Showing posts with label Read Write Web. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Read Write Web. Show all posts

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Purps the Penguin Helped by Kids With a 3D Printer

Image Credit:
Charlesjsharp - Dec 6, 2009
3D printers can provide students with a powerful tool to use in developing solutions to all kinds of problems. Read Write Web recently featured a fantastic example of students using a 3D printer to solve a problem. With the help of their school's library media specialist, Sue Prince, students in a Mystic, Connecticut middle school created a cast for an injured African penguin. The whole story can be found in the video embedded below.

To me, this story is another great example of students putting their heads together to solve a problem with the help of their teacher and the help of technology.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Build Your Own Games and Enter the Kodu Cup

Microsoft's Kodu is a free Windows-based program that anyone can use to create video games without writing code. The drag and drop interface relies on users being able to manage "if/ then" scenarios to design a rich gaming experience. Kodu users create the setting (trees, mountains, rivers, etc), specify the roles and place characters in their games, and program what players can and cannot do in their games.

To encourage game development through Kodu, Microsoft is hosting the Kodu Cup. The Kodu Cup is a contest for kids between the ages of nine and seventeen. The contest asks entrants to design their best games and submit them for judging. There are two age groups and the winner in each will receive $5,000 cash and a trip to New York.

Applications for Education
Microsoft has published a selection of guides for teachers and trainers and a classroom kit for teachers who are interested in using Kodu in school. Click here to view the suggested math lessons associated with Kodu.

There are a lot of Kodu tutorials on YouTube, below are a couple to get you started.

H/T to Audrey Watters at RWW.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Trailmeme - Create and Trace Trails of Links

Trailmeme is an interesting new service that could be described as social bookmarking meets social mind mapping. The basic idea behind Trailmeme is that we all have our own way of connecting the things we find on the Internet when we research a topic. Trailmeme provides a way to record those connections and publish them as a mind map or flowchart that Trailmeme refers to as a "trail." When you publish your trail publicly other visitors to Trailmeme can "walk" the trail you created. Walking a trail means that you follow the map of labeled links created by another person. Watch the video below to learn more about Trailmeme.

Read Write Web has a good article about Trailmeme which is where I first learned about the service.

Applications for Education
At first the utility of Trailmeme didn't jump-out at me. After some exploration of the service, walking the history of coffee trail, walking the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Trail, and making my own short trail I started to see its potential in the classroom. Trailmeme could be useful for students to create a visual trail of their research. For the visual thinkers in your classroom the process of creating a "trail" could help those students think about how they are going to put a research paper together.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
18 Formats for Visual Thinking in the Classroom
Seven Tools for Organizing Web Research
Nine Tools for Collaboratively Creating Mind Maps

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hack Education - Add This Blog to Your RSS Reader

I'm often asked for recommendations for blogs and or people on Twitter to follow. I've written a couple of posts in the past in which I've shared my recommendations, you can read those posts here and here. This evening I'd like to recommend another blog that you should add to your RSS reader. Hack Education is written by Audrey Watters who also writes for Read Write Web. What I like about Hack Education is that Audrey brings the perspectives of a "tech insider" to the world of education. Tech blogs are great at covering the latest tech developments (I get a lot of my strictly tech ideas from them) and education blogs are great at covering education, analyzing the implications of technology for education can be tough, but Audrey does a nice job of it on Hack Education. Check it out, I think you'll like it.

Disclaimer: Audrey did vote for my SXSW panel, but I was reading her work long before that.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Where Will Kids Put the Internet in the World?

Read Write Web and Latitude recently conducted a survey of children in which they asked the kids to share the things they think computers and the Internet should do. As you might expect some of the responses were very imaginative. I look at the results of the survey as a preview of what computers and the Internet will do in the next decade or two. If you don't want to read the reports here and here, at least watch the video below summarizing some of the students' responses.

Latitude 42 Study Findings: Where Else Will Kids Think to Put the Web in the World? from latddotcom on Vimeo.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Incentives, Rewards, and Motivation

Read Write Web and Wes Fryer both posted an interesting video in which RSAnimate animates a talk given by Daniel Pink. In the talk Pink shares some interesting discoveries about the science of motivation. In the talk Pink explains why larger financial rewards don't always, in fact rarely, equal better performances on tasks. Pink's idea that innovation should be rewarded more than performance on a standard task is the idea that I liked best. That idea will influence my thinking about curriculum design this summer when I'm reworking parts of the courses I teach.

Watch the video below.

Here is a related item that may be of interest to you:
Three Ways the Brain Creates Meaning

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Video Overview of Huffduffer Podcast Catcher

Back in November I wrote a review of a great podcast sharing service called Huffduffer. Huffduffer is a simple, free, service that allows you to create podcast playlists and embed podcasts into your blog or website. In that post I gave some brief directions about how to use Huffduffer. Yesterday, Marshall Kirkpatrick from Read Write Web published a video tutorial about how to use Huffduffer. You can watch the video below, but I also recommend reading the review on Read Write Web.

Applications for Education
If you're looking for an easy way to enrich your classroom blog or website with audio content, Huffduffer might be the tool for you.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Mix Your Own NPR Podcast
New Podcast About SMART Boards
5 Resources for Creating and Hosting Podcasts

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Firefox Turns 5 - The Story of Firefox

Firefox turned five the other day. To "celebrate" a short video telling the story of its development and future was released. It's important to note that Firefox is an opensource project which is what has allowed the development of so many useful add-ons and extensions. You can watch the video below.

Thanks to Read Write Web for the video link.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Kids' Online Search Habits

Last week Read Write Web ran an article about Norton's survey of kids' online search habits. The survey created a list of the 100 terms most commonly searched by kids. What is interesting about this list is that it revealed that many times kids will search for a term rather than enter the url. For example, instead of typing into the url bar, kids are searching for youtube. The same is true in the cases of Gmail, Facebook, and Google (which makes me wonder if they were "Googling" Google).

The RWW article and the Norton list both make me wonder what kids are being taught about how to use the Internet or if they're being taught at all in some cases. Does your school district have a program in place to teach students the difference between the url bar and the search bar? Who does that teaching, is it the responsibility of the general classroom teacher or is there someone whose job it is to just teach computer and internet use? Which way is most effective?

This is the method used by Norton to generate the survey results.
"Between February 2009 and July 2009, Symantec tracked a total of 3.5 million searches that were submitted by users of their OnlineFamily.Norton service. The list of search terms was ranked from those submitted most frequently to those submitted the least. In order to be included in the list of kids’ top search terms, a search term had to have been submitted at least 50 times by registered users of OnlineFamily.Norton."

Image credit: Flickr user Old Shoe Woman

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Fun Summer Learning Activities

As summer approaches it's time to start thinking about ways that students can continue their learning after leaving your classroom for the year. A lot of schools assign summer reading lists or summer assignments for students to complete on their own. Creating fun and meaningful summer assignments is a lot of work and not something a lot of teachers have the energy for by the time June arrives. Fortunately, has created a great list of fun and meaningful summer learning activities. has summer activities appropriate for all students in grades K through 12.

Applications for Education
Each activity from is designed to develop writing and reading skills. The activities allow for student choice in regards to reading material and final product design. One aspect of the activities that teachers in lower income or rural school districts is that some of the activity ideas can easily be altered for completion offline.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Tumblr - The Simplest Blogging System

Tumblr is probably the simplest and easiest to use, free, blogging system available. The process of registering an account and starting a blog takes less than a minute on Tumblr. Tumblr offers a number of simple, clean templates and layouts while not offering so many that students will be tempted to spend a lot of time tweaking their layout. (Students won't be bombarded with "pimp your page" advertisements). Adding blog entries is simple and intuitive. All blog entries appear chronologically and with a date stamp. Comments are disabled by default on Tumblr so teachers having students use Tumblr need not worry about strangers posting comments on a student's blog.

Applications for Education
Getting students to write consistently and keep a journal can be a challenge for many writing teachers. Having students write blogs is one technique for encouraging them to write consistently, pay attention to detail, and take pride in their work. Blogging provides students with a wider audience than they can have with with a paper and pencil journal. Tumblr is a very simple blog program that students can use to practice and improve their writing.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Web Node - Make a Website in Minutes

You do not need to have any code writing skills at all to build a website. Webnode does the hard work of code writing for you. Web Node is a simple way to build a website. Web Node provides templates for your website. The easy to use, drag and drop, interface makes it easy to change the look and feel of your website. Easily add your own graphics, audio, and video components to your website.

Applications for Education
Webnode allows young through old students create professional looking websites that they can be proud of. Use Webnode for students to present and share their work with a wider audience.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Free Technology For Teachers: Email Overload

Maybe it's the effects of the doldrums of March or maybe it's email overload, but lately I have had a difficult time reading all of my email. One of the ways I've started to deal with this is to set a up an automatic sorting system so that emails from student addresses, emails from parent addresses, and emails from administration get sent to different folders. Has it actually helped me get through my email any faster? Probably not, but it was worth trying.

Today, on Read Write Web, Sarah Perez has a good article about dealing with email overload. Her article, Five Methodologies to Deal with Email Overload, range from simple ideas, delete an email if you haven't acted on it in two days, to more extreme ideas like declaring "email bankruptcy." I'm not ready to declare email bankruptcy yet, but some days I would like to. How do you deal with email overload?