Monday, March 3, 2008

Free Technology For Teachers: Boost Up

Boost Up is a project sponsored by the Ad Council and the US Army designed to help students that are struggling to graduate from high school. The best way to describe Boost Up is as a online support group for struggling students and their parents. Through Boost Up students and parents can support each other, get useful information about high school, and share their experiences.

Free Technology For Teachers: Screencast in Real Time with YuuGuu

YuuGuu is a new way to screencast and to collaborate online. YuuGuu is a client that you can download to your computer to show other YuuGuu users what you're doing on your computer. This is useful if you're giving someone a demonstration of an application on your computer. Rather than creating, uploading, and sharing screencast you can simply show someone what you're doing in real time. YuuGuu is also useful for allowing multiple users to remotely edit documents, images, or video on one computer.

As of this writing only people who have YuuGuu installed on their computer will be able to see what you're doing on your computer. YuuGuu has plans to change that. Installing YuuGuu does not open your computer up to the world, only those people that have YuuGuu installed and that you have given a PIN to will be able to see your computer. YuuGuu is compatible with Mac and Windows operating systems.

Application for Educators
YuuGuu is another method of showing students how to use specific computer applications. Rather than shifting attention between an LCD projectors or Smart Boards and a computer you can simply have students watch your demonstration on the computer in front of them. YuuGuu is also a time saver as you don't have to walk around the room to see what students are doing, you can watch them and assist them remotely from your computer.

Free Technology For Teachers: Art, Drawing, and Image Editing on the Fly

A.viary is a new company creating web based image creation and editing applications. I was given a beta invite to their Phoenix image editor which I played with over the weekend. Phoenix from A.viary is similar to many expensive, proprietary image editors, but Phoenix works in your web browser. With Phoenix you can upload images to edit and color or start from scratch by drawing your own image. Phoenix has a collaborative aspect which allows you to share projects over the Internet and invite others to work on with you.

Below you can see an image of my brother, Patrick, that I colored.

Applications for Educators
A.viary's Phoenix image editor/ creator is useful tool art teachers and graphic design teachers. The collaborative aspect of Phoenix makes it useful for group projects. In the future A.viary plans to offer more products and services which you can review on the A.viary Product Blog. If you're interested in trying out Phoenix I have three beta invites that I will give to the first three people to email me at

Here is a one minute introduction to A.viary's products.

Free Technology For Teachers: Fantasy Congress

Fantasy Congress works like any fantasy sport. Participants draft players, in this case members of Congress, and earn points based on the performance of their draftees.

Applications for Educators
Fantasy Congress is a great activity for a middle school or high school civics course. Students will have vested interest in following Congressional actions as they actions of their draftees will impact their total score. With Fantasy Congress students learn by playing the game instead of just reading the rules of the game.

Here is a video introduction to Fantasy Congress.