Thursday, January 5, 2012

Swabr - Create a Private Microblogging Network

Swabr is a new service providing organizations with a platform for creating their own private microblogging networks. Members of your Swabr microblogging network can share and respond to short messages in the style of Twitter or Edmodo.

To create your private microblogging network on Swabr sign-up using the email address of your organization. Then invite people to join your network. To join your network other users will have to an email address from your organization's domain. For example, I created a network that only people with a email address can join.

Applications for Education
If you're looking to create a closed online environment in which the faculty or students can share short messages on school-related issues, Swabr could be a good tool for that.

Video Game Design and Stop Motion Movies

Image credit: bochalla
Kevin Hodgson, whose website about student stop-motion movie projects I have featured in the past, has launched a new website all about video game design projects for students.

Video Game Design for the Classroom is based on the science-based video game design project his 6th grade students have worked on this year. The website offers a download of the whole project outline as one PDF. You can also browse the site by section to learn about and see examples of things like storyboarding, assessment, and connections to standards. It's Kevin's website so I encourage you to read his blog post announcing the website's launch. And while you're reading the blog post, subscribe to Kevin's blog too.

5 Google Chrome Extensions to Help Your School Save Ink & Paper

Yesterday, I published Ten Useful Google Chrome Web Apps and Extensions for Teachers and Students. The first item on that list was Printliminator. Printliminator is a Chrome extension that allows you to strip sidebar content from blog posts before printing them. Here are five more Chrome extensions that do the same. To maximize your school's ink and paper budget, install any of these extensions on your school's computers then teach students to use them before they print from the web.

Joliprint converts online articles into a printer-friendly, reader-friendly format. Once installed just click the Joliprint icon whenever you're reading an article that you want to print and Joliprint will generate a PDF of that article without the sidebar content from that blog or website. Joliprint is not designed to work with search engine results list or homepages of sites and blogs. Joliprint only works with specific article urls. For example it won't work if you try it on but will work with

Like all of the extensions in this post, Printee will allow you to strip the sidebar content from blog posts and websites before printing. Printee offers the added bonus of syncing with your Google Docs account.

Print Friendly offers the option for you to specify whether or not you want to include images in the articles from which you remove the sidebar content. Print Friendly also gives you the option to share the cleaned-up version of an article via email or Twitter.

Print Plus offers the option to highlight exactly what you want to print and remove everything else. Just as with the extensions listed above, you can save the cleaned-up version of an article as a PDF.

Clearly comes to us from the producers of Evernote. Clearly wasn't specifically designed for saving ink when printing, but that is one of the benefits of using it. Clearly strips the sidebar content of a webpage. You can send the cleaned-up version directly to your Evernote account for easy reading whenever you open your Evernote account. You can print the cleaned-up article from your Evernote account. Watch the forty second video below to learn more about Clearly.

EasyBib Comes to Android Devices

Last May the popular bibliography creation tool EasyBib launched a free iPad and iPhone app for students. This week EasyBib launched an equivalent app for Android devices.

The EasyBib Android app performs the same great functions as the EasyBib iOS app. One of those excellent features is scanning a book's or magazine's ISBN barcode to record the information necessary to create a proper citation. Users can add citations on the app and email those citations to themselves from the app. Just as if you were using the EasyBib website to create properly formatted citations, the app will generate MLA format citations for free. If you want to generate citations in APA or Chicago style you will have to pay for a subscription to the service.

The video below is an overview of the iOS app, but the Android app offers the same functions.

Applications for Education
I like the promise of the barcode scanning aspect of the app. If it works as promised, it could be a great tool for students to use to make sure they've gotten all the information they need about a they've borrowed from a library before returning it.

The EasyBib website offers some good writing guides for students and Google Apps integration. You can read my post about those services here.