Showing posts with label 1001 Free Fonts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1001 Free Fonts. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Soap Box - A Backchanneling Tool for Tablets, Phones, and Laptops

Soap Box is a new service that enables teachers to gather instant feedback from students through their cell phones, tablets, or laptops. Soap Box offers nine useful functions for teachers and students. The video below offers an overview of all of the features. One of the features that grabbed my attention is the "confusion barometer" that allows students to state their status as either "I get it" or "I'm confused." Two other features that jumped out at me are the "smart filter" and the "profanity filter." The smart filter searches for similar questions in the backchannel to avoid duplicates. The profanity filter blocks inappropriate language from being posted in the backchannel.

Applications for Education
Soap Box is still in beta, but you can sign-up now to try it out. What makes it promising is that students can use a variety of devices to submit their feedback. If your school has a bring your device policy this could be the backchannel solution you need. Click here to read about how I've used backchannels in my history courses. Click here for my 2010 Reform Symposium keynote in which I talked about using backchannels in a variety of settings.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I Don't Hate iPads, but...

Last night I re-Tweeted the following from Gary StagerI took my iPad away for the weekend instead of my Macbook Pro and it's not ready to replace the laptop. #notreadyforprimetime. As usually happens when I Tweet anything mildly negative about iPads, some people came out to defend iPads in classrooms. Before we go any farther you should know that I don't hate iPads, but I just don't think they're a good purchase for schools to make them the sole device for a 1:1 program. If you already have a 1:1 program in place then go for the iPad purchase as a secondary device. 

Last spring I wrote that I didn't think iPads should be purchased as the primary devices for 1:1 programs. Since then I have attended conferences and facilitated workshops (combined total of 18 if I counted correctly) in which I saw people trying to use their iPads as replacements for laptops. Of course, I didn't just sit back and watch, I asked questions of the people using their iPads (I've also talked to random strangers in airport terminals about their iPads. Hey, there's only so much a person can do at Newark International or wherever I happen to be delayed).  What I've learned in the past fourteen months is that the iPad is not capable of replacing a laptop for creative productivity. It could be done in most cases, but not without finding apps to replace some of the functionality of some otherwise routine operations. And in a few cases in the workshops I facilitated participants were left out of activities unless they purchased apps. For example, when we were creating Wolfram Alpha widgets for our blogs in one workshop the person who had only brought an iPad couldn't do it. 

Aside from the time and costs associated with getting all of the right apps to replace the creative functionality of a laptop, my concern is this that Gary said well in 140 characters: @rmbyrneSimple - keychains don't sync, needed passwords, iMovie would not import .mov file. Just sloppy, not a hardware limitation. 

The iPad does have a place in classrooms. That place for now is as a secondary device, not as a primary device for 1:1 programs.

To be continued...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Test Drive a Chrome OS Notebook

Yesterday, Google made a big announcement regarding their development of Google Chrome OS. Originally announced last fall, Chrome OS is designed to be a completely web-based operating system. Since then Chrome OS has been available as a download for the technologically brave to use on netbooks. Now Google wants people to actually test it out on notebooks provided by Google. If you're interested in becoming a Chrome OS notebook test driver, Google wants to hear from you. You can apply to receive a Chrome OS notebook from Google. In exchange for the notebook, Google will collect regular feedback from you about your experiences. Applications will be accepted until December 21, 2010. Apologies to readers outside of the US, Google will only ship Chrome OS notebooks to US addresses.

Learn more about Chrome OS in the video below.

Applications for Education
In the future Chrome OS notebooks and netbooks could become a good option for 1:1 programs in schools. As I understand it now, Chrome OS won't allow downloads so you won't have to worry about students downloading programs you don't want on your network computers. Also by moving all of their work to the cloud, students will have a digital portfolio that they can take with them from year to year and school to school.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Font Burner - 1000 Fonts for Blogs

Font Burner is a collection of 1000 fonts that can be used for free in your blog or website. I've been playing with different fonts as I work on a blog redesign. I just learned about Font Burner today, but I am already impressed by the collection of fonts.

Applications for Education
If you teach web design or you just have some students that are interested in really customizing your class blog or website, Font Burner could be a good resource for you.

A related resource that may be of interest to you is 1001 Fonts to Make Presentations Better.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Making Slide Shows Better

If your students are tired of using the same boring, standardized fonts when they create content or you're tired of looking at those fonts, take a trip to 1001 Free Fonts. The fonts available are free for non-commercial use and can are available for Mac and Windows operating systems.

Applications for Education
While not a ground breaking website by any means 1001 Free Fonts might be useful for students looking to create something a little different than everyone else. Sometimes just a minor deviation from standardized fonts is all a presentation needs in order to stand out from the crowd. The same is true for posters and pamphlets. But don't take my word for it, see what marketing guru Seth Godin has to say about font selection in his blog post Nine Steps to Powerpoint Magic.