Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
What’s a podcast?
Episodic downloadable audio (or video) content.
Does not require an iPod.
Usually has an associated RSS feed.
Technology: This Week in Tech
Social Studies: Stuff You Missed in History Class
Math: Math Grad
English Language Arts: CSTW Writers Talk
Arts: CBC Arts Podcasts
Medicine: White Coat, Black Art
How to create
Hardware (microphones, pop filters, etc)
How to create
How to publish/share
hosting and syndication
Copyright or Creative Commons
Now let’s podcast…
Friday, October 16, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
We have a lot of photos (over 80 GB and counting), so it takes a while for it to scan through all of those to recognize faces, but it's doing fairly well so far.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
The word count now includes some readability information.
It is now possible to insert an equation using an equation editor (LaTeX syntax, just like Wikipedia).
Friday, September 11, 2009
And I'm not just saying this because my father blogs and mother-in-law uses Facebook, a researcher recently found, in a pilot study, that Facebook increases your IQ while Twitter probably weakens your working memory.
Perhaps all reading is not good reading.
Monday, August 31, 2009
Guides to the Ribbon: Use Office 2003 menus to learn the Office 2007 user interface
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist - Michael J. Fox
The Four Hour Work Week: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich - Timothy Ferriss
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference - Malcolm Gladwell
Free: The Future of a Radical Price - Chris Anderson
Content: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright, and the Future of the Future - Cory Doctorow
The Closing of the American Mind / How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today's Students - Allan Bloom
Star Trek Movie Tie-In - Alan Dean Foster
Ask a Ninja Presents The Ninja Handbook: This Book Looks Forward to Killing You Soon - Douglas Sarine and Kent Nichols
All Creatures Great and Small - James Herriot
The links on the left are audio versions, on the right are dead tree editions. Enjoy.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
The site is a little awkward to use, but I think it's worth it.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
For students, iPods in class tend to be distractions and an escape. This is likely the source of teachers' objection to these devices, that they detract from student learning.
For teachers themselves, or at least for me, an mp3 player is more of a professional development device. I'm usually listening to podcasts, lectures, and audiobooks, and many of these are education, or at least technology, related.
And I don't listen to my iPod in class.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
It bears repeating that your USB flash drive (or thumb drive, or however you refer to it) will stop working entirely at some point. Soon. So make sure you have only duplicate files on it. When it dies, the files will likely be unrecoverable.
The same goes for hard drives and iPods for that matter, but they don't seem to die as frequently.
Be safe out there.
Posted with LifeCast
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Many schools have policies prohibiting the use of mobile phones in class, some don't even allow them in the school at all. Besides issues with students having cameras (or video cameras) with them at all times, there are legitimate concerns about test validity and security as well as time spent off-task in class.
Time off-task in class is also affected by iPod (and other mp3 player) use. In particular, the games and applications that are available on the iPod touch (and presumably the upcoming Zune HD) can be very distracting for students.
On the other hand, there are a number of potential uses for these little computer-like devices, especially if you don't have a computer for each student in your classroom. It will be interesting to see how this all develops.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Of course a Ning or even a Moodle would probably be a better idea for online social network-style interactions with students, but that would mean another login for them and for you. These are also less likely to be blocked by your school district's network policies. This is still relatively uncharted territory, though, so it is recommended that you proceed with caution.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
It's obviously a work in progress, but what they have accomplished already is pretty cool. They have some example queries that you can try in order to get a feel for how it works. I think that Educators in particular should be very excited about the possibilities.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Using them every day is different from "computer lab" time.
Assignments are much neater and easier to mark.
There is a broad range of typing skills and technology comfort levels.
Motivation is increased, probably because it's something new and it shows that the teacher cares to do something different.
Perhaps a system could be used for "chat style" feedback during lectures.
Access to the Internet can be a distraction.
Power issues come up (extension cords and batteries).
They like mice rather than touchpads or eraserheads.
Desk space is an issue, textbooks ended up in their laps.
There are some digital textbooks available as PDFs or applications.
They sometimes get confused when you call them notebooks instead of laptops.
Many of them like to customize the colours, fonts, etc. of the OS and their documents.
Worksheets are all in their document folders ahead of time, this means less printing and I don't have to make sure I have each day's assignment ready to hand out.
I don't usually give them a copy of the PowerPoint notes, perhaps that's something to try.
Some students work on the worksheets while taking notes, and/or copy and paste from their notes into their worksheets.
Those were my thoughts, it will be interesting to see how this changes with things like 1:1 projects and allowing student laptops on the school wifi.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Basically you give it the image that you want to create, then a lot of other images to use as tiles. There are a few settings to tweak if you'd like, and the images it creates are very cool.
On the Mac, there's a similar program called MacOSaiX.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
A related issue, though, is how many of these tools are blocked by school networks. My district has been very good about allowing YouTube, Wikipedia, Twitter, and others, but I imagine that is not the case everywhere. It would be interesting to have a study done on the educational impact of allowing different types of sites in a school situation, similar to a study that found employess who use the Internet for personal reasons are 9% more productive.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
I've mentioned before about some sources we use for free content, but I wanted to be a little more specific about some of the resources we're looking at for starting the digital collection.
Librivox - volunteer-read public domain works
Spoken Alexandria Project - creating audio books of creative commons works
Podiobooks - free serialized audio books
Lit2Go - a free online collection of audio stories and poems
Project Gutenberg - human read public domain audio books
X Minus One - a series of science fiction radio plays, not technically audio books
Cory Doctorow - an author who creative commons licenses his works, a number of them have been recorded as audio books by him or by fans
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
So what does it take to be a geek these days?
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Being a High School teacher, I see it more as an opportunity to use as a video game device; it reminds me somewhat of those old arcade Pacman tables. If I had one of these SMART Tables, I'd probably use it for playing chess or perhaps board games like Settlers of Catan. I'd be interested to see, however, how it would be used in an Elementary classroom.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
There are a few caveats about using creative commons or public domain works, though. Since students don't tend to be as familiar with the works/artists it often takes them longer to complete their projects than if you just let them bring in their own (usually quasi-legal) media. As well, the onus is usually on you to point the students in the right direction.
To help with this, a few sources of media that I've come across are:
Archive.org (also has other types of files)
100 (Legal) Sources for Free Stock Images
and, of course, Flickr
Free Vector Graphics
Quality Vector Graphics
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Writing about it doesn't do it justice, though, check it out at http://prezi.com/prezi/27/try/.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
OpenDNS can be set up on each computer, or in the router that they all use to connect to the Internet. You can choose categories of sites to block, or even blacklist or whitelist individual sites. It's quick and easy to set up and make changes, and it's free.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
If you have your calendar open, perhaps from calendar.google.com, click Settings at the top right, then the Calendars tab near the top middle. You'll see a link for Notifications for each of your calendars. This allows you to change the default notifications, I'd recommend setting it to Email 3 hours before each event, but you can also change the notification types for individual events.
You'll also see options for setting up your mobile phone, calendar sharing/publishing, and many other things. Have fun.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
I've recently had two similar Canadian online suppliers recommended to me. While I haven't yet bought cables from either of them, apparently they are both very good: InfiniteCables.com and CableSalesCanada.com, both of which are based in Toronto.
Let me know in the comments if you've bought from either one and your experiences with it.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Friday, February 6, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
VLC video/music player
iTunes for music libraries and podcasts
YamiPod an iTunes alternatve for iPod management.
Miro for video podcasts and RSS, etc.
MovieMaker 2 video editing
PhotoStory for making slideshows easily
Audacity audio recording/editing
CD BurnerXP for burning CDs and DVDs
InfraRecorder for burning CDs and DVDs
Spybot S&D AntiSpyware
uTorrent for downloading torrents
TightVNC remote admin
7-zip file archiving/unarchiving
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
When creating your site, you can specify if you want it viewable by the whole world, anyone from your domain, or specific users. You can also invite users to be collaborators, meaning that they can edit the pages on the site.
One thing to be careful of, however, is that it seems the option "Anyone at
Monday, January 19, 2009
I was reminded today, again, that it is a good idea to have copies of any important digital documents in at least two locations. Those little USB flash drives occasionally stop working or get misplaced, so I wouldn’t recommend keeping your only copy of a file on there.
Likely your school-provided network storage location is backed up automatically, so that’s the best place to store things. I’ve also written previously about online (Internet) storage options for your files.
That reminds me, I need to backup my photos at home.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
USB flash drives: either student or school provided, students can save their work to individual flash drives, or have multiple students save their files on a single flash drive.
Email: I usually have students email their completed assignments to me, since we have gmail accounts set up for students and teachers with about 7 GB of storage space each. I can then mark the assignments on any computer with Internet access.
TurnItIn.com: our district subscribes to this website which provides originality checking and online marking, as well as opportunities for peer review.
Learning Management Systems: online systems can be set up for assignment submission as well as peer interaction et ceteras using something like Moodle or Ning.
I'm sure there are other ways that teachers are marking digital assignments, but these are just a few I've experimented with. Feel free to comment on some of the systems you've used or seen in use.