Wednesday, August 31, 2011
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Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Lessonopoly is a great online community for sharing and organizing lesson plans. The first thing you will want to do at Lessonopoly is familiarize yourself with their lesson planning search engine. And if you read this blog, you know, I'm going to tell you to click the advanced search options. You can then search by "subject, grade, keywords or author" Additionally, there is an option to search for lesson plans that include California State Standards. Once you find a lesson plan you like you can add them to your library. You can then add these lessons to your Lessonopoly calendar.
Once you have "listened" and explored the resources, it's time to "pay it forward". There is very nice form within Lessonopoly that allows you to share your best lesson plans. It's time to get "engaged" and share your knowledge. That's how communities like these grow.
As with any community, the power of Lessonopoly is that you can connect globally with your peers. Not only can you connect with individual teachers but you can join groups as well. Make sure to make those connections!
Sunday, August 28, 2011
As I climb down off my soapbox, I want to tell you about an amazing site that can help you do just that. Netsmartz is full of incredible resources for parents, law enforcement, educators, teens, tweens and kids. Netsmartz has a multitude of pre-designed lesson plans, presentations, videos, quizes and games that can facilitate conversations. And that's the key to raising responsible digital citizens is to talk about how to use technology responsibly. Netsmartz is a site developed by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children so you know the resources they provide can be trusted. There's no better time than the beginning of the school year to start thinking about how you will help educate students on the importance of digital citizenship and Netsmartz can help you get there.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
But, I had not forgotten that conversation.
So, I know it's a few days late, but Tom (or anyone else for that matter) may want to give Viddler a try. Viddler like Vimeo, Dailymotion and YouTube allows you to upload, share and later download your own videos. They also allow you to pull up your webcam and record your video directly to their servers (of course you have the control to download it later). You also have control over the design of your player that you can embed into websites using designs they call vidgets. But here's where it gets extremely powerful, you can add comments, tags or even video comments to your own videos (similar to the way ads pop-up on other video sites). And with a few simple setting changes, allow others to do the same. It's truly a social video sharing tool! In their paid version you can even add your own watermarks and select which advertisements appear on your videos, helping you earn some revenue from your videos.
Viddler definitely deserved it's own post and not just a quick mention in passing within another post.
Friday, August 26, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Friday, August 19, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Eventually it hit me that there was one last place to look, a Web 2.0 presentation I had given last year at ICE. Bam, there it was Woices, a very simple yet powerful Web 2.0 crowdsourced concept. On the service it's a mashup between Google Maps and a podcast host. You are able to record up to 10 minute "echos" using either the web based application or a mobile device (IOS and Android - gotta love anything cross platform) and lay them over a Google map. But where Woices becomes amazingly powerful is in the ability connect a series of "echos" into a walking tour (e.g., your neighborhood, a tourist destination, the local zoo or museum) or historical events (e.g., maybe your students create podcasts and route Lewis and Clark's travels or battle's of historical significance during the Civil War). These echos can be listened to on the web or downloaded as MP3s to a listening device. Best of all, when your done - You can embed the Woices project into your site, wiki or blog. The one below is one of my personal favorites. I'm a huge fan of going to zoos and the 8 minutes of this walk can give me a quick escape without having to leave my house! I'm actually thinking of trying something similar except for the local golf course (maybe recording tips for each hole). I must apologize for the parenthesis tonight, sometimes my inner woice just gets the best of me and I need to use them to break my thought process. :-)
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Saturday, August 13, 2011
That was a lot of back story for this post which is basically a search engine that you can use to search for information on previous storms in the US going back to the early and mid-50's. Provided by the National Climactic Data Center in conjunction with NOAA, the Storm Event search engine allows you to search for information on weather varrying from waterspouts (who knew we had waterspouts in Illinois?) to your average wind storm. The Storm Event search engine also let's you get very granular with your search with options for wind speed, hail size, damage estimates and deaths. Storm Event is great for students conducting research and writing reports on weather events that may or may not have made the headlines. Particularly since you know the source can be trusted.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
While MiMedia gives you 7 Gb of cloud storage, it does require you download a client. Personally, I'm over flash drives. I have a ton ranging from 265 Mb to 16 Gb and I'm always misplacing them and never can find the one I really need (I'm terrible at labeling media - going all the way back to the 5 1/4 floppy). With cloud storage like that from MiMedia that's a thing of the past. You can easily upload your files and organize them online. Once there, you no longer have to worry about grabbing that portable storage device because it's available and backed up in the cloud. Plus, you can choose with whom you want to share said files. So, it's also a social application. Additionally, if you need more storage, you can get up to 250 Gb for $9.99 a month and that fee includes an encrypted "speedy drive" that arrives via 'snail mail' is then sent back to the company saving you precious bandwidth for your initial upload of data. Overall, MiMedia looks very interesting and a real player in the cloud storage wars.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Readeo takes the reading and communication to another level for the younger student in your lives. Basically, Readeo combines the power of ebooks with the communication benefits of Skype. There is currently a very limited free version of the application (allowing access to featured books only) and a paid subscription is available for $10 a month (opening over 140 titles for viewing). With either version, Readeo allows you to share a book with anyone in the world using a Skype-like interface.
The last time I was away for a conference, my kids had packed a book for me to read to them over Skype at night. Readeo takes it a step further and allows the person reading the book to share the interface and turn the pages on the screen of the listener. Readeo is a fantastic application for traveling parents, grandparents who don't get to visit often and especially educators who would like parents to drop in and read a book to the class. What makes Readeo even more special in that regard is that the paid membership opens access to the library of books, but anyone with a free account can read for the members shelves. Readeo's library is searchable by author and age range. How can you see Readeo being used in your classroom? Would you like to see an educational version of this down the road? You never know Readeo's CEO Coby Neuenschwander may just stumble upon this post and read your comments!
Monday, August 8, 2011
Sunday, August 7, 2011
This 365 project seems to be getting harder to keep up with! Today was non-stop busy from 5 in the morning until just now. Exhausted.
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Friday, August 5, 2011
Tonight happens to be my 11th wedding anniversary. Need to spend some quality time with the wife. Double post tomorrow.