Tuesday, May 7, 2013

eduClipper Is What Teachers Want Pinterest To Be

My friend and fellow ed tech blogger Adam Bellow has relaunched his start-up company eduClipper. Some of you may remember that Adam launched a private beta of the service last year. Well after a big investment from some venture capital firms and ten months of testing and revising features eduClipper is better than ever. In fact, I think it's what teachers wish Pinterest could be. Last week Adam and I spent an hour talking about the new eduClipper in it's current state and where it is going in the future. Let's take a look at what will make eduClipper a very popular service amongst educators.

The thing that is obvious when you visit eduClipper is that it is a visual bookmarking tool. You can use the eduClipper bookmarklet to add "clips" (bookmarks) to your eduClipper boards. But eduClipper is much more than a visual bookmarking service. You can add PowerPoint, PDF, and image files to your boards. You can also add links to videos to your boards. You can play the videos without leaving your eduClipper board. And those of us who have Google Drive embedded into our professional lives will be happy to know that we can add Google Drive files to our eduClipper boards.

The best part of eduClipper, and why I think that teachers will love it, is that you can create class boards to share with your students and they can share boards with you. As a teacher you can create classes in your eduClipper account. When you create a class you will be given an access code that your students can use to join your class. Alternatively, you can directly add students to your class boards through your eduClipper account. As the teacher you have complete control over the content that is shared and the comments written on each board.

Applications for Education
eduClipper has the potential to be a great service for teachers and students. I envision eduClipper being used in a couple of ways. First, I see it being used like Diigo but with a visual element. You can bookmark sites, share files, and discuss them but with a very visual aspect to it that doesn't force you out of your account to preview what a resource is all about.

I can also see eduClipper being used by teachers and students to create digital packets of study materials organized around a particular theme or topic.

Full disclosure: I do not have a financial interest in eduClipper, but I have served as an adviser to eduClipper for the last fourteen months.

How One School Community is Using Google+

Yesterday, I shared five things that I like using Google+ to build a PLN. One of the five things that I mentioned was creating communities for your local colleagues. This afternoon, Abbe Waldron shared with me a post that she had written how her school district is using Google+. If you're wondering how Google+ can be used in your school community, take a look at how Abbe's district is using Circles, Communities, Photos, and Hangouts in Google+. Read Abbe's post on her blog Wamogo Tech Times.

Collaboratively Create Multimedia Books on Widbook

This month Widbook became a financial supporter of Free Technology for Teachers. I've written about the service before, but as a service to them and to readers who haven't seen it before like to highlight some of Widbook's features again.

Widbook is a platform designed to help people collaboratively create multimedia books. The service is part multimedia book authoring tool and part social network. Mashable called it "the YouTube of books." On Widbook you can create a digital book that contains text, images, and videos. Widbook is collaborative because you can invite others to make contributions to your books. To use Widbook you have to create a profile on the service. The books that you create become a part of your profile. If you allow it, other Widbook users can add content and or comments to your books. Likewise, you can search for others' books and make contributions to their books.

Widbook - Write, read and share! from Widbook on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
Widbook could be used by a class of students to collaborate on a creative writing project in a kind of "fan fiction" style. You could also use Widbook to create multimedia reference books for your students. Or have your students create their own multimedia reference books. Another possible use for Widbook is to have students create digital portfolios of their best multimedia works.

Use 121 Writing to Add Voice Comments to Google Documents

A couple of weeks ago I shared a great video from Jen Roberts in which she demonstrates how to add voice comments to Google Documents. In that video she uses an application called Learn.ly. This morning I discovered that Learn.ly has been renamed 121 Writing. It's the same great application, it just has a new name. Watch the video below to learn how to use 121 Writing.

121 Writing was renamed in the summer of 2013. It is now called Kaizena. You can find updated information and a tutorial here

Nearpod Homework - A New Option for Sharing Lessons Over iPads

Nearpod is a nice service for delivering lessons, quizzes, and polls to students through iPads. Nearpod recently introduced a new option called Nearpod Homework. Like the original Nearpod, Nearpod Homework allows you to distribute presentations and quizzes to your students' iPads. The neat feature of Nearpod Homework is that it allows students to work through presentations and quizzes at their own pace in your classroom or at home.

Nearpod Homework from Nearpod on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
On Nearpod Homework your students can answer questions about the presentations that you share with them. Nearpod Homework furnishes you with a report of your students' responses to your questions. This gives you the opportunity to review your students' progress whenever they complete a set of questions.

Spacewalk - A Multiplayer Game for Exploring the Space Station

Spacewalk is a new multiplayer game in which players explore the International Space Station. The game is a free-form game. Spacewalk players take on the roles of astronauts in the International Space Station. You can download the game to use on Windows, Mac, or Linux computers. If you're a Windows user you can control your player with an Xbox 360 controller. Other players will have to use the their keyboards to control their players.

Applications for Education
I'm not a gamer, but I think that playing Spacewalk could be an engaging way for students to discover how the International Space Station and space in general.

Thanks to Jen Deyenberg for sharing this on Twitter.