Thursday, May 24, 2012

Corkboard Me - Another Nice Sticky Note Service

Last week I published a short post with ideas for using seven sticky note services in schools. This week I found another good sticky note service to add to the list. Corkboard Me is a simple service for creating and sharing a wall of sticky notes.

Registration is not required in order to use Corkboard Me. To use Corkboard Me just visit the site then click anywhere on the virtual corkboard to start typing your notes. A URL will be assigned to your corkboard. Share that URL with anyone that you want to add notes your wall. Corkboard Me is a freemium service. The free version of the product does not allow for private sharing of corkboards.

Applications for Education
If you're okay with creating public corkboards, Corkboard Me could be a good tool for students to use to post short "exit ticket" notes about things that they learned in your classroom that day. Just post the url and tell students to write a short note. Since registration isn't required in order to post a note, you won't lose classroom time to fussing about with log-ins. One thing to keep in mind if you use the public corkboards option is that you should have a conversation with your students about what is and is not appropriate to post online.

Preview YouTube Videos Without a Click

Today's episode of Tekzilla Daily has a quick overview of a handy little tool for previewing YouTube videos without loading them in a new player, tab, or window. The tool is a Chrome extension called YouTube Preview. YouTube Preview allows you to hover over a video to view a fast overview of it and see the reactions to it. Watch the video below to see it in action.

Use the Remind 101 iPhone App to Keep Students and Parents Informed

I'm about a week late on this but it's still worth sharing the news that Remind 101 has released a free iPhone app. Remind 101 is a service for sending text messages to groups of students and their parents. The service is an opt-in service which means that students and parents have to enter a confirmation code to state that they do want to be contacted by you through the service. Remind 101 keeps phone numbers hidden so that the parties cannot see each other's numbers. Learn more about Remind 101 in the video below.

Applications for Education
The Remind 101 iPhone app could be a good tool to use to keep students and parents informed of important information about your classes. You could use it to send reminders about assignments, use it to send encouragement, or use it to send praise for a job well done on an assignment.

Visualizing the World's 50 Most Prominent Peaks

The Guardian recently published an excellent interactive data visualization of the world's 50 most prominent peaks. The visualization offers a clickable map of the world's most prominent peaks on every continent. Click on a peak to view it in Google Earth (you need the Google Earth browser plug-in). You can compare peaks in terms of actual height and prominence above their immediate surroundings. The visualizations can be embedded into your blog or website. I've embedded a slightly cropped version below. Click here for the full-size visualization.

Waiting for InstaGrok

InstaGrok is a promising new academic search engine and bookmarking service that I've written about twice this spring (here and here). Unfortunately, according to their Twitter posts, they have had a server crash. If you're trying to use the service today, bear in mind that it might not be working completely or at all right now. Even though they Tweeted that it's back online, not everything appears to be functioning correctly. I'm sure they are doing their best to get everything restored quickly.

Page-level Permissions and Digital Portfolios in Google Sites

This morning I received an email from a reader who needed some advice about having his students use Google Sites as digital portfolios. His concern was that if his students had access to editing all of the pages, there is a chance that students could overwrite each other's work. The solution that I proposed was to use page-level permissions in Google Sites.

Page-level permissions in Google Sites allows the creator of a site to share and give editing access to specific pages within a site rather than giving access to edit the entire site. To use page-level permissions open your Google Site editor then click "enable page-level permissions." With page-level permissions activated you can share and allow editing for each page individually.
Click on the images to view them in full size. 

Applications for Education
By using page-level permissions in Google Sites you can create a classroom website then make each of your students responsible for maintaining their own pages. On those pages they could catalog examples of their best work. They could also use those pages to blog. Either way you will have access to work from all of your students in one place.