links for 2010-02-27

  • There were a number of issues that came forward, and the conversation was rich since, as a group, we were talking as knowledgeable peers, many already engaged in digital writing practices. Most notably, we thought about a number of issues related to the actual composition of digital texts, moving beyond the logistical questions that often come up (as important as they are) and into conversations about how and why students compose digital texts. Maggie captured one idea (and I am paraphrasing) in the idea that digital media allow us to create texts that are “long enough to accomplish goal, but also short enough to keep interest.” Then, throughout the day, there were three strands: social networking, collaborative writing, and visual studies. -Troy Hicks, author of Digital Writing Workshop
  • During an opening exercise during the first few days of a computer applications class, I noticed that my students (9-12 graders) had a hard time finding information online. Sure, they were all very adept at finding things on Wikipedia and Yahoo! Answers, but their search results were lacking. So, I put together a Google Docs presentation to help them get better search results with Google. -Derrick Waddell
  • The new series of videos is called YouTube 101. These videos are designed to introduce people to some of features of YouTube beyond simply watching videos. Some of the things the videos teach are how to share videos privately, how to upload videos, and how to create your own YouTube channel.
  • As I thought of and suggested to my Middle School Math teacher to create a Math wiki for her Pre-Algebra, Algebra & Geometry students, I wanted to write down my Thoughts on Setting up a Student Created Wiki, and document the steps of Setting up and Introducing a Collaborative Student Math Wiki.

    I feel strongly about the reason for working with this wiki. It is NOT about the tool (the wiki itself), but about the math and a long list of other skills that are being addressed and embedded.

    (tags: wiki wikis math)
  • facilitates the process of scriptwriting, providing a fully-functional online development environment including helpful predefined formats for screenplays, stage, sitcoms, audio and comic books. I love the interface, it’s very intuitive and seems to be just the thing to keep the aspiring screenwriter focused on what matters – characters, story, setting, etc. – rather than the technical stuff with formatting a document properly. The screenwriting COMMUNITY however is what makes this site special. You can browse existing projects or share your own to get critical feedback from the writers, directors and actors who make up the site’s user base. Imagine being discovered here! Zhura offers a ‘Pro’ version more features including a removal of the ads and offline mode for just $5.99 / month, is incredibly easy to use. -Welcome to NCS-Tech!
  • “If you are the sort of person who wants other people to tell you what you need to learn, you’re going to be in a lot of trouble. If you are the type of person who will recognize your own needs and adapt your learning accordingly, you will see success.”
  • Need some global statistics to emphasize a point you’re trying to make in an ecology or civics lesson plan? Trying to drive home the point in a health-related lesson about the spread of disease or the scope of our ever-growing obesity epidemic? Then check out Worldometers, a real-time online ticker that tracks statistics ranging from food consumption, to energy use, to how much people spend on video games.

    The page is simple and sweet, nothing but statistics updated every second. Some of those statistics are a bit shocking in their size and how fast they grow — the global number of emails sent goes up by about a million a second! While it might be hard to formulate a classroom activity around the site, it certainly can open some student’s eyes as to how quickly things happen or are consumed on a global scale. -Instructify

  • Free web service for creating talking photos. First enter a title, then browse for the photo on your hard drive (accessing photo-sharing sites like Flickr or Picasa is still an anticipated feature). Can to keep private or go public. Press the Record button on the Flash Player to narrate, estimated 1 minute limit. All created Fotobabble’s can be found in our individual accounts where we can choose to delete them. We can share our Fotobabble via a host of social sharing sites and email. For instance, for Twitter, the link gets tweeted out and for Facebook, the Fotobabble plays on the Wall. If it’s message boards or instant messengers, then the provided link comes in use. The embeddable code also provided. -makeuseof
    I could see students narrating a pic of a 3D project or piece of art for the teacher to use to showcase their work online. Iphone app works great as well. Easy and fun way to share adventures with family & friends.
  • To understand what a meta search engine is, first you have to understand how a search engine works. The search engine visits billions of websites and creates a database or repository of sorts of the various sites. This is known as the index. Then whenever a user enters the search query, something magical happens (algorithms if you are a computer geek) and the pages that are deemed relevant to what you asked for are returned. Pretty simple, huh? If only you could improve those magical algorithms you could create the next Google (although Google is smart enough to hire you instead!).

    So now back to how a meta search engine works. Meta search engines don’t have a repository or index of their own, they take advantage of indices created by other search engines. In fact they present this as their strong point. A typical meta search engine pulls off the results from a number of search engines, say Google and Bing, and then apply their own algorithms in some cases to re-order the results.

  • Facebook recently added the ability to make each individual post or status update visible only to the people you want. Here we’ll show you how to use that feature in tandem with friends lists to get the most out of Facebook without worrying about stepping on any toes or sharing information with an unwanted audience.
  • 413 written, 121 video
  • Characteristics Of A Safe Password
    * it cannot be found in a dictionary.
    * it contains special characters and numbers.
    * it contains a mix of upper and lower case letters.
    * it has a minimum length of 10 characters.
    * it cannot be guessed easily based on user information (birthdate, postal code, phone number etc.)

    Create An Easy To Remember Base Password
    * Randomly replace letters with numbers, e.g. flirt becomes fl1r7.
    * Pick a sentence and reduce it to first letters of each word only, e.g. “Everything I Do I Do It For You” becomes EIDIDIFY.
    * Take a word and reverse spell it, e.g. neighborhood becomes doohrobhgien.
    * Don’t use common substitutions, e.g. @ for A/a.
    * When you have recurring letters within your password, mix your substitutions
    * Have a word and touch type it with your fingers in the wrong location.
    * Pick a pattern on your keyboard and type it with alternating use of the SHIFT key
    -see complete blog post for more tips

  • The Wishlist for Geeks!
  • Photoshop and Fireworks are awesome pieces of software, but they are not worth the hassle if all you want to do is create a quick graphic. SketchPad is an online drawing software that lets you do a lot of things you can do in Photoshop. You can create drawings from scratch and save them on your computer.

    SketchPad lets you insert gradients, patterns and text into your drawings. It has all the basic drawings tools including brush, shapes, fill, stamp, crop and marquee. Each tool has a variety of options so you can customize it to your desire. Another great feature that most of the other online drawing tools don’t offer is to view your complete history. If you decide to undo an action you did 5 steps back, simply click it on the history tab and it will be deleted.
    # Create drawings online and save them to your computer.
    # Insert shapes, texts, patterns and gradients.
    # View complete history of your actions and undo any of them.
    # No registration required.
    -makeuseof

  • Zentation aims to bring the advantages of a PowerPoint presentation to the web, by combining and syncing slides of Presentation with video. First, upload a video of yourself speaking. Then upload the PowerPoint presentation. Finally, tell the program at which points in the presentation you’d like to change slides.
    * Share your presentation with those who can’t physically make it.
    * Synchronize videos of presentations with the relevant PowerPoint slides.
    * Free version synchronizes with YouTube videos.
    -makeuseof
  • How to link your WordPress blog to Twitter, Yahoo Updates, or Facebook to publicize your new posts.
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