Monday, November 10, 2008

Group Table - Group Academic Planner

Group Table is a new collaboration tool designed for students. Group Table can be used by students to plan group projects, share resources, store files, and email each other. I gave Group Table a test drive this evening and found it to be easy to set up an account and create groups. The binder feature is a good utility for organizing files relevant to your group. Group Table is intended for use by college students, but it could also be useful for high school students. Two similar tools that high school students may want to try are Wiggio and Soshiku.

Applications for Education
Group Table could be a good resource for high school and college students to share notes, share files, and organize group projects. Group Table could be particularly useful for students taking courses that only meet once a week, but need to share thoughts and comments about the readings for the course.

Funding Mount Education

This video from the CBS Fast Draw team illustrates and explains the costs of higher education in the United States. The video shares some ideas about finding the funds necessary for paying tuition and other college expenses.

Applications for Education
This video could be of interest to anyone that is involved in helping students and parents plan for college. My school hosts a "FAFSA Help Night" every year. This short video might be used as a short introduction to encourage parents and students to apply for every aid program for which they might be eligible.

Growing Up in the White House

Over the weekend I saw a few segments on the news shows about children growing up in the White House. One segment I watched was on CBS and the other was on NBC's morning show. You can view the slide shows from CBS here. The video of the segment from NBC is embedded below. (I apologize for the pre-roll ad).

Applications for Education
The video above could be a good way to introduce a creative writing assignment about the White House. If you have students of the same age as the Obama's children you can ask your students to write about what they would feel if their father or mother was elected to the Presidency of the United States. You may also want to have your students view some virtual tours of the White House and ask your students which rooms they would like to live and play in if they lived in the White House.

Five Online Drawing Tools

As long as there has been a mouse connected to a computer there have tools for making drawings on a computer. Here are five drawing tools that you might consider the next time you or your students need a free and easy drawing tool.

Graffiti Creator is a tool that I learned about from Angela Maiers on Twitter. Graffiti Creator is best described not as a drawing tool, but a text editor. Users type select a font style, enter a word, then edit the look of the word to make it look like graffiti. This would be useful for students that are looking for a way to customize the font of words that they use in a slide show presentation.

Bomomo is an interesting drawing utility that creates images out of controlled chaos. Users select a drawing utility then the Bomomo program begins randomly drawing. Users can determine where the drawing starts with their computer's mouse. Users can also select general shapes and patterns to be drawn.

Art Pad
and Sketch Pad are both blank slate drawing utilities. Art Pad and Sketch Pad allow users to select from a variety of drawing tools and painting tools. Art Pad has a neat playback feature that shows you the steps you took in creating your images. Both Art Pad and Sketch Pad allow you to share your drawings via email or in a public gallery.

Mutapic is another drawing that, like Bomomo, has users select a set of parameters then the program creates an image. Mutapic has far more options than Bomomo. The filter and shading options on Mutapic are particularly interesting tools for experimenting with shading and mixing of colors.

You can read my previous review of Mutapic here and my previous reviews of Art Pad and Sketch Pad here.