Answerables

Answerables
Game Based Learning System

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Learn That

Learn That is a site for viewing free tutorials. These tutorials are very detailed and done straight in the web page. However, you can still print, email, or share the tutorials w/ other people. While not as robust as Atomic Learning which is done in video format, it is free and a nice place to start to learn how to do things.



Give Learn That a try by clicking here.
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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Inside the Cyber Studio: Ana Maria Menezes

Due to the popular response I've decided to issue two columns a week instead of one. I will post one at the beginning (monday/tuesday) of the week and then one at the end (friday). Otherwise, it would just take to long to get through all of them.
Keep in mind the questions might change from time to time (especially as technology changes), and I'm looking to provide other formats as well (audio/video).

I hope you all find this to be a fun/exciting journey as we get to learn a bit more about each other and why we love technology & education.

Ana Maria Menezes
blog: http://lifefeast.blogspot.com/



  1. Where do you live? Uberlandia/Minas Gerais/Brazil
  2. How long have you been working w/ technology/education? 20 years w/ education, 4 years w/ technology + education
  3. What OS/platform fo you use for your work? Windows
  4. What is your favorite Web 2.0/21st Century tool and why? My favourite web 2.0 tool is my blog. By blogging I've discovered I have a voice in the world which can be heard by like-minded people. It's the space where I test web tools, share projects I develop, and most of all , meet people who are interested in the same area. I also love twitter because of the amount of information shared in a short amount of time.
  5. What is the biggest misconception about technology? My favourite web 2.0 tool is my blog. By blogging I've discovered I have a voice in the world which can be heard by like-minded people. It's the space where I test web tools, share projects I develop, and most of all , meet people who are interested in the same area. I also love twitter because of the amount of information shared in a short amount of time.
  6. What are the biggest hurdles you face as a technology educator? School educators are normally reluctant to changes. Their biggest fear is that technology might interfere with the quality of classes.

    As a teacher trainer, I try to help teachers overcome their fear of not mastering the use of technology and dare to explore unknown grounds. I always say "If I was able to learn how to use these tools, so can you."
  7. What has been your biggest success in technology integration? I've tried several tools with my students, developing different projects, but one I thought was really successful was a project I developed with 15-19 year old EFL Brazilian students (intermediate level), where once a month they would write a post in their own blogs. They also visited each other blogs and left comments. By choosing their own theme for the blog, and being free to express their own ideas in the blog, I noticed they finally found their voice in English. They noticed that even though they were making mistakes, they could still express themselves.
  8. What has been your biggest setback in technology integration? Students in Brazil still associate the use of internet only with leasure, therefore, when we propose something different like doing homework using the internet, they are a bit resistant. However, when you involve them in communicating with the world then they can understand why technology can offer them something they can't get only from books and classes.
  9. Who/what has been your biggest inspiration in technology/education? My number one inspiration is Carla Arena, an EFL teacher in Brasilia who introduced me to the wonderful world of edutech. She's an enthusiastic blogger and explorer of new web possibilities.
  10. Where do you see technology integration heading in the future? I see a big change in education in the future. With technology students don't need to be at the same place anymore. They are not restrained to teachers from their own country or teachers nearby. Anyone can learn from their own homes and from anyone in the world. Our role as teachers will change too, we are not the givers anymore, we are helpers, guides and facilitators.
Fun
  1. What is your favorite book? The Illuminator
  2. What is your favorite movie? The color of Paradise

Next on Cyber Studio:
Tarak Brahmi

Contrapunctus Variations

Contrapunctus Variations (say that ten times fast ;-) is a very cool site for making orchestra type music. All you have to do is select your instrument and start clicking all over the screen to get different sounds. You can even switch your instrument in mid sound. Finally, you can save this an add to an already existing piece, or you can email it to a friend.

Click here to create your own music.

A special thank you to Larry Ferlazzo for introducing me to this bizarre yet wonderful experience.

Below is my masterpiece!!

video

Monday, September 28, 2009

Dirpy

Dirpy is a new (beta) site that allows users to upload YouTube videos and extract the audio. This is ideal when all you need is that hard to find song/blurb/quote that can only be found on YouTube. I'm not sure what kind of permission rights come into play, but anything "common craft" should be just fine.



What makes Dirpy so good is how easy it is to use. Just upload a YouTube video (via a URL), adjust your settings and file size, and click download to Mp3.



Give Dirpy a try by clicking here.
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iFixit

Being the Mac user I am, I decided to type a quick blurb on a rather useful site, iFixit. iFixit is a great resource for those that want to download manuals or view instructions on how to repair things. The instructions are very concise and easy to follow, and there are plenty of pics to help along the way.

Keep in mind, I am not suggesting to just go ahead and try to repair something, especially if you have never done this before. However, if the item is no longer under warranty and you want to give it a shot and don't have a GSX (special Apple section) login, this site should be
helpful.



Click here for more info.


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PhotoSnack

PhotoSnack is a new (beta) site for creating beautiful looking slide shows. It reminds me a little bit of Photovisi w/ slide show transitions. What makes PS such a great site to use is how easy it is. Just upload your photos, customize your settings and then share w/ others. It can't get much easier then that (you don't even have to register to use it 8-).

Below is a slide show example I created...



Give PhotoSnack a try by clicking here.
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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Inside the Cyber Studio: Jen Cuellar

Due to the popular response I've decided to issue two columns a week instead of one. I will post one at the beginning (monday/tuesday) of the week and then one at the end (friday). Otherwise, it would just take to long to get through all of them.
Keep in mind the questions might change from time to time (especially as technology changes), and I'm looking to provide other formats as well (audio/video).

I hope you all find this to be a fun/exciting journey as we get to learn a bit more about each other and why we love technology & education.

Jen Cuellar
site: http://fairview.dist57.org/iweb/cuellarwp/site/Home.html



  1. Where do you live? Elgin, IL
  2. How long have you been working w/ technology/education? Going on 8 years
  3. What OS/platform do you use for work? Mac
  4. What is your favorite web 2.0/21st Century tool and why? There are so many great Web 2.0/21st Century tools out there, but I would have to say Google Apps is one of my favorites to use within the classroom. Google Apps provides my students with familiar tools to use as they create Docs, Presentations, Spreadsheets, Sites, and so much more. It's user friendly. And has been a great addition as a way for me to provide my students with some exposure to their future. What do I mean by that? Google helps me to make it easier for my students to collaborate and create not only among studetns within our own class, but with other students around the world. Thus exposing them to global learning without even realizing it; as well as critical thinking. I could go on and on about the benefits that Google could offer within the classroom setting, but I'll let you explore that and see for yourself.
  5. What is the biggest misconception about technology? The biggest misconception about technology, hmmm? I would have to say that a misconception would be believing that it will make all concerns/problems go away. Technology is a wonderful tool that should be used to help enhance student learning that provides them with a wide range of opportunities to demonstrate what they have learned. We know that we do not all learn the same and as a results we should be able to show what we have learned in more than one way. Technology shouldn't be used as a replacement of students learning the basics and/or mechanics of everyday "non-technology" tools that they are needed to be life long learners.
  6. What are the biggest hurdles you face as a technology educator? The biggest hurdles I face as an educator that incorporates technology is a tough one to answer. I say that because I feel fortunate to be working in a district that has allowed me to try new innovative ideas with my students. Even as crazy as the idea may have sounded at the time.
    If I had to list any hurdles I would say time and availablity of access. I am sure these are hurdles that many educators face. Its hard to find the time to get it in and sometimes when you have the time, access is limited or not there.
    Would keyboarding exposure could?
  7. What has been your biggest success in technology integration? I would have to say my biggest success in technology integration would be the 2 VERY SUCCESSFUL Paperless Days that I put together for my students during the 2008-2009 school year. What an experience this was that I hope to create again this year. I wasn't so sure how it pan out but both days ran very smooth. And the learning that took place just among each other was amazing to see. Students worked collaboratively and cooperatively without any "he/she won't take turns", "I want to do this." They taught each other things, as well as to their parents. Yes, I did have the parents participate in the 2nd Paperless Day with their child. That has to be my biggest success story in technology integration.
  8. What has been your biggest setback in technology integration? My biggest set-back in technology integration is that not all students coming in have the same exposure of just the basics. I say that would be my set-back because then we take time to demonstrate some of the basics and then allow for them to practice it. It is by no means a big set-back, but a small one that limits some of the integration that takes place. That is of course when it's students using the computers individually and not when integrating it whole group.
  9. Who/what has been your biggest inspiration in technology/education? I think just seeing what others have done in technology integration and seeing ways that they have tied it in has been a great inspiration to me. Me seeing that, then gets my wheels turning with ideas and ways to do things differently than I have previously. Of course, keeping in mind what would benefit my students most and/or how would it benefit them.

    There are so many wonderful educators out there that are doing some amazing things that there would be no way to limit it to just one person or to one thing. So I thank everyone that takes that leap to try something "different" and then put it out there for all of us to see.
  10. Where do you see technology integration headed in the future? Oh gosh, technology is changing as I answer these questions. I could see more virtual learning, as many tutoring companies are providing online learning. The possibilities are endless as to where technology integration is heading. Although, I would have to say it is or could be endless as long as we have educators that are willing to push the envelope a little each time. Even if one is not as tech savvy as another, it doesn't matter. We encourage our students to take risks and say that its okay if a mistake is made. Then I think we can show them that in fact it is okay and that we will learn as we go. That's one of the great things with technology integration, what one might think is an error could turn into something great.
Next on Cyber Studio: Ana Maria Menezes

Ziipa

Ziipa is a "web 2.0" search engine that I found out about from Shelly Terrell's wonderful blog. This is unique among search engines because it only focuses on: Web 2.0, start-ups, and applications... ideal for the 21st Century educator!!

Another nice feature of Ziipa is that the results come back by showing a thumbnail of the site, w/ a star rating system that you can vote on. Features like these make searching for "web 2.0" tools a snap.

Below are results for a search on the term, file sharing.



Give Ziipa a try by clicking here.

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Twurdy

Twurdy is a new (beta) search engine which I first read about on Larry Ferlazzo's excellent blog. After giving it a try it kind of reminded me a cross between Nettrekker and Google because it gives you results based on read ability levels. Any user of Nettrekker will be very familiar w/ how this is done.

Below is an example of results based on the term, semantic web.



Give Twurdy a try by clicking here.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Super Teacher Tools

Super Teacher Tools is a great site for teacher resources where everything as free and includes: games, downloads, and other helpful tools that can assist educators in their teaching. All that is needed to use this site is Flash which allows students/teachers to play games, create seating charts, and even generate names in a random order (much better then picking names out of a hat).

Give Super Teacher Tools (check out classroom tools) a look by clicking here.

Group Maker Tool
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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Inside the Cyber Studio: Dan Johnson

Due to the popular response I've decided to issue two columns a week instead of one. I will post one at the beginning (monday/tuesday) of the week and then one at the end (friday). Otherwise, it would just take to long to get through all of them.
Keep in mind the questions might change from time to time (especially as technology changes), and I'm looking to provide other formats as well (audio/video).

I hope you all find this to be a fun/exciting journey as we get to learn a bit more about each other and why we love technology & education.

Dan Johnson
site: http://www.greendale.k12.wi.us/Teachers/johnson_d/johnson_d.html


  1. Where do you live? US, Wauwatosa, WI
  2. How long have you been working w/ technology/education? 5 years
  3. What OS/platform do you use for work? Mac
  4. What is your favorite Web 2.0/21st Century tool and why? I would say YouTube, and similar sites due to the way they allow for the sharing of work and ideas. No longer is the content one can access restricted to that which a small handful of people decide is worthy of publication.
  5. What is the biggest misconception about technology? That it's new, or optional. People who balk at using "technology" typically don't mind using a cell phone, a copy machine (as opposed to running mimeographs), etc. And the idea that hanging on to older, more comfortable technologies is a choice ignores the fact that as our society continues to move forward, those technologies become more and more difficult to find.
  6. What are the biggest hurdles you face as a technology educator? I think the biggest hurdle for me has been trying to stay current with the new possibilities that are constantly being developed. I don't want to be preparing my students for the past.
  7. What has been your biggest success in technology integration? Using applications such as Comic Life and iMovie in my classroom. These have been highly motivating to my students, while at the same time asking the kids to apply concepts we are learning with a variety of in depth thinking skills. Essentially, the kids develop greater understanding while also having fun.
  8. What has been your biggest setback in technology integration? I can't think of one, other than wishing for more time.
  9. Who/what has been your biggest inspiration in technology/education? The finished projects my students have created. There are at times moments when I wonder if we've gotten in over our heads, but when I see what the kids have created, and hear them talk about what they've learned, I know it's worth while.
  10. Where do you see technology integration heading in the future? I think it's leading to a smaller world. Things that kids would have learned about through textbooks in the past are now instantly accessible. Sharing ideas and projects with people around the world will change the way we learn about and work with others.
Next on Cyber Studio: Jen Cuellar
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Ideas to Inspire

Ideas to Inspire is an excellent resource for teachers who want to bring technology into their curriculum. It is a collection of collaborative presentations from educators all around the world.

I really like the look and feel to this site. It is very easy to navigate through and there are a ton of resources to look through.

Below is an example of one of their presentations from their "curriculum idea" section.



Give Ideas to Inspire a try by clicking here.

For another detailed review check out the amazing Free Technology 4 Teachers blog.
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Monday, September 21, 2009

Lessons from the field: Interview w/ David Kapuler

An online resource called Certification Map, has posted an interview they did w/ me last week. I think it's kinda neat having answering somebody's questions rather then being the one who asks them. Also, I think this is a great site/resource for those that are looking to become teacher certified.

Check out the interview by clicking here.

For more on teacher certification click here.
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Rollip

Rollip is a site I just learned about from Teacher Reboot Camp an excellent blog from, Shelly Terrell. Rollip is a fun and easy way to create polaroids from your photos. This is ideal when wanting to print or download them. Plus, you can add a nice border around your photo too.



Click here to give Rollip a try.
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Friday, September 18, 2009

Inside the Cyber Studio: Buffy J. Hamilton

Due to the popular response I've decided to issue two columns a week instead of one. I will post one at the beginning (monday) of the week and then one at the end (friday). Otherwise, it would just take to long to get through all of them.

Keep in mind the questions might change from time to time (especially as technology changes), and I'm looking to provide other formats as well (audio/video).

I hope you all find this to be a fun/exciting journey as we get to learn a bit more about each other and why we love technology & education.

Buffy J. Hamilton
blog: http://theunquietlibrarian.wordpress.com/



  1. Where do you live? Canton, Georgia
  2. How long have you been working w/ technology/education? This is year 18
  3. What OS/platform do you use for your work? Windows
  4. What is your favorite Web 2.0/21st Century tool and why? Wow---it is hard to choose just one! My most powerful tool right now is probably Google Reader---I am able to pull the feeds from my favorite RSS feeds (blogs, Twitter, web pages) and to share items with friends and colleagues--I especially love the sharing and "bundles" features. I would have to say Twitter is a VERY close second, though---it was and continues to be a MAJOR player in my personal learning network. Facebook is now third---I love using it to share and network with my colleagues/friends.
  5. What is the biggest misconception about technology? The biggest misconception is that a technology itself can disrupt and change education---instead, the power lies in the thoughtful and effective application of a particular technology.
  6. What are the biggest hurdles you face as a technology educator? Helping teachers feel comfortable trying new tools and cultivating a culture that motivates teachers to be open to the possibilities that Web 2.0 tools can present for learning.
  7. What has been your biggest success in technology integration? My work w/ my Media 21 Capstone project has been my biggest success so far and is still a work in progress. I work daily w/ two sections of 10th Honors English--we are regularly using a class wiki, and students are using blogs to reflect their learning process. Students are also building a learning portfolio using Google Sites. We will be adding additional tools like Google Reader, Diigo, delivious, and Twitter for information sharing, backchanneling in class, and collaboration. Other teachers who are not part of the project have become curious, and I have several teachers now using Google Docs and Google Sites w/ their classes as well. You can read more about my project at http://theunquietlibrarian.wikispaces.com/media21capstone-buffy.
  8. What has been your biggest set-back in technology integration? I personally have been fortunate to not have personally experienced setbacks in integration as I feel I grow and make progress each year; in addition, I am in a newer school and in the Media 21 program which has afforded me many opportunities to personally integrate technology into my practice. I am also fortunate to have an amazing personal learning network that has been incredibly instrumental in my professional growth the last 18 months. The biggest challenge I face as a librarian is that few teachers have had experience in working with a progressive librarian; in addition, the role of the library and librarian in education is never addressed in undergrad teacher ed, so creating collaborative partnerships with teachers takes extra work since few teachers have any expectations. I think if our district filter, which is progressive compared to neighboring districts, were to be opened up a little more, we could make even more forward strides---I will continue to advocate for that.
  9. Who/what has been your biggest inspiration in technology/education? I would have to say the work od Dr. Michael Wesch and Wendy Drexler are my inspiration for the Media 21 project work I'm doing in cultivating a classrom of inquiry that helps created, "connected students" who are developing a personal learning network. I fear I will leave out names if I start identifying additional educators and librarians who influence and inspire my work, but you might start w/ librarians I follow via my Google Reader at http://www.google.com/reader/shared/user%2F12352826191457788497%2Flabel%2FLibrarian%20Blogs.
  10. Where do you see technology integration heading in the future? I feel cloud computing and open source apps will play an increased role as well as device that are multifunctional; I also feel the power of mobile computing is waiting to be mined by K-12!
Fun
  1. What is your favorite book? Prince of Tides, Great Gatsby, English patient.
  2. What if your favorite movie? Field of Dreams, Casanlanca, Apollo 13

Next on Cyber Studio: Dan Johnson

SafeShare TV (make You Tube safe)

SafeShare TV is a new (beta) site that I heard about from the great blog, Free Technology 4 Teachers. All you have to do is enter a You Tube URL into the SafeShare window and click generate safe link. It then takes you to your video inside a nice secure area w/ no comments. Also, you have the ability to crop the video and share it as well.

This really is an a excellent resource for schools!!!



Give SafeShare a try by clicking here.

Free Book - S

Free Books is a new search engine for finding free online books available for download in many different formats: PDF, doc, docx, etc.

This is a very easy site to use and has a number of hits for any given subject. See below to see my results for books on, Web 2.0.



Free Books

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Inudge

Inudge is a fun new site where users can create music just by clicking on colors and drawing on the screen. It is very easy to use and once finished the song can then be shared w/ others via a link or embedded into a blog/site.

Give Inudge a try by clicking here.



For another in depth review check out Larry Ferlazzo's blog.

Oamos

Oamos is a new and fun search engine I first read about on Larry Ferlazzo's blog. After giving it a try all I can say is, WOW. What a crazy/wild idea the way this engine works. There really isn't anything out there quite like this. Just type in a term (try your name for real fun and check out your PLN pics) and hit return. The engine goes to a new screen where multi-media images appear w/ music playing in the background, all of these image are linkable and takes you to a source, which makes it quite useful.

Give Oamos a try by clicking here you won't be disappointed.

Below is a sample video on the search term, 21st century technology...

video
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Myna

Myna has to be one of the coolest online applications I've seen in a long time. This is a music/sound editor very very similar to Garageband. In fact, I would use this over Audacity any time. PC users can rejoice that they now can create music similar to Garageband.

All you have to do is get started is to create an account, click on the app you want to use (audio editor) and start experimenting w/ all types of music. One of the advantages that Garageband has over Mya is the ability to not only add pre-set tracks but to add individual instruments as well. You literally can create an original piece of music from scratch. Myna has actual preset audio tracks that you can mix/mash.

I highly highly recommend giving Mya a try by clicking here you won't be disappointed.



Below is my sample audio mix w/ my voice recorded over it 8-)


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Logo Ease

Logo Ease is a site I just learned about from the excellent blog, ZarcoEnglish. There are a number of sites for creating logos but LE might just be the best.

The first thing you'll notice when using Logo Ease is how sleek the design looks. It really has a nice user interface w/ some wonderful graphics. All you have to do is select your object, then add some text, and change some color and that's it. It's very simple to use.

I highly recommend checking out Logo Ease!!

Below is my basic example...


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ToonDoo Spaces

ToonDoo Spaces is a new domain of ToonDoo, the great online comic creation site. What makes ToonDoo Spaces so great for education is that is exactly what it was designed for. A teacher/administrator can now monitor all content before it gets posted online. There is educational clip art designed specifically for education. Plus, a custom home page can be setup and all user info can be monitored. This is just ideal for education to abide by CIPA compliance!!



This is very similar to what Glogster offers or even Myths & Legends but it is not free. Pricing is based on the number of students you have and how long you want it for. A 1 yr subscription based on a 1000 students is $1200.

For more info on this excellent resource click here.
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Top 10 Tips for Teaching w/ New Media (Edutopia)

Recently, David Andrade of the great blog, Educational Technology Guy, posted about a great free resource from Edutopia. This is a free resource that educators can sign up for by filling out the online form. It then gets emailed to you in PDF format. While all these are great tips, I suggest taking a look at #7 (collaborating is a skill) and #9 (think visual). These are two things that I really try to convey when working w/ students/teachers.



Download your very own PDF by clicking here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Big Huge Labs


Big Huge Labs is a site that's been around for awhile and very popular w/ the kids. It is where you can take picture templates w/ a piece cut out and add your very own. For example, I did a picture of the Joker holding a card and added my face to it. Needless to say BHL has been a sentimental favorite of mine for awhile and just got better.

Now, they have incorporated an "educational" portal so students can start using this great site. All a teacher has to do is a create a free account and "proof" of their profession (via upload) and they can start creating/uploading student accounts. No student email is needed. Once this is done, a student will get a unique ID & PW which they would use to login. A teacher can view/share/comment on any of their material at any time and monitor it. This reminds me a lot of Glogster and how they deal w/ their educational aspects.



I highly recommend giving Big Huge Labs a look especially w/ their new educational component by clicking here.


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Inside the Cyber Studio: Larry Ferlazzo

Due to the popular response I've decided to issue two columns a week instead of one. I will post one at the beginning (monday) of the week and then one at the end (friday). Otherwise, it would just take to long to get through all of them.

Keep in mind the questions might change from time to time (especially as technology changes), and I'm looking to provide other formats as well (audio/video).

I hope you all find this to be a fun/exciting journey as we get to learn a bit more about each other and why we love technology & education.

Thanks!!!

Larry Ferlazzo
blog: http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/



  1. Where do you live? Work in Sacramento, CA and live in Davis, CA
  2. How long have you been working w/ technology/education? 6 years
  3. What OS/platform do you use for work? Windows
  4. What is your favorite Web 2.0/21st Century tool and why? I think I have to list two: VoiceThread (http://voicethread.com/#home) makes it so easy to integrate photos, audio, video and text into an academic product. And the fact that it allows audio commenting is "icing on the cake" by letting people interact w/ user creations. It's an ideal application for English Language Learners. The second is File2.ws. It lets you immediately create a webpage by just uploading a document from your computer. It's a wonderful way for students and anybody else to get introduced to user-created content by using tech that is more familiar to then (such as Word).
  5. What is the biggest misconception about technology? Again, I have to share two. I think there are a number of people who are heavily invested in ed tech and almost think it's a "magic bullet" of sorts that will revolutionize schooling. Personally, I think edtech is a tool -- no more, no less -- that, used correctly (especially if it's used to develop and deepen face-to-face relationships) can be an excellent tool in an educator's toolkit. However, I believe that there are many teachers out there who know very little about tech and are still far better teachers than I will ever be. They are able to help students develop an appetite for knowledge that can be applied towards gaining whatever knowledge they want, including tech. On the other hand, there are many people, including eduators, who believe it is difficult and complicated to use tech in and educational setting. I believe that all you need to know to effectively integrate tech in learning is email and the ability to copy and paste.
  6. What are the biggest hurdles you face as a technology educator? To tell you the truth, I haven't been experiencing many hurdles at all. I don't fight any content filtering battles because I've taken the time to develop relationships with all key School District staff, and, even though not all the sites I'd like to use are unblocked, there are always plenty of alternative apps that function as adequate replacements and that are not blocked. It would be nice if all the equipment worked perfectly all the time, but it would also be nice if somebody gave me a million dollars. Neither is ever going to happen :)
  7. What has been your biggest success in technology integration? Our school has a family literacy project which provides computers and home internet access to immigrant families to help them learn English. I was given a significant award by the International Reading Association.
  8. What has been your biggest setback in technology integration? My only setbacks are when I don't know how to do a thing technically, and, in those instances (which happen fairly often), either Alice Mercer (http://mizmercer.edublogs.org/) or Sue Waters (http://suewaters.com/) always come to my rescue!
  9. Who/What has been your biggest inspiration in technology/education? I have seen that it has had a tremendous beneficial impact on English Language Learners. Watching students and their families develop a greater capacity in English, which is the "language of power" in our country, is great.
  10. Where do you see technology integration heading in the future? I don't think I'd hazard a guess here, though I hope it keeps on "lowering the bar" for people not familiar with tech and that apps just become easier and easier to use.
Fun
  1. What is your favorite book? Bread and Wine by Ignazio Silone
  2. What is your favorite movie? Two -- Casablanca and It's A Wonderful LIfe
Next on Cyber Studio: Buffy J. Hamilton

PhotoCabine

PhotoCabine is a site I looked at so long ago I can hardly remember, but was pleasantly reminded about it by Jeff Johnson/Tim Holt. This is a fun little site where a user clicks on a picture of a photo booth and relives the actual experience (from dropping in a coin to take multiple pictures).

Finally, when the pictures are done you can: save, print, or share your photos via a link. One thing to consider is this site is in French but still user friendly enough to use that it won't matter. I think Middle School kids would have a blast w/ this site, as long as they use it appropriately.

Give PhotoCabine a try by clicking here.


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Panraven

Panraven is a site for making digital stories that can be uploaded or printed out similar to Mixbook. What makes this a viable option is the ability to add video as well as audio/photos to your stories.

One issue that comes up w/ all Web 2.0 applications is filtering and how that follows CIPA compliance. PR is no different. They have the same standard that most sites have, which is the ability to remove any content/user they deem inappropriate. Again this is a gray area when dealing w/ CIPA compliance since there is no true filtering going on.

Below is a great example of how Panraven can be used...



Click here for more info.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Kuler

Kuler is a site built on Adobe Air that is excellent for users/designers interested in the use of color. This site is perfect for mixing and matching colors or creating your own "distinct" color to use at your disposal.

Also, it is very easy to use just click the create button and start clicking on different color swabs. Anyone who has purchased paint before at a store will be used to this. Finally, a person can register an account which lets them rate, save, or share other colors.

Give Kuler a try by clicking here.
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Text Ninja

Text Ninja is a a great little site that takes text and encodes it so bots can't use it to spam a user. For example, if you post your email site in a forum or online anywhere there is the potential of it being "grabbed" and used for some kind of spam. TN makes it so people see the text you want them too, but "bots" do not as the text has been encrypted.




Give Text Ninja a try by clicking here.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Inside the Cyber Studio: Premiere

Inside the Cyber Studio is an idea I had which is a spin-off from "Inside the Actor Studio" on A&E. I always thought it would be a good idea to get to know the people of my PLN. Being a part of the online "eduverse" for the past couple of years I have met some wonderful/innovate people and thought it would be fun if I could interview them and post the results.

This post is the first phase of this idea. Ideally, I'd like to take is a step further and either do it in audio/video format but that is still ways away. The interviews you will see here are all volunteer and it is up to each user if they want to display a pic or not. The process in which I select people has no rhyme or reason and I don't want anybody to feel left out. I'd be more then happy to post any reader's thoughts/views.

Finally, keep in mind this is a work in progress and as for now happening as a friday column. I hope everyone will find this an entertaining read and recognize some of the people that you read about on here!!!

Alexandra Francisco

blog: http://zarcoenglish-tooloftheday.blogspot.com/


  1. Where do you live? Madeira, Portugal
  2. How long have you been working w/ Technology/education? 15 years
  3. What OS/Platform do you use for your work? Windows
  4. What is your favorite Web 2.0/21st Century tool and why? At the moment, my favourite web2.0 tool is Google Apps, because it provides me and my students with a very user friendly set of tools that make it easy to collaborate and create content.
  5. What is the biggest misconception about technology? Personally speaking, I think the biggest misconception about technology is that it will magically solve our educational problems. Some people tend to forget that technology is only a tool, one that we can and should, no doubt, use to better our classes and enhance our students' learning, but a tool nonetheless.
  6. What are the biggest hurdles you face as a technology educator? I guess, one way or another, with all deal with pretty much the same type of hurdles, which range from time/curriculum management to dealing with parents and so on. I can work my way around the financial aspects, I can try and solve my time/curriculum issues, I can try and reason with parents, but what really gets to me is having to cope with school administration policies, which hinder what I try to do as a technology teacher in almost every step of the way.
  7. What has been your biggest success in technology integration? Well, I have only just recently (about a year ago) began to use web2.0 tools in my EFL classes and I was amazed at how much my students were able to grow as learners in that short time: they used a wide variety of tools for project development, they created digital content, they started their own blogs and what really astounded me was that the majority of them would ask me to assign more tasks and be eager to post them on their blogs once they had completed them.
  8. What has been your biggest set back in technology integration? My biggest set-back in technology integration has been not being able to reach my department colleagues, who keep saying they do not have the skills nor the time to be playing with technology. It gets me down that they feel that way, because as a group we could accomplish so much more for our students.
  9. Who/what has been your biggest inspiration in technology/education? It's hard to narrow it down to only one person, since, fortunately, we do have some amazing educators out there that show us that technology integration can happen and it does work. But if I had to choose one I would, no doubt, choose Larry Ferlazzo, who unknowingly has helped and inspired me in so many ways.
  10. Where do you see technology integration heading in the future? Web2.0 focuses on the power of the community to create, collaborate and validate content, but we all know the web is always evolving and from what I've read linking data will be the power of the web3.0. Does this mean technology integration will be easier? Will we more readily accept the educational power of web tools? I hope so. Our students could benefit so much from it. But bottom line is, regardless of the technology, like Silvia Tolisano brilliantly put it on her blog Langwitches "Now, I have arrived at a point in the process where I believe that it is not (never was) about technology. To make a difference, it has always been about good teaching, reflecting and focusing on (relevant?) student learning."