Thursday, March 31, 2011

YapTime - A Place to Share, Collaborate, and Organize

YapTime is a new entry into the "create your own social network" market. YapTime offers a free service for creating and hosting your own private network. The network you create on YapTime is private by default and only those people that you invite can join it. In YapTime you can exchange messages, share files, and host a group event calendar. Within your YapTime network you can create multiple rooms for conversations. Each member of your network can create a profile by which other members identify them.

Applications for Education
YapTime could be a good place to create a network for your classes. You can share updates about class, post files that students might need, and answer questions from students. If you teach multiple sections of the same course you can create a different room for each class within your network.

Zapd - Create Websites from Your iPhone

Zapd is a new free iPhone application for creating websites on the go. Zapd is designed to allow you to create a mobile-optimized website for sharing your images, videos, and text. You can create as many Zapd sites as you like.  The video below offers a nice overview of the Zapd service.

Zapd in 60 Seconds from rocketvox on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
Are you taking students on a field trip anytime soon? If so and they have iPhones (or iPads or iPod Touches) they can use Zapd to quickly create and share a record of things they discovered and learned while on the field trip.

SMART Notebook Search Engine

Google Custom Search allows anyone to create his or her own search engine. The benefit of this is that you can create a very subject specific search environment. One such use that I recently discovered through The Whiteboard Blog is a SMART Notebook search engine. As you would expect from the name, the SMART Notebook search engine is designed to help you find resources designed for teaching with SMARTBoards.

You can access the search engine here or try it out as embedded below.

Applications for Education
I'm not a big fan of schools spending a lot of money on interactive whiteboards. That said, I know that a lot schools do make that investment. To get the most out of that investment it's important to help teachers locate resources that can help them make the best use of interactive whiteboards. The SMART Notebook search engine could help teachers find resources to include in their IWB lessons.

Catch - Capture Notes from Almost Anywhere

Catch is a service that allows you to create bookmarks, text notes, voice notes, and images anytime you're on the web. Catch offers browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. You can also use Catch on Android and iOS devices to save notes. Notes that you save to your Catch account can be just a simple link, a link with a note, an image that you capture on your phone, or voice message. The voice note feature is currently an Android-only option. Notes can be shared with others or kept private. Catch allows you to organize your notes with hashtags.

Applications for Education
I often get ideas for a lesson while not near a computer. Services like Catch allow me to capture those ideas on my phone. Later when I get to a computer I'll expand upon my idea. Students who work the same way, might find Catch to be a handy tool for capturing their ideas whenever they get them.

Online Music Lessons, Quizzes, and Games

Image Credit: Jazzmanian
Music Tech Teacher is a site developed by a music technology teacher, Ms. Karen Garrett, in Birmingham, Alabama. On Music Tech Teacher you can find dozens of online music lessons, quizzes, and games designed to help elementary school students learn to read music, learn to play music, and learn about music technology. Take a look at the piano practice section of Music Tech Teacher to find some basic piano lessons that can be learned using just a keyboard or mouse. Or explore the quiz section about musicians to test your knowledge of people like Ellington, Joplin, or Gillespie.

Applications for Education
Music Tech Teacher could be an excellent resource for teachers looking to find some music activities that students can use independently at home or in the classroom. Don't have enough pianos or keyboards to go around? Use the online piano practice to introduce students to some of the basics before they take a turn at the real thing.

H/T to Dianne Krause