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Tuesday, 21 September 2010

The Power of Prezi, on Social Bookmarking

This came through on Twitter a few minute ago, from Shamblesguru. The following is not only a great demo about the importance of Social Bookmarking tools Not only does it spotlight one of the best of the bunch- Diigo, but it is also a prime example of how to truly harness the power of Prezi. Just look at how cleverly this presentation has been put together.

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Sunday, 19 September 2010

Using the Collaborative Power of Google Calendars

I finally got my students to begin making use of their Google Calendars this month. We set up the lesson timetables, added interesting calendars, created birthday, friend and team calendars and of course made it all look pretty with cute backgrounds. Animated backgrounds soon became the rage once we discovered we could use GIFs.

All of this was pretty powerful in itself, but then we took things a step further. We created calendars in which to place the different cultural events happening around the country, during September, El Salvador's month of Independence celebrations. The kids invited their classmates to collaborate on their calendars with them and very quickly it became clear that they would be able to get the task done with little hassle, learn about the various events happening around the country and be able to share me into their calendars so I could then print them off  and post them all over the Learning Resources Centre. I was intending to post them all over the school, but dissuaded myself from it due to point number 2 below.

There are two things that would have made this an even more powerful experience:
  1. The cool backgrounds don't transfer across, which I understand as they would overwrite the backgrounds of those who are shared in. There could however be an option to choose between backgrounds for different calendar views and printing.
  2. It would be awesome if we could print off descriptions in month mode or week mode, brief as they may be, so that people would have a better idea of what the events entail. I couldn't find a way to do this, so ours are very basic print outs.
All in all, Google Calendar is a great tool and kids as well as teachers should be encouraged to make better use of it.

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Spring Note-Cool Collaborative Tool

I have been on the outlook for another cool collaborative tool, one that requires a very low learning curve so that students can just jump in and work with it.
Today I finally found a moment to look through my Diigo groups and came across, among many things, Spring Note.

Spring Note is a wikish sort of tool, that is set up with templates for to do lists, members, discussion, and links.  Now,  you could easily set up a wiki template to do the same job, but SpringNote has already done this for you. The options vary depending on the type of notebook you wish to create.
It comes with a nice WYSIWYG editor which allows you to embed code for maps, video and slide shows and more. It certainly is worth a go if you are planning on engaging in work of a collaborative nature.
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Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Moving On

Blogger (service)Image via WikipediaI have finally made the decision to move on.  I  am very thankful to Edublogs for having provided a home for my blog during these past 3 years, but mine remains a free account. As the options have been repeatedly reduced  from free accounts over the last year, so too has my patience with the situation waned. As our school  is a Google Apps institution, it makes better sense for me to move forward with Blogger, which will soon become a part of our Apps Accounts. It also links in nicely with other Google Apps that we use with our blogs at school. In fact I am now officially climbing down, not without pain, from my Edublogs soapbox. I will now be promoting Blogger at school for all new blogs.
Those who already oversee one of our many school Edublogs accounts may also find themselves switching over, unless their departments are on board with shelling out the cash to keep their Edublogs in top form.
If anybody knows of a way to migrate (as some might say backwards) from Edublogs to Blogger, I would really appreciate a brief explanation, or link to a tutorial.
If interested, this is the link to my new blog.
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