Sunday, August 31, 2008

Using Wikis to Impress Your Administrators

Here is another short stick figure cartoon I created. This one is about impressing your school district administrators by making a wiki.

As always, if you're viewing this blog post in a RSS reader you may have to click on the blog post's title to view the slide show.

Five Free Bibliography Generators

One of my standard lesson plans at the beginning of each school year involves research and citation. I take my students down to the library where the librarian and I review with students a variety of research tools. Students are very good at finding information, but they almost always struggle with creating properly formatted citations. Fortunately, there are many free websites that students can use to get help properly formatting their bibliographies.

Ottobib and Bibomatic both use ISBN numbers find books and format citations. Those are both good, easy to use tools, but often students will need help formatting citations from other sources therefore students may want to try Carmun, Citation Machine, Bibme.

Applications for Education
Unlike some bibliography creation tools all five of the websites I've mentioned provide citation formatting in APA and MLA styles. While these tools are great because they make citation formatting easy for students, I think it is still important for students to know how to properly format citations. When students are learning to format citations free bibliography websites are useful for double checking bibliography format before turning in a paper.

A Podcast About Podcasting

I finally created a podcast for Free Technology For Teachers. The first episode is a short episode about creating podcasts with students. I also share a couple of free resources for creating podcasts. Thanks to Jim Wells, Jim Burke, Tom Grissom, and Neil Winton for sharing their ideas with me about podcasting and podcasting resources.

Listen to the podcast here or use the widget embedded on the right hand side of the blog.

Free podcasting resources.
My Podcast
Sound Snap
Pod Bean

I welcome any and all feedback on this first podcast episode.

OS Survey Results

After two weeks of counting responses to the poll about operating systems that I posted I was not surprised to see that the number of schools using Windows computers was more than double the number using Apple computers and ten times the number using a Linux operating system.

What did surprise me was that only 6 of the 42 respondents reported working in schools that use a mix of operating systems. My theory to explain these results is most network and technology administrators would prefer stay with one operating system rather than try to mesh computers working on different operating systems even if it means slightly higher costs. It may also be easier to hire technology staff that is familiar with one operating system rather than two or three systems.

What is the decision making process for selecting an operating system at your school?