Monday, August 29, 2011

Pegby - A Free Task Management Tool for Teachers and Students

Since I started writing this blog almost four years ago I have reviewed dozens of task management tools and personal organizers. So last June when I discovered Pegby I didn't give it a whole lot of attention at first. Then I as I explored it more and more I found that it really was a quality product and not just your run-of-the-mill to-do list service. Pegby is easy to use yet has some very handy and powerful features lying beneath its surface. Now all of Pegby is available for free to all teachers and students. To use the service for free just register here with your .edu or .k12 email address.

Pegby is set up like a corkboard with index cards stuck to it. The corkboard has three columns to place your index cards on. A column for things to do, a column for things in progress, and a column for things that are done. Each of index card can be assigned to a person, can have files attached to it, and can have due dates assigned to it. You can use Pegby as an individual or you can share your corkboard with others. Watch the video below to learn about Pegby.

Pegby in Two Minutes from Pegby on Vimeo.

Give Pegby a try, I think you'll like it.

Full disclosure: I did advise the Pegby team on how to offer their service to educators, but I was not in any way paid or compensated for that thirty minutes of my time.

Short and Sweet Presentation Advice

This year, as I do every year, I plan to help my students develop the life-long skill of delivering good presentations to an audience. To that end I try to make my students strive to take Guy Kawasaki's advice about font use on slides. Guy Kawasaki is one of the best presenters that I've seen. In the two minute video below Kawasaki shares his advice for delivering an effective presentation. In the video he is speaking to a tech/ business audience, but 98% of what he says applies to any audience.

For a bit more in the way of presentation advice, particularly regarding slide design, watch this ten minute talk by Garr Reynolds. Reynolds is the author of Presentation Zen.

And here is Reynolds putting his advice into practice at TEDxToyko.

Katrina's Children - The Hurricane Through Children's Eyes

This week's Snag Learning Film of the Week is Katrina's Children. Six years ago Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region. Katrina's Children is an eighty minute documentary of the experience through children's stories. A preview of the film is embedded below. You can watch the whole documentary and find corresponding discussion questions here.

Watch more free documentaries

You can find four other documentaries about Hurricane Katrina in this list on Snag Learning.

More Than 100 Tips and Tricks for New Teachers

Last fall I asked readers to contribute to a list of tips for new teachers. I compiled that list and put it together as a Google Docs presentation of 131 tips. This year, I would like to expand the list with more tips from you. If you have a helpful tip for new teachers, be it technology related or not, please consider leaving a comment on this post and I will add it to the presentation. Last year's list is embedded below.

Unrest in the Arab World - Map and Timeline

Unrest in the Arab World is an interactive map and timeline from CNN. The timeline begins in December of 2010 and continues through August 2011. Along the timeline are links to various images and stories related to events in the Middle East and North Africa. Clicking on the map will open up summaries of events in each country. The map is color coded according to the level of violence in each country. The four levels are civil war, sustained violence, protests, and post-revolution. An explanation of each level is linked to the map.

Applications for Education
This fall I am again teaching a current global studies course and I plan to include this map on my course blog. Unrest in the Arab World should be a useful source of background information for my students.

Outbreak - Deadliest Pandemics Infographic

I have started to get a little leery of infographics lately in part because some of them don't seem to be much more than SEO efforts by various companies and in part because some of them aren't accurate as they could be. (For more on the problems with some infographics, read Pretty Graphic, Bad Data). Last week, I found one from GOOD that seems to break that pattern.

Outbreak: Deadliest Pandemics in History is a nice infographic depicting the approximate death tolls related to various diseases throughout history. The infographic also includes approximate dates for the outbreak of each disease to the eventual eradication of each disease. You can view the infographic here or in the image below.

Applications for Education
One thing that would make this infographic better would be hyperlinks to more information about each pandemic. Researching the causes and eventual end to each pandemic could be a good assignment for a health education class or a history class.

H/T to Cool Infographics.