Friday, January 20, 2012

Video - Create a Collaborative Digital Writing Portfolio

With the help of Steve Hargadon and Chris Dawson I recently discovered a neat feature in Scribd. In Scribd you can create public collections to which any Scribd user can add documents. As the creator of the collection you can moderate the submissions before they appear in your collection. I made a short screencast on how to do this. The screencast is embedded below.

Applications for Education
Creating a public collection in Scribd could be a good way to showcase examples of your students' best work. You can use the Scribd widgets to embed the entire collection into a blog or website or just direct people to the collection on Scribd itself.

A Pearltree of Free Technology for Teachers

A few months ago I wrote Playing With Pearltrees - A Great Way to Organize the Web. Last night I was exploring Pearltrees again when I came across a Pearltree titled Free Technology for Teachers. While the name is the same as my blog, I did not have anything to do with creating that particular Pearltree. That said, many of the resources cataloged in the Free Technology for Teachers Pearltree are excellent resources that I have used and or written about here in the past. If you're looking for a good visual collection of technology resources, take a look at the Pearltree embedded below.
Free Technology for Teachers in Louise Robinson-Lay (loremipsem)

gText - Free Group Text Messaging

gText is a new service offering free group text messaging. There are other services that do the same thing, but those services weren't developed by a high school student the way that gText was.

gText allows you to send text messages to groups that you have created in your gText account. Your texts can be sent from your phone or from your computer. By default gText keeps group members' phone numbers private. Group members who want other group members to see their numbers can allow that. Beyond simple text messaging gText offers options for sharing files (although that could consume a lot of space on a phone), sharing images, and sharing calendars.

Applications for Education
I signed up for gText and am waiting for my verification code in order to try it out. My initial impression is that it could be used in a manner similar to what I've done with Google Voice. Text messages rarely go unopened while emails often do. Take advantage of that pattern by texting important reminders to students and their parents.

Get Out the Crayons! It's Time to Doodle 4 Google

The Doodle for Google art contest is back for the fifth consecutive year. The theme of this year's contest is, "If I could travel in time, I'd visit..."

The contest is open to K-12 students in the United States. The winner will receive a $30,000 scholarship and a $50,000 technology grant for his or her school. Submissions for the contest are due by March 23, 2012. This year pre-registration is not required. That should make it quicker and easier for schools to make submissions.

While we're on the topic of drawing, check out Crayola's online drawing tools.