Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

ComfyPage part 2

So ComfyPage is still pretty cool. We editing the pages you can add it some free widgets. Others require an upgrade. Fortunately, all the free stuff is pretty good. When you edit the page you get a window to type away that can also let you edit the HTML. It has a few more buttons than the Blogger tool.

I could see my students getting into pages like this. Especially if they can add things like thermometers, used to show progress. Hopefully I can turn on the editing feature and turn it into my wiki.

So for fun I embedded a nice little game.

Check out my page

Todo Part 2

So at first I thought this web 2.0 tool was awesome and it would help everyone. Then I got to thinking. Haven't I seen this before. Todo lists are in email programs. At first I thought, well maybe its only in outlook and paid email. Then I could rationalize the need for this tool.

However, I opened up my old Hotmail account and sure enough in the calendar page there was a todo list. This means at least one free email service provides the same features at Todo.ly.

My personal recommendation is that if your students are willing to sign up for a Todo account (which requires an email) then they should just use their email's online todo list. I could maybe see this with younger students who still share emails with parents, but if they are young enough to still share email with their parents, shouldn't the parents also be monitoring their todo lists.

So I guess in the end, neat tool but not need for it.

Monday, July 12, 2010

ComfyPage



Well if this website isn't' easy to use then I do not know how to define easy. The website simply gives you all these possible templates to use. You can have a menu on the left, or top or even on the right. So I can make pages here without problems. I know coding by hand gives you a certain rush but this makes life easier to plan with students.

This service allows you to have certain pages password protected. For example, the link to your contact information can be protected. With my students I could see myself creating a list of passwords for say our school paid databases and password protect them.

The other awesome feature I noticed for my classroom is that I can give other people the permission to edit my page. That means I can turn this site into a wiki if I really wanted to. So I can only imagine you are reading this and getting excited about the versatility of the site as well. There is a little caution with a site like this. It tries to have you adverstise yourself with the idea that you can password protect your information. Like facebook, its unprotected until you click to enable the password.

http://www.teach-nology.com/tutorials/design_site/ is a site that helps teachers think about how to design your sites for appropiate class use.

Todo.ly



Todo is an online free task manager. It is extremely easy to set up. I am hoping that I am able to convince some students to use this web 2.0 tool. I find myself leaving myself post it notes around my classroom or I email myself reminders. The problem is that I still forget to write them down on a calendar. This task manager allows you to set due dates. It also lets you create some of your own categories which will allow your students to make a category for each subject. This will help them to hopefully stay organized. In my school we have given students agenda books but they always get lost or stolen because they double up as passes. I am hoping that an online tool like this will prevent students from losing their agendas.

http://www.thehighschoolgraduate.com/editorial/US21things.htm is a list of 21 things that will help students become successful in their first year of college. Most of this list involves organization. I feel as a high school teacher it is my moral obligation to help give my students the tools to get organized which will help them become successful after high school.

http://www.brighthub.com/education/homework-tips/articles/35089.aspx is a blog entry that also describes how organization can help any student achieve better. These are important skills for students to learn. That is why I am pushing this technology. I have learned this the hard way in life. I have missed appointments and turned in assignments late (undergrad of course). I lucked out in life and was able to bounce back. I fear that our students will not be as lucky as more and more employers can make unorganized workers into jobless workers.

Picnik part 2

Well I have had a chance to play with Picnik a little more. I am finding that its ability to edit photos is nice but there are more uses than that. By editing a photo our students can re-size them to smaller images and crop out unnecessary details. This will make some student projects smaller in size when they create there PowerPoints with too many graphics. I thought about this when I was cleaning out my hard drive of some old student projects with extremely large files built in.

If Picnik isn't for you or if its blocked you can always try LunaPic or Splashup.

Happy editing.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Picnik

Picnik is another web 2.0 tool shown to me at the ISTE conference. It is a web 2.0 tool that allows the user to upload an image form their computer or from their social network and edit it. The editing tool is not as advanced as Photoshop or PhotoDraw but it is online so students can use it from home.




In my classroom, I have PhotoDraw and in the labs I have Photoshop so I would not use it during school hours with my students. This would be great software for students at home.

Advantages include that there is no download required. Another is that no login is needed. Disadvantages include that some features require the premium service. The site advertises the premium rate as $24.95 per year. That is not terrible in my opinion, however if I was a student that wanted advanced features I would use the software packages at school.

Below you can see my big bear picture from outside the conference center before and after using Picnik. (I used only the free version)