Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Schedule Project Due Dates in Wikispaces

If you assign wiki editing due dates to your students' wiki projects, Wikispaces has just launched a new feature just for you. Events is a Wikispaces feature that allows you to schedule due dates for Wikispaces Projects. When you schedule a Wikispaces Event you can specify a lock time for your project. Once that lock time is reached no one is able to make any further edits to that page. Watch the short video below to learn more about Wikispaces Events.

Applications for Education
Wikispaces Events doesn't change the way that students use Wikispaces, but it does make it easier for you to manage your students' work in Wikispaces.

Save Meeting - Audio Recordings and Transcriptions of Meetings

Save Meeting is a meeting recording app for iOS and Android devices. The app allows you to record the audio of your meetings, transcribe the audio, and share the recordings and transcriptions with others. The transcription options that I tried were somewhat limited (30 seconds of automatic transcription and 5 minutes of manual transcription) but should be sufficient for recording quick notes during a meeting. Save Meeting uses a freemium pricing model. At the free level you can save up to 1,000 minutes of audio.

The video below contains a short overview of Save Meeting.

SaveMeeting presentation from SaveMeeting on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
Save Meeting could be a good app for students to use to make quick reminder notes for themselves. The app could also be used by students who are conducting interviews that they are going write about at a later time.

Calameo - Multimedia Publishing to iPads and More

Calameo is a great way to publish your documents in a manner that makes them accessible across a wide variety of platforms including the iPad. Peter Vogel told me about Calameo a couple of weeks ago. I finally got a chance to try it out this week and I really like it.

Using Calameo you can publish your documents in a flip-book or magazine style with page-turning effects. You can add a background soundtrack to your document. You can also specify the sounds that viewers hear when they turn the pages in your documents. Your Calameo documents can be published and shared using Calameo's HTML5 embed codes (makes your document iPad compatible). Published documents can be annotated by content publishers and viewers (that option can be disabled).

I've embedded a sample document below. I did not use the sound effects option for this document.

Applications for Education
Calameo offers a nice way for students to showcase some of their best works. The annotation option could be good for having students comment on each other's works. You could also use the annotation option to compliment students on something that they did particularly well.

Project 365 App Helps You Organize Your Photos Throughout the Year

On Sunday I shared that thanks to Ken Shelton, I finally "get" the purpose of participating in Project 365. In short, committing to a 365 project is a good way to build up a private media library that you and your students can access when you media for your presentations.

Last night I was somewhat aimlessly browsing the App Store when I discovered the Project 365 app for iPhone and iPad. The app provides a place to organize your images in a calendar format and share you images via Facebook, Twitter, and email. The "pro" version of the app ($0.99) removes advertising, includes image cropping tools, and offers immediate upload to your Flickr account.

Applications for Education
If your school is using iPads, the Project 365 apps could be handy for creating image galleries that your students can use whenever they need images for slideshows, videos, or other digital stories. By using their own images, all concerns about Copyright are removed from their projects.

Hackpad - A Simple Wiki Platform

Hackpad is a new, simple wiki service that I learned about from one of Jackie Gerstein's Tweets earlier this week. People who have used services like TitanPad or PrimaryPad will notice a lot of similarities in the user interface between those services and Hackpad.

At the simplest level Hackpad can be used for collaborative note-taking and writing outlines. Beyond that Hackpad allows you to include video and images by simply copying and pasting links into the document that you're working on. If you have Dropbox files that you want to link to, you can do that on Hackpad too. The layout options on Hackpad are very limited, but you can create a table of contents with links in the margins of your Hackpad page. To organize all of the Hackpads that you participate in, you can create a Hackpad collection in your account.

There are two sharing options for your Hackpad pages. You can make the pages public and open to everyone with the link or the pages can be private and viewable only to the people you invite. Joining Hackpad can be accomplished by using your Google account, your Facebook account, or by creating a Hackpad-specific account.

Applications for Education
Hackpad's tag line is "the best wiki ever." I'm not sure that it's the best wiki ever, I'm still partial to Wikispaces, but Hackpad is quite nice. If you're looking for a clean, simple platform for your students to use to create outlines together, share notes, or build reference pages, Hackpad is definitely worth giving a good look.

Use NetSpeed Monitor to Monitor Your PC's Network Activity

If you have ever suspected something was running on your PC that shouldn't be, try NetSpeed Monitor to get to the bottom of the mystery. NetSpeed Monitor is a free program that you can use to monitor the network activity of your computer. Learn more about it in the episode of TekZilla Daily embedded below.

Get Ready for the 2012 WordGirl Definition Competition

On May 1, 2012 Scholastic is hosting a live WordGirl Definition Competition. During the live webcast classrooms can play along by submitting their responses to the questions. Some participating classrooms will be called in to participate live over the web. The competition will feature three rounds of questions about word usage and definitions. You can register for the event and get a pre-competition preparation kit here.

Two Fun Videos for Pi Day

Today is Pi Day! Here are a couple of fun Pi videos to start your day.

Set to the tune of Don McLean's American Pie. (Note, there is another version of this Pi song. This is the cleaned-up version of the song).

And this Pi rap is set to a slightly more modern tune. Go ahead and lose yourself in the digits.