Wednesday, July 29, 2009

School Noodle

School Noodle is a new (beta) site for social bookmarking similar to Delicious or Diigo. However, SN is really the only bookmarking site specifically designed for teachers. For example, the information online is provided and rated by teachers. While this limits them on the amount of information available to their users, it does provide service to a "specific" genre.

Another feature which I find useful is that each site is linked to a corresponding state standard. This is great for teachers that want to abide by specific criteria.

If I had to go w/ one bookmarking site for staff/students I'd have to say Diigo, but for those looking for another free option, I highly recommend giving School Noodle a look.

For more information click here.
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Monday, July 27, 2009


Slideroll is a wonderful new site for making exciting looking slide shows. I like to think of it as a cross between Animoto and iPhoto. Also, like most "Web 2.0" apps you have the ability to create an account and tweak settings to either allow comments or not. This is a very nice feature when having to abide by those strict CIPA/COPPA compliance rules.

What makes SR so great is not only the ability to upload photos and have it create a "generic" slideshow, you can also enter the slideshow creator to even further customize settings such as: music, transitions, zooming, text, etc. This is something which you can not do currently in Animoto.

Another nice feature of SR which I did not get a chance to check out is the video creator. I believe it is similar to VLC and lets you turn your slide shows into downloaded videos which is nice. However, keep in mind that you have to download a free application to do that.

Give Slide Roll a try by clicking here, I highly recommend it!!!

For another detailed review check out Richard Byrne's great blog.

Below is an example of a slide show I created, notice the fun use of Photo Booth ;-)

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Thursday, July 23, 2009


WhatsOpen is a free application for the Mac that is a cross between the Force Quit utility and Activity Monitor. It is designed to free up files so you can eject media, which can be a pain to figure out. For example, have you ever tried to eject a CD and the error message "can't eject volume because it is in use," and after force quitting the app it still doesn't eject? Well, w/ this app you can figure out exactly what process are running.

Also, WhatsOpen like Activity Monitor shows you not only what applications are running, but you can pause process or kill a process too. One of the features I was really impressed w/ is the ability click on a process and either find documents linked to it on your HD, or click the Google button to search Google. This can be very handy when trying to troubleshoot and you don't want to copy/paste into your browser.

Download WhatsOpen by clicking here.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta] is a new and exciting site for posting pictures/albums online. All you have to do is create an account, upload some photos, and edit your settings and you are all set.

Also, you can create some amazing looking animations, slide shows, and avatars w/ There is so much you can do w/ this user friendly site. Plus, you can generate links or html code to embed in your site/blog.

I highly recommend giving a try by clicking here.

DISCLAIMER - after a review from one of my readers, it appears that is not school appropriate for kids, inappropriate content was found (w/ no filtering/moderation before posting). As w/ any site/application I recommend sticking to ones that have "educational" portals which eliminate this problem, such as Glogster, Strutta, Myths & Legends, etc.

Below is my album widget example...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Image Chef

Image Chef is a fun new site I learned about from iLearn Technology, a terrific blog. What makes this site so great are all the different options a user has to create different things, such as: Word Mosaics, animations (ie, Glogster), poetry, drawings, etc etc.

The aspect I find useful for education is the Word Mosaic which is similar to Wordle. However, for ease of use, Wordle is really the way to go. For example, in Wordle you just type in your words, and can specify how you want the layout to look. In IC, you have the ability to draw your own shape (which is nice), or choose from a select few. This gets a bit convoluted when you type in a bunch of words. See my pic below for an example (this is only 3 words, if you type more they keep getting smaller)....

ImageChef Word Mosaic -

Another aspect which I'm sure will get resolved is on which browser this site works. I had to use Safari because my version of Firefox or Wyzo weren't compatible.

That being said, Image Chef is a lot of fun and definitely worth a look.

Give Image Chef a try by clicking here!!

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Blippr is what I like to call the ultimate review site for "techies" It is a place where users can review: Books, Movies, Apps, Games, and Music. What I like about Blippr is how easy it is to use and the nice user interface it has.

Blippr reminds me of a cross between Shelfari and GameSpot, w/ a bit of Rotten Tomatoes mixed in. The only downside is that I don't believe there is any filtering going on, so there is potential for some bullying/swearing to occur in the comment field (such as w/ You Tube.)

Below is a screen shot of some software application reviews...

Give Blippr a try by clicking here.
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PinDax, is a new site I learned about from Larry Ferlazzo's blog. This is a place where a user can create messages boards to collaborate w/ their users. It is very similar to Wall Wisher in that respect and has some very nice features to make it an attractive option for users.

PD is great at giving people the option to create embeddable "sticky notes" on their site. From there you can have users add comments, join a chat, organize by layers, etc etc. There are some really cool things that a user can do.

The one area of PD that I was not so fond of is w/ all the nice options you have it's not as user friendly as Wall Wisher. WW being more mundane actually simplifies itself for their users which turns out to be a plus. I think if PD didn't have so many links to click or items to choose from it might make the user experience a bit easier.

Give PinDax a try by clicking here.
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Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Slatebox is a new (beta) site that I read about on Richard Byrne's incredible blog. This is the ultimate tool for creating "web 2.0" style mind maps and organizational charts.

Right off that bat, you'll be impressed w/ how easy it is to login. If you have an existing Google/FB/Open ID etc. account you can log right in. If not, simply register for a new one, by giving an email address and password. Once you are in, you are treated to some very easy to follow tutorials.

Another great aspect are the different templates you can choose to create your own slate. This is done by selecting one of the themes and then editing it to meet your needs.

Finally, after you have created your slate or chart, you can collaborate w/ other users which is very easy to do using SB. Of all the "web 2.o" apps I've tried this ranks right up there w/ how user friendly it is.

Below is my sample slate...

Give Slatebox a try by clicking here.

Document Palette

Document Palette is a nice fee app for opening documents. It resembles a cross between Spotlight and Quicksilver, but works only on documents.

I think DP is a very handy app for those users that like to use short cuts. First, download the app, allow it to "tweak" your start-up items, and hold down the follow keys: command+option+control+n. This will then bring up the Document Palette. From there you can select what kind of document you want to launch: rtf, text, Word, Pages, etc.

What makes Palette so great is the ability to manage what kind of documents/apps that you can open w/ the DP key shortcut. That is done by going into the settings and adding what kind of things you want to launch, very easy/handy.

Download Document Palette by clicking here.

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Goofram is a new mash-up that combines Google and Wolfram Alpha to create one unique search engine.

After giving it a try I must say that it is rather useful. Of course Wolfram will take a bit longer to search then google and a lot times you won't get results, but that is because of Wolgram Alpha's unique "calculation" search engine.

Below is an example on searching the term, bandwidth.

Give Goofram a try by clicking here.
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Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Pinboard is a site for people who like to bookmark websites. However, this is anti-social bookmarking. Think of this as the Bizarro It is a simple site for bookmarking your favorite sites online w/out all of the social networking hooplah!!

However, there is a one time registration fee which might deter people from using it. Although, there is a nice feature for exporting your existing bookmarks over.

Give Pinboard a try by clicking here.


Larry Ferlazzo does it again w/ this great find for creating online sketches, Odosketch. Odosketch is a new site that is great for anyone who loves to create/draw and then post their art work online.

The first thing you'll notice after browsing their impressive gallery, is how easy it is to use. Just click on your drawing utensil and draw away. Best of all, is the more you draw over a line the darker it gets, as well as the same as erasing. The more you move the eraser over the line the lighter this gets. Anybody who has drawn w/ a pencil before will be amazed at how realistic this is.

Check out my example below that I like to call, Apple Smurf.

Give Odosketch a try it's definitely worth a look!!!
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Monday, July 13, 2009


Supalogo is a nice little site for creating cool looking logos w/out having to know any html/code. Just type your text, click on options to tweak your settings, and click generate. It then generates an embed code to put on your site/blog. Another nice feature is to download your logo so you can have an electronic copy of it as well.

Check out my example below.


Give Supalogo a try by clicking here.

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Roohit is an excellent site for highlight/annotating things on the web. What makes it so great? The ability to turn any site into your own highlighter/cliff notes simply by typing before any URL that you want to take notes on.

Also, once you have highlighted your text you have the ability, to save the notes for you, create an embed code for your site, and even make active links w/ a button. These options alone make it a must have for users who like to "highlight" the web!!!

For another great review, check out Larry Ferlazzo's blog.

Give Roohit a try by clicking here.


Screenjelly is a great site to use for creating screencasts. It is very user friendly and has the ability to upload to a number of social networking sites, such as: Facebook, Twitter, Stumble Upon, etc. Users of Jing will feel right at home w/ how simple it is to record what's happening on your screen.

I think what makes SJ such a great solution for people who don't want to spend a lot of money on a screen recording app, is how simple it is to use. Just click the record button and select which way you want to share your video, Twitter, email, etc.

The one aspect missing from SJ which I think would make it a huge success is the ability to generate an embed code, so users can add it to their site/blog. However, that being said, I think Screen Jelly is a great app for what it does and definitely worth a look.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Social Follow

Social Follow is a site I learned about from a fellow Diigo user. This is a great little app that embeds into your site/blog that lets users follow you on all your networks in just one place. The best way to describe it is as a "digital footprint or ID card similar to Retaggr.

For me personally, I like Retaggr a bit better because it has a nicer look to it when you hover the mouse over the icon. However, SF has a nice look too and actually displays the social network icons a bit better. Either way, it doesn't matter what you use as they are both great at what they do.

Give Social Follow a try by clicking here.


Parentella is a social network for teachers and parents to collaborate. It is designed to let teachers share any number of resources w/ parents such as: class news, homework, images, events, etc. The way this is done is by creating a class and then inviting the parents to join that class.

What I like about Parentella are the number of options that you can customize to meet your needs. For example, you can set messages to private, adjust how they are displayed and on what pages, etc etc.

I feel that this is a secure place for parents and teachers to merge ideas and facilitate communication w/ the ultimate go of helping their children.

Give Parentella a look by clicking here.

For a more in depth review check out Free Techology 4 Teachers.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Google OS

Today word has gotten out that Google is going to be developing an operating system that will be open source and similar to their browser Chrome. This mainly will target lower end costing PC's that run Linux, such as netbooks. However, this does pose an interesting question on how it will measure up to Windows in the long run.

Do I think Windows users have anything to worry about? Well not right now, but Google is known for doing some innovative things and this could be a developers dream come true.

For more info click here.

Smart Bean

Smart Bean is a new (beta) site I learned about from Free Technology 4 Teachers. It is a place that I like to call the "ultimate online resource for parents."

SB is broken down into 3 main sections: magazine, library, and store. The magazine is where the majority of searching is done on articles pertaining to any number of things, such as: internet safety, 21st century technology, and parenting, etc etc. The library focuses on resources arranged by grade, subject, level, etc. Finally, the store is where you can purchased educational products, such as: games, books, toys, etc.

After looking through SB I'd have to say I am really impressed w/ how this site is developing and I feel that is a valuable resource for parents who want to engage their child w/ educational technology and where it is heading.

Give Smart Bean a look by clicking here.
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Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Overlapr is a fun little site for comparing users of Twitter. It's simple, just enter the usernames and click Overlap. You'll then see a list of which followers they have in common. This could be handy when trying increase your PLN.

Also, you can click on the button that says "see common friends instead". This will show which "friends" they have in common as well.

Give it a try by clicking here.

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Teacher Lingo

Teacher Lingo is a site I learned about from the well written/entertaining blog by Brian Mckee. It is a social network where teachers/educators can go to collaborate, post lessons, and share ideas on any number of subjects.

What Makes TL so unique is the seemless integration of blogging. For example, you can upload any external blog to your profile. Also, you can post which blogs you follow, and of course create your own blog right from their site. This is similar to other networks such as Steve Hargadon's Classroom 2.0, but I feel that TL does a really nice job on that.

Give Teacher Lingo a try by clicking here.
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Monday, July 6, 2009

Domo Animate

Domo Animate is a fun site for creating animations using Domo and other cartoony characters. As w/ most Web 2.0 apps you can post your finished animations online, share via a URL, or embed.

The one area I'm concerned about is the question about filtering. While they have a very strict policy that a user must abide by, I don't think there is any built in content filter which is ideal for a school settings. Also, having others post comments to your animations could lead to some type of harassment. That being said this is a very fun and easy to use application to create some fun animations!!! The Office E3 by reddplague

Like it? Create your own at It's free and fun!

Give Domo Animate a try by clicking here.

Interactive Quiz

Interactive Quiz is an interesting site for making fun arcade style games for learning. What makes IQ so appealing for education is the ability create your quiz and then embed it into your site/blog.

To create a Quiz is simple: add your questions, select your game (or leave on random), and then either save/publish/embed.

Below is an example of a sample quiz....

Click here for full screen version

Give Interactive Quiz a try by clicking here.

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Wikify is a new site I learned about from Jennifer Dorman's great blog. This is a place where you paste in your text and it auto-generates links to Wikipedia. It is very easy to do and is ideal if you wanted to create your own online encyclopedia/dictionary.

Below is a pic of the Wikify process in action.

Below is a pic of the result after using Wikify to create links to Wikipedia (talk about a time saver).

Give Wikify a try by clicking here.

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Specra is a new search engine which uses the "big three" (Google, Yahoo, MSN) to generate it's results. After gathering the results Specra then ranks them via an algorithm. A nice feature is the ability to "weigh" a specific search engine to curve your results.

Below is a search on the term, 21st Century Technologies...

Give Specra a try by clicking here.

Block Posters

Block Posters is one of the easiest/free sites around to create "huge" posters to print out for your wall.

Just upload you picture, select how many "boxes" you want to have and then click download and you get a PDF that you can then print out.

Below is a sample pic before downloading the PDF.

Create your own block posters by clicking here.

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Strutta is an excellent new site for creating online contests. What makes this so great: is the very sleek looking design, super-easy user interface, and ability to moderate all content before it gets posted online. This is ideal for a school setting when having to abide by CIPA/COPPA compliance.

To start off, you have to select what type on contest you want to create. This means picking if you want to use the free/paid version. After that, you then select what kind of media you want your contest to fore-take.

After you have selected your media, you then get to decide how each contest is judged. This can either be done by popular vote, internally, or as a committee.

Finally, you can set the moderation so nothing can get posted online w/out your approval. This is such a great feature which is almost a "must" for education.

Give my sample contest a try by clicking here.
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