Wednesday, July 30, 2008

[TIPS] STOP RIGHT NOW! Download this FREE audiobook

TEN thousand thank you's this time to.. yes, Sue Sheffer again, for sharing this one with me. She sent it to me from her Google Reader.

ACT NOW! Click the link in the article above to sign up for it. It's a free audio book version of Thomas Friedman's "The World Is Flat." If you've not yet read it, here's your chance to have it read TO you.


[TIPS] Elections - In Plain English

Again, a thousand thanks to Sue Sheffer for just now sharing this with me via email.

Another commoncraft winner. Elections in Plain English. Send this to every teacher you know who studies this with his/her students.

[TIPS] twisted proverbs

I just HAD to share this VERY funny list of twisted proverbs. The kids, 5th graders, had to come up with a new twist to an old proverb. Some are hysterical.  Like this one: "Children should be seen and not smelled." ROFL!! Or the wise, "A miss is as good as a Mrs." Or, "You can't teach an old dog long division."

What fun he must have had reading those, don't you think?

[TIPS] The Connected - REALLY connected- University

MANY thanks to Ann Fife for sharing this one with me just now in email:


But beyond the wow factor, think how remarkable it is to have all those devices (phone, mp3 player, photo album, internet, and more) in ONE device. Project that out another ten years. Fifteen. Twenty five years out. The wondrous things we'll be able to do.

Just not in public schools. :-/

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

[TIPS] Holy cow - you MUST see this

Another tweet (nod to Shareski) sent me to this youtube video. Forward this email RIGHT NOW to your favorite art teacher.

Holy cow!!

[TIPS] cyberbullying video

A cyberbullying video:

Here's how this came to my attention. This is a story about THAT as much as it is about this video.

A tweet appeared (from twitterfox) and I happened to catch a couple words of it. It was about a video that was being recommended. I went back into the messages and started to track it backwards. The person who recommended it said that the other person should be prepared to cry - as it gets to this person every time. So, it got me curious. Maybe it was a good video to share in a workshop. I kept reading backwards until I found the original link which was a blog post.

Now, I didn't read the entire post, because there was a link in the first paragraph to this video: That's the one that he said to be prepared to cry about. So, of course, off I went to see it. (It didn't get to me, but I can see how it COULD get to others)

I was reading the comments underneath the video and someone mentioned that the song was also featured in a video about cyberbullying. Sooooo, off I went in search of that video. That's the link at the top.

I don't know the person who sent that tweet, but he's a teacher somewhere. He started following me, and when I saw that his posts were educational in nature I followed him back. (I don't follow folks just cuz they follow me. I have to see that their tweets are meaningful - at least SOME of the time.) The point is, while some argue that twitter has no value, I would argue that they're just following the wrong people.

[TIPS] Call for Proposals of PETE&C 2009

Are you in the PA area? Do you have an idea for  pre-conference workshop for the 2009 PETE&C conference? ( Then this may be for you.Otherwise.. never mind.
- - -

This is a reminder that the deadline for submission of proposals for the 2009 PETE & C Pre-conference is August 15, 2008.
You are invited to submit a proposal to conduct a pre-conference workshop or seminar for the 2009 PENNSYLVANIA EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY EXPOSITION & CONFERENCE (PETE & C). Individuals representing all academic disciplines and levels and all phases of technology and education are welcome to submit proposals. Pre-conference sessions can be in a seminar format or hands-on workshops and will be conducted on Sunday, February 8, 2009. Sessions can be either three or six hours in length.

The following general topics are examples of interest areas:

    * Computer use at all academic levels, K-12 and higher education, and in all academic disciplines.
    * Curricular planning in disciplines where technology is the focus of instruction.
    * Computer education and opportunities for special audiences.
    * Computer-managed instruction and computer based testing. Computer education for teachers.
    * Administrative applications of technology at building and/or district level.
    * Computer education outside the typical school environment.
    * Technology partnership programs with education and business, industry, or government.
    * Emerging technologies for educational utilization.

Proposals are being accepted online. Hard copies of proposals will not be accepted. For details and to submit a proposal, go to:
Click on Preconference Workshops
Click on Preconference Session Request for Proposal Form

The deadline for submissions is August 15, 2008.

Please direct any questions to:
Janet Dubble
janet_dubble at

[TIPS] check out THIS Google Earth Interface

Oh my Im SO worried that were not even CLOSE to what we should be doing with technology in schools. Think about how many folks are content to assign PowerPoints as assignments or who believe that the ultimate in a technology lesson is a scavenger hunt. Watch that video and ask yourself the question, What else can I be doing to get my students prepared for whats coming? No, I KNOW that we cant prepare for the unknown. We cant teach them the specific skills that they will need. But, we CAN help them to use tools that are personal learning tools. We CAN help them to learn to search beyond the basic level of searching. We CAN help to excite them about the tools they now have that will let them gather, organize, and process some of the exabytes (billions of gigabytes) of new information every year. This video is showing an amazing interface with Google earth. Yet, in some of our districts Google Earth is blocked. Why isnt that criminal interference with the education of every kid in that district?

Oh my SO much work to do..

Monday, July 28, 2008


I don't know how long this one has been around, so it may not be a tip to many of you. But, is a safe alternative to YouTUbe. No, it doesn't have the variety of content, yet, that youtube has. But, you CAN embed or link to videos, tag them, AND they load amazingly fast. (Unlike another alternative to youtube we've seen.)

I did find a couple things of interest. First, I didn't see any rss feeds. I would think you'd want rss feeds for each category. I don't want to run back here to see if anything new has been posted.

Second, there is no "Contact Us" link anywhere. I wanted to send them a note that they had a typo on a page. (The line said something like, "When someone send you a ..." - send instead of sends.)

Third, this quote: "Upload your own videos or simply grab them from YouTube (it only takes a few clicks!) to avoid school filters." Can you really republish someone else's videos on another site? I didn't know that. Can someone fill me in on that?

Anyway, if they get the rss feeds in place, and if teachers DO start to put the videos from youtube in here, then it certainly does have some great potential. Wouldn't you agree?

Friday, July 25, 2008

[TIPS] cameroid - got a webcam?

If you've got a webcam (including a built-in one) then you may want to put your kids - and yourself - onto this fun site: It uses your camera to take FUN pictures of yourself.

Mac users will recognize the first couple screens of options for your picture, but then you can even put your face into a monkey face, or on the Mona Lisa, etc. When you're done, save it to your desktop. No registration required.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

[TIPS] camtwist documentation

This is for the Mac users out there. I've used - rather, I've played around with - Camtwist for a short while. If you've seen my twitter pic you'll get an idea of the extent of my play. But today I was looking around for some documentation and found their documentation wiki. In it are two video that are PRICELESS! If you're a mac user and don't have camtwist yet - GO GET iT! Make a donation, too! This is worth a TON! Then rush to this site to see how to use it.

Oh, and don't forget the blog posts that tell us how to use Skype, Camtwist and ustream together to make one VERY COOL live broadcast.

couros blog


Sunday, July 20, 2008

[TIPS] text messaging on the iphone?

I don't have one (yet) but it's sad to think that the phone plan for the iPhone is so ... scant. No text messages in the plan? Well, check out this article about how to change that - for free!

[TIPS] gmail skins, tools, cheatsheets and more

Another one that came through the educator group list at diigo. This is a list of 40 of the BEST toolos and hacks for gmail. From skins to cheatsheets and more.

I couldn't get the skin to work, but I don't have time right now to mess with it. If you're a gmail user then you just might want to take a look at this.

Friday, July 18, 2008

[TIPS] Coveritlive now has VIDEO!

Have you seen this? Now you can bring in your ustream, Mogulus, or Qik video streams right into Coveritlive sessions!! Check out this portion of the announcement from Coveritlive that I received this morning:

Our users can now integrate LIVE video from Qik, Mogulus and uStream directly into their CoveritLive live blogs.  It is an extremely simple process (much like our existing YouTube integration) that lets our users quickly add live video content without the need to send their readers to another site or blog.  Our Support Center has a short flash movie to demonstrate how to put this exciting new feature to use.

Your live video appears in the top corner of your CovertiLive Viewer Window.  If readers want a larger view, they simply click the video and a larger sized window appears that can then be moved out of the way so they can continue to enjoy both the live blog AND the live video without ever leaving your site.

Is this too good or what???

Thursday, July 17, 2008

[TIPS] Periodic Table of YouTube videos?

I picked this one up in the Educator's group in Diigo. It was posted by Ben W. Thanks Ben!

Would your favorite chemistry teacher enjoy having a really cool video that demonstrates each of the elements in the periodic table? They're fun, too.

Oh, and remember that sites like and will let you grab a copy for your desktop so you won't need the youtube site unblocked to see them.

Great stuff!

[TIPS] Google Docs Templates

Just in case you didn't konw about these, I thought I'd share. For those who use the Google Docs- did you know that there are HUNDREDS of templates that you could use? Lots of categories, too. Check them out here:

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

[TIPS] fax for free?

Get this - you can send two free faxes - up to three pages each - anywhere in the US. There's an ad on the cover page, but we can live with that, yes? Or, pay $1.99 per fax and send up to 15 pages with no ads.

OK, so you won't build a curriculum around it, but it's interesting nonetheless, eh?

Oh, and thanks to my friend Barry Sullivan for sharing this one with me via email.

[TIPS] Speech recognition in YouTube videos? WOW!

Thanks again to Sue Sheffer for sharing this with me by emailing from her Google Reader.

You've GOT to try this. Now you can search for some spoken words within some youtube videos!

Monday, July 14, 2008

[TIPS] A VERY cool google spreadsheet and Google map trick!

You have GOT to check this out: (subscribe to that blog!)

The gist is this: In a google spreadsheet you put the names and addresses of some places you'd like to put on the map. You also add a column that will later become the tooltip for the pushpin. THen you add a gadget - the map and tell the map where your columns are for the addresses, etc.

Next stop - I'm going to see if I can get this to work via a spreadsheet form. Imagine this - when folks arrive for my grad class they'll go to the form and fill it out - probably with their school information. If this works as I'm hoping, they can then watch my screen as their data comes in and gets posted to the map. This is TOO COOL!!!

You're ahead of me, now, aren't you? You're already thinking of ways to use this with your students. I'm proud of you! ;-)

[TIPS] Interactive google earth hologram?

Yes, it's INTERACTIVE! You've got to see this:

Now, for years - many years - I've been telling my students that when they got as old as I was that they would be watching 3d, holographic tv instead of the flat screens. This is the front runner of its kind. Watch this video as the presenter interacts with the Google Earth hologram. He spins it, enlarges it.. well, you just watch for yourself.

Now project this out another 20 years. Even ten years. What other kinds of educational applications can you see in these holograms? Science will NEVER be the same. RIght now, geography will never be the same!

Oh... did you notice where I found this article? The gearthblog again. Are you subscribed yet?

[TIPS] live blogging with Google docs

This article tells how you can create and embed a Google Docs word processing file and use it for live blogging. Now, it won't replace Coveritlive, but if that site is blocked then this may be a nice alternative. You basically embed the document and continue to work on the original, with the changes being shown in the published, embedded version. You can insert graphics, etc but of course there are no polls, etc. THis is basicaly sharing a google docs word processing file in real time.
Still, might clever.

[TIPS] track stolen laptops for free?

This may be especially helpful if you're sending your son or daughter off to college with a new macbook pro - or ANY laptop.
It will help you locate your stolen laptop. When you boot up it logs where you are. Then, should it get stolen you log in and give it the needed information and it will tell you where it was last used. And did I read that it would take a picture using the isight camera, too? Don't know if I like that part, but maybe I misread it. But, the bottom line is that this cool little app is free. Woohoo!!

[TIPS] A machinima to see

Machinima? Yes, that's where you make the characters in Second Life or in World of Warcraft or another 3d environment act out something and you (usually) put it to music. Here's one that's often shown: Fun stuff.

But, here is one to make you stop and think and thank the stars above that you live someplace safe:

I still think that second life does not have a place in school, but this one IS a powerful use for it.

Friday, July 11, 2008

[TIPS] Move over Second Life; here comes Lively

I read about this is the gearthblog, of all places. But this is another 3D virtual world,this time from Google, but built for the fantasy world. Right now, however, it's Windows only, however.

But, check out the little movie on that front page. I don't think this has any implications for Education, but then I don't think Second Life has any, either, so maybe you can't go by me. :-)

[TIPS] Google Earth Tutorial

Another blog that you should (consider to) read is the Google Earth Blog. I've mentioned it before. (  If you use Google Earth, then it's a MUST READ blog for you.

In one of today's posts I found out about a new tutorial: and a post about the new beta version of GE here: That includes an embedded youtube movie that shows some of the cool new features. I also read an article about the disappearing coral reefs with a link to a KMZ file from NOAA ( that includes all sorts of data.

Do you know a science teacher who teaches about such things? Send this link to that teacher. I'm a firm believer that Google Earth should be on the desktop of EVERY earth and space science teacher in this country. Not to mention every social studies teacher and every geography teacher...

[TIPS] classroom wiki idea

If those evil wikis aren't blocked in your district, check out this article: It's not a wiki, but an article ABOUT wikis and how one middle school teacher used one instead of a textbook.

If wikis ARE blocked in your school, send this article to your curriculum director and ask why that tool isn't permitted in your district. And if you live in the district, and have kids who go to school there, ask yourself if that is the kind of education you want for your child. If it's NOT, then you've got some work to do. Holler if I can be of any help.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

[TIPS] If you can't beat it (wikipedia), join it

Many thanks to Carol Johnson for sharing this one with me via email this morning.

I LOVE this idea. LOVE IT! Teachers fight the battle of kids writing term papers and copying (Sorry- PARAPHRASING) articles from Wikipedia. One teacher's solution - instead of a term paper, write a wikipedia article. BRILLIANT!

Why is it brilliant? First, a wikipedia article must be very well written in order to stay there. Second, the article must be well documented - from sources OTHER THAN Wikipedia. Third, if this isn't writing for an authentic audience, then what is?

Brilliant! Read the article.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

[TIPS] NECC videos

If you couldn't make it to NECC this year, or if you had too much "socializing" on Monday night and didn't make the Tuesday AM keynote, then you MUST STOP right now and watch this: (Click the link for the Tuesday Keynote)

I mean it. Stop right now and watch it. Grab some tissues, first, and get ready to be moved and motivated beyond your dreams.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

[TIPS] Will you get sued for watching youtube videos?

This was just tweeted by BudTheTeacher ( ). with another review of the ruling here:

Bottom line - YIKES!!! You'd better be careful if you watch copyrighted videos on youtube, whether directly or embedded!

I agree with the comments of the author of the first article in that SOMEONE should make sure that the judge who decides such things MUST know what an IP address is. If you do not, then you should NOT rule. The old expression comes to mind, "If you judge, investigate."

Oh my...

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

[TIPS] LOL!! I'm repeating myself

After thinking about my last post, I started to think that I had posted it before. So I searched my own blog and sure enough, here it is: Do you see the date? That was first published in November 2006!!

Oh my... Sorry 'bout that

[TIPS] Open Source Learning - another Ted video

This one was tweeted out this AM. Here Richard talks about new ideas for textboks - REPLACE them with open information.

Very interesting.