Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Password Protect Your Google Safe Search Settings

Today, Google announced a new search setting that all parents and educators should be aware of. Google now allows you to lock-in your safe search settings with password protection. If you choose "Lock Safe Search" in your search preferences you will be locking in strict filtering for all of Google's search products including web search, image search, and video search. Watch the video below to learn more about Locking Safe Search.

Applications for Education (and Parenting)
When the safe search setting is locked large red, blue, yellow, and green balls appear at the top of the search page. This provides a large visual reference you can use from across the room to make sure that kids are locked into strict filtering while searching.

More Veterans Day Lesson Resources

Today is Veterans Day and schools across the US are closed. Most students will return to school tomorrow and that will be a good time to talk about Veterans Day if you weren't able to talk about it yesterday. The US Department of Veterans Affairs has published a thirty-three page document of resources for teaching about Veterans Day.

Today's episode of CNN Student News is all about Veterans Day. The episode is embedded below.

Google Docs Makes It Easier to Recognize Updates

Google Docs announced a couple of enhancements yesterday. The first enhancement is the option to have documents open in the same window or in a new window (the current default setting). The second, and more useful, enhancement is the option to have all new changes to your documents appear in bold text. When collaborating on documents, the bolding option will make it easier to quickly recognize the changes made by your collaborators. You can choose these new options by opening the "setting" link in the upper right corner of your Google Docs homepage.

Applications for Education
If you have students sharing work with you via Google Docs, the new bolding option should make it easier for your students to recognize the edits and suggestions you've made to their writing.

A Gallery of Glogs

Glogster, a service that I've written about a few times in the past, is a great way to bring poster projects into the 21st century. Using Glogster students can create multimedia collages about anything. One of Glogster's employees, Jim Dachos (a former Maine teacher) has compiled a great list of examples of Glogster being used in academic settings. Jim has examples covering the whole spectrum of educational applications for Glogster from elementary school through high school. You can see Jim's list here.

Thanks to Lee Kolbert for the link to Jim's list.

Applications for Education
Glogster provides a good way to transition a 20th Century poster project into a 21st Century multimedia project. If you have colleagues that are reluctant to use web-based technology in their classrooms, Glogster can be a good first step for them to take. Share Jim's list with those reluctant colleagues to give them an idea of some the great things kids can do with Glogster.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
A Great Glogster Tutorial
Coming Soon from Glogster
The New Glogster Edu is Live

Scholastic Webinar on Interactive Whiteboards

Next Wednesday, November 18th, Scholastic is hosting a webinar about using interactive whiteboards in your classroom. The webinar intends to be more than just a "hey look at this cool thing" session. The session, according to its subtitle, plans to focus on discussing frameworks for integrating interactive whiteboards into the classroom. I like the sounds of this session because it seems that the focus is really going to be on how to integrate technology rather than just showcasing new products.

You can register for the webinar here. Everyone who registers and attends the webinar is eligible to win a prize pack of products worth $5,950 from Tequipment.

Firefox Turns 5 - The Story of Firefox

Firefox turned five the other day. To "celebrate" a short video telling the story of its development and future was released. It's important to note that Firefox is an opensource project which is what has allowed the development of so many useful add-ons and extensions. You can watch the video below.

Thanks to Read Write Web for the video link.