Thursday, January 28, 2010

iPad in Education

Now that Apple unveiled their new "toy", I was wondering what impact this might potentially have in the classroom.

I really think that there are endless possibilities when it comes for K-12 education.

Mobile Labs for El Ed can be replaced w/ easier to use iPad touch devices. 1 to 1 programs that are very expensive could become more affordable w/ the new iPad. Finally, imagine if it could create a truly "paperless" environment where the text book is obsolete and everything is purchased through their new "app", Books.

I know all of this is bit presumptuous but w/ a new version of iWorks built specifically for the iPad and the ability to sync w/ either a Mac or PC, this provides an excellent solution for an "Office" suite.

It just seems like there are so many great things that can still be done in brand new innovative ways, such as: blogging, podcasts, browsing, etc etc.

I'm curious to what others have to think about this matter as well.

Thanks!!!

Thinklinkr

Thinklinkr is a site I just learned about from Richard Byrne's amazing blog. TL is a site for making online/collaborative outlines. This is classic web 2.0.

What makes Thinklinkr such a great site is how easy it is to use and the great features that come along w/ it, such as: revision history (go back to a previous version), chatting, real-time, etc etc. What I'm really curious about is if this is compatible Inspiration which happens to be one of the popular educational outline creators.

The only thing I can hope for now is some type of educational portal/package where teachers can create user accounts for their students and monitor their activity. If this happens, I see this as being a potential gold mine for educators alike.

I highly recommend checking out the demo video below...


Give Thinklinkr a try by clicking here.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wowzio

Wowzio is a blogger's dream as it is a site where you can create cool looking widgets. First, you have to request an invite to be able to use this product but once you are done it is very easy to use. Also, a person has a choice of many different styles of widgets such as: panoramic, live feed, slideshow, etc.

Below is an example of the life feed widget that I now have on the right side of this very blog...






Thanks to ZarcoEnglish for this excellent tool!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Prezi

Prezi is a site that has been getting a lot of hype lately and for good reason, they just unveiled a very nice educational package. Prezi is a site for creating unique zooming presentations that are interactive. However, I must say while I was very impressed w/ the beta version I thought it had a bit of a high learning curve for the average user. I'm assuming their current version is a tad more userfriendly.

The educational version comes in two packages: a free version (500 MB of online space) or paid (2000 MB $59. a yr). Also, the educational version lets users create private presenations which is ideal when having to deal w/ CIPA compliance, and the ability to create/share templates.



For more info on the latest w/ Prezi click here!!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Digital Directors Guild

The Digital Directors Guild is a site I learned about from Free Technology 4 Teachers, and is ideal for students learning about the digital storytelling process. This excellent resource covers the: who, what, why, where, and when of digital storytelling and its impact on educational curriculum.

or

As DDG states, "Student-created digital movies present teachers and students a chance to explore topics that are personally important while providing opportunities for the writing process, content investigation, collaborative and authentic assessment, as well as 21st Century technology skills."

What I find so fascinating about this site are all the great examples that arranged by subject/grade level. Click here for the list...


I highly recommend checking out this terrific resource by clicking here.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

AudioOwl

AudioOwl is a great search engine for finding free audio books that can be downloaded in many formats.

Give AudioOwl a try by clicking here.



Thanks to Free Technology 4 Teachers for the tip!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Skribit

Skribit is an interesting site for creating content for people w/ writers block. Ideally this would be something posted on somebody's blog but can be used for any purpose. All a user has to do is sign-up (if you a Twitter account very simple) and then either embed a widget or tab into their site. This then creates an area for people to add suggestions on what they'd like you to write about.

I have this testing right now on my site. Feel free to test it out as I decide if I want to keep it or not.

Click here to give Skribit a try.



For more info check out Richard Byrne's excellent blog.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Revolver Maps

Revolver Maps is a great site for finding embeddable/interactive globes. This is great if a blogger/web publisher wants to show who/where their traffic is coming from.

Below is one example...



Thanks to Richard Byrne and his award winning blog for the tip!!!

Cosketch

Cosketch is a site I learned about from Free Technology 4 Teachers. It is an excellent site for creating drawings that can be collaborated on and then embedded into sites. All a person has to do is click on start and they are ready to go, super easy!!!

What makes Cosketch so nice is the ability to create a room where a person can invite others to draw in w/ a built in chat. This is a very attractive option when dealing w/ multiple users.

Below is my sketching example...

thumbnail

Give Cosketch a try by clicking here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Krunchd

Krunchd is a new (beta) site for organizing links. This is ideal for those that don't have a web platform or the time to send a bunch of links out to others. All a person has to do is paste in the links and then have Krunchd "crunch" them by generating one unique URL.

Give Kruncd a try by clicking here.



For another excellent review check out, The Educational Technology Guy blog.
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Number Gossip

Number Gossip is very cool site which acts like a search engine for numbers. For example, all you have to do is type in any number get a variety of information such as: origin, examples, etc etc.

Give Number Gossip a try by clicking here.

Thanks to the award nominated blog, Zarco English for the tip!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sumo Paint

Sumo Paint is a painting app that has been around for a long time. SP is very similar to Photoshop or Paint Brush. SP 2.0 is a nice upgrade as a person now has the ability to add layers and adjust some cool looking filters.

Below is my example of a tile/3d cylinder filter...



Give Sumo Paint a try by clicking here.
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PhotoPeach just got better

PhotoPeach is a slide show making site that I used to suggest for those that wanted to try something a bit different then Animoto. While I prefer Animoto for a straight up slide show, I liked the fact that PhotoPeach had a little interaction built-in. For example, a person after watching the slide show could leave a comment in "real-time" that would then show up for others to view. (If only they could leave that as option to be reviewed before going "live" that would be great).

After reading the award nominated blog, Life Feast, I have discovered that you can now create quizzes very easily in this site as well. All a user has to do is click on the edit/captions+photos button and select Quiz. From there type in your question and answers and you are all set. Very easy!!!



I highly recommend checking out PhotoPeach if you haven't, as I think there could be an educational portal in the near future.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Blog Companion: Technology Tidbits V. II (revised)

Finally, I was able to start revising my digital books w/ new content. V. II now has 15 new reviews as well as being up on Mixbook as well as Bookrix. The reason for this is, I want educators to have the latest content as well as being in any format they so choose.

What's exciting is I am now able to turn these digital books into "real" ones which will be handed out at conferences as well as raffled off online through here.

I hope everyone enjoys this as much as the last one!!!

Mixbook - Create Beautiful Photo Books and Scrapbooks! | View Sample Photo Books | Create your own Photo Book


Remember all digital books can be downloaded here.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Top 50 list

Today, I received a nice little treat when a site called The Digital Learning people nominated Technology Tidbits as one of their top 50 e-Learning blogs. I'm humbled to be included in a list w/ all of these great educators.

It's been about one year since I started this blog and I am really happy w/ the progress it has made. I've been able to collaborate/meet some of the finest/nicest people around. This has never been about me, but about corresponding w/ others to learn best how to fuse technology and education. I'm very lucky to have this platform to share my thoughts/feelings/findings and continue to develop these relationships that mean so very much to me.

Thanks again for all your support!!!

http://toponlineuniversityreviews.com/2010/top-50-blogs-for-e-learning-tools-and-tips/
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Storynory

Storynory is a site I just found out about from the award winning iLearn Technology. This is a site that is very similar to Book Wink, where a student clicks on a story and then listens to it. What makes Storynory so great is the ability to download these audio tracks to your computer.



There is a lot here to like so I recommend checking Storynory out by clicking here.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Quintura for Kids

Quintura is an interesting site that I learned about from the blog, The Educational Technology Blog. This is a search engine that acts like tag cloud/mind map mixed together. For example, once you enter a search the results come up in a tag cloud, from there you can click on other terms to create a chain. After a search is complete a person can get the embed code to embed in their site/blog.

An example on the search of the term, animal...



Give Quintura a try by clicking here.
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The Full Wiki

The Full Wiki is a mash-up of Wikipedia & Google Maps. I find this to be a very useful site when trying to find the origin of items/terms. However, when there is not enough data to have a map representation, FW still will display other relevant data such as video/audio/text etc.

Give The Full Wiki a try by clicking here.

Below is a search on the term Thor...



For another excellent review check out Richard Byrne's award winning blog.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

RGB MusicLab

RGB MusicLab is an interesting free application (mac/windows) by Kenji Kojima for turning pictures into music. A person can either upload a picture or create one and generate music. It is rather unique and after listening to the Mona Lisa example it reminded of a kid banging on a keyboard.

For more info on RGB MusicLab click here.

Below is an example (ignore the watermark)...

video

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Slidefinder

Slidefinder is a site I just found out about from the amazing blog, Free Technology 4 Teachers. It is a search engine that is really unique that it looks for slides instead of sites.

Below are the results from a search on the term, Web 2.0.


I highly recommend checking out Slidefinder by clicking here.

5 Free Instructional/Technology Resources

Guest Post from Karen Schweitzer....

5 Free Instructional Design and Technology Resources

Learning more about instructional design and technology and how both relate to teaching and learning can help educators create better lesson plans and curriculums for their classroom. There are several different sites on the net that offer resources related to instructional design and technology. Some of the best include online communities, forums, and information that can't be found anywhere else. Here are five instructional design and technology resources worth exploring in your free time.

Instructional Design Central - Instructional Design Central provides instructional design resources and an online community for educators. The community forums are a great place to discuss instructional design and collaborate with other education professionals. Visitors can also learn more about conferences, jobs, and new instructional design and technology resources.

Instructional Technology Connections - Instructional Technology Connections is an ambitious project created by Martin Ryder of the University of Denver's School of Education. The project provides an amazing collection of instructional technology resources and information in one easy-to-navigate place. Educators who visit this site can learn more about instructional design models, theory, and philosophy as well as current news and research.

InstructionalDesign.org
- Created specifically to provide information about instructional design, this website bridges the gap between teaching and learning. Some of the resources that can be found at InstructionalDesign.org include instructional design models, a glossary, information about assessment, learning objects, useful conferences, and usability testing.

NCRTEC Lesson Planner - The North Central Regional Technology in Education Consortium (NCRTEC) is no longer in operation, but the organization's online lesson planner is still available. Teachers can use the planner as a template or starting point when they design lesson plans for the classroom. The planner helps educators address the goals of the lesson, education standards, student assessment, curriculum connections, class management, necessary learning materials, and more.

We the Teachers
- We the Teachers is a unique social networking site. It maintains the resource aspect of teacher-focused sites, but also facilitates communication and collaboration within the site's online community. Teachers can use the site to post or find lesson plans, share classroom resources, and meet teachers from around the world. We the Teachers also encourages educators to join or establish on-site groups with like-minded teaching professionals.

Guest post from education writer Karen Schweitzer. Karen is the About.com Guide to Business School. She also writes for OnlineDegreePrograms.org, an [ http://onlinedegreeprograms.org/ ]online degree resource.
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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Building Parent Engagement in Schools by Larry Ferlazzo & Lorie Hammond

"If you are a parent or school staff member, and are reading this book to help you consider how to engage parents in school, the point of this fable is not to encourage you to step forward blindly and tomorrow start a wide-ranging parent engagement effort. Instead, the point is to encourage you to seriously explore it-putting time and talent into this exploration-and make it a priority. And to recognize that it may not be a smooth road forward, and to not let the inevitable bumps deter you. (pg. 79)"

I just had the extreme pleasure of reading Larry Ferlazzo's (of online educational blogging fame) book on parent engagement. It definitely was a first for me reading something like this but being in education and a new parent it gave me a lot to think about.

The first thing I noticed upon reading this book is how intelligently it was written. It was superbly resourced/sited and the reader really feels like the author knows what he/she is talking about.

Also, I was fascinated on reading the chapters on home visits and building a community garden. These are concepts that either were very new to me or something I've only seen in a movie( think Dangerous Minds when Michelle Pfiffer visits the homes of her students), not in real practice.

I must say this is truly a fascinating read and something both parents/educators should read alike.

You can purchase your own copy on Amazon by clicking here.



Finally, I must say at the heart of this book is collaboration/engagement which if you think about, is exactly what Web 2.0 is all about. Not surprising that Larry happens to be one of the leading minds in that area 8-)

Factbites

Factbites is a new search engine I found out about from the great, Educational Technology Guy. It is the results of what would happen if you crossed an encyclopedia w/ a search engine. After giving it a try I must say that I did enjoy the results that you get, a nice comprehensive list of relative sentences/words and meaning.

Below is a pic on a search of the term, Web 2.0...



Give Factbite a try by clicking here.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy Birthday Firefox

Firefox one of the world's most popular browser is turning 5. Mozilla has accomplished quite a bit since 2004 and looks nowhere near slowing down.

Check out their nifty little video on celebrating Firefox and what's in store for the future by clicking here.

Imagination Cubed

Imagination Cubed is an excellent drawing site that I found out about from Ozge Karaoglu's wonderful blog. It is a definite "web 2.0" site that has to be seen due to the ability to collaborate and draw w/ others (via an email invite).

Also, IC is very easy to use and has a nice look/feel to it. A really handy feature that some drawing sites don't have is the ability to "undo" as many times as you'd like. This makes it really easy to create something w/out having to worry about mistakes.



Give Imagination Cubed a try by clicking here.
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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Safe Share TV

Safe Share TV is a site I learned about from the award winning blog, iLearn Technology. It is a site that filters out all of the content that makes YouTube "bad" for students. It removes all comments, recommended titles, etc etc. This reminds me very much of Quiet Tube and you couldn't go wrong using either one.



Click here to give Safe Share TV a try.
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Upperx

Upperx is a cool looking site to download textures. I can see this being used by any person who likes to do design/art on the computer. Very easy to use and free via Creative Commons.



Click here for more info...

Facts of the Day Calendar

Thanks to the Education Technology Blog, I came across this wonderful site called, Facts of the Day Calendar. This is a great site where a user clicks on a month of a calendar and then pics a date to find out interesting facts that happened on that date. This can be a great way to spark interests in students and give them something to write/talk about.



Give FDC a try by clicking here.
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Monday, January 4, 2010

TinkrBox

TinkrBox is an interesting new site that I first heard about on Larry Ferlazzo's excellent blog. It is a place where users can collect links and label/tag them. However, it also adds tangible content to your links as well. For example, if you paste in a URL for an image it puts the image in a box and lets the user label it. This works the same for other types of media as well.



Ideally, I can see a person using this to collect different kinds of media and share/tag it in one place. It also has built in FB/Twitter integration so makes it easy for sharing to other users.

Give TinkrBox a try by clicking here.

Word Counter

Word Counter is a nice site for people trying to get an idea of a frequency of which words they use. I could see this being used by teachers/students on documents to prevent them from word redundancy. It works very similar to any word processing word count app, just copy/paste in the text and click go.

The ability to upload documents to check for words is on it's way and would be ideal in a school setting.

Give Word Counter a try by clicking here.

For another excellent review check out Free Technology 4 Teachers.

Kidblog.org

I just read about one the easiest nicest blogging solutions for students. I like it so much it I would rank it right up there w/ the great Edmodo. I first read about this on Kevin Jarret's blog and was blown away how easy it is to use.



All an educator needs to do is create a class and then start adding students. No student email is required. What makes this ideal for education is a teacher can monitor/control all posting/comments from users. For example, if a teacher only wants to create an online community for their class they can do that... Or they can open it up to other Kidblog users as well. I don't think there is any actually filtering going on, but w/ the ability monitor anything before it gets posted it's not actually necessary.



I highly recommend giving Kidblog a try by clicking here.
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Friday, January 1, 2010

SynchTube

SynchTube is a great new (beta) site that is very useful. It allows a user to create a "virtual room" where they can "house" a YouTube video while enabling a chat feature as well. This is ideal for people who want to share videos in real-time and then chat about it. I can see this working great in education and the "web 2.0" world where collaboration is key.

Below is a snap shot of the room I created which you can join by clicking here. I'm hoping to use this w/ my PLN network on new types of technologies. This would've been great when Google Wave came out so all of us could've helped each other through the high learning curve.



Give SynchTube a try by clicking here.
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Cacoo

Cacoo is a new (beta) site for creating: graphs, diagrams, flowcharts, etc. It is very similar to Lovely Charts in that respect and has some really attractive options for users. For example, everything is done via a drag/drop interface which is ideal for any "Mac" user. Also, there is real-time collaboration going on via a chat; and the ability to have unlimited undo's. Finally, a person can share their media via an html code which is ideal for sites/blogs.

Below is a quick example I made in 3 min (very user friendly)...



Give Cacoo a try by clicking here.

For another excellent review check out Richard Byrne's amazing blog.
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