Monday, December 28, 2009

NY Times - Picturing the Past 10 Years

Picturing the Past 10 Years is a neat "opinion chart" created by Phillip Niemeyer at The New York Times. Picturing the Past 10 Years is a ten by twelve grid of icons representing key issues and events from each year of the past decade. The grid has columns for each year of the decade and rows for categories such as culture, business, and champion.

Applications for Education
Picturing the Past 10 Years could be a good model for having students create their own "picturing the past" icon charts. Students could create a chart for the last year or the decade. The concept could also be applied to other eras in history.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
The Decade in Review from Newsweek
Year in Review Music Video
Waving Goodbye to 2009

15 Tools To Help Students Get Organized

After the holiday vacation some students will return to school determined to get organized and improve their grades. The following fifteen resources could help those students get a handle on managing their assignment due dates.

Remember the Milk is a free personal organization tool that works online and with mobile phones. Many high school students are carrying cell phones with them so capitalize on that and talk to parents and students about using a cell phone to get organized. Remember the Milk allows students to add assignment due dates to their to-do lists via text, email, or directly on their account homepage. A word of caution, while this services is free, students could incur a lot of charges from text and data communication on their mobile phones so be sure to discuss these options with parents before having students use the text/ data tools.

Macs have made digital sticky notes popular, Postica is trying to make sticky notes even better. Postica is a web-based sticky note service. The collaborative aspect of Postica is that users can share their sticky board with other users to share ideas. Users can send sticky notes to each other and edit each other's sticky notes.

Nexty is a personal planning tool that falls somewhere a basic to-do list creator and a full-fledged project management tool. Nexty offers users the ability to create lists, prioritize lists, and set reminders. Nexty users can create project folders to which they can add to-do lists for completing each project. The settings in Nexty are intuitive and easy to adjust. Getting started with Nexty takes only seconds as you do not have to enter an email address to create an account.

Ta-da List is a simple to-do list creation tool built by 37 Signals. Ta-da List allows to you to create a to-do list in 30 seconds. Just sign-up and start building lists. Your lists will be hosted at a unique url assigned just to you. Direct your browser to that url to check items off of your lists or to create a new list.

By App is a simple task management tool that assigns users their own unique subdomain. Through By App you can create a list of tasks for yourself and organize the list by semantic day (tomorrow, next week) or by date. If your priorities shift, you can reorganize your list with the simple drag and drop interface.

Track Class offers all of the features that we have come to expect in online student organizers. Through Track Class students can keep a schedule of courses, track assignment dates, write and save notes, and maintain a calendar of events. Inside Track Class students can also save files like essays they've written and slideshow presentations they've created.

Soshiku is a free personal planner designed for high school and college students. Soshiku lets students organize their assignments by course, add assignments, and receive text message and or email reminders before each assignment is due. Students can add assignments to their calendars directly on the Soshiku website or via text message. Registering and getting started with Soshiku is quick and the user interface is very intuitive and easy to learn.

Wipee List is a simple list making and to-do list management tool. Here's how Wipee List functions: sign in, click add an item, then type your "to do" item. If an item has immediate priority you can drag it to a "quick reminders" sticky note. When you complete an item drag it to the trash bin. If you're working on a project with someone you can share your list with a specific url assigned to your list.

Deadline is a very simple, yet potentially powerful personal organizer. One feature that really stands out about Deadline is its very user friendly interface. To use Deadline simply sign up with an email account and start using it. When entering task reminders you can time in a day of the week or date in just about any format and Deadline will recognize what you mean. For example, when I entered a reminder for myself to post grades on January 4, Deadline will recognize that as next Monday. Or if I write "post grades on Monday," Deadline will recognize that as January 4.

IzzyToDo is one of simplest and easiest tools for building an online to-do list. IzzyToDo allows you to make multiple lists for multiple objectives. Once you've registered create a "target" or objective and begin adding "items" that you need to do to reach your target. You can try IzzyToDo before registering by using the demo on the homepage.

43 Things is an interesting way to track goals and achievements. 43 Things is not a personal organizer, it's a goal tracker. The service is simple, users enter a list of things that they want to accomplish and other users can "cheer" them on until the goal is reached. is a organization and collaboration web tool. Stixy, as the name implies, allows you to write notes and stick them to a clipboard. Stixy allows you to share you notes with others and have them respond to your notes. The Stixy clipboard has three other great features, the ability to stick and share documents, stick and share photographs, and create and share a "to do" list on the clipboard and on a calendar.

There are a lot of reminder services and sticky note services available on the Internet. Sticky Screen might be the simplest of them all. Sticky Screen lets you put three short notes on a sticky placed in the center of your screen. Make sticky screen your Internet browser's homepage and your reminders stare you in the face every time you open a window or tab.

Squareleaf is a simple system for creating and managing online sticky notes. To use Squareleaf just register for an account and begin creating notes. Your notes are displayed on an online "whiteboard." On your Squareleaf whiteboard you can arrange your sticky notes in any pattern that you like. The size and color of the sticky notes can also be adjusted.

One last option that shouldn't be overlooked is Google Calendar. Google Calendar allows users to share and collaborate on the creation of a calendar. One way to use Google Calendar is to have students and parents share a calendar. The student can enter his or her assignment due dates and then his or her parents can check the calendar. For teachers there is another option. Teachers can create and publish a calendar that parents can check online for assignment due dates.

Kideos - Educational Videos for Kids

Kideos is a video website designed with kids under ten years old in mind. Videos on Kideos are categorized by age appropriateness as well as by topic. Most of the videos appear to be served via YouTube but are displayed with the Kideos border which removes advertising and YouTube's "related videos" and comments.

Thanks to Eric Sheninger for sharing the link to Kideos on Twitter. Eric always has interesting things to share so I highly recommend following him.

Applications for Education
Kideos uses YouTube to serve-up videos so you might not be able to access the videos in schools that block YouTube. That said, if you can access YouTube in your school, Kideos could be a great resource for elementary school classrooms. You might also consider recommnending Kideos to parents when they ask about educational websites they can use at home with their children.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
30+ Alternatives to YouTube
Most Teachers Have or Will Download YouTube Videos
Vidque - Create a Library of Educational Videos

20 Things That Happen in a Minute

20 Things That Happen in 1 Minute is a graphic that illustrates twenty common things that occur every minute in the United States and around the world. The graphic reminded me of a video, If the World Were a Village of 100, that I've seen a few times. That video is embedded below.

Here is a similar video that is geared toward a younger audience.

Applications for Education
These graphics and videos could be used to combine social studies and mathematics into one lesson. Students could use the video and or looking at the graphic as a model for creating their own diagrams about data sets. Students could create graphics about data sets that apply to the population of their state or country.

Squareleaf - Your Online Sticky Note System

Squareleaf is a simple system for creating and managing online sticky notes. To use Squareleaf just register for an account and begin creating notes. Your notes are displayed on an online "whiteboard." On your Squareleaf whiteboard you can arrange your sticky notes in any pattern that you like. The size and color of the sticky notes can also be adjusted.

Applications for Education
Squareleaf doesn't offer any fancy text alerts or Twitter reminders, but what it does do is offer students a very simple way to write reminders to themselves. Squareleaf could also be a good way for students to diagram stories they're planning to write or to organize the parts of project they need to complete.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Sticky Screen - Your To-do List Homepage
Organize and Collaborate With Stixy
Scriblink - Your Online Collaborative Whiteboard