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Project Based Learning

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Technology & Learning

I just wanted to do a quick post on what I think is one of the better educational magazines around, and that is Technology & Learning. This magazine not only covers the latest in technology integration, but also the latest equipment in technology and how it can be used in the classroom (ex, iPad).

For the May 2010 issue I was lucky enough to published twice. First, for a nice blurb on the inside cover pertaining to my top 10 Digital Book Creators and inside the magazine on pg. 14 for my top 10 Back Channeling sites.

I'd like to thank all my readers and members of my PLN as none of this would've been possible if it weren't for you!!



Click here to subscribe to the online magazine.

Chogger

Chogger is a new (beta) site for creating online comic strips. After giving it a try it happens to be one of my new favorite free comic creators. While it doesn't offer you all the bells & whistles of a paid app (Comic Life) it more then makes up for that w/ how easy it is to use.

Also, not only can a user create a custom drawing from scratch, they can add speech bubbles and upload photos as well.

I highly recommend checking out Chogger by clicking here.



For a more detailed review check out Free Technology 4 Teachers.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Blinkx

Blinkx is a site that I just heard about from Larry Ferlazzo's wonderful blog. Blinkx is a search engine for videos that does a very good job of organizing it's content. I really like how you can search by category and then watch as a wall of videos comes up playing different content at the same time.

Below is an example on a search of the term, education.



I highly recommend giving Blinkx a try by clicking here.

Lightning Bug

Lightning Bug is an excellent site that I like to think of as a "writing tutor" which helps students learn how to write a story. This is done by finding a story, developing the ideas/brainstorming, and giving it a proper ending.



I highly recommend checking out Lighting Bug by clicking here.

I'd like to thank iLearn Technology for the great tip.
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PDFcrowd

PDFcrowd is a new (beta) site for turning web pages into PDF's.



Give PDFcrowd a try by clicking here.

Kerpoof

Kerpoof is a site that has been around for a long time, but after reading Kelly Tenkely's excellent blog post on using Kerpoof to create a storybook I decided to give it another look.

Kerpoof is a great site for educators which has a wealth of multimedia content for students. Teachers have the ability to download lesson plans, create storybooks/games, and even make a drawing or movie.



I highly recommend givine Kerpoof a try by clicking here.
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Wired for Books

Wired for Books is an excellent site for pieces of literature such as poems, plays, lectures, and interviews. I'd like to thank the wonderful blog ZarcoEnglish, for reviewing such an interesting site.

What makes WFB so great for educators is the ability to hear/download interviews of these great authors and even view some of these stories by clicking on KidsCorner.



I highly recommend checking out Wired for Books by clicking here.
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BibMe

BibMe is an excellent site for automatically creating a bibliography for any type of resource such as: website, book, magazine, movie, etc.



I highly recommend giving BibMe a try by clicking here.

TitanPad

TitanPad is a new site that is built around the Etherpad engine for creating/collaborating on a word processing document in real-time. As most collaborative sites it has a chat window and colors each individuals text to keep track of who is editing what.




I highly recommend checking out TitanPad by clicking here.

Thanks to Richard Byrne's amazing blog for the tip!!
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Monday, April 26, 2010

Google Moderator

Google Moderator is an excellent site for getting real-time results on a number of topics. I find this to be a great resource for professional development because an instructor can ask a question and get a group of people to answer, or have a group of people submit questions or topics of interest as well.



I highly recommend checking out Google Moderator by clicking here.

Thanks to the wonderful blog Langwitches for the tip!!
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Friday, April 23, 2010

ePub Bud

ePub Bud is a site that has been getting a lot of press online lately and for good reason; it is a great new site for creating your very own digital book. However, there is a lot more you can do then just that...you can also upload any file and turn it into an ebook (a la Bookrix), and best of all mail in an actual book and have them convert to digital format. This is something I have not seen from any other site before.



I highly recommend checking out ePub Bud by clicking here!!

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

50 Sites in 60 Minutes

I'm in the process of designing a professional development course called, 50 Sites in 60 Min. I just finished uploading the slide show which you can use/download anyway you'd like.


Here is the course wiki which is still under construction. Hopefully, someone will find some use for this presentation on Web 2.0/21st Century tools.

Poster-Street

Poster-Street is a great site for getting free posters on any number of areas such as: education, office, home, etc.

I highly recommend checking out Poster-Street by clicking here!!

Thanks to Free Technology 4 Teachers for the tip!

Sleedo

Sleedo is a search engine I just found out about from the wonderful blog, iLearn Technology. This is a engine designed to help feed the world by donating 10 grains of rice for every search.



I recommend checking out Sleedo by clicking here.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Spaaze

Spaaze is a new (beta) site that I just read about on Richard Byrne's excellent blog. This is a site that is similar to Pindax or Wall Wisher where you customize a "sticky" board.

I like Spaaze because how easy it is to use. A person has the ability to move anything around, create hot spots, and best of all has a very nice over view button to see a preview version of your board.



I highly recommend trying out Spaaze by clicking here!!

Bomomo

Bomomo is a fun new site for digital art that I just found out about from, iLearn Technology. This is a great site for creating some really interesting designs and kind of reminds me of Pixie in a not so obvious way.



Give Bomomo a try by clicking here.

Explore

Explore is an excellent site for getting great educational videos. This site reminds me a lot of United Streaming but free. Once a person finds a video they are interested in they can either download it to their computer or view it on the web. These videos fall into different categories such as: environmental, human rights, health, philosophy, etc etc. Another great feature is that the films are broken down by grade level and there is a great photo area as well!!



I highly recommend checking out Explore by clicking here!
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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Duck Duck Go

Duck Duck Go is a nice little search engine which has a nice look to it. DDG is nothing fancy but it does allow the user to choose which result they want to see if there is multiple meanings to a word.

Below is the result from a search on the term, technology integration...



Give Duck Duck Go a try by clicking here.

Check out Free Technology 4 Teachers for a much more detailed review.

Media Burn

Media Burn is a site I just found out about from Alex Fransisco's excellent blog. This is a site that is a basically a search engine for independent films that focus on culture, politics, and social issues.

MB can best be described as seen straight from their site, "With rare documentary footage, unique historical perspectives and thought provoking issues, our videos can help teachers to stimulate class discussion and critical thinking around such topics as historical US and World events, American Culture, issues of race, the role of media in a democratic society and much more."



Give Media Burn a try by clicking here.

Monday, April 19, 2010

EdCrowd

EdCrowd is a new (alpha) site for asking questions and getting answer from other anonymous users. This site reminds a lot of Aardvark another site that offers similar type services.

However, EdCrowd does stand out a bit that the more a person answers/post questions on their site the better the chance somebody will vote on it and alter their "reputation". Think of how karma works in Plurk and you'd be on the right track. The higher a person's reputation is the more options that they have.



Give EdCrowd a try if you want a more interactive type of discussion board by clicking here.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

EditGrid

EditGrid is a site for creating collaborative spreadsheets. While not as user friendly as Google Docs, Edit Grid does a good job of re-creating the Excel experience. What I really like about EG is the ability have multiple people editing the data in real-time and also supplying an embed code for displaying on a site.




Give EditGrid a try by clicking here.
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One Word

One Word is a great site for helping students brain storm. I kinda like to think of it as doing free association on the computer. All a person has to do is click on the go button and then type as much as they can about the word that is displayed.



Give One Word a try by clicking here.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bookemon

Bookemon is a new (beta) site for digital storytelling that I just read about on Larry Ferlazzo's excellent blog. This is a site that reminds me of a cross between Mixbook and Bookrix. For example, it's user interface is very much like MB but it has the ability to upload files and turn it into a book a la BR.

There is a lot to like at this site and a person has the ability to order their own book after creation.



I highly recommend checking out Bookemon by clicking here!!

draw.to

Draw.to is a great drawing collaboration site. It's very easy to use and not only can this drawing be shared via a link it has the ability to be embedded into a site as well.



Give Draw.to a try by clicking here.

Thanks to Larry Ferlazzo for the tip!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Top 10 Sites for Back Channeling

"Backchannel is the practice of using networked computers to maintain a real-time online conversation alongside live spoken remarks. (Wikipedia)" It is a term that has been around for awhile but not something I really looked into until I had the chance to use it at the WEMTA tech conference. This is such a useful way to collaborate w/ educators/students when introducing a new idea, presenting in front of a large crowd, or even when watching a video and you want to engage the students.



I'd like to thank Naomi Harm for her resources/help in compiling this list!!

  1. Donut Chat - Quite simply the best most robust site for creating an easy to use chat room. A user has the ability to filter words, manage multiple rooms, and even embed it into their site!
  2. Neat Chat - The easiest/best site for creating a fast/simple chat room to use as a back channel. Also, has the ability to print out chats and upload files!
  3. Chatzy - Create a private room and invite via email or URL, includes advanced features such as the ability to use commands.
  4. BackNoise - Very user friendly, w/ the ability to mute/hide a text
  5. TodaysMeet - Is an excellent site similar to Twitter in that u can chat w/ up to 140 characters, great for printing out transcripts!
  6. TinyChat - Create a room that integrates directly w/ Twitter, as well as the ability to do video/audio chatting.
  7. Twiddla - One of the best collaborative whiteboards for commenting/drawing in your own "sandbox". Users also have the ability to chat via text/audio in real time.
  8. Skrbl - An easy to use interactive whiteboard where people have the ability to chat/text/draw all in the space place.
  9. PinDax - Is an innovative way for online note taking. Plus, it gives the user the ability to chat and post images in real-time.
  10. Google Wave - Create "waves" for people to join and chat/upload files in real-time.

Google Search Stories

Google Search Stories is a site I just read about on Kelley Tenkley's award winning blog, iLearn Technology. This is an excellent site for digital storytelling. All a user has to do is choose a video based on your search terms, add some music, then click create.

Below is their sample video...



Give Search Stories a try by clicking here.
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Muzic

Muzic is a great search engine for independent music. Also, another great feature is the ability to download any song that you find.

I highly recommend checking out Muzic for all your different/independent music needs!!!



Click here for more info.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Wolfram Alpha for Educators

Wolfram Alpha the wondrous computational search engine has just released an educational instance. What this does is show educators how it is being used in the classroom along w/ lesson plans that can be downloaded.



Click here for more info.

For another more detailed review check out Richard Byrne's blog!!
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Sunday, April 11, 2010

WikiMindMap

WikiMindMap is a visual way to explore Wikipedia. This is a site that I first heard about on Free Technology 4 Teachers which is an excellent blog.

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



Give WMM a try by clicking here.

Project Explorer

Project Explorer is a great site for providing online adventures broken down by chapters. Each chapter is broken down in different categories that pertain to different countries. These categories contain a number of media types such as video, audio, and photos.



I highly recommend checking out Project Explorer by clicking here.

Thanks to Larry Ferlazzo for the tip!!

PicGhost

PicGhost is a site I just found out about from Larry Ferlazzo's excellent blog. PG is a great site for a mass upload of photos and then editing it for preview/download.




I highly recommend checking out PicGhost by clicking here.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Digital Films

Digital Films is a wonderful new site for creating online movies or digital storytelling. DF has a look similar to Myths & Legends and a feel like iMovie HD, which should make it pretty simple to use for most users. All a person has to do is select a background, add a title, choose an effect, add some characters w/ an action and that's it. I don't think there is a way to add music as of yet.

I highly recommend checking out Digital Films for an easy and fun way to create a video by clicking here.



I'd like to thank Alexandra Fransisco for her excellent review.

PikiStrips

PikiStrips is a site that has been making some waves lately in the online world. It is a site that is similar to Pixton for creating digital comics.

While PikiStrips is a nice site for what it does, I would not recommend it for education, merely due to the fact of some of the inappropriate content for schools. There is a number of clip art that a person can select and some of them just wouldn't be school appropriate such as: Borat, body parts, etc etc. However, that being said I see this as a real nice/easy site to use and can see a teacher using it to create a digital comic for their class (via a screen shot).




Give PikiStrips a try by clicking here.
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Tagexdo

Tagxedo is a new (beta) site for creating excellent looking word clouds. It reminds me very much of Tagul in where you can custom make your word clouds into anything you like. A really nice feature which I haven't seen before is the ability to even use words as custom "word cloud" shapes.

Below are samples of what you can do in Tagexdo...



Give Tagexdo a try by clicking here.

Thanks to Larry Ferlazzo for the great site!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

TodaysMeet

TodaysMeet is a great back channeling site that I found out about from the equally great blog, Educational Technology Guy. After experiencing the use of a back channel chat at the Wisconsin Educational Technology Association (WEMTA) first hand, I really started to love the way it could be used during professional development/presentations.

TodaysMeet is another great site that does this very thing. It will create a private room, that people can chat in, in real time, and even bring in posts from Twitter via a hashtag.



I highly recommend checking out TodaysMeet by clicking here.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Open Clip Art

Open Clip Art is a great search engine for clip art that I found out about from Alexandra Fransisco. Since users can upload the clip art I doubt there is any filtering going on. However, if used appropriately I think OCA can be a great site for students.

Below is a search on the term, Technology...



I highly recommend checking out Open Clip Art by clicking here.
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File Dropper quite simply, is one of the best way to share files online. Plus a user can upload up to 5 GB of data which is quite a bit more then the avg sharing site.

Give FD a try by clicking here.



Thanks to Richard Byrne's excllent blog for the tip.

Flash Classroom

Flash Classroom is a site I just learned about from Zarco English. This is an excellent site which provides K-12 resources that use Flash technology in the classroom. This site provides ways to create content using flash as well as excellent ideas used throughout the world.




Give FC a try by clicking here.
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VisWiki

VisWiki is a site which I learned about from Free Technology 4 Teachers and reminds me a lot of Navify. This is a great site for searching through resources (especially Wikipedia) visually.

Below is a search on the term, Technology Integration...



Give VisWiki a try by clicking here.