Friday, March 30, 2007

Creating ePortfolios with Web 2.0 Tools

Some nice comparisons and examples of using different tools for e-portfolios by Helen Barrett.

These are not all exactly the same on different formats, however, this could be because of the affordances (abilities) of the different tools.

These are not the only tools out there, but it is a good representation of what's available. Also, she does not take advantage of the ability to embed audio, video, and images in the pages. The pages are largely text. I would suggest that you utilize these evironments to much more with visual design and multimedia


Monday, March 26, 2007

Whip Learns to Golf

Even if you are not a golfer, take a look at this. Thanks to Bee for pointing this out.

This uses one person's experience with learning to play golf as a vehicle for discussing learning theory. It is a really interesting way to do this.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

4 Corners Broadband: You Only Live Twice

This is an impressive documentary by the Australian Broadcasting Company on Second Life. It is easily the broadest, yet most in-depth look at Second Life that I've ever seen. It is a must see for anyone interested in this phenomenon.

They hit on so many different aspects of the service and the culture growing up around it, I'm just amazed.

* NOTICE - There are some adult themes in the documentary when they discuss adult content in the 3-D world.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

NTeQ Lesson plans

I have no clue what NTeQ stands for, but it is aimed at helping teachers integrate computer technology into their classrooms. It is run by Gary Morrison (big name in Educational Technology) and Deborah Lowther.

There are a ton of lesson plans here organized by grade and topic. I found some real gems in there, however, the biggest problem is that many are incomplete and nearly all of the Foreign Language ones (including ESL) are missing objectives...come on teachers!

That being said, many are really good and include what to do and what technologies to use. They are also not overly prescriptive. They provide general suggestions that you can play with if you'd like.

There are lots of lesson plan repositories on the Web. Have you found any that you like?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Discussing Media Literacy With Dan Rather | PBS

While this is not a revolutionary posting, the simple fact that a person who has been welcomed into people's homes for 40 years as a journalist is commenting so elegantly on media literacy is of particular note.

I really like the way that Rather explains the need for media literacy as an essential part of education. This is the type of story that you would expect from one of those old, professors who have seen it all and see what's old becoming new again.

Media (or Information) literacy is one of the solutions that I advocate for dealing with the "problems" of inappropriate activities in online spaces from chat to MySpace. Telling students not to use them will work as well as the "Just Say No" campaign of the 80's (the generation preached to during that time showed unprecedented increases in drug use in the mid-90's). Educating people (I'd include adults on this) about the problems that occur in public (virtual) spaces and ways that they can protect themselves prepares them to engage the spaces and not just hide from them.

What's your view on this?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Rows of desks and lectures? Too old-school |

Could you see yourself in a "New Tech" school?

More schools are popping up under this model. I haven't heard much about them before and the paper provides a rather shallow review.

I would venture to guess that you are going to see more alternative models popping up over time and that this is one of many.

I would love to see some case studies on these schools. I want to know how they hire, fire, train, and instruct (of course the last one is of most interest). I'd also love to know if Dr. Reigeluth's (IU IST professor) Decature project is part of this. His is a large systemic change project with Decatur schools.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Everyone is commenting on this in the listservs and I assume that it's being blogged about quite a bit too. Time to unleash it on you all :)

This is an interesting project that uses Google Earth (which is a program you have to download to your computer) to map out the literary routes for a number of novels. I'm assuming that you will see many more in the next few years.

Go to the site for information, resources, including the .kmz files for use with Google Earth.

Also check out Google Certified Teacher program ( Looks interesting for those of you a little more ambitous on the technology end.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Wikis in the Classroom

Here is another fun and informative video by Cool Cat Teacher (

Monday, March 05, 2007

Humanity Lobotomy - Net Neutrality Open Source Documentary

This is a very interesting video on "Net Neutrality". If you don't know anything about it, look it up. This is the classic battle between freedom of information and governmental/corporate control of information. Attacks on this norm could kill innovation in online.

Save the Internet | Rock the Vote

Sunday, March 04, 2007

ImageChef - Customize Photos, Clip Art

Here's a neat site that enables you to customize some images for your blog, web pages, and so forth.

You might find this useful when designing buttons or other graphics for your WebQuests.

Online Video Industry Index

Interested in online video. Here is a resource provided by the Read/WriteWeb blog that can take you beyond a basic Google search.

Language learning and exercise - English360 Blog


Well I'm not sure if this qualifies, but it is certainly a neat idea. How would you like to sweat a little while learning Spanish? Check out this posting from english360.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Using Skype with your students

This is a neat video on using Skype with your students. It's mostly advice for setting up and managing Skype in class, but it's great information. The size of the video is too small to see details unfortunately, but it should be useful anyway.