And now on a personal note…

I usually post ed tech topics here, but every once in a while something comes along in my analog life that merits special attention. My son’s graduation from FIT this past week is one such event. So I’m posting the video here. I’ve condensed a raucous, rowdy, over-the-top three-hour fun ceremony into a five minute video. I hope my readers will appreciate my ability to condense. The great closing speaker was Joe Zee the Creative Director at Elle Magazine. All of the speakers were awesome, funny and BRIEF! But I particularly like Joe’s remarks. Plus, I really enjoy watching “It’s All On the Line” on the Sundance channel.

Anyways, congratulations to my magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa kid! Love you Daniel! ——>Your proud mom.

Doodling for Details…

This is a very cool Web 2.0 tool.  Check out Doodlebuzz

doodlebuzzI can see this being used for initial forays into new topics.  You plug in the subject in which you are interested, and then the site searches across the nation’s newspaper headlines for related articles.  You draw a doodle on the screen, and the headlines pop up.  Scan the headlines, choose one (at a time) and draw another doodle and Doodlebuzz delivers a summary of the article.  Want to know more?  Click on the article and draw another doodle.  The article is delivered to your Doodlebuzz screen.

Very cool.  How would YOU use it in the classroom? (or anywhere else for that matter…I have some film and knitting headlines I’d like to explore…)

Grab Some You Tube Video with Safari – no adds on needed

For those teachers using Macs you can “grab” and download those terrific You Tube videos you’d like to incorporate into your lessons but can’t access on your school network. Do this at home. If YYouTubeLogoou Tube is blocked (and it most definitely will be in most of our schools), this will not work at school. Unless you travel with your own network (i.e. Mifi, aircard, etc.)

Here are the steps:

* Find your You Tube video
* Open the video (that gets things moving)
* Go to the Safari menu bar at the top of the screen
* Click on Window
* Now click on Activity (a window will open showing whatever you have opened in Safari)
* Locate the You Tube Video and open it by clicking the little arrow to the left of the name.
* Scroll down and find the biggest file — it will probably still be downloading so you will see the numbers changing.
* Wait until it finishes loading.
* Hold the Option key and Double Click
* Voila! Your download window will open and you will be the proud recipient of a Flash download of your movie.

Now go forth and start building a library of really excellent videos to share with your students!

Thanks to CNET for the great video on this process!

Youblisher!

My colleagues and I have been searching for a way to display a self-published book or graphic novel on blogs and wikis and have it look like a real-life book, smooth page turning etc.  Until I found Youblisher,  the search was in vain.  All you need to do is upload a PDF (and if your document is NOT a PDF, go to PDFLite or one of the other free online converters), give it a title, description and tags and Voila!  You are given URLs (handy if you want to link your book to a Google map or just email a link) and embed codes. Once embedded, your readers just have to click on the image of the book in your post or on your page and they are whisked away to Youblisher Land, where digital books look and sound (yes you can hear the pages turning) like the real thing.  Awesome!

Suspending the Bill of Rights

A 360 Degree View of the World…

I love this new app SFERA (I think it came out in September 2010) for the iPhone/iPad. I’ve been thinking of how it could be used in the classroom — virtual fieldtrip comes to mind. Science applications. Creative writing. The possibilities are really exciting. The question I had was how to get the finished product off my iPhone and onto a computer so it could be shared. After playing around with it today, I found that you can upload and then get an embed code, share it on Facebook or Twitter, get a URL and mail the URL to your computer. Here’s a “from-the-swivel-chair view” of my workspace. Most of our team was out at site visits, which saved me from having to get their consents.

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Fourth Grade Color Poem Animation

This is the first of several color poem animations created by fourth graders using Frames. The students were given a brief introduction to the software and time to “play around” with it. The poems had been written earlier and the students then had to look for appropriate images with which to illustrate their work. Good job Carlos!