Cramberry

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Recently I was talking with my girlfriend who is studying Nuclear Medicine at the University of Findlay and she showed me all of the note cards that she creates for her classes. She goes through hundreds of note cards a week (25 Credit Hours) and she has to carry them with her wherever she goes so she can study. Me being the technologist that I am says that is a waste of tree’s, money, and time. I thought, there has to be a better way. There is. Cramberry.

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Google Doc’s Blocked? Check out these resources.

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Recently I was told that a school would not allow access to Google Docs and they would not be moving forward with Google Apps for EDU. Why? I have no idea. The teacher was frustrated because she saw all of the educational benefits that Google Docs provided as well as the 21st century skills that our students need.

I started looking around and I found a couple of tools that although they do not do everything that Google Docs does, you can still bring in cool tools to help facilitate 21st century learning.

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Google News Timeline

While writing an article about Google Search in EDU, I stumbled upon a labs project that is called Google News Timeline.  The about page reads: “Google News Timeline is a web application that organizes search results chronologically. It allows users to view news and other data sources on a browsable, graphical timeline. Available data sources include recent and historical news, scanned newspapers and magazines, blog posts, sports scores, and information about various types of media, like music albums and movies.”

To get started click here.

The next step is to add some queries to your timeline. You can do this by clicking on the “add queries” link.

Go through and click as many or as few sources as you prefer.

Now you can go back to the timeline view and browse through the different events that are listed on the timeline.

How can you use this in the classroom?

This is a great resource if you are teaching a “decades” lesson, this will showcase several different events that occurred on or around a certain date. This is also great for current events and historical events. The timeline gives you the full picture of what was happening during events in history.

Remember this is a labs project, it can either get really good and move forward or it could go away all together.

For more information click here.

Thanks

TJ

Edu Tool Spotlight: Tagxedo

Many teachers are starting to use Woordle’s in their classrooms. Today I found a tool that lets you take the Woordles that you already are creating and turn them into images that deal with the subject and content area. The best part, ITS FREE!

To get started head over to http://www.tagxedo.com/

You can add your website or blog URL, a Twitter Feed, a del.icio.us url, News, Search Term,  RSS feed as well as your own words.

You can choose an image that they already have such as a heart, a flower, a cloud, a giraffe, etc.

How can we use this in the classroom? (these suggestions also apply to Wordle they just look cooler)

  • Enter words (vocabulary) into Tagxedo and create an image that might appear in a book/topic that you are working on in class.
  • Because of the way the Tagxedo images work, the more times you enter a word the larger it is on the finished product, copy a whole paragraph of text or story and discuss why the larger words were used
  • First week of class, have your students create a Tagxedo about themselves and present it
  • Kids create gifts for parents, grandparents, teachers 🙂 describing the person
  • Create a Tagxedo around a holiday (Veterans Day, Presidents Day, MLK Day) with words that describe the person or holiday
  • Create an image of a Historical Character / Author with words that describe them
  • Paste student writing into Tagxedo and see what words are used the most. This will help to get rid of the “and then’s” in students writing
  • Paste speeches (Gettysburg and MLK) and study and discuss the large words and why they were used. What  point was the speaker trying to get across?

If you have any other ideas feel free to leave them in the comments section.

*FYI you do need Microsoft’s Silverlight which you can find and install here.

Thanks

TJ