Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Tool for Sharing Internet Research

Reframe It is a new browser extension for Firefox and Internet Explorer. Reframe It is best described as social bookmarking (like Delicious) meets team white boarding (think Twiddla). The social bookmarking aspect of Reframe It is bookmarking and sharing links. The white boarding aspect of Reframe It is the ability to frame or crop a section of page and comment on it. The comments appear in a side margin so that you can continue to look at the web page. This introductory video from Reframe It provides a good explanation of the things you can do with the browser extension.

Applications for Education
Reframe It could be a good tool for students that are working on a collaborative research project. By using the Reframe It extension students can discuss the merits of the things they find. Students can also use Reframe It to discuss how they are going to use the resources they find on the Internet.

Reframe It could also be useful for teachers conducting online courses. With the browser extension installed conversations about an article or other digital resource can be conducted while everyone is looking at the same resource.

Free Stanford University Political Science Course

Dan Colman at Open Culture and some of his colleagues have developed a free course presented by Stanford University. The course will explore the geography of US Elections and explore the idea of "Red States" versus "Blue States." The course starts October 15th and runs for five weeks to include reflection on the outcome of the 2008 election. Professor Martin Lewis will be the moderator of discussions. You can read more about the course here or watch the introductory video below.

Applications for Education
If you're a high school teacher looking for a way to challenge students interested in the 2008 US Presidential Election or your looking for some professional development for yourself this free Stanford Course may be for you.

A Collaboration Project for All Ages

Colette Cassinelli has put together a collaborative Google Maps project in which any classroom can participate. The project is called "Greetings From... Postcard Geography." The project asks for students to embed, on a Google Map, "postcards" representing places of significance near their school. Students can add postcards individually or add one postcard on behalf of an entire classroom. You can read more details about the project on either Colette's blog or on the website established for the project. I have embedded a small version of the map below. Click here to view the map in full size.

View Larger Map

Applications for Education
This collaborative project could be a good way for students to explore the places where their peers around world live. Participating in this global project is also a great way for students to investigate and identify the significance of the places in their neighborhood.