Wednesday, June 5, 2013

T!PTXT - Speak Up Against Bullying

From Blackboard comes the free* SMS program T!PTXT for schools that hopes to help combat bullying in schools.  To K-12 schools, Blackboard is offering administrators with an easy and confidential way to speak up about abuse, crime, and mental health issues.  The offer includes free access to the TipTxt service, a TipTxt mailbox, and TipTxt client support for each individual school (*$125 per year for the TipTxt line).

Our district recently did something similar by purchasing a cellphone for our School Resource Officers that allow students to text tips to the officer anonymously.  It's a high school version of CrimeStoppers.

To learn more about TipTxt, see the video below.

VideoSci - Play Science!

VideoSci is a website dedicated to providing videos related to science in various categories.  Online videos have exploded which allows users to incorporate videos into their classroom lessons rather easily.  VideoSci aims to collect all the video streaming resources from all the fields of science from all over the Internet.  Videos are streamed from any video source.  Each video comes with information, commenting, and a rating system.  Tags and categories allow for users to discover the various videos as well.  Facebook and Twitter integration allows users to easily use their social media accounts to comment and suggest videos.  There are also articles as well.

Windows 8.1 Video

So Windows 8 came out a while back and I don't have it on any computer that I am using, but I have heard from those that have started using it that they were unhappy with the changes.  It's hard to completely adjust to a new interface and Windows did that in order to meet the "need" of touchscreens.  With Windows 8, they forgot one crucial piece of their product...a "Start Button."  With a new release of 8.1 they have added a start button.  You can learn more about the Start Button and other features in the video below.  The upgrade from 8 to 8.1 is free.

Ten From My Feedly

Been off of my computer for a while.  With two kids at home and it being summer, only time I have a chance to blog is when both of them are not at home.  Today is one of those days.  From my time away, here are some of the top posts from my recently.

1.) and 2.) From A Media Specialists Guide to the Internet comes two lists.  20 Places to Find of the Year Resources is a valuable list for units, activities, games and more.  21 Websites with Summer Reading Ideas for You and Your Students provides lists of books for various grade levels for students and for teachers.

3.) 10 Ideas to Move Innovation Forward comes from The Principal of Change Blog and provides teachers with ways to be more innovative in your classroom and schools.

4.) and 5.) 10 Excellent Digital Citizenship Tops for Students and Kids is an infographic with Do's and Don'ts for the Internet and comes for the Educational Technology and Mobile Learning Blog.  Also from this blog is 50 Google Docs Tips Every Teacher Should Know.  This is a list of archived blog posts related to Google Docs.

6.) From the Technology Tidbits: Thoughts of a Cyber Hero blog comes 40 Sites and Apps for Creating Presentations.  Some of these are new to me and they can be found in alphabetical order as well.

7.) From Edudemic comes 35 Useful Apps and Web Tools for Math Teachers.  This is a good list with short descriptions and the ability to up or down vote the resources.  They can be viewed alphabetically, by rank, newest, etc.

8.) 10 Ways to End the School Year on an Up Note when You're Exhausted is a great post from the Cool Cat Teacher Blog.  Most teachers slowly wear down as the year goes on and these tips can be helpful towards ending the year positively.  These can also be great reminders throughout the school year as well.

9.) Going Global - Tips ad Resources for Global Collaborations provides teachers with tips, information, and resources to globally connect with other educators and the benefits of doing so.  This comes from the Blogging About the Web 2.0 Connect Classroom.

10.) From the U.S. History Teachers Blog comes an interesting share from the Washington Post; 31 Charts That Will Destroy Your Faith in Humanity.  Several students learn visually and these charts could be helpful for economics, sociology, and geography teachers.  At the same time, in advanced classes the charts could provide some interesting writing prompts as well.  

Blekko - The Slashtag Search Engine

WAY back in November of 2010 I wrote about Blekko while it was still in beta and never really gave it much thought after that.  Recently Blekko has gone through some changes to make search results for user friendly and different from what we are used to on other search engines.  Results from searches are now automatically broken down into various categories of different content.  When you search for something you get both the top and latest results as well as specific searches related to your original search.  This new layout allows for more results on one page and the search will automatically adjust to your screen size for mobile devices.  Users can also search Blekko for images and videos as well.

If you have never seen Blekko and are unsure of what a slashtag is, basically it allows users to easily create a custom search and helps to narrow down a search.  The slashtags are a tool that is used to help filter search results while helping to eliminate spam and content farms.  For more information about slashtags, check out the tutorial.