Saturday, October 13, 2012

If You're Worried About Posterous Shutting Down...

Yesterday, I Tweeted this story about Posterous having some issues with its SSL certificate. Those issues have since been resolved, but the fact remains that Posterous was acquired by Twitter last winter and it's not clear how long they are planning to keep the service running. If yesterday's Posterous problems and other Posterous outages over the last six months have you nervous about the long-term viability of Posterous blogs, you might want to consider moving to another blogging platform.

Posterous doesn't have an easy export option, yet (they said in March that one was coming soon). But there are a few ways that you can import your Posterous into Blogger, WordPress, or Tumblr. (Blogger and WordPress would be my first choices). Lifehacker has detailed directions on how to do it. Rather than rehashing what they wrote, I'll encourage you to click through to their directions

Explain iPads to my Mom...

Mom uses an iPad for the first time.
Two weekends ago I went to visit my mother in Connecticut. I rarely go overnight anywhere without taking a laptop and or a tablet with me and that trip was not an exception to the rule. One evening I took out my iPad to charge it. My mother saw it and immediately asked about it. She's thinking about buying, in her words, "a little laptop for me because John (my step father) hogs the computer sometimes." She wants it mostly for checking her email, looking at pictures of her grandchildren, making photo collages of her grandchildren (she might be Snapfish's number one customer), and Skyping with her grandchildren.

Before she buys anything my mother does a ton of research and she was curious to see "what the big deal is about iPads." So I handed her my iPad and let her do whatever she wanted to do with it. She even got into my Facebook account on it which, as George Costanza would say, meant worlds were colliding!

After thirty or so minutes of using the iPad my mom gave it back to me and said, "this could get addicting." But she still had questions like, "is this any better than a laptop?" And most importantly for this context, "why are schools buying these instead of laptops?" (My mother works with elementary school special education students). I gave her my thoughts, but what would you say to my mother about iPads?

The Week in Review Featuring the World's Largest Buffalo

This year I seem to have accidentally started a new hobby. I've started going slightly out of my way whenever possible to snap pictures of some of the world's largest things. Last weekend I was passing through North Dakota on my way to Saskatchewan when I saw a sign for "the world's largest buffalo." I had to stop and take a picture. I don't have any plans for seeing the world's largest anything this weekend, I'm going to a football game instead. Wherever you are in the world, I hope that you have something fun planned too.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Do the Two Step to Protect Your Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box Files
2. 37 Crash Course U.S. History Videos
3. Text 2 Mind Map - Type to Create Mind Maps
4. Create a Video Star on Your iPad
5. Use Hello Sign to Add Your Signature to Google Drive Files
6. Science Netlinks - Dozens of Online Learning Activities
7. The Electoral College in Plain English

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Friday, October 12, 2012

iSideWith Helps You Pick a Presidential Candidate

With the U.S. Presidential Election less than one month away many schools across the United States will be hosting or participating in mock elections over the next few weeks. iSideWith could help your students identify a candidate whose ideas they are most likely to agree with. Students work through a series of questions on issues of social welfare, economics, science, and international affairs. Based upon their answers iSideWith shows students how similar or different they are compared to six presidential candidates.

Applications for Education
If you're hosting a mock election in your school, your students might want to use iSideWith to learn a bit about all of the presidential candidates not just Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

Waterlife - An Interactive Story About Water

Earlier this week I shared a couple of animated stories about the water cycle. This morning I spent some time exploring Waterlife which was shared by Jen Deyenberg on Twitter yesterday. Waterlife is an interactive story about the water cycle in the Great Lakes. Waterlife is a twenty part story through which students can learn about the role of water in our lives. Through the story students learn about things like fishing, pollution, invasive species, wetlands, and the politics of water conservation.

When students select a part of the Waterlife story they will be able to hear narration, see visuals, and read the text of the story. Some parts of the story also contain links to external resources that student can explore.

Applications for Education
Waterlife is based on the Great Lakes, but it is applicable to just about any lesson on the water cycle. After exploring some of the water management issues of the Great Lakes have your students research the issues of water management in your area.