The Web Ate my Weekend

Written on 8:50 AM by Ur English Teacher

Check out this Web 2.0 tool: Capzles (Personal Example). Great educational potential. Reminds me of VoiceThread but with that cool look of SearchMe (and the Ipod Touch, of course).

Remember to check out CISD's Best of the Web to learn about all the best new websites and tools. LOTS of new sites added this weekend!.

For example, check out these new sites and areas:

Scrapblog: (LOVE this Web 2.0--pure fun, no artistic skill required-Looks GREAT! Makes me feel like I spent the weekend "scrapbooking" but really only took about 10 minutes) Personal Example

Drop.io Simple Private Sharing: Solves that "I don't have enough space for this" problem. Actually easy, very slick, clean interface.

Early Childhood Games and Videos I'd love you to email more Early Childhood sites to me. It's hard to find sites that are easily navigable for early readers.

PicApp - Free photos for use on your websites, blogs, etc.

Technology WOW!

Written on 11:38 AM by Ur English Teacher

One to One Computing is Already Passé

Written on 1:56 PM by Ur English Teacher

Ubiquitous access to the Internet is the way of the future NOT "one-to-one" computing. We do not believe in the "on-to-one" theory. We believe in access via the Internet to one's files and programs regardless of the device used. One-to-one computing focuses on the computer as the most important component of technological innovation and growth in education, but we believe that the innovation is in all the time, anywhere access regardless of the device used. It is not important to provide a laptop for a child in order to have innovative technological advances; it is important to provide children the opportunity to access the network and learn to navigate it to find the tools they need. "One-to-one" thinking is already passé.

Instead of picturing a student with his or her "own laptop" that he or she lugs from classroom to classroom then home, picture children using any computer available to do the same tasks, picking up their documents where they left off in their Web 2.0 tools, accessing the same document or file on the computer at the public library after school then again in the evening at home. He or she might use a Thin Client, then a desktop PC, then a notebook, and so on. The device and its ownership is irrelevant; "the network is everything" (Dr. Scott Barrett).

Jing changes Everything

Written on 6:02 AM by Ur English Teacher





The Jing Project by TechSmith (one of my favorite software creators, makers of SnagIt, which I don't have any desire to live without), is utterly amazing. Until I found, viewed, and understood it yesterday, it took a long time, a lot of effort, and a significant amount of frustration and disk space to display a short "how-to" video of a process which I might need to "show" users how to do.

NOT ANYMORE.

This is how it works: Go to Jing and download the program (about 5 MBs). Install it and notice the icon that appears in your system tray. Right click that little baby and choose "Capture," drag a box around the area you want to capture--generally, the size of the largest window that you need people to see. To record a video (which is the most amazing thing), just click "Video" and start clicking (and talking if you have a microphone). When you finish, hit the stop button, then choose the "embed" option. After you sign in and wait a few seconds, the embed code will be sent to your computer's clipboard. All you have to do then is paste the html code into your web page. Don't worry a bit if you know nothing about code. It doesn't matter! It will work anyway! Check out this tiny example and imagine the POWER of this tool!


To Jing, in the words of the immortal Shakespeare: "Thanks and Thanks and Ever Thanks."

Life Changing Information for Presentation Creators (and Viewers)

Written on 12:04 PM by Ur English Teacher

If you are ever going to create a presentation again (and COME ON, you know you will!), you must read at least this article. Wow. My life will never be the same!

Here are some more quotes and reflections from several different articles on the same topic:
*
Ideas about how to "Slick Up" or Modernize Presentations:
Use visuals on slides only as visual assists to viewers, very little text. Talk conversationally not about the text on the slide but let the content on the slide serve as a visual reinforcement to what you are saying.
*
This:











*
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Instead of this:











*

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Ultimately, we'd end up with the slide on the bottom right:

*
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"The best slides may have no text at all. This may sound insane given the dependency of text slides today, but the best PowerPoint slides will be virtually meaningless with out the narration (that is you). Remember, the slides are meant to support the narration of the speaker, not make the speaker superfluous."

"You know how Stephen Colbert does “The Wørd?” He directly addresses the audience while “slides” appear next to his head acting as a kind of Greek chorus. He not only doesn’t acknowledge the slides — they often contradict exactly what he is saying. (This is what makes this — as we say in the business — “funny”)
I’m not suggesting your slides should undermine you, but consider sometimes showing images and text that make an orthogonal point to what you’re saying aloud to the audience at that moment. Let them discover the point (or the joke) without you leaning on it."

"Let the slide serve your message, rather than letting you (and your personality and timing) be governed by the slide. That’s ‘death,’ and that’s “The Wørd.”
"Many people often say something like this: "Sorry I missed your presentation. I hear it was great. Can you just send me your PowerPoint slides?" But if they are good slides, they will be of little use without you. Instead of a copy of your PowerPoint slides, it is far better to prepare a written document which highlights your content from the presentation and expands on that content. Audiences are much better served receiving a detailed, written handout as a takeaway from the presentation, rather than a mere copy of your PowerPoint slides. If you have a detailed handout or publication for the audience to be passed out after your talk, you need not feel compelled to fill your PowerPoint slides with a great deal of text."

Use high quality professionally edited graphics like the thumbnail slides below:


Interesting perspective on how to organize and what to present. It's obviously meant for business but fits well with many presentations.

1. Problem
2. Your solution
3. Business model
4. Underlying magic/technology
5. Marketing and sales
6. Competition
7. Team
8. Projections and milestones
9. Status and timeline
10. Summary and call to action

Finally a reason to buy a Mac? We could use Keynote: http://www.apple.com/iwork/keynote/ Looks pretty cool.

What presentation skills can we learn from Stephen Colbert?: http://www.43folders.com/2007/08/23/better-presentations

"You know how Stephen Colbert does “The Wørd?” He directly addresses the audience while “slides” appear next to his head acting as a kind of Greek chorus. He not only doesn’t acknowledge the slides — they often contradict exactly what he is saying. (This is what makes this — as we say in the business — “funny”)
I’m not suggesting your slides should undermine you, but consider sometimes showing images and text that make an orthogonal point to what you’re saying aloud to the audience at that moment. Let them discover the point (or the joke) without you leaning on it."

"Let the slide serve your message, rather than letting you (and your personality and timing) be governed by the slide."

Free Online Slideshow Tools

Written on 7:59 AM by Ur English Teacher

Reviews:
Find more? Please comment and let me know!

And don't forget Animoto! Very cool Slideshow tool

Written on 9:50 AM by Ur English Teacher

Compare Animoto and Kaltura

Kaltura is a nice replacement for PhotoStory

Written on 6:09 PM by Ur English Teacher

Once you embed the Kaltura code on your site (blog, web page, wiki, etc.), you and whomever you choose can work on the video directly from your site. No downloads are required.

Kaltura allows the addition of videos AND photos, multiple soundtracks (one could be a narration and the other a song, like Photo Story), has a storyboard video editing format, and is pretty easy to use. This tool seems to provide a great replacement for Photo Story on XTenda computers (since Microsoft only allows Windows Server 2003 on XTendas and PStory won't work on that OS). In addition, users gain the ability to collaborate (unlike PStory) and to add videos (though I can't get a wmv file format video to play) AND photos as well as a tool that requires no download. Since it's on the web, it can be used on the WebPC (if that link didn't open in FoxIt, you're missing out) or on any computer in the world. Uploads are fast too, and Kaltura converts the file types for the user automatically. Transitions between photos are available and under the control of the users. Nice job Kaltura!

Click here to create your own Kaltura account and video. (Totally free.)

Kaltura: Video Creation and Collaboration Example

Written on 4:44 PM by Ur English Teacher

KalturaKaltura



Coolest New Computer: The WebPC

Written on 8:51 PM by Ur English Teacher

Until very recently, there has not been a viable hardware option for high-stakes testing. Standard computers take up too much space, use too much electricity, and are too costly to maintain and support. Traditional notebook computers arbattery lives of 2-4 hours and are even more costly to maintain and support than desktop PCs. Beadvantages, The WebPC is the perfect tool for many applications, such as . . . • Teacher use for daily documentation (ARI, AMI) • Student use for technology integration, project based learning, research, presentations, etc. • Online testing . . .

Click the link for more!

Making Sense of Free Web 2.0 Tools

Written on 8:09 PM by Ur English Teacher

Best of the Web>Web2.0 Database from Conroe I.S.D.
(right click links and choose "Open in new tab or new window to get rid of the frame).


SaaS: Cloudware
(also Web 2.0 Tools)

Applications similar to those on traditional PC but run on web server, may be used as personal (not collaborative) but have EXTENSIVE collaborative capacities.
Google Docs: Office suite
(Example: Create a spreadsheet and share it as a form, send the link to users or embed code. Users fill out form and add data to your spreadsheet.)
http://docs.google.com/
Zoho: Office suite
http://www.zoho.com/

ThinkFree: Office suite
(Voted Best Free Online Office Suite by Computer World)
http://www.thinkfree.com/

Scribd: Free Online Unlimited File Storage, Upload, Share, Explore
http://www.scribd.com/

Animoto: Free video creation with music and pictures.
http://www.animoto.com/

“Traditional” Web 2.0*
Focus on Networking and Collaboration/Participation
Wikis
(read, contribute, comment, debate)
http://www.wikispaces.com/

Blogs: Blogger (Google), MSN Spaces, Live Journal, etc.
(read, comment, publish, debate)
http://www.blogger.com/

Social Netorking Sites: MySpace, Facebook, Orkut
http://www.orkut.com/

Photo Sharing/Networking: Flikr, Picasa (Google)
download, upload, view, tag photos
http://www.flikr.com/

Voicethread: Blog combined with Slideshow
Add a picture or movie file, then record yourself talking about it. Others can add their voices to your production. Can be used as a slideshow, embedded in webpage, similar to Photo Story with narration.
http://www.voicethread.com/

Rich Internet Applications
(Also Web 2.0)

The user interacts with a website without downloading software. The user can customize the page/view/information.

BeFunky: Create your own avatar, cartoonize any photo
http://www.befunky.com/

MusicPlasma:
Find music, movies, etc. that are interesting to you
http://musicplasma.com/

Gliffy: Create Complex Organizational Flowcharts/Diagrams, basic account free
http://www.gliffy.com/

Optimal Sort: Organizational tool
http://www.optimalsort.com/pages/homebx.html

Visit http://technology.conroeisd.net, click Best of the Web, then Click “Web 2.0” for an ever-growing list of links
*Web 1.0: The web as a one way application where “viewers” receive information but do not manipulate or publish information.