Thursday, June 7, 2012

Garden of Your Mind - Mister Rogers Remixed

A big thank you to Larry Ferlazzo for sharing this video from PBS. Mister Rogers Remixed - Garden of Your Mind is sure to bring up feelings of nostalgia for anyone that watched Mister Rogers as a child. It's the bestvideo I've watched in a while.

Kanban2go - Visual Task Management

Kanban2go is a new task management service that has a highly visually-driven interface. The basic function of Kanban2go is to provide you with a virtual sticky note board that is divided into three columns. Your to-do notes are color coded and sorted into columns of to-do, in progress, and completed. Each to-do note can be assigned a due date and a status.

Kanban2go can be synched with Google Calendar, iCal, Outlook, and Evernote. You can share your assignment boards with others via email and or Twitter.

Applications for Education
There certainly is not a shortage of online task management tools for students and teachers to try. If you're looking for a task management tool with a bit of visual pop, give Kanban2go a try.

Dropmark - Simple Private and Public File Sharing

Dropmark is a service offering a simple platform for private and public file sharing. Dropmark is similar to DropCanvas that I reviewed on Tuesday but it offers some features that DropCanvas does not offer.

To use Dropmark you do have to create an account. Once you have your account established you can simply drag files from your desktop onto a blank collection screen in your account. Once your files are in a collection you can make that collection public and share the url assigned to it. Alternatively, you can keep your collection private and share it only with people you invite. Within your Dropmark account you can create multiple collections.

The video below provides a visual overview of Dropmark.

Introducing Dropmark from Dropmark on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
Dropmark could be a good tool for organizing materials associated with each of your lesson plans or units. I might use Dropmark to assemble all of the primary resource files and lesson outlines that I have for my Revolutionary War unit and share them with my students so that they can access them all in one place too.

Free Digital Citizenship Posters

Thanks to a post by Doug Peterson I learned that Edmodo has a nice poster outlining digital citizenship guidelines for students. Yes, the poster has a clear promotion for Edmodo at the bottom, but it is still a nice poster containing reminders for students to follow. The poster is available as a PDF in two sizes, two color schemes, and six languages.

Common Sense Media also has a good poster on digital citizenship that you should check out. Their poster is a flow chart of decisions and actions for students.

Applications for Education
The Edmodo digital citizenship poster is a good one to print and post in computer labs, school libraries, and anywhere else that you want put it to remind students of their responsibilities as digital citizens.

Scroll Kit - Build a Website from Scratch Without Coding

There a lot of free services that allow you to build webpages without coding (find 11 of them here), but those services limit your creativity by requiring you to use one of their predefined templates or themes. Scroll Kit gives you a completely blank canvas to build on.

When you sign into Scroll Kit for the first time you will see a brief tutorial on how to use the service. As you work through the tutorial, you can delete parts of the tutorial until you have a blank canvas. On your blank canvas you can draw, add text boxes, add images, add videos, and insert app scripts. You can build multiple layers into your Scroll Kit site. When you're ready to publish your pages you can publish on a Scroll Kit subdomain for free or redirect to a domain that you own.

Applications for Education
A word of warning before you use the site, currently one of Scroll Kit's sample pages contains a word that is definitely not appropriate for school. I sent them an email and suggested a change, we'll see what happens. If they take my advice Scroll Kit could be a good tool for students to use to quickly begin experimenting with elements of design.

Big update! Scroll Kit took my advice and changed the sample page that had the bad language on it. I love it when new companies are responsive to teachers. Scroll Kit is definitely a good tool that students can use to quickly experiment with elements of web design. The blank canvas gives students the freedom to make their pages as beautiful or as ugly they like.

Update again: Thanks to Mark's comment below I learned that Scroll Kit only changed one of the sample pages not all of them. Sorry :(