Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Courseopedia - Search Engine for Courses

Courseopedia is a new resource designed to help students find college course offerings by location or course subject. Courseopedia aggregates course offerings from colleges and puts them into their database. The database can then be searched by program, subject, or location. The service is new so the offerings are somewhat limited, but it's a good concept and I hope Courseopedia expands.

Applications for Education
If you've ever needed to find that "one" course necessary for certification, re-certification, or some other special need, Courseopedia could be a good resource for you.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
College Scholarship Advice
College Grazing - Helps Students Focus College Search
Edu Pursuit - College Search by Location

How Should You Spend Your Computer Budget?

In the video below I share my thoughts on a CNET article comparing a $300 notebook to a $300 laptop. In the comments section of the article someone noted that it's not a good idea to buy the best computer you can. I've linked the article below the video. Please add your comments to the video or on the article itself.

Here is the original article.

Here are a couple of related items that may be of interest to you:
Netbook vs. Cheap Notebook Decision
Make the Most of Your Netbook's Screen

Wetoku - Conduct and Share Video Interviews

In the course of any given week I register for at least two dozen different websites and services that I think might be of interest to educators. So when I registered for Wetoku's private beta a couple of weeks ago, I quickly forgot about it until Read Write Web ran a story about it last night. After reading the story I went back through my email and activated my Wetoku beta account.

Wetoku is a free service for quickly conducting, recording, and sharing video interviews using your webcam. To conduct an interview just log-in to your account, click "start new interview," and send the invitation link to whomever you want to interview. Wetoku records the videos from both participants in the interview. When you embed the recording, the videos of both participants appear side by side (see the sample from RWW here).

If you would like to try Wetoku, you do have to sign up for a private beta invitation. I got my invitation within 24 hours.

Applications for Education
Wetoku is a simple video conferencing service that doesn't require you to install any software. This is an advantage if you work in a school that doesn't allow you to install conferencing software like Skype. The other potential advantage of Wetoku is that all calls are automatically recorded which is an advantage when compared to Skype.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Connecting Classrooms Through VoiceThread - Free Web Conferencing from
Stinto - Quickly Create a Free Chat Room

Technology Needs to be Like Oxygen

Next week is the MLTI Summer Institute. The keynote speaker for the conference is Chris Lehmann. If you're attending the conference and you're not familiar with his work, please watch this video. This video has been around for almost a year now so many of you have probably seen it once. In that case, watch it again, it's worth a second, third, or fourth viewing.

Here are some of things Chris Lehmann said that caught my attention.
1. "Technology needs to be like oxygen."
2. "Good data costs a lot more than we want to spend. Good data is the work kids do every single day, it's not the answers they get on a test."
3. "We teach kids, not subjects."
4. "You want to see what kids have learned, give them a project."
5. "We have one thing left to teach and that is... wisdom."

What are your thoughts about Mr. Lehmann's presentation? Leave a comment on this blog or better yet, register for a Viddler account and comment directly on the video for the whole world to see (as opposed to just the visitors to this blog).

My Mini City - Build Your Own City

My Mini City is a city simulator that introduces users to real-life challenges facing city development and planning including unemployment, sanitation, overpopulation, and natural disaster. My Mini City does not require users to download or update any software, it is a completely web-based application. Being an entirely web-based application gives it an advantage over other city simulators on the market today. As most readers of this blog know, I am a huge proponent of web-based applications because their usability over a myriad of network and operating systems.

Applications for Educators
Geography and Social Studies teachers will like My Mini City for the number of real life problems the program simulates. It's a great teaching tool as it makes students account for number of geographic, economic, and political concepts.
Earth Science teachers will like My Mini City's sanitation, population, and natural disaster simulations.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:

Stop Disasters - Natural Disaster Simulation Game

Geography Links You Might Have Missed