Muddling through the blogosphere

June 28, 2008
by blogwalker

BYOL Diigo Session

Alice Mercer and Jennifer Dorman are leading this hands-on Diigo session. Love the ease of sending a Diigo link out to your blog – or to Delicious. The highlighting and annotating features take bookmarking to a next level. “Diigo is way to digest and retrieve information later,” Maggie Tsai, Diigo developer, is explaining.

For classroom teachers, the ability to add definitions, explanations, etc., makes Diigo a great tool for scaffolding access to online text. If the sticky notes get overwhelming, you can hide them. You can also create groups. Worried about monitoring? No problem. You have lots of options that will work with your district’s AUP. You can block to public or open it to let others view it. Use the gmail alias hack to set up students accounts – approved by you. OR…coming soon…teachers will have the option of creating student accounts – without student email accounts.

Diigo = critical literacy tool. Use for reflective writing. When searching a topic, use Diigo instead of Google to provide students with previewed, reviewed sites.

Classroom idea: set up a “tag” dictionary – it’s one of the options available when you create Diigo groups. Makes for easy evaluation: search a tag and then you’ll see which students have annotated the site.

Concept of tagging vs. concept of list – You can switch list into slideshow presentation of the websites you have chosen from Diigo. The pages are “live,” not just images.

June 28, 2008
by blogwalker

Web 2.0 Smack Down!

Pretty cramped quarters in afternoon session of the today’s EduBloggerCon08 to join Vicki Davis’s Web 2.0 Smack Down session. We’re sharing favorite tools:

  • Poll Everywhere – Starting with What Is Your Fav Color poll. Create, save, open poll and public can vote via cell phone. No need to purchase clickers for your classroom! Have kids take the cell phones out of their pockets.
  • – Call ChaCha; ask your question; wait for text message question; they have real people behind the service. Uses in classroom? When you don’t have access to the web. 1-800-chacha
  • Animoto – Great free service that allows teachers to download 1-minute video.
  • – Allows you to take a set of images from Flickr and create a photo wall. Classroom idea: use sets of pictures for teaching a concept.
  • – Didn’t realize you can create a panel. Classroom application – you can approve panelists comments.
  • – via your cell phone, you can do live streams. When you start it, it’ll announce it on Twitter too.
  • – Great for keeping tracks of kids “points” for different things.
  • – Vicky is sharing Diigo feature to send bookmark to Twitter and to your blogs (using tags).
  • Key Chain idea – teachers add tabs to key chain – with “contact me when you’re ready to learn” message on back.
  • Webcast Academy – Training for EdTechTalk
  • Make Beliefs Comics – Easy – and no advertisements – and developer will be adding “smaller” characters. No need to login; no need for email address. Students can print out or email it.
  • – php program that allows you to create your own im network – great for teaching younger students netiquette.
  • – Allows you to solve problem of how to see when you can meet. Doesn’t require login or profile. Voting for selecting meeting date is “egregiously” simple.
  • Timebridge – Works with Google Calendar and with Outlook – will send out email.
  • – takes images from flickr and loads them and assembles them into globe, that’s clickable.
  • Webkinz – Use to teach younger kids about being digital citizens. Has chat rooms.
  • – Backchannels options for students
  • – alternative to Twitter – bit more of a learning curve, but has more options.

Very high-energy session!

June 28, 2008
by blogwalker

Digital Storytelling with Wes Freyer

The full title for this session is Digital Storytelling as the Disruptive Change Agent. Wes is starting with fact that student and teachers have little opportunity for feedback – and development – once they’ve created a digital story. Kevin’s Celebrate Oklahoma oral histories project taps into technologies such as a ning for creating the digital storytelling community.

The Oaklahoma Project was set up for interviewing veterans. The project started with GCast to record an interview over the phone (GabCast works too – both are free).

Advantage of uploading and sharing digital stories on the open web, comments are a possibility, connecting and reconnecting family members. We’re listening to the Lillie and John story amazing story – incredibly well written + music – quite the emotional impact. Check out Hank Thompson’s World War II story.

Digital storytelling in the classroom is a golden opportunity to teach positive, constructive use of technology. Maybry digital storytelling awards, for example, have changed student lives. How to get teachers going with filmmaking? Give a deadline and an event (e.g., Veteran’s Day). Time is the number one challenge, but by getting the students involved and having them use time outside of school will also help kickstart a project.

June 28, 2008
by blogwalker

Edubloggercon 1 – Google Docs

First session for the Edubloggercon 2008. Hard to decide which session to start with, but I’m sitting with a group of folks right now for Kevin Jarretts’ Google Apps session. He’s starting with explanation of Google Team Edition, which allows student access to documents WITHOUT needing email accounts.It’s a slimmed down version of Google Educator’s Version (which requires administrator with knowlege of setting up a domain). Kevin starts 8th graders with no instruction other than providing the URL and with the direction to figure out what to do with the application. This was in a science class. Evaluation by students showed the students who jumped in to do the work, loved the application; the slackers, not so much.

Students drafted documents in Google Team Edition, which has no bells ‘n whistles, and then fine tuned their writing in Word – great for writing process. Another advantage is access to Google Apps at home, which is not always the case for students with MS Office programs.

Setup – Starts with Google Account (which does not require gmail). Go to Education edition. Kevin provided a link to his instructions. Mark Wagner has also contributed Google Resources, along with a complete tutorial.

Ideas for using Google Docs – Digiteams (wiki project with Vicki Davis) – older students providing younger students with digital citizenship strategies.

June 28, 2008
by blogwalker

Google Earth with Lucy Gray

Lucy Gray, from University of Chicago, is leading the session. We’re starting with a look at Google Maps and how to use the search feature to make your own customized maps. Using the Sears Tower in Chicago, we’re looking at the street view, which is not available from all sites.

To make a map, click on MyMaps, type in description and save. Two important options: collaborate and invite others. Import a KML file (Google format) (KMZ=compressed format of KML). When you click on edit, a toolbar opens on your map that includes placemarks. You can upload pictures and/or icons and add lines (right click on the line and you’ll get more options). The cool thing about Google Maps is that you can leave it open to others to edit. Also, it’s not as bandwidth intensive as Google Earth. With the embed code, you can put it on your blog. If your visitors are logged into Google, they can add to your map. When you’re done with your map, send it to Google Earth. – Oh, wow, every time I visit this site, I am amazed at the options. I hadn’t looked at the Google Books Search option, which you can add as a link and to your library. The Find this Book in a Library takes you to WorldCat and shows a library in your area (based on your IP address) that has that collection. The MyLibrary option is public, so by adding tags, visitors can find your reviews. Great way to create a bibliography for a course.

Suggested intro activity for teachers: In Google Maps, make a placemark of a place special to you in your education and email to facilitator, who uploads it into Google Earth as a KMZ file. Have students trained to make placemarks and save them in a file in Google Earth.

Questions: can you add audio and video in Google Maps (as you can in Google Earth).

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