Jun 17 2014

Website Format Changing

jim

Due to some changes in work schedules and obligations, we are in the process of changing the format of our website to better serve educators everywhere. Rather than create individual blog posts for each technology tool, we are shifting to a Twitter feed that includes content from us as well as some other excellent technology educators around the country.

You don’t need a Twitter account to keep up. Here’s the feed below. We will continue to tailor this feed to bring you only the best tools available without having to sift through hundreds of posts! Please be patient with us!



May 24 2013

Paste images straight to the web with Snaggy!

jim

http://snag.gy/

OK, there is certainly no shortage of screen-sharing or image sharing sites out there for us to use. But there are times when I need to quickly paste in a screenshot or image that I have copied and share it out to others. Normally, this would require me to paste it into a document, a note in Evernote, a Google Doc or something similar.

Snaggy recently solved that problem for me. I needed to quickly share a screenshot (this happened to be a part of Google Earth). So I used my favorite screen capture tool (I personally like the free version of FastStone Capture- or sometimes resort to Windows Snipping Tool for another free option) then I went to this website and simply pasted in what I had copied.

Then the website simply uploaded my image and gave me a unique URL to post wherever I wanted!

This is a nice, quick tool to share a link to an image in places where it’s not practical to share the actual image!

You can also paste:

  • Pathways to local images

  • URLs of online images

  • Raw data, etc.


Apr 26 2013

Teachers Reluctant to Use Technology- Pencil Chat is just for you!

jim

More and more, in my presentations at various conferences and staff development sessions, I briefly discuss the role of technology for today’s student (digital natives) and how many teachers (digital immigrants) refuse to speak the language. Reluctant teachers have all kinds of excuses. The following video is a great satire:

So just think what our kids’ kids will be using to compare the ridiculousness of not embracing the here and now!


Apr 23 2013

Link your content together visually with Thinglink!

susan

www.thinglink.com

What is ThingLink?

From their own website: “ThingLink helps you create and discover rich images. Be creative! Make your images come alive with music, video, text, images, shops and more! Every image contains a story and ThingLink helps you tell your stories.”

Thinglink is such a fun site that allows students to incorporate lots of content with tags on an image. It’s so easy and quick, the hardest part is remember the website’s name…. thinklink, thingling, thinkling, Thinglink!

Hover over the map to see the links.

Continue reading


Dec 5 2012

Is your website blocked in China?

jim

http://www.blockedinchina.net/

We’ve all heard the rumors and humdrum about the Chinese government blocking all kinds of websites with their massive web filter to “protect” their citizens from possibly interacting with anyone or anything that may be critical of their government or infuse those crazy Western ideologies like democracy and basic human rights (OK, I’ll stop the political rant here). But how much of the rumors are true? How aggressive are those web filters? Find out at this site simply by entering the URL of a website. The website will attempt to access the website from computers within China to see if it is blocked or not.

This won’t be all that useful for a great number of people, though it will for some. An ESL teacher that was going to leave to teach English in China asked me about our web resources- asked if they would be available to him once he is in China early next year. For him, this website is of great value. For students in general, this is a great lesson in cultural differences- analyzing which websites are blocked and finding out why!


Oct 19 2012

Cloud Magic- lightning fast search engine for your personal data!

jim

http://cloudmagic.com

Let me be upfront here: this blog post will not do justice to everything that CloudMagic can do. Now that we have that out of the way, let me do my best to tell you how awesome this is. This video gives you a good idea about this… thing.

 

For those of us who live in the digital world, we have our documents, data, and information spread out over many different platforms such as multiple Google Docs accounts, a few Gmail accounts, a Twitter account (or two), and don’t forget Dropbox, Evernote, iCloud, Google Calendars, and more! Finding that information can be (and usually is) challenging. For example, I have two Google Docs accounts (one personal, one professional) and I am constantly moving back and forth between the two. In which account did I save that document? Where did I see that- was it a Twitter post or a Facebook message?

Frankly, none of us has time to go log in to every account on every platform and search for what we need. And that’s why CloudMagic totally rocks.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Sign up for a CloudMagic account (yes, it’s free).
  2. Register/link your accounts- yes, you can register multiple Google accounts, multiple Twitter accounts, etc.
  3. CloudMagic does the rest!

 

When you need to find something belonging to you, just access CloudMagic using the browser extension, mobile app (iOS or Android), or CloudMagic website. Enter the search term and it’s found instantly. And I do mean instantly- it blows away the time it takes for a normal Google search. It will search all your assets instantly and display results. Click on one of the hits for a preview of your data. Then you can open it instantly in the native application.

Here’s a sample of a search of my stuff when I entered “QR Codes” in the search field:

Give it a try- it will become one of your indispensable tools that you rely on daily!

 

 


May 19 2012

Icon Archive

jim
Icons are everywhere on the internet! But finding a nice site with lots of useful icons without being inundated with advertisements (or worse, spyware) is sometimes a challenge. Icon Archive fills this niche. Any time you need an icon for any reason, check out the collection of over 340,000 free icons here- arranged beautifully!
You can search for icons by keyword or browse by category. And that’s not all! You can also search by color, size, style, and more! Then you have many save options, including PNG, ICO, and ICNS in various sizes!
These icons are great for clip art, badges (especially if you are Edmodo user), presentations, websites and more! What’s not to love here?

May 15 2012

One of These Things is Not Like the Other…

susan

www.diffen.com

As I was working in Diffen, I was singing this song in my head that I remember from Sesame Street when I was a little girl. Yes, that was a long time ago! “One of these things is not like the other”. Of course, that’s not exactly how Diffen works. Diffen makes a comparison of how two things are the same and different.

For example, I compared Plant Cells and Animal Cells, and got these results:

This is list of both differences and similarities, but you can choose to see one or the other.

Here are the top 5 searches in Diffen. I would suspect as the national election draws closer the Republican vs. Democrat one will more higher in popularity!


Apr 15 2012

Any device is a clicker!

jim

www.socrative.com

With the infiltration of mobile devices into our schools, why should we continue purchasing expensive “clickers” or remote response systems to do simple things such as quiz and poll students? This is a question more and more schools are asking. And if you look into this awesome website, you may see that you already have everything you need!

It describes itself in this way: “Socrative is a smart student response system that empowers teachers to engage their classrooms through a series of educational exercises and games via smartphones, laptops, and tablets.”

Essentially, what that means is that a teacher can build an interactive quiz online (pre-made or impromptu). The teacher gives students the room number and students can then answer the questions/polls. There is no login required for students and students can access the quiz on any device, any platform! Oh, did I mention it is FREE!

Watch this demo:

 

There are all kinds of options and features such as viewing the live results, showing correct answers immediately (or not), email notifications of new submissions, teacher-led, or student-paced, etc.

Try this quiz over the Titanic (available until 5-1-12 only): http://m.socrative.com (room number 15613)


Apr 9 2012

Digital Copyright Slider

jim
Let’s face it- copyright is confusing, boring to teach and learn, and a downright thorn in our sides! Here to make it a little easier to understand and just slightly more interactive is the digital copyright slider. It’s flash-based so it will not work on iOS devices. Yes, Apple, Flash is still alive and well. Sorry for the digression.

This reminds me of the old Easy-Graders. Admit it- every one of you teachers reading this have one, don’t you. On this one, you move the slider to match the date of first publication of the work then it will show  you the copyright status and if permission is needed to use it. What may not be obvious is the ability to click on the asterisks for more information!