Wednesday, March 24, 2010

That's Not Cool - Learn About Cyber Stalking

That's Not Cool is a website designed to teach young adults that online and mobile phone behavior is real behavior with real consequences. That's Not Cool has three primary features; videos, discussion forum, and call out cards. The video section features video clips called Two Sided Stories. Two Sided Stories use puppets and stop motion to portray examples of cyber stalking. The discussion forum is called Talk It Out. In Talk It Out students can comment on stories and exchange comments about issues around cyber behavior. Call Out Cards are small posters featuring slogans and statements about cyber stalking behavior. Call Out Cards can be downloaded from That's Not Cool. In addition to the three main features, That's Not Cool provides students with resources and contacts if they think they are in an abusive relationship or are being cyber stalked.

Here's a video from That's Not Cool.

Thanks to Silvia Tolisano for the link to That's Not Cool.

Applications for Education
In some schools recognition of abusive relationship behavior is part of the health curriculum. Recognizing cyber stalking and abusive cyber habits should be a part of those lessons. That's Not Cool could be useful in helping to deliver lessons on recoginizing abusive online habits.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Steering Clear of Cyber Tricks
Guide for Talking With Kids About Being Online

Free DVD - America, The Story of Us

On April 25th the History Channel is premiering a twelve hour mini-series title America, The Story of US. History Channel is offering schools the opportunity to get a free copy of the series on DVD. To get the DVD your school's principal must submit a request through the History website. The DVD's will be shipped in August, just in time for the new school year. Learn more about the series and watch a preview here.

Thanks to Eric Langhorst (Speaking of History) for the info about this free DVD.

Google Bookmarks Gets Collaborative & How to do it

Earlier today Google introduced a new collaborative feature for Google Bookmarks. Now in your Google Bookmarks you can create lists that you can share publicly or keep private. One of the nice things about the new list feature is that you can choose to make some of your lists public while keeping others private. Just like with Google Docs, you can invite other people to share and add to your work. Lists in Google Bookmarks aren't limited to simple text links. You can add maps, images, and videos to your lists in Google Bookmarks. Additionally, any of your Google Docs files can be added to your lists in Google Bookmarks. Google Bookmarks can be added to your existing Google account so you don't have remember a new user name or password to take advantage of the service.

Embedded below is a tutorial for using Google Bookmarks including the list feature.

Applications for Education
Students can use Google Bookmarks to collaborate on the research process for a project. By sharing lists they can all add relevant links, images, and videos to one list that they then use to create a final product. As a professional learning tool Google Bookmarks could be used by a group of educators to share resources related to a particular area of interest. For example, I could create a list of US History resources to share with the other US History teachers in my district.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Google Tools Tutorials
Learn from My Google Docs Mistake
How to Publish a Quiz Using Google Forms

Remix for Personalized Learning

Last week I gave a presentation (slides here) about free video creation tools that students and teachers can use in their classrooms. As a part of the presentation I discussed the ideas of fair-use and remix. This morning I saw that Wesley Fryer had again posted a video explanation of what remixing is all about in the learning environment. The video is called Remix for Personalized Learning and it was created in large part by Bob Lee.
Check out the video below.

On a related note, in the same post referenced above Wesley featured a video made by students in Florida to encourage students to read. If you have a few minutes I recommend watching Gotta Keep Reading.

Docs Pal - Quick and Free File Conversion

Receiving an email attachment in a file format that is not supported on your operating system can be a frustrating experience for you and the sender. Fortunately, there are free tools like Docs Pal that will convert files into other formats for you. Docs Pal can perform the conversion of twenty-four different document and image file types.

Applications for Education
If your students aren't using Google Docs and your school isn't a 1:1 environment, you might have students creating documents in multiple formats. In that case, chances are good that you will occasionally receive a document attachment in a format that you can't view. Now you could email the students back and ask them to use a different format, but that can be inconvenient for both parties.
Docs Pal provides you with a way to convert the files and get on with your editing and grading of your students' work.