Friday, January 14, 2011

Big Marker - A Free Web Conferencing Platform

Big Marker is a new free service for conducting online conferences. I actually learned about Big Marker last weekend from a post by Larry Ferlazzo, but didn't get a chance to try it until this evening. What I discovered is that Big Marker looks like a great option for conducting online tutoring sessions, brainstorming sessions, and other online presentations.

Big Marker allows you to create your choice of a private or a public online meeting room. If you make your room public anyone can join. If you make your room private you have to give participants a password to enter the room.  Once in your Big Marker conference room you can share screens, chat via text, chat via audio, or turn on your webcam so that people can see and hear you. Your Big Marker conference room comes with a white board that you and your participants can write and draw on. As the creator of a Big Marker conference you can control who can and cannot be heard or seen in the live audio and video chats.

Applications for Education
Big Marker could be a great tool for conducting online tutoring sessions and lessons. Students working on collaborative projects could use Big Marker to brainstorm and plan for completion of their projects. As a professional development resource Big Marker could be useful for facilitating workshops online.

The Center for Civil War Photography Features 3D Images

The Center for Civil War Photography is a great place to find photo essays about the US Civil War. A lot of websites offer images of the Civil War, but what makes The Center for Civil War Photography different is that they offer 3D images in their photo essays about the Civil War. Of course, to view the images in 3D you'll need a pair of cheap 3D glasses, but otherwise you can access the content for free. If you can't get ahold of some 3D glasses, don't worry because The Center for Civil War Photography has some nice photo essays that don't include 3D images.

You can get some cheap 3D glasses from Amazon.

Applications for Education
The Center for Civil War Photography's 3D images provide a good way for students to examine records of the Civil War in more detail than before. One of my classes is currently working on a visual history of the Civil War project (I'll blog about it next week), these images could bring a new engaging element to their research.

The Week in Rap - Rain, Sleet, and Snow

This morning Flocabularly released another edition of The Week in Rap. This week's news rap covers stories about snow across the US, floods in Australia, Haiti a year after the earthquake, the shootings in Arizona, Wikileaks, voting in Sudan, and Hillary Clinton's trip to Yemen. Watch the video below.

Jan 14th - The Week in Rap from Week in Rap on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
As always, The Week in Rap provides a quick way for you and your students to review the biggest news stories of the week. Here's a quick activity you can do with The Week in Rap; Have students take a topic from the rap and investigate in more depth then share their findings with the class.