Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Board800 - Free Collaborative Online Whiteboard

Board800 is a simple service that enables anyone to create a collaborative whiteboard space in seconds. Board800's primary functionality is drawing shapes and creating designs. You can also add text to your Board800 whiteboard. To get started using Board800 all you need to do is visit the homepage, click "start drawing," and then click "create a new session." Once you've started a whiteboarding session you can invite people to join you by sharing the session name/number assigned to your whiteboard.

Applications for Education
Board800 could be used by students to create webs or mind maps together. Students could also use Board800 to create sketches and diagrams for use in presentations or blog posts.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Scriblink - Your Online Collaborative Whiteboard
Scribblar - Simple, Effective, Creative Collaboration
Postica - Collaborative Sticky Notes

Putting Tech in Phys Ed - Google Maps Bike Routes

It's not often that I write about using technology in physical education classes, but today Google announced a new addition to Google Maps that phys ed teachers might be interested in. Google Maps now provides directions for traveling by bicycle in more than 150 US cities. Now when you enter a pair of address you can choose to get directions for traveling by automobile or bicycle. Don't have any particular addresses in mind that you want to ride to? Google Maps offers suggested bicycle riding routes which you can find by selecting "bicycle" in your Google Maps menu.
Watch the video below to learn more about bicycle routes in Google Maps.

Applications for Education
Google Maps can now be used by physical education teachers and or health teachers to have students plan safe routes for bicycle rides. To take the assignment a step farther you could have students plan a route, measure the distance, and calculate how many calories a person could burn on that route. There are numerous calorie calculators on the web that you could use for that second step, here is one to get you started.

Turn Your Spreadsheets into Word Clouds

One of the lesser known elements of Google Docs is spreadsheet gadgets. Gadgets are designed to take data from your spreadsheets and use it or display it in non-spreadsheet forms. One example of this is the Word Cloud Gadget.

The Word Cloud Gadget takes the words (and numbers if you choose) in your spreadsheet and generates a word cloud. You can customize the Word Cloud Gadget to use the words from all of your cells or you can specify to draw upon specific cells. You can also customize the Word Cloud Gadget to link words in the cloud to a search engine. To add further utility, you can adjust the Word Cloud Gadget to ignore certain words when generating your word cloud. In the presentation below I've outlined the steps you need to take to use the Word Cloud Gadget.

Some of the other gadgets that might interest to you are the flashcard and word search gadgets which you can find in this list.

Applications for Education
The Google Docs Word Cloud Gadget could be a good resource for students to use to quickly identify the words used most frequently in a text or the data most frequently appearing in a spreadsheet. Create a word cloud and have students discuss why certain words were frequently used by an author.

Free Dunkin' Donuts Coffee, Act Fast!

Okay, so this post has nothing to do with technology or instruction, but it does contain something free that I think a lot of teachers will enjoy. Dunkin' Donuts is offering free samples of their ground coffee for home brewing. All you have to do to get your sample is register here. If you're a coffee drinker and you've never had Dunkin' Donuts coffee you're in for a treat. Act fast before the freebies are gone.

Thanks to Fred Delventhal for the heads-up about the free coffee.

Europa Film Treasures - Classic Films and More

Europa Film Treasures is an online archive of classic European films. The films in the archive can be viewed for free on Europa Film Treasures. You can search the archives by dates, genre, country of origin, production method, and director. Along with each film in the collection Europa Film Treasures provides some background information such as production method, storyline, director's bio, and information about the the people appearing on camera.

Of particular interest to film buffs and teachers of cinematography, Europa Film Treasures hosts quizzes about some of the films, film themes, and film production methods.

Applications for Education
Europa Film Treasures could be a great resource for anyone teaching film making or the history of film. Teachers may also find useful videos for teaching history, culture, and foreign language.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Next Vista for Learning
Safe Share TV - Safe YouTube Viewing
30+ Alternatives to YouTube