Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Easy Group Blogging With Posterous Spaces

Posterous Spaces was bought by Twitter earlier this year, but it appears to still be going strong and hasn't changed at all since it was acquired by Twitter. One of the things about Posterous that I have always liked is the ease with which you can create a group blog.

In Posterous Spaces you can allow people to make contributions to your blog by simply sending an email to "yourblog'sname" @ For example, if I created the blog "" I could allow others to contribute to the blog by simply sending an email to "" You can choose to moderate or not moderate those contributions. From an administrative standpoint, using the email method of contributing to a group blog is much easier than having to enter permissions for each person you want contributing to your group blog.

Applications for Education
Accepting email contributions to your Posterous Spaces blog means that don't have to spend time walking students through creating log-in credentials for another service. Simply have students send an email to "yourblog'sname" and their posts can appear on the blog. It's the quickest way that I have found to get a classroom full of students contributing to one blog.

Environmental Science Games & Lessons from EcoKids

EcoKids is a Canadian organization that provides free resources for teaching and learning about topics in environmental science. The resources designed for teachers require registration, but the resources for students can be accessed without registration. The games and activities section for kids offers dozens of online games across eight categories. Within each of the eight categories the games and activities are again categorized according to age appropriateness. The eight games and activities categories are: wildlife, climate change, energy, water, waste, land use, the North, and First Nations & Inuit.

Applications for Education
Elementary school and middle school teachers looking for some engaging activities to supplement their classroom instruction on environmental science would do well to browse through the games and activities offered by EcoKids.

Registration-free Video Conferencing Service Adds Screen Sharing

Back in May I introduced you to for hosting free video conferences without registering for an account. This week added a couple of helpful new features. First, now support screen sharing. Second, easy file sharing has been added to To share a file with the members of your video conference just drag a file from your desktop to the transfer window in your space and everyone in the conference will be able to grab the file.

Applications for Education allows you to have up to five people in a room so you won't be able to use it to conduct a large instruction session, but it could be a great platform for quickly hosting an online tutoring session. Now that supports screen sharing it has become closer to Google+ Hangouts. But doesn't require users to register at all which could make it a great alternative to Google+ Hangouts. 

How Secure Is Your Password? Let's Find Out

How Secure Is My Password? is a great little site that Kern Kelley showed off at the Google Apps Bootcamp in New Hampshire today. How Secure Is My Password? allows you to see how long it would take a person or a computer to guess your password. One of my passwords would take 2 million years to crack.

Make Me A Password is the sister site to How Secure Is My Password? As the name implies, Make Me A Password will generate a secure password for you.

Applications for Education
How Secure Is My Password? could be a good tool for showing students and colleagues how strong or weak their passwords are.

Watch Common Craft's video on secure passwords for a good video overview of what makes a password secure.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Assess Your Typing Skills in Realistic Scenarios

There are plenty of online programs that you can use to practice typing skills, test your typing speed, and test your typing accuracy. While some of those may be very good programs they don't evaluate your typing skills while you're going about your daily web browsing or word processing activities. Typing Speed Monitor, a Google Chrome extension, does just that.

Typing Speed Monitor is a Google Chrome extension that will track how fast you type and what keys you use most frequently. If you do a lot of writing online, Typing Speed Monitor is one way to get accurate feedback on your typing proficiency in real-world settings. The latest version of Typing Speed Monitor allows you to opt out of having it track your typing on domains you specify. For example, if you don't want it to track how fast you type on Facebook, you can exclude that domain.

Applications for Education
Typing Speed Monitor could be a good way to find out how well students actually type in realistic scenarios.