIPS] Whom did you invite to NECC?

A rhetorical question. But, did you invite ANYONE to go to NECC? Specifically, did you invite your curriculum director or tech director? If you're saying something like, "DOH!" right now, then make a mental note to invite them net year. While you're at it, make a note to make an appointment with that person after the conference so that you two can talk about what you learned there.

When last we spoke/I wrote, i went off about a district that disabled the right click and that blocked all things web 2.0. But, I, too, failed to make a point of seeking out the tech director and the curriculum director to ask if they were going to NECC. I SHOULD HAVE! I WILL, in the future.

Make a mental note! In fact, post yourself an appointment on your calendar for next December to talk to that person to personally invite him.her to the BEST conference they could possibly attend.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

[TIPS] What does this mean?

What if you worked in a school district in the US where the following were true:

1) Google Docs (and Zoho and ThinkFree, etc) all blocked - they don't permit "online storage"
2) The right mouse click was disabled on district machines
3) Wikispaces, pbwiki, wetpaint, wikipedia... wikis in general were blocked - 'You never know what someone will put on them."
4) Teachers can't override the filter to show a youtube video
5) Sites like zamzar are blocked - "online storage"??? I don't get that one
6) Sites like, flickr, delicious, ning - all blocked

(I quit looking after that)

What does this say about this school district? How do you go about changing it? Can we fault the teachers for not attending workshops designed to teach technology integration? Can we fault them for not knowing about the incredible changes that have taken place online in the last few years? Can we fault them for considering a mastery of PowerPoint to be the pinnacle of their professional growth in technology?

Attention job seekers: When interviewing for a new job, ask them about THEIR filtering policies. Remember, you're interviewing THEM, too. Could YOU work for a district like the one above?

What would you do if YOUR kids went to a school like that?

Saturday, June 07, 2008

[TIPS] gmail labs. Look what's new with gmail

The google labs are at it again, and this time it's with the mail application. Go into your settings and then click the Labs tab to turn on the feature you want. There is a nice list from which to choose, including one that blocks you out of the screen for a while and makes you invisible in the chat. Why? So you get up off your chair and MOVE! I'll let you know how that one works. :-)

Friday, June 06, 2008

[TIPS] the new realplayer makes downloading videos a SNAP!

I know that some folks just don't like Real Player. But, the new version (at least the Windows version. I haven't seen the mac version yet) allow you to download a video VERY easily. A video, when you hover over it, displays a Download video button in the top right corner. Click to download. Doesn't get much easier than that, eh?

[TIPS] a FUN blog

Another site I picked up from @courosa in twitter. I'm pointing you to the bizzare category but you know that you can click the blog title banner at the top to go to the home screen. Check out the categories on the right.

This is a VERY fun, blog, IMHO. Why? This person - or persons - finds the coolest articles and images from around the world. Amazing things. Images of things that people have created just for the art of it. ( and Or for fun.  ( Or because they're so very clever. A wooden mirror?

I've subscribed to it. And I spend a very pleasant evening on the porch at the cabin browsing through past posts. I've got lots more to see, too.

People can be VERY creative.

[TIPS] The girl who silenced the world for five minutes

Once again I point you to Alec Couros' blog where he links to a youtube video that will ... haunt you. Here is a 13 yr old girl, Severin Suzuki, speaking to the United Nations in 1992. You won't be able to stop listening. I'll let Alec's blog post tell you the details. But please do check it out. It's beautiful, emotional speech that is perhaps even more emotional hearing it today given that so little has changed.

"I'm only a child and I don't have all the soltions. But I want you to realize, neither do you. You don't know how to fix the holes in our ozone layer. You don't know how to bring the salmon back up a dead stream. You don't know how to bring back an animal now extinct. And you can't bring back the forest that once grew where there is now a desert.. If you don't know how to fix it, PLEASE stop breaking it." 

Could YOU have given that speech as well as this child did? 

Now, go and listen to this speech. Grab a tissue on the way.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

[TIPS] Another great Ted Video

They need to make a TV channel from Ted Videos. I'd start watching it again.

From the site:
Nathan Myhrvold talks about a few of his latest fascinations -- animal photography, archeology, BBQ and generally being an eccentric genius multimillionaire. Listen for wild stories from the (somewhat raunchy) edge of the animal world.