Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Best of the Web 2011 - Vyew

Now that my school year is over I'm taking a short fly fishing vacation. The posts for the rest of the week highlight my favorite resources of 2011 so far.

Vyew is an online presentation tool that does not require you to download anything and can be used for free with up to 20 participants. Vyew offers tools for uploading slides and talking about them with other participants. You can also upload documents and annotate and discuss them with other participants in your Vyew room. Vyew provides you with a whiteboard on which you can type and draw. If you want to share your computer's screen with other people in your Vyew room you can do that too. Vyew users can talk to each other using voice and text chat.

Applications for Education
Vyew's collaborative whiteboard feature could make it a good tool for giving short mathematics lessons or lessons about any other topic in which a sequence of steps needs to be written or drawn out live.

Best of the Web 2011 - Class Blog

Now that my school year is over I'm taking a short fly fishing vacation. The posts for the rest of the week highlight my favorite resources of 2011 so far.

There is no shortage of blogging services available for free to teachers and school administrators. Some free services offer more features than others. One newer blogging service that is offering a lot to teachers at no cost is Class Blogs.

Class Blogs is a blogging service based on the WordPress Multi User platform. The service isn't open to everyone yet, you have to register for an invitation, but for your consideration here is a run-down of what they offer. Users can create as many free, ad-free blogs as they like. This means that for someone like myself who teaches multiple sections of a course, each section could have its own blog. If you plan to have students blogging, you can batch register students to expedite the process of joining your blog. Class Blogs also aims to be a LMS by offering you the option to create, distribute, and grade student assignments online. Finally, Class Blogs has an option for giving live online presentations.

Applications for Education
If Class Blogs delivers on all that it promises in its features list, it could become a central location for all of the online materials you use in your classes. Not only will you be able to do all of the things that blogs are great for, like keeping a record of your lessons, students sharing insights, but you will also be able to give presentations online and keep track of grades. Those last two items are not something you can do within most blogging platforms.

Video Project Suggestions

As I announced last month, Next Vista for Learning and Free Technology for Teachers have partnered to create and host the Made in the Cloud Video Contest. The contest is still open to teachers and students. To help you get started I created a series of videos about making videos with JayCut. To further help you along here are some video topic ideas. For full contest details, click here.

For Teachers:
Advice for people entering the profession.
A favorite strategy for teaching arithmetic.
Advice for teachers changing schools or grade levels.
A favorite strategy for motivating students.
A favorite strategy for fostering conversation with parents.

For Students:
A favorite mathematics trick.
A review of a favorite educational app or website.
A review of a favorite book.
A strategy for learning vocabulary.
A strategy or app for keeping track of assignments.

Succeeding With Science - Science Games for all Grades

Succeeding With Science is a a great resource for games, videos, and other activities for teaching and learning science. Succeeding With Science is organized by age. Within each age range there is a selection of games and activities for students to use on his or her own. You'll find that quite a few of the activities are suitable for use on touchscreen computers and interactive whiteboards.

Applications for Education
You'll find that most of the games and activities on Succeeding With Science are geared to learning about energy and the environment.

H/T to Danny Nicholson