Thursday, January 31, 2008

Free Technology For Teachers: Using Pownce to Create a discussion or collaborative story

Last month I wrote about Twitter and posted an idea about how to use Twitter in class. Pownce is a new service and an improvement over Twitter. Pownce allows users to post files, videos, web links, and messages. After posting your files or videos other users (those you invite) can then respond to what you have posted. Click on the image to the left to watch a video about Pownce and its utilities.

Applications for Educators
Pownce is a great utility for starting conversations about events in the news. Post a link to a news story and have students reply, the formatting of Pownce allows users to reply to replies or to the original post. Pownce is a useful application for continuing conversation after class has ended. In their replies students can add related videos, web links, and images.

could be used as a tool in a creative writing class. Post an image and let the collaborative story build through a series of replies.

Free Technology For Teachers: Great Ideas from Edutopia and ALTEC

On Edutopia there is great interview with the director of ALTEC about educators creating and sharing resources online. Click here to listen to the interview. ALTEC is the organization that developed great resources like Rubistar and QuizStar. Edutopia is a part of the George Lucas Educational Foundation. Edutopia has a thorough list of ideas and resources for teachers.

Free Technology For Teachers: Fuzz Find- search engine aggregator

Have you ever wondered why different search engines give you different results for the same search terms? The answer is, not all search engines function the same way. The results you get from a Google search may be quite different from the results of a Yahoo search.
FuzzFind is a search engine that combines the results of multiple search engines and the results of searches performed on social bookmarking websites. FuzzFind adds results from social bookmarking websites because social bookmarking websites generate lists of results based on the popularity of bookmarks of real people who actually use the websites generated in searches.

Application for Educators
FuzzFind is a useful search engine to get multiple sets of results from your searches. I can see FuzzFind being a good way to demonstrate to students how search terms can alter the results of a search.

Free Technology For Teachers: David Pogue satirizes changes in the music and television industry

David Pogue is a New York Times columnist and Emmy award winning technology correspondent for CBS. In this video David performs a catchy medley about the changes in the way today's consumers access music and television. Pay particular attention to the middle section of song where David mentions how younger consumers watch two minute shows instead of traditional television shows. Watch and enjoy the video it will put you in a good mood for at least five minutes and you might learn something about shifts in media consumption too.

Free Technology For Teachers: Lego turns 50!

Lego turned 50 this week. Legos are not a new technology, but kids still love them. In honor of Lego's 50th birthday I took a look at their website. The Lego website has quite a few lesson plans and based on using Legos. It is hard to find the lesson plans without digging for a while so I've linked it here.

Alternatively you can click on the image below to access the Lego lesson plan page.