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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Best of 2011 So Far - VuSafe

Now that my school year is over I'm taking a short fly fishing vacation. The posts for the rest of the week highlight my favorite resources of 2011 so far.

VuSafe provides a place for you to find, organize, and watch videos in a secure, filtered environment. VuSafe offers a password protected environment in which you can post videos for your students to watch without exposing them to the comments, advertisements, and automatically generated related videos found on YouTube. As a teacher you can search for videos either through VuSafe or directly on YouTube. When you find the video you want, you can tag it by content and grade level and add it to your VuSafe page. Watch the video below to learn more about VuSafe.


VuSafe is currently in beta and you must apply to get an account.

Applications for Education
VuSafe could be a great tool for schools that would like to open up access to YouTube but don't because of objections to the advertisements, comments, and related videos that accompany the videos.

Best of 2011 So Far - Big Marker

Now that my school year is over I'm taking a short fly fishing vacation. The posts for the rest of the week highlight my favorite resources of 2011 so far.

Big Marker is a new free service for conducting online conferences. Big Marker allows you to create your choice of a private or a public online meeting room. If you make your room public anyone can join. If you make your room private you have to give participants a password to enter the room.  Once in your Big Marker conference room you can share screens, chat via text, chat via audio, or turn on your webcam so that people can see and hear you. Your Big Marker conference room comes with a white board that you and your participants can write and draw on. As the creator of a Big Marker conference you can control who can and cannot be heard or seen in the live audio and video chats.


Applications for Education
Big Marker could be a great tool for conducting online tutoring sessions and lessons. Students working on collaborative projects could use Big Marker to brainstorm and plan for completion of their projects. As a professional development resource Big Marker could be useful for facilitating workshops online.

Best of 2011 So Far - Popplet

Now that my school year is over I'm taking a short fly fishing vacation. The posts for the rest of the week highlight my favorite resources of 2011 so far.

Popplet is a service that combines the best of online sticky note services like Wallwisher with collaborative mind mapping functions. Popplet allows you to create a wall of multimedia sticky notes that you can share with others. Your stickies can include videos and images that you pull from other online services. You can also upload media from your desktop to your sticky notes. Popplet offers a browser bookmarklet that you can use to add content from other webpages to your Popplet pages. Invite others via email to collaborate on your wall of sticky notes.

The mind mapping element of Popplet is the option to connect your notes. To do this just click one of the small circles that hovers near your note (Popplet calls them "Popples") while you're editing. Click those small circles will launch a connected blank note that you can edit.

You can create as many Popplet walls as you like within your account. Each Popplet that you make public can be embedded into your blog or website.


Applications for Education
Popplet could be a great way for students to create multimedia collages of information they find about a particular topic. That collage could be transformed into a mind map by using Popples that are connected to each. For visual learners this could be a good way to outline an essay by using a combination of their own notes with images and videos they find on the web.

Best of 2011 So Far - Zapd Mobile Website Creation

Now that my school year is over I'm taking a short fly fishing vacation. The posts for the rest of the week highlight my favorite resources of 2011 so far.

Zapd is a new free iPhone application for creating websites on the go. Zapd is designed to allow you to create a mobile-optimized website for sharing your images, videos, and text. You can create as many Zapd sites as you like.  The video below offers a nice overview of the Zapd service.


Zapd in 60 Seconds from rocketvox on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
Are you taking students on a field trip anytime soon? If so and they have iPhones (or iPads or iPod Touches) they can use Zapd to quickly create and share a record of things they discovered and learned while on the field trip.

Best of 2011 So Far - InClass App for iPhone and iPad

Now that my school year is over I'm taking a short fly fishing vacation. The posts for the rest of the week highlight my favorite resources of 2011 so far. 

InClass is a free iPhone and iPad app that could be a very useful tool for students carrying those devices. InClass provides students with tools for taking text, audio, and video notes. Students can also use the app to take pictures of hand-outs, slides, and other valuable information that they see in class.

Taking notes is not all that InClass can be used for. It can also be used as a task management tool to help students keep track of their schedules and due dates. To share notes, images, videos, and schedules students can connect InClass to their Facebook accounts.

You can find some video tutorials for InClass on their YouTube channel.


Applications for Education
For students that have iPads, iPhones, and iPod Touches the InClass app could be a great way to take notes and keep track of notes. The option to record audio while note taking will be helpful to students who miss something during classroom conversations to go back and hear it later.

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