Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Here is a site you might be interested in bookmarking and checking back regularly for new updates.  edCode is a website created by a physics teacher that also has an interest in EdTech.  The focus is create and provide free open source EdTech resources to teachers.  Currently there are two tools available for free.

Flubaroo is a tool that enables "quick and easy grading of online assignments using Google Forms."  The purpose is to help teachers learn to save time and also gain insight into how the students are doing.  Flubaroo can be used for any assignment in and out of the classroom.  For more information, visit the website and see the video below.

 GR8POLL is a free tool that allows users to poll students using text messages, email or a web based form.  The tool is new and currently in testing, but worth sharing.  You can request to be a part of the pilot by visiting the link above.

To learn more about the Open Source Development of EdCode, click HERE.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

"SkyDrive" and "Read It Later" Update

If you use Windows Live Email account, they are getting ready to reduce the amount of storage available on the SkyDrive from 10 GB for free to 7 GB.  If you act now, you can get a free upgrade to 25 GB.  This is important because that is the MOST free space available on the web.  See directions and sample images below.

1.) Access your Webmail.
2.) Click on the "More" Link at the top and then click on "SkyDrive"
3.) There will be an option at the top for the free upgrade, click on the link.
4.) Select the free upgrade and you are good to go.

Formerly known as "Read It Later," Pocket is a the new website and Tablet app that allows you to easily save websites, articles, links, etc that you would like to read later.  To find out more about this change, see their blog post about the update.  Pocket is available for Apple, Android, and Kindle.  You can also add it in over 300 applications currently available on smartphones and tablets.  For more information see the video below.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hey TED...Let's Talk

I have recently become acquainted with watching and learning new ideas and concepts from watching various TED Talks on an assortment of topics.  TED, by the way stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design.  Watching the videos can provide you with free ideas, free thoughts, and free lessons on tons of topics ranging from entertainment to education to science to technology.  The number of videos that you can watch is actually quite astonishing.  You can search for TED talks using various tags and categories.  You can also view them in many different ways if you have an iPhone or iPad or even an Android phone or tablet, you can get an app to watch the videos. 

If you are interested in getting the newest information from TED, you can follow TED Talks and TED News on Twitter to stay on top of the latest videos that are available.  You could also follow TED on Facebook as well.

What I really like about TED is the ability to search through the Tags and find videos that might relate to a topic that I am teaching.  I am getting ready to teach a lesson in Economics about Affects on the U.S. Economy.  So I decided to search through TED and see what I could find about Economics and Trade.  Within that search I found a video about how consumerism is changing in a post-crisis world.  Perfect for my students as we were discussing what affects consumer confidence and consumer spending. 

When looking through the videos, I decided to check on "Most Viewed" as well.  The most viewed video on all of TED is the talk with Sir Ken Robinson about how "Schools Kill Creativity."  It has been shared numerous times, but I thought I would share it below as well. You can find more videos tagged for education HERE.

TED is not just for adults....TED can be for your classroom as well.  Here are videos for your subject matter that you can search through and watch:

Science (I recommend looking for certain topics within your content as well)
English (Writing)
Global Issues
Technology Education
Health and Physical Education (Sports)

Have you used TED Talks before?  What do you like about them?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


AudioViator is a website that allows users to create audio tours of cities, museums, etc.  This website could be used to create tours from field trips that students go on or to create tours of cities or attractions in geography classes.  Would also be a great way to create audio tours of places and attractions in your local towns.  There are several tours already posted on the website that could be used in the classroom as well and you can find those by clicking on various continents and countries.

Each tour can provide points of interest, maps, and pictures that will help visitors get a better understanding of the audio tour that they are listening too.  Each tour contains the placement on a map, a description, the subjects it will cover, and data about each one (visitors, downloads, date, length, etc).  There is also a section for writing comments which could be utilized in the classroom as well.  For each tour you can download it or stream it...although the stream took quite a while to load.

Snaggy is a website that allows users to copy and paste images to the web from their clipboard. comes with an editor that allows you to easily crop and annotate images on the web.  Once you have pasted the image, it provides users with a simple URL that can be shared with others.  Could be a simple way to share images with students and also add students to web based projects. 


Loupe is a fun website that allows you to easily take your photos and place them in various collages.  Something fun that students might do with their favorite photos of friends.  Could be a software used by yearbook classes as well.  You select your shape or block letters from a provided list and then, upload your photos and then create your collages.


Screenleap is a website that allows users to instantly share your screen with anyone for free.  Screenleap requires the latest version of Java to run.  The way this screen sharing service is different from others is that you can share your screen on tablets and mobile phones as well.  Other than Java, there is no software needed to run the service and you can share your screen with as many people as you need.

I tested this out on my phone and was amazed at the speed that the movement translated from my laptop to my phone.  Not sure if distance would make a difference, but the possibilities would be pretty intriguing for districts using Smartphones/iPods/iPads in their classrooms.  The software allows users to share the entire screen or just a section.  You can also pause sharing the screen whenever you feel necessary.  When you share the screen it provides a generic URL or a code that can be entered on Screenleap.


Here is a quick post of a website that takes the best images from Google Earth and shares them in full screen.  Stratocam is a great way to share interesting aspects of our planet.  From cities, to deserts, to oceans, and everything in between.  A great activity would be to have students try and guess where the picture is on our planet by asking yes or no questions.  You can zoom out from the location as well.  The pictures are truly amazing.  A fun activity as a reward for elementary students or a way to test geography skills of middle and high school students.  See a sample image that I found while searching through them.


Dooid is a simple and easy way to create a personal landing page and contact hub.  You select your username (which is a custom URL), provide an email address and password and then you can get started.  It is a simple and easy way to connect your social media to a central location.  As schools and districts adopt more technology and social media in schools, a simple landing page for students would be an easy way to communicate and connect with students.  It would also be an easy way to create a central location for teachers as well.

For more information, see the video below


Priceonomics is a website that provides prices for goods and keeps up to date of current prices.  It also tracks the history of those prices.  To determine the prices, it searches where the product is listed and uses that information to create a price history and track the best price.  Economics and practical living students could use this website for projects that they are doing in class.

This website made me think of a video I found about the "Death to Pennies."  The case to remove pennies from circulation is a strong one when you think about the current state of the economy.  You might be interested in watching it and sharing it with your students.  Does a good job of also showing one sided propaganda.


Wavii (currently in BETA) is a website that allows users to select news that is important to them and as news happens related to that topic it will appear in a "news" feed.  If you are teaching current events, this would be a great software to use to follow what is going on with that topic.  Any subject matter that is being taught can be added as a topic to your feed and then as news happens related to it, you can be updated on the topic.  The main goal of Wavii to take Google searches and put them into a Facebook type feed of information and news.  The only negative that I have found so far is that it requires a Facebook log-in to use the site.  You cannot create an account separately.

You could follow any item of content you are teaching and get the latest news on those topics and then share those topics with your students.  The focus in education today is on Rigor and Relevance.  If you can find current news and information related to what you are teaching, it will help to make the topic relevant to students.

For more information, see the video below.