Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Kid Should See This - Open Culture for Kids

The Kid Should See This is a neat blog that I started following last week. The blog is written by a mother with some help from her three-years-old child. Each post features a short video that she thinks kids should see. The videos are educational and entertaining in nature. For example, one of yesterday's post features a short video about sand bubbler crabs. And a few days back the post featured the classic Sesame Street clip that you'll see below.

Applications for Education
The Kid Should See This is kind of like Open Culture for kids. If you're looking for some short, educational, and entertaining videos to show to your young student(s), take a look at The Kid Should See This.

Draw It Live - A Simple, Free, Collaborative Whiteboard

Draw It Live is a nice little website that I discovered this morning while exploring the Chrome Web Store. Draw It Live offers a free space for you to instantly create a collaborative whiteboard to use with anyone you like. To use Draw It Live just go to the site, click the "collaborative whiteboard" link, enter any nickname you want, then start drawing. You can invite people to draw with you by sending them the url assigned to your whiteboard. Draw It Live provides a chat box that you can use to talk to your collaborators about what each of you is doing on the screen.

Draw It Live offers a Chrome Web App called Simple Whiteboard that can be used offline. Of course, when you're using it offline you cannot collaborate with anyone.

Applications for Education
Draw It Live could be a good free tool for students to use for online brainstorming sessions. They could use the whiteboard space to develop mind maps from scratch. Simple Whiteboard could be a handy little tool for students who need quickly sketch a diagram or picture to use in a presentation.

Use Gmail, Docs, Google Calendar Offline With the Chrome App

Last week Google launched the Offline Google Mail Chrome App. The app which is available for free in the Chrome Web Store will allow you to read and respond to messages in Gmail even if you don't have an Internet connection. When you get to a place where you do have an Internet connection your messages will be sent.

Items in your Google Docs and Google Calendar accounts can also be viewed offline now. Unfortunately, Google still hasn't made it possible for you to create new content in those services without an Internet connection. Hopefully that will appear soon.

Applications for Education
When I read about the new Google Mail Chrome App I immediately thought of my students who spend close to an hour on a school bus each morning and afternoon. The app could be useful for those students who want to get some work done during that time when they don't have Internet access.

Free Webinars for School Librarians - Learn About New Releases for the Fall

Full Disclosure: I am paid to write a monthly column for the School Library Journal. That said, I was not paid to or asked to write this post by anyone employed by SLJ. I just thought that this would be good info to pass along to my readers who are school librarians.

Media Source, publishers of School Library Journal and Library Journal, is hosting a series of free webinars this fall. The webinars will cover topics like new releases (fiction and non-fiction) that might be a good fit for your library as well topics related to the use of technology in library science. The webinars are free and if you miss one they are archived for up to a year. Click here for the School Library Journal webinar listings. Click here for the Library Journal webinar listings.