Archive for April, 2008

Web Wandering Wednesdays – April 16

Need Pictures:CompFlight

Comp Flight – http://compfight.com/

  • What is it?  Searches Flickr for photos for the term you give it.  The results are returned on one page in thumbnail form instead of a list of images that you have to page through in Flickr.  Hold your mouse over an image and you can see the image resolution information. 
  • What are applications for it in the classroom? –  Great if you need pictures for a presentation, but don’t want to spend forever looking. 
  • Tips:  Don’t save from the results page -those images are thumbnails only and the resolution is VERY low.  Not kid friendly on the searches so be careful about terms and who is searching.

NARA on Google: http://video.google.com/nara.html

  • What is It? – The National Archives has teamed up with Google Video to digitize it’s file collection.  Includes footage from NASA, United Newsreels and Department of the Interior.
  • What are the applications for the classroom?  Videos can be added to any presentation or be used in a teaching just as you would United Streaming.  Example: You can stream or dowload video from the past to show students what was happening when the novel you are reading was set.

Library of Congress Pictures on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/library_of_congress/

  • What is It?– The Library of Congress teamed up with Flickr earlier this year to make it’s collection of photographs available.  You can search within this collection to find historical photos on sports, lifestyle or political events.
  • What are the applications for the classroom?–  Anywhere you need pictures to illustrate a point being taught.  Great for Powerpoints, PhotoStory presentations, etc.

Timeline Software:

Mnemograph – http://mnemograph.com/ – Instructions: http://mnemograph.com/instructions/

  • What is it?– Creates online timelines that are interactive. Mnemograph Photos and text can be imported in.
  • What are applications for it in the classroom? – 

 XTimeline – http://www.xtimeline.com/

  • What is it?– Create your own online timelines or view those that have been created.
  • What are applications for it in the classroom? – 
  • Has pre-made timelines for viewing
  • Editors can be added to the timeline
  • Create a class time lines (see above)
  • Thanks to http://techchicktips.net/ and http://www.techedknow.com/ for sharing these resources!

    Attention Ridgeview Middle School Subscrbers:  If you let me know you read this before I send it out to the campus, there are prizes for having subscribed!   Leave a comment about one of the resources, or send me an email to claim it.  Thanks!

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    Embedding videos on your web page

    Guest Blogger: Marlin Parrack

    Alongside auditory and tactile/kinesthetic, visual learning styles are well represented among a majority of learners. Most students respond well to and are engaged by moving visual images. One way to reach this audience is through the use of web-based videos from a variety of sources, including the popular site YouTube. In this posting, I will share with you how to embed videos on your TeacherWeb page.

    You may embed a video in most any page that you have already created, as long as it will accept html code (hyper text markup language–the “formulas” for creating content on a web page). If you would like to dedicate a page to videos and accompanying text, simply create a new page through the “Update Index” feature of TeacherWeb, choosing the button “Add/Delete/Rename Pages” and then clicking on “Add Pages” on the left-hand sidebar. A good choice for page type is the All Purpose page. Click on the expand (“plus sign”) button and name the page “Videos” or as you wish. Submit the page change, and you should see the new page when you return to your site index.

    Click on the icon for your video page, then click on the top divider bar to edit the page. Now it’s simply a matter of inputting the embedding information for your chosen videos. Video sites such as YouTube will usually have an embedding code, which is a long series of html codes and numbers which you needn’t worry about understanding. Simply copy the entire code and paste it on your video page, and you’ve embedded the video onto your page!

    If you wish to add text, just type where you want it to appear in relation to the video (above or below the code).

    Advance use:

    You can change the font and/or the color of the text by adding <font size=X color=Y> before the text, where X=2, 3, 4, 5, etc. and Y=blue, red, purple, etc. (or you can find codes for all shades imaginable, just Google “RGB codes”). Be sure and close the code using </font> after the text with the desired characteristics.

    You may also want to alternately center or left-justify your videos and/or text by adding the code <div align=center> or <div align=left> before the text and video code. [It is a good idea to “close” the current code before switching to another setting, by using a forward slash, e.g. </div align>.]

    If you would like to see an example of a TeacherWeb page with videos, please visit my site at http://teacherweb.com/TX/RidgeviewMS/MParrack/h6.stm
    [includes advanced html features not discussed in this posting].

    Notes:

    • Whenever you submit TeacherWeb pages that contain html code (identified by the <> bracket types) it will warn you of use of the greater than sign. You can ignore this warning and view your page.

    • You are not simply linking to the video on the host site, you are putting the actual video on your page. However, students may be able to click on suggested videos on the embedded screen after the primary video has played. Always remind them they should not watch materials not approved by you. And, of course, monitor use so that inappropriate images are not accessed.

    • Videos on YouTube and other similar sites are often taken down, modified, or may require additional plug-ins not available on every computer. Be sure and check your embedded videos often to verify they are still working and have not become “dead.”

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    Web Wandering Wednesdays – April 9th

    This is the first installment in what I hope to be a weekly series of cool websites to check out.  I stumbled across this link today and I am totally hooked as to what it could do for teachers!

    http://drop.io – Want a way for students to turn in files to you online?  Maybe a place where they can load their files and then access them later?  Drop.io is a free website that allows you to store up to 100MB of files online.  You can download all the files from the website as a zip file, or set the files to be deleted after a set period of time of non-use.  The program also has the ability to be added to a blog as a widget.  I have added it to the side bar of this blog, so check it out! 

    One word of caution:  Students can see each other’s work and can download each other’s files for their own use.  That has good and bad features to it.  If you didn’t want students to see what others have posted, consider hosting it through a blog and naming your box something out of the ordinary so students don’t know where to go look.  (Ex.  Naming it MrsYoung or Young would be way too obvious!)   You also want to make sure that you are following AUP policies at all times!  So be careful of students names written as file names and on the documents themselves and don’t make this a requirement.  I would be happy to talk this out and help set it up for anyone who would like to know more.

    So what do you think?  Would you use it?  What would the downfalls be?  What are the advantages?

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    TurningPoints in Action

    So now that you have seen how to create a presentation, the question remains, “What type of presentations should I make?”

    Here are some ideas and examples taken from teachers on campus:

    • Quizzes or Tests– While I never recommend running a  test or quiz completely on TurningPoints, it is a good way to gather information from students after the test as to what they did answer and how the class fared as a whole.  The class data can be used to determine what needs to be retaught and what does not.  You can also look at the per student results by using the “Reports” feature under the “Tools” menu.
    • TAKS Review – Putting TAKS like questions up and having the ability to go over test-taking strategies and to see how the kids are thinking is a powerful tool.   The 2004 and 2006 Released TAKS tests have been created for you.  Let me know if you need a copy of those.
    • Reviews for Tests – Several teachers have created Jeopardy Review games in Turning Points.  You can group the class into teams and track to see how the teams are running.
    • Teaching Slides with Check for Understanding Questions – Present several slides of information and insert question slides to see how well the students are following along with the discussion, or learning the concept.  Here is an example of this from the 8th Grade US History Teachers: Indian Removal Act.

     So what are some other ideas of using Turning Points in your class?

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    New Home

    Welcome to the new home of Robin’s Technology Tips.  I am still playing with the settings of WordPress and learning about themes, plugins, etc, so expect to see some changes along the way.
    One thing I have found over the last week is that web and blog  hosting is doable, it just take a bit of time.

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