Thursday, June 30, 2011

Where Will You GoGo #edtech

I'm always on the lookout for kid friendly research tools.  I firmly believe that the younger you start students conducting effective research, the better off the will be. But, I'm not a fan of throwing them into the deep end with Bing or Google.  It's best if students learn what good information looks like on the web.  GoGoNews is a great place to start.  Based on a concept of inquiry learning students can search for various topics and find web articles that are relevant and safe.  I'm not sure exactly where the articles in GoGoNews come from but the information seems to be accurate and unbiased.  It almost seems like the staff at GoGoNews is writing the articles and if that is the case, they are indeed a busy bunch.   In a difficult world of "scary" news, GoGoNews makes it safe for younger students and is a great jumping off point for research and discussion.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Totally Random #edtech

How often do you have contests for a class project, a school event or even globally?  If your answer is even once Random Picker may just be a tool you can use.  You will need to create a separate site to collect your data (via a Google Form, Survey Monkey or some other data collection).  Once you have your data you upload it to random data and it takes all the information and generate a certified winner.  Could you do this without Random Picker?  Absolutely. But, it takes any doubt regarding fairness out of the picture.  Random Picker is certainly interesting.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Twiddly Tildee #edtech

I'm often impressed by simple and when Tildee came across my Twitter stream, I was instantly impressed.  Tildee allows you to create your own "How to Do" pages.  Basically, these are step by step instruction sthat you are guided through creating.  They can be as simple as a bullet text list or can include screenshots or even videos.  Tildee may just become an important part of my training arsenal this year. Oh, and each tutorial you write has a short url to make it easy to share.  Tildee may be the "sleeper" Web 2.0 utility of the year!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Simple Cloud Storage #edtech

Cloud storage is becoming more and more of a competition on the web. We have sites like Dropbox and Google that will upload and save many different types of files. SPLArchive works just a bit different.  Instead of using an upload utility, you simply email almost any type of file (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, PDF, HTML e-mail and web site URL's) to  That's it.  Your file, link or email is instantly converted to a PDF that is searchable in your library of files. If you ever feel the need to take all your files with you, you can download them as a ZIP file.  The one thing I don't like about SPLArchive is that you can't delete your files.  So, I wouldn't save anything that I felt was confidential/personal.  Additionally, SPLArchive only gives you about 20 Mb of storage right now with your free account (which really isn't much).  They will in the future have an option to buy more space and hopefully will increase the space on their free version.  It's a site to watch for in the future.  The concept is very intriguing.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Get With the Flow #edtech

I'm always on the lookout for a good flowchart utility.  I mean who doesn't like a good flowchart, right? Lately, I've been pretty impressed with the online diagramming utility: Graphity.  Graphity does not require any signup to use.  You can make flowcharts, family trees network diagrams and more with this great clean utility.  When your done you can save the diagram as either a png image file or a Graphml file.  Which I hadn't heard of until using this utility.  Apparently it's a standard based on XML.  OK, probably too much technical jargon, but Graphity is certainly worth a look the next time your attempting to chart something out.

*Note: Since I missed Friday's post I think to make up for it I will double the pleasure, double the fun with a double Friday Fun post this week.  Stay tuned.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Under the Weather - Time for a Post #edtech

I missed another post last night - exhaustion set in and I was out by 7 o'clock.  And then today got away from me.  So no time for a double post - but I'll make it up to you tomorrow.

There is just enough time in the day.  But there's always time for a good timeline!  And that's just what XTimeline gives you.  XTimeline allows you to create interactive timelines that a visually appealing.  You can even upload your events from a CSV file or even an RSS feed (first time I've seen either as an option for timeline creation.  XTimeline allows you to create a custom URL for your timeline and of course you have the option to embed it once done.  You can also download your events from your timeline later as a CSV or in XML format.  You can also embed flash, photos and movies directly into each event.  Overall, XTimeline is a very clean, very easy to use timeline generator.  The only thing I would like to see improved is more "themes" for how the timeline is displayed.  Otherwise, XTimeline is a fantastic option for timeline creation.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Another Place for My Face #edtech

OK, that sounded a little egotistical.  But that's really what tonight's post on Zerply, is all about.  Well not really about my face, but about my (and your) building a web presence online.  As I'm prepping for some of the presentations I am giving at conferences this year, I continue to look for ways to improve online presence.  Zerply works a little like, but seems a bit more customizable. Zerply walks you through the process of creating your page in a few easy steps.  Zerply can also pull data from Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.  There's not a whole lot to Zerply yet, but I think it has potential to surpass some of it's contemporaries and it is certainly a nice way to add yet another page to your online presence.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

That's How I Roll! #edtech

It's not often I share a site that I can't really try out, but I need to make an exception for RollSquare.  RollSquare is an obvious play on Foursquare, but in my opinion serves a much higher purpose.  RollSquare is a location based social networking application designed to assist those who need the assistance of a wheelchair. Based on the concept of crowdsourcing, RollSquare encourages users to describe accessibility options at various restaurants, attractions and lodging locations they encounter.  I had difficulty signing up for RollSquare.  I'm not sure if it has to do with the fact that they seem to currently be based in Europe and they would not accept a signup from he US, but I could not sign up for an account.  I was able to connect with my Facebook account (so I was able to look around a bit).  I'm not a huge fan of using Facebook to log into a website, so I only spent a few minutes exploring and then blocked the app.  I'm hoping this quickly becomes international.  You can add information voa the website and apparently via a mobile app as well. If Foursquare continues to spawn sites like RollSquare, I may need to start reconsidering my position on location based social networking.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What's Up Doc? #edtech

In previous posts, I have told you about sites that allow you to markup online websites and documents.  I've also shown you ways to embed documents.  Crocodoc gives you the best of both worlds.  With Crocodoc you can view, markup and comment on any document (be it an actual .doc, .ppt, .pdf, .png or even a .jpg).  You can also do so collaboratively in real time.  What's nice is that you can upload your document here and get global feedback, but also having the ability to control access.When your done you can save the marked up file tp your desktop, embed it into a blog or wiki, or even save it to your Google Docs.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Not Quite a Flash Mob #edtech

Always been a fan of the Flash Mob concept.  Always fun.  But tonight I want to tell you about MicroMobs.  .It's a great way to stay connected with different groups with microblog like communication.  MicroMobs allows you to set up private groups.  Within those small micro communities, you can stay in touch with the people in your mob.  While they encourage small bursts of communication, I'm not sure what the limit is.  Definately over 140 characters.  You can add images and links to your  MicroMobs posts.  You can also add people by forwarding email threads to, if you trust them enough to do so.   MicroMobs claims to take those threads and turn them into posts.  Personally, I wouldn't submit in this way. There is also a mobile app.  MicroMobs seems like a great way to communicate with your students or to collaborate with your peers inside a walled garden.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Seeing Double? Maybe Triple? #edtech

Came across an interesting site today that takes tabbed browsing to a different level. Eyeooo let's you view up to three web pages in one pane.  Simple concept really, but very effective.  If your cross-referencing web pages it can be a real hassle to flip back and forth between tabs.  Sure, you could organize different windows on your desktop.  But Eyeooo puts it all in one place, making it easy to copy and paste information without having to switch back and forth.  Again, simple, but very intriguing and worth checking out.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Simple Can Be Good #edtech

I'm always looking for ways to edit video online.  While there really isn't anything I've seen that comes even close to the abilities of local software, there are some very nice basic applications on the web.  In the past, I've talked about Jaycut.  Another site of similar caliber is Pixorial.  What I like about Pixorial is they give you 10 Gb of free video storage for a free account with the ability to add on more later.  I already here the video purists out there saying "10 Gb for video is nothing."  This is true depending on the format you upload.  Pixorial accepts Mp4 which is much smaller in size than your average video file and 10 Gb should be plenty for your standard project. Pixorial does not have a ton of bells and whistles.  It's your standard video editor in the cloud allowing for text overlay, transitions and trimming of video.  One nice feature of Pixorial that is a bit unique is that they provide a number of audio tracks you can add as background music to your video.  now, if they would only come up with a way to strio existing audio.

You can upload your files or (and this makes Pixorial unique in my opinion) you can request a submission kit allowing you to send Pixorial analog video which they will convert to digital for you!  For a nominal fee they will convert "VHS, VHS-C, Digital8, Hi8, Betamax, miniDV, 8mm, DVDs and memory cards (up to 6GB)" Now that's a nice service for those who aren't quite sure how to connect their mini-dv camera and offload files.

Two posts in one nigh and now we're all caught up!

Why Just Play Games? #edtech

I must apologize for missing last nights post.  I took a much needed day off from work and spent the day on the links.  By the time I got home, it was late and I was exhausted.  That being said, I am dedicated to this 365 project and so there will be a double post tonight.

Let's start with what should have been Friday Fun Night.  I have long been a proponent of the educational value of video games.  It's much more than simple hand-eye coordination.  There's the memorization of patterns, the strategies of risk/reward, following storylines and the need to apply logic to achieve various goals.  But tonight's post takes that a step further with an application called Sploder.  Sploder allows you to make your own flash based video games online without needing to know any code at all.  There are four categories from which to choose: Platformer games, a Physics Puzzle maker, a 3d Space Mission and your classic shooter.  While the games you can create at Sploder are nothing compared to today's XBox and Playstation high level of intensity. They do teach you about the thought process that goes into creating a fun application.  MIT's Scratch application has been all the rage in education for sometime, but it required downloading an application to use.  There is nothing to download to enjoy Sploder.  In fact, if you don't want to save your game (although why you would want to go to the trouble of creating a game and not saving it is beyond me) you don't even need to sign up for an account.  Why not give Sploder a try.  Who knows, you or your students may just end up creating the next Angry Birds!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Do You Have Issuu? #edtech

If you grew up in the 80's or 90's you probably remember a grassroots publishing movement known as 'Zines.  Magazines that were published on Xerox machines.  They were raw but powerful with a wide range of topics.  Well, in the 21st century publishing has become even easier with sites like Issuu.  It's free to sign up and publish online magazines with Issuu.  What a great collaborative project for your students or even for your school newspapers.  I've seen more and more conferences starting to use Issuu to create their online catalog,  Companies are starting to use it as well for their weekly flyers.  There will always be a need to publish and share information and Issuu is a front runner in applications that can help you do that.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Animate Your Art #edtech

Tonight's post is for those artists and art teachers out there.  I don't count myself among you.  I consider myself creative but not artistic. I've always been impressed with those rapid animation drawings.  You know what I'm talking about.  I always figured they were created using stop animation (something I've never had patience for) until I found tonight's utility: Odosketch This utility is amazing if you have drawing skills. That would not be me.  Basically you are given tools with which to create a drawing.  The instant you touch pen to digital paper Odosketch starts recording your every movement.  It's a little difficult to use with a mouse. But I imagine on a tablet it would be much easier to create something like this:

Oh, I didn't mention Odosketch allows you to embed your final work! We'll, as you can see it does!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

An Open Music Archive #edtech

I was asked today about where to get free music to play before a presentation without breaking any copyright.  I immediately recommended Jamendo (since that is what I typically use).  One problem, no internet where the presentation was happening.  While Jamendo, does allow some downloading, it's becoming more and more limited as they develop their "Pro" model.  So, instead I recommended the FMA (, based on the Creative Commons model and aims to provide  "a legal and technological framework for curators, artists, and listeners to harness the potential of music sharing". The FMA continues to grow and has a fairly diverse catalog of music files.  As always, remember to give credit where credit is due and the FMA even provides you with a way to "tip" your artist.

Monday, June 13, 2011

IFave, You Fave, We all Fave #edtech

I'm always looking for new social  bookmarking applications.  IFave  is one that's probably been around for a while but I've never noticed it before. Because it's late, I'm going to keep it short and sweet.  What I like about IFave is that you can share your bookmarks with your contacts based on tags.  So let's say your a history buff and you have some peers who are into the Civil War and others who are more interested in Ancient Greece.  When you find sites you want to share, you simply tag them.  Based on your tag, the contacts that you have pre-configured for that tag are notified about what you have found.  IFave is an interesting concept indeed.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Oooo, look at all those shiny sites #edtech

I told you at the very beginning of this project that there would be some posts that weren't necessarily about the utilities, but about where to find them.  One that I've been using a lot lately is Exsplash Nothing overly fancy here.  It's simply a directory of Web 2.0 tool categorized and tagged.  One nice feature of Exsplash is that you can sign up and write your own reviews.  Web 2.0 is often about bing social in the cloud and Exsplash let's you do that rather nicely.  Of course you can also grab their rss feed so whenever a new site is posted you can find out about it without even having to go to the site.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sophia is Simply Brilliant #edtech

I can sum up tonight's utility in one word - Brilliant! ( I apologize if the link is not hot as I am writing this post from my phone at a birthday party). I also won't be giving a very detailed description because there is way to much to say about this site to do it justice. You just need to go and explore on your own. Whether you are a teacher, student or parent you will find a use for Basically, the site is full of learning packets that include lessons and videos. Additionally, each packet includes a tab for Q&A and ratings. It's a tool that they claim can help you develop a "flipped classroom". From what I know about the flipped classroom, I'm not sure if that's 100% accurate. What's most intriguing about is that you can sign up to be a " Sophia Academic Reviewer and reviewing published learning packets so that high quality content rises to the top.". definitely fits the idea that it takes a village to educate our children. Well, that:s all I have tonight. Be sure you leave a comment after viewing I'd love to hear your thoughts (particularly if you are already using it).

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Friday, June 10, 2011

COPPA Compliant Email #edtech

OK, I'll admit it.  Friday fun night is a bit of a cop out.  By the time Friday evening rolls around, I'm typically exhausted and it's easy to find free, fun educational games to share with my readers.  They seem to be everywhere.  But tonight, I want to talk about something a bit more serious.  At a younger and younger age children are being exposed to technology.  The earlier we can start to educate them and teach digital citizenship the better off they will be.  However, we want them to be safe at the same time.  And ZillaDog can help teachers and parents do just that.  Basically it is a COPPA compliant free email system that is filtered and well protected They also have some fun games and links to age appropriate websites on their home page.  They suggest that children as young as 6 can use the site.  The free version allows each account to have five "buddies" to whom they can send e-mail.  From what I can tell, parents receive parallel accounts and are Carbon Copied on all e-mails.  The chat room is also restricted to the buddies associated with the account.  Multiple children?  No problem you can monitor their activity from the same account.  So, if you'll be working with young children this summer, you might want to review ZillaDog.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Visualing Visitors #edtech

I ran across an interesting site today. allows you to do exactly what the name suggests.  Ever wonder where statements like if "YouTube were a country..."? will tell you just how many visitors a site gets daily and then compares those stats to the population of different countries.  In YouTube's case the daily visitor would be more than the population of Japan!  They also try to put in in perspective with different visuals such as how many football fields those visitors could fill or how long a human chain of visitors would be.  It also tries to show some demographic information and finally displays the digital footprint of the site as far as how many servers it likely utilizes as well as the amount of electricity it costs to maintain the site.  Is it the best tool that provides this kind of data?  Probably not, but it is intriguing.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Team Up for Success #edtech

If you read my last post about the PBL4PD Project I am working on for next year, you know I plan on having teachers working in teams, meeting deadlines and achieving milestones.  While there are ways to monitor the process with an application like Manymoon, such an application may be too feature rich and complicate for the needs of this project.  So, I am looking at alternatives such as MyTeamness with gives team members a way to create tasks, generate milestones, share messages, work collaboratively on an online white board, achieve milestones and post files.  The free version of MyTeamness allows up to 30 people to be invited to the project.  Not sure yet, if MyTeamness is what I will use to manage the PBL4PD project, but it is definitely in the running.

A New Beginning

The 2011-12 school year will be full of exciting opportunities for Professional Development at the special education satellite campuses I work with.  Loosely based on the concept of teacher led Professional Development that has emerged from the grass roots EdCamp model.  Teachers will be more involved in how they learn and hopefully, begin to implement this knowledge into already existing curricula.  

These campuses will participate in "Project Based Learning for Teachers".  This appears to be a radically new approach to Professional Development, as I have not yet been able to find other examples of this model.  Teachers will work collaboratively across campuses to develop short media productions or presentations that cover an area of interest in education.  They will be expected to learn new skill sets and utilize existing cloud utilities to create a final product over the course of six months.  These projects will then be published and shared publicly (likely under a Creative Commons license) so that others may benefit.  Some early suggestions for projects have included Digital Citizenship, Crisis Prevention Training and Social Emotional Studies.  Teachers will develop their own ideas in small groups and I will facilitate and provide the necessary technical training and guidance.  They will learn the technology skills and applications that can assist them on as needed basis for their individual projects.  Thus, they will be gaining knowledge that is not only useful but applicable.

While the design of this model is based on the concept of an EdCamp there will a defined structure with set expectations to keep the project on track. Over the course of the summer, program leaders in each building, in conjunction myself, will develop a curriculum that adheres to NETS for Teachers with included expectations, milestones which need to be accomplished and a rubric for assessment.  Teachers involved in the project will be eligible for Professional Growth Units and some may even choose to use the project as part of their PDP.  Additionally, the goal is to present the results at the 2012 ICE Conference.

The 2011-12 school year will certainly be one of new beginnings!  I am extremely excited about the learning opportunities that will hopefully develop from this project!  Not only for the teachers; but, for myself as well. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Is It Just Me? #edtech

Has this ever happened to you? You head to your favorite utility and you reach a 404 error, indicating that the site is down?  Or perhaps, the site just doesn't seem to load properly? And you wonder, is it just me or is the site really down.  You throw out a message on your PLN asking if anyone else is experiencing the same problem.  But if you were hoping to use the utility during class, you need to know quickly if you should keep trying or punt to plan B.  Now you can with tonight's utility  Simply type the site into and in a few seconds you'll know if the problem is local or if the site is actually down.  It's a great simple utility that can be very helpful.

My EdCamp Chicago Experience Finally a Reflection

Granted it's been almost a month since EdCamp Chicago.  I'm not going to make excuses for the lateness of my reflection post. Instead, I'm going to try and give you a different perspective than the average EdCamper.  
First, when I first saw Chad Lehman post that he was working with Steve Dembo to put the event together, I was excited.  Here was an opportunity to connect with a number of people that I have been talking with on social networking platforms for years most notably Josh StumpenhorstTammy Lind and Jena Sherry.  

Being a "District Technology Coordinator", I wasn't sure what I was actually going to gain from my first EdCamp experience.  Since EdCamps are not necessarily based in technology, but rather all things related to education, I was nervous about what I could contribute.  Although I have a strong background in the field of education it has been 15 years since I stood in front of a class of students. So I compensated by letting the organizers of the event know that I was willing to help in any way possible during he months leading to the camp.  Honestly, I probably over committed myself by volunteering to stream from different sessions on the day of the event, trying to organize an "after camp" event (which eventually took care of itself), developing a QR Code challenge and attempting to garner door prizes from many of the local businesses.  All this in addition to my regular job, family obligations, working on conference sessions, writing a book and my 365 blog project? By the morning of the event, I was exhausted.   But, this fit the plan, since it was simply to sit back and listen.

Now, if you've never attended an EdCamp the idea is to come up with what will be discussed during the day on the morning of the event.  The rules were simple. First, have fun.  Second, if you came up with a session idea it was your responsibility to kick the session off and let the conversation flow. And finally, learn from each other. At least I think those were the rules. I was amazed at how quickly the board filled up during the opening ceremony and how easily it all came together.  In all there were at least 20 sessions that came together in a matter of minutes.

The first session I sat in on was about the concept of the flipped classroom that was lead by one of the founding father's of the movement, Jonathan Bergmann.  This concept is a really hot topic right now and so the session for the most part was a Q&A with Johnathan.  Of course, my mind was racing through the technical aspects of how I could assist teachers in my district with the implementation of the idea.  I stuck to my plan and sat back and listened and learned.

Next up for me was a session about QR Codes in the classroom.  I am fascinated with the possibilities that QR Codes present both in and outside the classroom.  Although, I had not suggested the session, I think because I had developed the QR Code challenge for the event (basically a web quest done with QR Codes) I felt the responsibility to facilitate the conversation.  And some amazing ideas came out of that discussion.  Including from participants like Jerry Blumengarten on Twitter and by chat room participants in the Ustream feed.  

An amazing informational session was led by Anne Truger all about Google Apps in Education.  Working for one of the first school districts in the country to have "gone Google" I felt this session was also one to which I could contribute information.  But half way through the session, a Twitter conversation suddenly broke out in . the atrium - completely unscheduled.  This is the beauty of an unstructured day - you go where it leads you.  Since Twitter is "my thing", I snuck down there to join the conversation.

Finally, there was a session about Delicious vs Diigo vs Pearltrees vs Sqowrl.  And the message that came out of that session is what I have been preaching for years: "find the tool that works for you."  This was the most structured of the sessions but after the first ten minutes or so the discussion simply started to flow.

Throughout the day, I was conducting short video interviews with the participants about why these events are important. I had the compilation complete that weekend but my computer decided to dump it.  Luckily, I had the files backed up but I need to recompile it this weekend.  I promise it's coming!

Lessons learned?
  • Participate but don't over commit
  • Don't be afraid to speak up when you feel your input will be valuable
  • Everyone involved in the education process matters.
  • Expand your PLN and continue the conversation
I left the day with my head spinning and full of fresh ideas and looking forward to my next EdCamp (which may be SpedCamp in Witchita, KS in October).

Monday, June 6, 2011

Yo! It's been a long day #edtech

It has been a long day.  So, tonight I'm not going to go to in depth into the utility I'm about to recommend.  instead I highly encourage you to explore it on your own.  Yodio is an interesting idea for digital storytelling.  Very similar in many ways to VoiceThread.  Basically you can create a series of images that you can then add voiceovers via a toll free number.  I like how slick the interface is and how simple it is to put a story together with Yodio.  That's it, I'm spent for the evening.  Off to bed.  This sudden heat wave in the Chicago area is exhausting for those of us not used to it.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Map Tools That Measure Up #edtech

Over Memorial Day weekend, I was supposed to have gone golfing with some friends at a course I had never been too before (Willow Glen in North Chicago Illinois).  I have the Golf Logix App on my smartphone (a must for any avid golfer).  Unfortunately, the distance tool is based on proximity using GPS and since this course does not have a web site, I had no way to map out the course to prepare. Sure, there's Google Maps/Earth - but I did't discover until tonight that it could actually handle yards as a unit of measurement (you have to click the I'm feeling geeky link to get at measurements other than kilometers or miles. I sent out a "tweet" to some of my friends in the edtech community who are know are beyond the weekend warrior golfer looking for options and there really aren't any.  OK, so what does that have to do with this Web 2.0 365 post a day project I'm working on?
I started searching for alternatives and came across Free Map Tools.  They use the Google backbone (who doesn't these days?) But the allow you to measure distances on the map converting the distance to kilometers, miles or yards.  But, the fun doesn't end there.  They tell you how long it should take to get between points whether you are walking, jogging, running, cycling, in a slow or fast car or even as the crow flies. You can also measure the radius around the points.  Need to find the zip codes in that radius? Free Map Tools can do that to.  Need to find out how much land was affected by the Japanese tsunami? Free Map Tools let's you calculate area.  It does much more as well.  Math and Geography teachers will probably love this site.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Is Zenodotus Worth My Time? #edtech

Apparently not a whole lot, if you trust what Sitetrail tells you.  I am fully engrossed in the process of building a public presence on the web. Both through building a strong PLN and through the 365 project on this blog.  Every night, like it or not, I diligently make sure to share a Web 2.0 utility with you.  If you note the Quantcast information, you'll not I get over 100 US readers per month.and close to 200 international viewers. Maybe i'm doing something right.  But, if your a blogger like me, you probably often wonder; "Is it worth it?" Well, Sitetrail can help you with that.  Simply head to Sitetrail and click the analysis link. Type in your blog or any website for that matter and you will get more information about tht site than you probably ever wanted to know.  Not only will you get social media analysis (showing how many times the site has been listed at a variety of social bookmarking and social media outlets)., but you'll get the rank of various search engines (A.K.A. SEO Analysis), content analysis (showing the most used keywords) and link analysis.  Finally they will give you the value of the site in question should you try to sell it today.  My result? $103 dollars?! 28 cents a day for the amount of work I put into this? Really?!

Don't worry, I don't plan to stop the 365 project in it's tracks.  Instead I will revitalize my efforts to drive more traffic to this blog and continue to reach as many of you as I can!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Get Getty With It #edtech

It's "Friday Fun Night" once again.  And tonight, I went looking for a creative site all about art. I stumbled upon The Getty Museums website in Los Angeles, California.  My eyes are closing because I've been watching my youngest being mesmerized by the fun games in their kids section.  It's not clear that it even exists from their main website.  But after doing a little digging there were some fun yet educational matching games, jigsaw puzzles, detail detectives and more.  While the games are more in the pre-k realm, there are a number of resources for students of all ages.  Definitely worth a look.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

What Do I Do with All This Stuff? #edtech

So, my daughter comes home today with a grocery bag full of all the work she did in school this year. Hundreds of projects.  I don't have the wall space to display all these pieces of paper! So, I've spent the last few hours looking for a digital portfolio that I can use to preserve and display her work.  I'm glad her teacher sent all of it home to be honest because there are some priceless pieces that I know she will cherish when she is an adult and to be quite honest by that time any digital repository might not survive!
But I digress, of the sites I found tonight the best of the best in my opinion appears to be Bleidu.  While definitely not for elementary artwork/projects, Bleidu looks like a great option for High School or College students and beyond.  Whatever kind of artist you are Bleidu provides what appears to be unlimited upload of images into ay number of Galleries.  Looks like a real nice way to organize your images.  You can select from 3 themes for you galleries as well, including, Lightbox, Pretty Picture and Shadowbox.  They all end up looking extremely professional.  Additionally, you can write a portfolio intro and an about me and contact page.  So, for those students looking to put together an amazing art portfolio. Bleidu just might be the way to go.
Bonus: I now have a TON of options for art portfolio building.
Cry for help: If you know of more dynamic portfolio options on the web that also allow uploading text files, pdfs, etc - to build a true student portfolio - let me know by adding it in the comment section and I'll be sure to review.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Reach Your Goals #edtech

Sometime ago I posted about Goalst.  I set up a list of goals I wanted to reach and with 29 days left, I haven't reached one.  Why?  Probably, beause there was no reminder feature.  Which meant I would have had to visit the site of my own volition to check on my goals.  As busy as my life is, that wasn't happening.  But I'm not one to give up and have been extremely impressed by the features of goalforit.  Goalforit is feature rich and offers goal setting, chore charts, behavior charts, to do lists and more.  Of course it offers you reminder options (daily, weekly or monthly), you can make it your own with themes, and you can make your goal lists public or private.  This site is impressive and I can see many applications beyond goal setting. The Chore chart has two seperate types, one for kids and the other for teens and tweens (of course it would probably work for honeydo lists as well - just don't tell my wife)!  The behavior charts would work great for special ed programs that require behavior IEPs.  Each of these types of lists can have days of the week set for each goal, as well as, point setting for achieving milestones.  When you complete a task you can check it off or add a cute icon.  This is then added to a calendar for that specific task. You can also add friends and family or just meet new friends who have similar goals to help you stay motivated and on task.  Hopefully, this site will do just that for me and I strongly encourage you to check out Goalforit for yourself.
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