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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Where Can Teachers Start?

GREAT article (with resources), for those of you wondering, "How do I get going on this whole technology thing?"

http://mindshift.kqed.org/2011/03/where-can-teachers-start-step-1-look-to-your-peers/

Ideas for making these connections will be shared at the next Teaching With Technology meeting. Find out how to build your own PLN (personal learning network) and start collecting resources and information from other educators all over the world!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

ViewPure - BRILLIANT!

http://viewpure.com/

For all you folks who have been incorporating YouTube video content in your lessons, this is a great tool for showing a video without all the extra YouTube garbage floating around the screen. Visit ViewPure, and simply drag the "Purify" button into your Firefox toolbar. Next time you are watching an educational YouTube video in class and you don't want the distraction of all the other video "Suggestions" down the side, or worse yet, the unsavory comments at the bottom, Purify your viewing experience.  Screen shots below, plain YouTube...and with ViewPure.

comment just off screen says "This guy is %&*#ing brilliant!"


video Purified...

Isn't it lovely? And brilliant? :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Diigo

I've written a bit about the loss of my beloved Delicious...the social bookmarking site is still there but is on it's way out as Yahoo looks for a buyer. So, I've been researching a number of alternatives, and while the options seem endless, I finally settled on Diigo, because it can do so much more than simple bookmarking. For starters, visit http://www.diigo.com/user/hlaracwa to see my public bookmarks. I have consolidated what used to be two separate accounts on Delicious (one for teachers, one for parents) into one account, and I am in the process of re-tagging all my entries so that you could search for "teachers" and find just the resources I have saved for you. I will further edit my tags to reflect subject matter, so if a math/science/foreign language/English etc. person wants to narrow the search to their curricular area, you can do that.  And with the installation of the Diigo add-on for Firefox, I can quickly save anything of interest with a simple click of a button in the toolbar, so these resources should grow more quickly now that I'm not moving back and forth between accounts.

Further, there is an Instruction & FAQ page that lays out the transition from Delicious to Diigo (perhaps more helpful for me than for you if you're reading this and have no idea what I'm talking about) here: http://www.diigo.com/transition-from-delicious-to-diigo-faq  Of particular interest to me is this part:

What you will find familiar in Diigo?
- tagging
- private/public bookmarks
- follow bookmarks from a network of people
- see popular bookmarks by tags
- import and export bookmarks
- automatically post your bookmarks to your blog daily or weekly

What can you do with Diigo that you cannot with Delicious?
Bookmark
- save bookmarks as private by default (optional)
- organize your bookmarks as a list and shown as a slide 
- set up groups to pool resources and curate content
- automatically bookmark your twitter favorites 
- keep a full-text copy of your bookmarks (Premium features)
- full-text search of your bookmarks (Premium features)
- save notes and images, in addition to bookmarks

Annotation
- use highlights and sticky notes as you read - do not just bookmark
- capture a portion of the screen and annotate on the screenshot


Diigo V5: Collect and Highlight, Then Remember! from diigobuzz on Vimeo.

Soooooo much potential here for student and teacher research.

Finally, once I signed up for my account, I applied for an upgrade to an educator account, which is awesome. I am now a part of the Diigo in Education "Group" and get updates weekly on what new resources and tools other educators have found and would like to share. These resources are free and available to all with or without your own Diigo account. I would encourage you, if you're interested in finding out what's going on out there with technology in education, to take a look at this. Over 7,000 contributions so far. 
http://groups.diigo.com/group/diigoineducation

One could quickly get overwhelmed with the amount of information and resources out there. I frequently do. However, as I develop what folks are calling my "personal learning network (PLN)" I am finding so many ways to gather and research tools that have been tested in classrooms all over the country (and sometimes the world).

Next month (APRIL) at the Teaching With Technology workshop, I will be presenting not just some of these great tools I have found, but sharing with you the steps you can take to start developing your own PLN, so that you can be collaborating with (or for now just "borrowing from") other educators in  your field.  Don't have time to go out and find all this great stuff? Come and find out how to get it to come TO YOU!