Thursday, July 26, 2012

Conduct Conference Calls for Free on Speek

Speek is a free conference call service that I learned about a few weeks ago on Larry Ferlazzo's blog. When you sign-up for Speek you create a URL for your conference call. Then enter the email addresses of the people that you want to join your call. When the recipient clicks the link and enters his or her phone number, Speek calls them and connects them to you and the rest of the conference. For now Speek only works in the United States and works best with less than ten callers.

Speek - Fast and easy conference calls on the go from Speek on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
Speek could be a good service to use to organize small conference calls for parent-teacher conferences or for small virtual department meetings.

Draw On Your Phone or Tablet to Search Google

This afternoon Google released a new way to search on your iPad, iPhone, Android tablet, and Android phone. Now instead of typing your query into the Google Search box, you can just handwrite a word or phrase to search. See it in action in the video below.

For now Handwrite for Google mobile only works on Android tablets running 4.0+, Android phones on 2.3+, and iOS 5+.

Applications for Education
Handwrite could be useful for students who are frustrated by trying to type search phrases on a touchscreen device.

Monosnap Is a Promising New Screen Capture Tool

There are many good screen capture tools available on the web today. Some of my favorites are listed here. Today, I found a new screen capture tool that I like.

Monosnap is a new, free screen capture tool for Mac users. Monosnap is advertising that they will soon offer it for Windows, Android, and iOS too.

To get started download Monosnap from the Mac store. Once installed you can use Monosnap to capture a portion or all of your screen. One neat option is to capture your screen after a ten second delay. After capturing your screen you can draw on your image, type on it, or highlight portions of the screen capture image. You can save your screen captures on your computer or upload them to a free Monosnap account.

Applications for Education
Monosnap, like other screen capture tools, could be used for creating directions on how to use a new program or application. If Monosnap does come through on the promise of Android and iOS apps it could be a great application to use to create annotated screen captures on those devices too.

How to Make a Meerkat

National Geographic Education has a fun puppet building activity that I recently Stumbled Upon. Build a Meerkat is a lesson designed for students in pre-K through grade 4. In the lesson students create a meerkat puppet using the templates and directions provided by National Geographic. The point of the lesson is to get students to analyze how a meerkat's body is adapted to its habitat.

Applications for Education
The concept behind Build a Meerkat could be applied to a lot of other animals as well as to plants.