Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The World At Night (TWAN)

From Dr. Jess:
(one of my instructors who taught me in Summer School...when I was renewing my certificate.....back in the day..... I made an A)
TWAN is a great web site for observing the night sky. TWAN has postetwan.jpgd a number of unusually beautiful images of the night sky. Many of the pictures utilize a long exposure image. The shutter of the camera is manually opened over a relatively long period of time to expose the medium. They describe it as….
The World At Night (TWAN) is a program to produce and present a collection of stunning photographs and time-lapse videos of the world’s landmarks against the celestial attractions.” They have tutorials on how to recreate some of the stunning visual effects that sky photography allows. One of the unusual aspects of this site is that all of the photographs require a backdrop that is of a historical site. These sites can be man made or of natural origin. (Such as a rock outcrop like Devil’s Tower) I can look at these sites and imagine myself in those places. A very quick travel trip.

This would be great for a summer camp-out in the back yard, too!

Thanks, Dr. Jess!
~~Your former student,

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Websites I found interesting (weekly)

  • tags: urlshrinkers, tinyurl

  • offers users three categories of templates for making brochures and flyers. Each category contains ten templates. The templates are somewhat customizable as you can use your own images, but the layout stays the same. When you're done creating your brochure simply save it as a pdf and print it.

    Applications for Education
    My Brochure Maker could be a good little tool for creating parent newsletters. If you're leading a workshop, My Brochure Maker could be good for creating a good-looking handout for participants.

    tags: brochure, writing

  • tags: youtube, editing

  • tags: kjarrett, voice_thread, ning

  • Great for name recognition and putting letters of name in order. Would be good for tablet PC or Smartboard.

    tags: earlylearners

  • tags: earlylearners

  • tags: lessonplans, technology

  • ree software download for both Macs and PC’s. The software contains two parts, the first is an atlas with interactive maps and details for each country including the capital, flag, land and water borders, length of the coasts, the population, official languages, internet and country code, currency, international organization membership, and more. The second part of the software is a game offering more than 100,000 geography questions about worldwide geography. The game lets players give an answer or choose to answer with clues or multiple choice. After answering a question, students can view their score and look at detailed data for the territory.

    How to integrate GeoEdu into the classroom: I’m not sure why school supply stores still sell the pull down atlas, with all of the amazing atlas and map tools available for free, buying a map seems so last century! GeoEdu is a bright and colorful interactive atlas with great details for each country. This free software is perfect for use with an interactive whiteboard or projector. The game included is a great way to increase student geography knowledge. Play the game as a class during geography or any time you have a few extra minutes. Keep a running score going throughout the year that can be added to easily. GeoEdu is also a great download for classroom and library computers. Use GeoEdu as a geography/atlas center where students can stop by and interact with maps and play the game.

    tags: geography, game, map, fun, freeware

  • tags: resources, interactive, directory, tools

  • Over the past few years, I have been collecting interesting Internet videos that would be appropriate for lessons and presentations, or personal research, related to technological and media literacy. Here are 70+ videos organized into various sub-categories. These videos are of varying quality, cross several genres, and are of varied suitability for classroom use.

    tags: vidoe, internetsafety, 21stcenturylearning

  • Lesson List (60 minutes each)

    * Definitions of Copyright: What Do They Know?
    * A Brief History of Copyright and Innovation
    * Fair Use: Remix Culture, Mashups, and Copyright
    * Peer-to-Peer (P2P) File Sharing
    * Fair Use – You Be the Judge!

    tags: copyright

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Art Education part 2

Claudia Cortes created a flash-based tutorial called Color in Motion, an animated and interactive experience of color communication and color symbolism.

The website starts with a livetly animated movie, and you have to choose one of three doors: tbe stars, the movie, the lab. Here you can learn about each of the primary and secondary colors. Did you know that some of yellow's positive traits are active, bright, cautious, clear, and communicative? That some of its negative traits are coward, dangerous, envious, hazardous. For Hindue, yellow stands for truth.

You will enjoy this as much as your students.In the lab you get to direct a movie based on a color!
Time will get away before you know it when you are engaged in creativity!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Art Education

If you cannot travel to Chicago this summer take a virtual fieldtrip to the Art Institute of Chicago’s Art Explorer. There you can browse artwork or the artists, such as Degas, Cezanne, Gaugin, Manet, Matisse, Munch, and more. Most the works are from the Impressionist and Postimpressionist movements.

If you sign up, you also have the ability to create scrapbooks of artwork in the collection. This application allows you to save, rearrange, and annotate images and resources you have found on Art Explorer. To create a scrapbook, use “Search by keyword,” “Advanced Search” or “Search by Artist” to select some Artworks and/or Resources.
With your selection of artworks and/or resources, you can: • Prepare for a classroom lesson • Create notes for a school field trip to the Art Institute • Assign students to create a virtual exhibition of Impressionist or Postimpressionist artworks, with notes on individual artworks

The site also features a good search tool that will help you find particular works in
their collection. Collections include African, American, Ancient, Architecture and Design, Arms, Armor, Medieval, Renaissance, Asian, Contemporary, European Decorative Arts, Indian Arts of the Americas, Modern, Photography, Prints and Drawings, Textiles, and more.
Enjoy your visit!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Attend NECC-Virtually!

NECC is just hours away from going full speed ahead. Many of you are in planes, trains, and automobiles on your way to DC. But many more of you weren’t able to attend this year.

I know everyone can’t be fortunate enough to get to attend ISTE’s NECC conference in Washington, DC but guess what? You can attend VIRTUALLY. More than ever this year, NECC will be all over the Net! Use the information below to participate. Check out the Nings and Blogs, watch some of the sessions through streaming videos, or one of the best new ways is to follow the action on Twitter!

People attending the sessions have been asked to use the hashtags shown below and @Isteconnects is the official Tweeter of the organization.

So come on, join in on the fun and learn something new next week! It’s the 30th anniversary of NECC so you know they will do it up right!
For those of you staying home, you can still get a good taste of what’s going on in a variety of ways:

Nings and blogs:
Discovery http://blog.discoveryeducation.com/lcelection/

Archived and streaming videos:
www.istevision.org <[ http://www.istevision.org/ ]http://www.istevision.org/>


Follow Shelby County's own John Simi @jsimi

Stay tuned to all these sources even after the conference and keep the conversations going. These are great resources for people who ARE attending NECC as well.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Energy Conservation part 2

Another Energy Conservation site, EnergyStar Kids, is an interactive site for elementary age kids that helps them look for and identify ways to conserve energy.

Also you’ll find a link to energy efficiency and conservation lesson plans divided into grade levels. This site can be a jump start to a series of very practical science lessons that are relevant and interesting to students now.

Note: the Parent/Teacher's tab is at the very bottom.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Energy Conservation

What can I do to save energy?
How can recycling save energy?
These are the topics addressed at the Energy Kids Page, hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy.

The site has several PDF downloads, among them - Energy Efficiency and Conservation- with versions for both middle school and high school. These discuss theconcepts of energy conservation and consumption, and energy sustainability. The site also links to several other great web sites that teach and discuss energy conservation.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Looking for a bit of SAAS?

SAAS, or software as a service, is a solution schools are looking at. Rather than buy licenses and SAAS products are web-based applications that are either free, or purchased on a subscription.
Many of the open source software packages can be found at Schoolforge Many of these software packages are distributed under the GNU General
Public License
which basically says that the software creator retains copyright to his/her
work, but that the software is free to use by others - even to the extent of reprogramming the source code. This means your schools can install an open source package on as many computers as they desire, and can even modify the code so the program better fits a particular school’s needs, etc.

For schools with limited budgets, it is a good idea to look at the open source market first before purchasing software. The advantages of saving money, and the freedom to modify the application to your needs may outweigh the disadvantage that you use this software at your own risk, there’s little or no technical support, and no guarantee that the software will be supported
or upgraded as technology moves forward. On the brighter side, for every open source package there usually is an online forum of users who actively collaborate with each other and provide support.
What are your favorites?

Monday, June 22, 2009

ArtRage and Artsonia

Free Art Rage software and Artsonia

artsonia.gifheaderartragelogo.jpgZDNet Education blogger Christopher Dawson posted about the availability of a free download of ArtRage Pro. ArtRage Pro is an art program that provides realistic feeling art media tools for drawing, and includes advanced features such as layers and interactive whiteboards. A free version (Starter Edition) is availalble to everyone, but the article notes that art teachers who sign up at Artsonia can download the full version at no charge through July 21, 2009. Artsonia is a great kids' art museum where art teachers can share their students’ work.


Print-Bingo.com - A free bingo card generator by Perceptus
Link: http://print-bingo.com/
From their website: “Print-Bingo.com is a completely web based program for printing many types of bingo cards, including those with your own custom word lists. Since there is nothing to install, this site works with any recent computer and printer. Hundreds of people print bingo cards from this site every day, so chances are that it will work for you too!

We offer three sizes of bingo cards, one, two, and four cards per letter sized page. We also have a custom bingo card creation form where you can create unique bingo cards with your own word lists and other customizations. Custom cards are great for teachers, buzzword bingo, or party bingo. Our site has unicode support, for you, this means that many, many, languages are supported, including Chinese, Japanese, and Russian.

If our bingo card creation tools grows more popular, other sizes and customizations for our bingo cards will be added. Feel free to send suggestions or comments to bingo@perceptus.ca or leave a note in the print-bingo.com forum.”

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Websites I found interesting (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Macintosh - Really Empty the Trash

You all know how to empty the Macintosh trash of the files you’ve dragged there. (Or used Command-Delete to trash) The Mac’s hard drive churns for just a second and the trash bin turns from a full icon to an empty trash icon. What really happens though? All computer operating systems that I’m aware of delete the files by removing the reference to them from the file directory, and marks that space on your hard drive as free space to write to again. It doesn’t really go out and erase every bit of the files. They are actually still sitting there on your hard drive. That is, until some other file writes over the top of them.

According to Apple’s web site, “That’s why Mac OS X Leopard provides another option for deleting data: the Secure Empty Trash command. Meant for those occasions when you want to permanently and immediately delete files, Secure Empty Trash overwrites your data with
digital gibberish, ensuring that your deleted data is gone for good. It may take a few moments longer, but it’s a good choice for deleting data you’re sure you don’t need — and don’t want anyone else to see.

To delete your Trash securely, go to the Finder menu and select Secure Empty Trash. A pop-up will ask you to confirm that you want to permanently erase the items in the Trash. Click OK, and these files will be gone forever.”

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Google Docs

Google has release several new features for Google Docs this month, including the often-requested ability to import Word 2007(.docx) and Office 2007 (.xlsx) file formats. Google Docs has a size limit on uploaded files (500kb for documents and 1MB for spreadsheets). The Office 2007 document formats are compressed so much larger documents can be uploaded in 500kb of a .docx file than the same file size of .doc or .rtf.

In addition, Google Docs now supports several new gadgets for Google Spreadsheet data visualization:

  • Tree Map Gadget (a “color-coded area diagram that helps you understand complicated hierarchical data at a glance”)
  • Word Cloud Gadget (”visualize the popularity of words from large amounts of text”)
  • Spider Chart Gadget (”visually compare the values of multiple attributes”)
  • QR Code Gadget (”quickly encode data into the QR code format from a Google Docs spreadsheet so that it can be scanned and read by mobile devices that have a QR code reader”)
  • Flash Cards (”easily create flashcard sets”)
  • Word Study (”create interactive word games”)
  • Word Search (”create an interactive word search from a column of words in a spreadsheet”)

To use Google Spreadsheet Gadgets, create a new spreadsheet in Google Docs and choose Insert > Gadgets. More details on the gadgets listed above are available on Google’s website at http://googledocs.blogspot.com/.

Friday, June 19, 2009


This website Zefty.com comes again from my GCT PLN from Cliotech

This online application that helps parents teach money-management to children and also track their allowance. Using Zefty, parents can set up virtual accounts for their kids and then specify how much allowance they get. The kids can then log in into their accounts and see how much money they have. The application works just like an actual bank account but everything is based on virtual money.

The Parent = the teller and has control over the safe. The student can even "write checks" to take to the banker for cash. After reading several of the forum posts, I also found that one parent found it handy because she used it on her web-enabled phone at the store to check balances before purchases were made!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Google Added a Color Filter to its Image

I have been saving this tip for a rainy day and I don't know when it will rain in Memphis so here ya go....
Link: http://images.google.com/ Click on images like you normally do, and search for an image. When you arrive at the results pages, you’ll notice an All Colors drop down menu. In the menu you can choose a particular color, and only images with that color will appear in the results window.

You can then choose other colors in the drop down menu to instantly switch to that color. According to Google, “You can also combine the color filter with any other image filter to further refine your search. For example, if you’re looking for an image of an orange butterfly, try restricting to photos or clip art.” This adds additional layer of functionality to
the Google image search, which is a powerful tool.

from a Google blog the developer who tells about using this with his young daughter: Just search for something the way you normally would, such as [tulips]. On the results page, click on the "All colors" drop down in the blue bar and choose a color. For example, try restricting your results to [yellow tulips]. Want to see purple tulips instead? Simply click on the color filter again, select purple, and voila — you have pages of beautiful images!

You can also combine the color filter with any other image filter to further refine your search. For example, if you're looking for an image of an orange butterfly, try restricting to photos or clip art.

Color is one of the basic visual elements of an image. Whether you're browsing through photos of sea creatures and flowers or searching for the perfect orange butterfly, we hope you like our new color filter

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Chartle: Free Maps, Charts and Diagrams

I was reminded today about Chartle, a free, no registration required Web 2.0 app that allows users to create a wide variety of diagrams, maps and charts, some with unique interactive features. Objects created with Chartle can be shared or embedded in blogs or wikis. It has a many features, some of which are quite complicated. It is also a very young Beta product, and only works in Firefox 3.x on PCs and Macs. With those caveats in mind however, it is an intriguing tool with enough going for it to keep it on any tech savvy educator’s radar.

Chartle.net - interactive charts online!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Moshi Monsters

One thing you might want to do this summer is join a virtual world. Then you could do it with your class during the school year. I suggest Moshi Monsters. "Guide the students in signing up for Moshi Monsters where students can apply knowledge of digital citizenship and etiquette as they navigate their adopted monsters in a well-monitored virtual world."

There is a free version. Of course if you want more you can pay $ for a subscription. From the parents' section. "We passionately believe that children learn best when they're having fun and this principle is right at the heart of Moshi Monsters. Children earn Rox (the in-game currency) by solving a wide range of fun daily puzzles with their Monster. These puzzles start simple but become increasingly challenging as the child's skills develop. The puzzles cover a wide range of skills including numeracy, logic, spatial awareness, geography, anagrams, and vocabulary."

Try it, you might like this on a rainy day!

Monday, June 15, 2009


New Zealand teacher Andrew Churches made a name for himself in
edu-digital circles with this very useful article published in
Technology & Learning magazine. It ties the revised Bloom's Taxonomy
(updated in 2001) to problem-, project- and web-based learning. It's
a must read for any teacher, principal (or IT leader) who is serious
about shaping instruction around the needs and interests of the
Digital Generation.

Google Teacher Academy

Don't Forget
Application now open for GTA Boulder. August 5th, 2009.
Apply by MIDNIGHT, July 3rd, 2009.

Get your application and details HERE.

View my wikispace to learn more about my experience! It is worth the effort! Not just the time spent at the Academy, but really it is all about the relationships you develop and continue to develop after the Academy!!!

Please comment below if you need some encouragement to go for it!!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

PBWiki Summer Camp for Teachers

Several teachers in my PLN ( Professional Learning Network) are going to take advantage of this PBwiki Summer camp online class---pass it on if you know people who would be interested.

PBwiki Summer camp is structured so each week there will be a specific lesson on how to use your wiki. You will receive an email every Monday with a video, a lesson, and with links to the homework, examples and more. Review the video, do your homework and meet with us on Tuesday for a virtual presentation.

Camp lasts from June 22 - July 21st with live training (called webinars) every Tuesday at 10:00PST / 13:00EST/ 18:00 GMT

Summer Camp requirements:

1. You must follow the homework and use your wiki to test out all the new features we review.
2. You must comment on others work, and participate on the educator
discussion board

More info and FREE signup
Camp Syllabus

Join with me!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Story of Oxygen

Bookmark this for next year!
Watch a short movie for elementary or middle schoolers on Oxygen. http://nizmlab.com/1622/oxygen

Oxygen from Christopher Hendryx on Vimeo.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Shut Down or Sleep?

Posted by Gary Rosenzweig on 5/13/09. You can follow Gary on Twitter.
Macmost Blog

Should you shut down your Mac or put it to sleep at the end of the day? Gary Rosenzweig looks at the different advantages of each, and reveals which one he favors.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Yudu - Publish Your PDFs as Online Magazines

Last week I found this document. It looked so great with super information. I have left it open in my Firefox browser all week.

R. Byrne's blog post answered one of my burning questions with this post:
I published the guide using Yudu. Yudu is a free service that allows you to upload PDF, Word, Excel, and Powerpoint files to create online magazines. The page turning effect and the zoom options are all built into the technology of Yudu and automatically activated. When your Yudu online magazine is created you can embed it into a blog, wiki, or website.

Applications for Education
Yudu makes it easy for you and your students to take the Word, PDF, and Powerpoint files and turn them into visually appealing online magazines.
Yudu could be a good option for publishing visually appealing PTA newsletters or creating an online magazine about your classroom.

If you're in the habit of posting links to documents or lecture outlines, you may want to consider transferring them to Yudu online magazines and embedding them into your class blog. By posting an online magazine in your blog rather than a link to a file, your students may be more likely to view the material as it removes the requirement to download or open files.

Now I am going to try it! How about you! Do! :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tag Gallery

Tag Gallery
WOW, who thought of this visual website!
Write a subject in the center line and a galaxy appears with planets in orbit. Each orbiting planet is a relational subject to the center “SUN”. Select a planet and the photo’s appear to fly onto the sun. This is amazing, and it only get’s better. Click and drag the planet and you can move the sphere around in circles. Very Cool! Select the arrow at the top and new ‘Flickr” photos zoom in onto the sphere for a whole new set of views.

You can go to full screen in the bottom right corner, but you have to go out of full-screen to type.
I tried Tennessee. Then Memphis. Elvis had the largest "planet." And you probably thought the world doesn't revolve around Elvis. It does on this page. The larger the orb, the more images tagged on Flicker! Try your state. Try a place that you want to view images of.

Rainy Day activity for me!

Google Wave

Now Google comes along with a new, amazing, collaborative, OPEN SOURCE product that adds a mountain of promise for the world and ocean of challenges for education.

Later this year Google Wave will be going live. It's a bit like Facebook meets email, meets IM, meets Flickr, meets Blogger, meets Google docs, meets wikis, meets Twitter, meet Survey Monkey, meets.... (Are you getting the idea?)

View Google Wave Developer Preview presentation at the Day 2 Keynote of Google I/O. To learn more visit http://wave.google.com

I bet it will be blocked by the webfilter at my school and most schools.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Google Forms ideas from Google Tutor

6 Awesome Google Docs Templates to Seize the Summer!
from Google Tutor

Even though for some of us the weather hasn’t made it seem this way, summer is truly coming! It’s the time of sun, fun, and also when organization has a chance to slack. With travel plans, family trips, and a new determination to get in shape, you can always use a little more streamlining to it all! Here are the six Google Docs templates that will help you stay organized enough so you can focus on enjoying the summer!

Travel Templates for Google Docs

1. Shared Travel Expenses

We all like to travel, and for the lucky ones that get to do lots of it, things can get a bit complicated when you’re splitting the bill among friends. To make sure you are still friends when you get back from vacation, this spreadsheet can be helpful. It perfectly keeps track of who pays for what, and how much money should go to each person at the end of it all.

2. Complete Travel Itinerary

When you’re running from bus to airport and want to know when you have to be where, a complete travel itinerary is your best companion. I like this template for a complete travel itinerary, including a space for emergency contact information. If you plan a trip for someone else (I sometimes do, and this is perfect!) then this works even for those relatives who get anxiety attacks by the thought of several stop-overs.

3. Pet-care instructions!

Sometimes the family pet can’t come along. I found out the hard way when I wanted to take my rabbit with me on a trip a few years ago, and it turned out he wasn’t welcome on all but one airline. Had he looked more like a cat, we would have been OK. For those of us who are paranoid about giving up control over our little furry ones, you can keep some control by giving all the info possibly needed with this template.
Google Docs Templates that help you get in shape

4. A Complete Cardio Workout!

Karon Kartor, author of the Ultimate Body Shaping Bible, put together this handy Google Docs template that describes and keeps track of a complete cardio workout. Great if you want to increase your fitness level or are getting serious about losing some weight. Using a template to track your progress might just be the push you need to work out more consistently.

5. Weight Training Template

If you’ve wanted to do weight training but don’t know where to start, or if you’re not seeing a lot of results from your workout, try this template. It shows which exercises to do, and how many reps of each to get you in your best shape ever. All you need to do is work out and track your progress!

6. Runner’s log

Runners tend to love tracking their progress. I can’t think of a single runner I know who doesn’t, and there are tons of ways to do it. If a system is too complicated, I know I won’t bother tracking, so this Google Docs runner’s template is a great way to keep an eye on how I’m running along.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Google Chrome

A quick post today!
Thanks to my GCT PLN:
Valarie posted:
Google Launches Chrome for Mac

Download here: http://www.google.com/chrome/intl/en/eula_dev.html?dl=mac

here is MacWorld review:

I first saw this on the PC that I used at Google Academy. I haven't used this browser since.
The tool bar was quite handy. Try it, you might like it!

Websites I found interesting (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Google Squared

From my GCT PLN
Product Manager Daniel Dulitz demonstrates Google Squared, a new experimental search tool that lets you customize your search results in a table. Try it for yourself at http://www.google.com/squared