Friday, August 6, 2010

Wetoku - Conduct, Record, & Share Video Conferences

Wetoku is a free video conferencing system that was in a closed beta when I reviewed it last summer. Wetoku is now open to the public. Wetoku is a free service for quickly conducting, recording, and sharing video interviews using your webcam. To conduct an interview just log-in to your account, click "start new interview," and send the invitation link to whomever you want to interview. Wetoku records the videos from both participants in the interview. When you embed the recording, the videos of both participants appear side by side. If you want to make your videos password protected, Wetoku gives you that option.

Embedded below is an interview I did earlier today with Simple K12 using Wetoku.

Applications for Education
Wetoku is a simple video conferencing service that doesn't require you to install any software. This is an advantage if you work in a school that doesn't allow you to install conferencing software like Skype. The other potential advantage of Wetoku is that all calls are automatically recorded which is an advantage when compared to Skype.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Connecting Classrooms Through VoiceThread - Free Web Conferencing from
Vokle - Host an Online Show or Video Conference

Idiom Dictionary - 5,000+ Idioms Explained

For someone learning the English language, particularly the American version of English, idioms can be difficult to understand. The Idiom Dictionary was created to help people understand the meanings of more than five thousand English idioms. To use the Idiom Dictionary just enter a phrase or part of a phrase into the search box and the Idiom Dictionary will offer an explanation of that idiom.

Applications for Education
The Idiom Dictionary could be a very handy resource for ESL/ ELL/ EFL students and teachers. If an idiom appears in text or in conversation students can use the Idiom Dictionary to help them decode the meaning of a phrase.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
10 Resources for ESL & Foreign Language Students Conjugates Any Verb

Free Word Games for Kindle

In a move that is probably intended to help it compete with other ereaders and tablet devices, Amazon is now offering a couple of free word games on its Kindle devices. The games are Every Word and Shuffled Row. Both games are free to download to your Kindle device.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
HeyZap - Strategy Games for Your Class Website
ABCya - Fun, Educational Games for K-5
Smart Kit - Puzzles, Games, and Riddles

Formats for Visual Thinking in the Classroom

18 Formats for Handmade Thinking in the Classroom is a presentation put together by Laurence Musgrove. In the presentation Musgrove takes the ideas from Dan Roam's Back of the Napkin books and applies them to the classroom. In his presentation Musgrove outlines eighteen ways that visual thinking and handmade sketches can be used in your teaching practice. Musgrove includes some examples of handmade sketches created by students. There are 100 slides in the slidedeck, but the deck didn't get interesting to me until slide seventeen when Musgrove jumps into the 18 formats for handmade thinking.
View the slides below.

Visit Laurence Musgrove's website, The Illustrated Professor for more examples of using handmade drawings as a reading response format.

If you're interested in having your students create free-hand sketches on their computers for later use in presentations, you may want to explore these five free online drawing tools.