Monday, July 13, 2009

Slate Box - Collaborative Mind Mapping

Slatebox is a slick, new tool for collaboratively creating mind maps and organizational charts. Slatebox offers a variety of good-looking templates and intuitive tools for designing and editing mind maps and charts. Creating a mind map is a simple matter of selecting a template and using the visual editor to place text and images in boxes. Those boxes can be resized and rearranged using the drag and drop editor. If you need more text boxes, simply add more.

Inviting people to join you on Slatebox is easy to do in part because of the variety of sign-in options. It is possible to use Slatebox without having to create a new username or password. To use Slatebox you can sign in with your Google, Open ID, Facebook, AOL, or Windows Live account. If you don't have one of those accounts you can create a unique Slatebox username and password, but you will have to wait for an account verification email.

Applications for Education
Slatebox could be a great way for students to brainstorm with each other over the Internet. Slatebox could also be used on an interactive whiteboard. On a whiteboard you could have students take turns editing elements and moving elements around the mind map.

More Wordle in the Classroom Ideas

Yesterday, I wrote a post about Summer Vacation Wordles and a wiki called Guess the Wordle. Today, Clif Mims posted a Google Docs presentation created by Tom Barrett called Thirty-Eight Interesting Ways to Use Wordle in the Classroom. The presentation is embedded below. Take a look through the presentation and you're bound to find an idea that you can use or adapt for your use. Make sure you also visit Tom's blog as he has created a number of presentations about technology integration in the same style as the one below. RSS readers may need to click through to view the presentation.

We Choose the Moon - Apollo 11 40th Anniversary

We Choose the Moon, featured earlier today on Mashable, is a site commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. The site is a project put together by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.

We Choose the Moon has eleven stages that viewers will follow as the mission progresses. If you visit the site right now, Stage One is the only active stage because the mission hasn't yet launched. On July 16th, Stage Two will be active and all other stages will become active in the same sequence as on the original mission forty years ago.

If you visit We Choose the Moon anytime between now and July 16th you can explore image and video galleries capturing the sights and sounds of the lead-up to the launch. Included in these galleries are videos of President Kennedy talking about the goal of putting a man on the moon.

Applications for Education
We Choose the Moon is a great website for students to explore in a history class or in any science class that addresses space exploration.

An excellent companion to We Choose the Moon, Moon Landing Memories, was posted in the comments on Mashable's article about We Choose the Moon.

Smarty Games - Free Educational Games

Smarty Games is a new website designed for pre-K and elementary school students. Smarty Games features games for developing basic mathematics and reading skills. There are six mathematics games covering basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. The reading section has two alphabet games and nine animated stories. In addition to the mathematics and reading activities, Smarty Games offers activities for learning to read a clock, puzzles, mazes, coloring activities. The site could be navigated by elementary school students while pre-K students would need some help getting started before using the activities on their own.

Applications for Education
Smarty Games could be a good site on which students can practice and develop mathematics and reading skills.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Ten Fun Educational Games for K-8 Students
NCES Kids' Zone
Heyzap - Strategy Games for Your Class Website

My Guest Post on Speed of Creativity

Wes Fryer is one of the people in the edublogging community that I've long looked up to. Therefore, when he asked me last week to guest post on his blog I felt like a minor league baseball player getting called up to the major league team. You can read my post about connecting history and the arts through video creation here. If you've never read Moving at the Speed of Creativity, I highly recommend looking through the archives. Wes always has informative and insightful posts. (Wes and his family are on a laptop-free vacation this week so all this week he will have different guest bloggers whose blogs you should also check out).