Thursday, May 27, 2010

NextUp















Okay, I have to thank Phillip Cummings for providing me this link. I am really intrigued about ways to use this in education.  The idea behind NextUp is that you enter in the topic that you are covering, provide a time limit (MM:SS) and then it will countdown to help keep you on task.  NextUp would be a great tool for those teachers that are struggling with time management.

As mentioned in his Tweet, NextUp would be a great way to keep time during a faculty meeting or even during a professional development.  It could also be used in the classroom as well.  One thing I remember early in education is always give students a certain amount of time to get things done.  Don't leave time open ended.  You could put your entire lesson for the day on this and use it to help you stay on task.  It would be a great way to keep time during a quiz or test, or while giving students a certain amount of time to work on a project, have a discussion, give free time for good behavior, etc. 

I really think this would be a beneficial tool for educators.

bomomo

Are you creative?  Do you like to draw or like to create images using different tools?  Bomomo is a site that allows you to create different looking pieces of digital art with an interesting method of creating that art.  Bomomo is one of those sites that is hard to explain, but is really great for those creative types.  I am not that creative, but below is one I created.


Just take a minute and try out all the different "brushes" that you can use.

Gliffy










Gliffy is an online Diagram creation website that would be a great way for students to create flow charts.  What is great is that no sign up is required and it is free to use.  When you are creating a new document, you choose the format (category) that you would like for your diagram.  It even has the ability to create floor plans/Interior Design.  (I used to have my students create their dream house when doing the French Revolution and discussing the Palace of Versailles, this would work great).  The site has business in mind for the majority of its purpose, but it could still easily be used in the school setting. There is the ability to collaborate on a diagram as well as share it on the Internet. 

To get more features though you have to sign up for a premium account.  This is available for a 30 day trial.  After that, you get a to choose between upgrading to a premium account or keeping the free basic account.  This allows 2MB image upload limit and the creation of 5 public diagrams.  For more information, you can view their product comparison to see if this is something you might be interested in using with your students.

Listphile









Ever created a list for students?  Listphile is a site dedicated to creating list in a database form that you can then access and do several different things with.  You can even create a list in Atlases form (Great for map assignments).  There are also databases that can you can collaborate with others on, as well as some other features.  There is a directory that you can search through list already created.  There is also a categories and tags section so that you can see other lists that people have done.

Each list that you can create can include a picture, information, links, video, etc.  It is a great way to organize a database for your students, or create an area to organize links and resources for your classroom.  For an introduction to Listphile, view their demo page for a video to see what all you can do with the product.  To use Listphile you will need to create an account which requires Username, Password, and email.  The site does require email verification which can make it difficult to use in the classroom setting some times.  In the future their will be a voting option as well, but unsure what that will mean.  To create a list you will provide a Title, Description, choose the Type of List, Determine Rights/License,  Category, and Membership requirements. 

Impact on Education?
- Create a place for students to list results from research on a person, place, or event
- Use the Atlas feature and have students map out historic events and where they happened
- Have students create list of historic events, town descriptions, ways to save money, how to solve math problems, results of scientific experiments.
- As a teacher, create a list to share with students links to resources that they can use in your classroom.

Common Craft Videos











Recently I have become a HUGE fan of the Common Craft Videos.  I always knew that they were useful when it came to getting videos related to Web 2.0 products (Wikis, Social Bookmarking, Google, etc).  When I recently visited their site to use some of their videos for my "Tools for the 21st Century Teacher" handbook I had no idea that there were other useful videos to use in the classroom.

The technology videos are great for explaining Web 2.0 software so teachers get a simple understanding of how things work and why they were created.  The other videos that are available are related to Money, Society, and Going Green.  These videos are great for Business, Economics, Agriculture, Science, Government, and Sociology classes.  It makes understanding complex processes a little easier to stomach, especially for high school students.

So if you teach any of the above subjects, or know teachers in your building that do, pass on this great website for videos that they or you could use to introduce the subject matter to students.  Common Craft has created some really useful videos and would be a beneficial addition to your curriculum.  You can also find several of the videos on YouTube as well.
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