Thursday, October 25, 2007

Medieval Helpdesk

I came across this video clip today that made me laugh so hard I nearly fell out of my seat. I felt the need to share it.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Idea That Could Save School Districts Tens or Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars

I have an idea that I believe could save school districts tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars and and would be a better alternative to our buildings' phone systems. Most people know about Skype which allows users to make free phone calls to anyone in the United States or Candada. The problem with Skype, and the reason it would not be wise to replace our phone systems with it is there is no way for a person with a cell phone or land line to call you. The service I came across this weekend could be a solution to this. PrivatePhone is a free web 2.0 service that gives you a personal phone number that people can call to leave you messages. Those messages are sent to you either as an audio file attachment in your email or sent to your cell phone. The service is free and would allow people to contact you.

If each teacher were required to use their school issued email address to sign up for both a Skype account and a PrivatePhone number each building in the district would only need one landline for emergencies. This could save tons.

+ = FREE District Phone System

Friday, October 19, 2007

WebQuest in a Virtual World

I thought I would share with everyone a teaser for my capstone project I am doing for my MAED at Hamline. When it is complete it will comprise four WebQuests that exist within the virtual world of Active Worlds. In this video you see the environment students would visit for the first assignment on the first task of the first of these four WebQuests. I am trying to integrate as many different web 2.0 and peripheral devices as possible. So far in this task I have integrated virtual worlds, wikis, YouTube, and cell phone podcasting in a way that should feel seemless to students but giving them ways to influence this virtual environment while learning at the same time about art history, geometry, and drawing. I hope to have this all finished within a month but at the rate things are going it might be a bit longer.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Why We Need to Teach Technology in School

I created this short video as part of an assignment at Hamline University this summer. I uploaded it to my newly created YouTube account and within two days I had 156 hits. I was certainly impressed since I had only shown it once, and that was to my classmates in the continuing ed program. I am now near 900 hits and two people have actually taken the time to give it a rating. I guess this is illustrative of the power of web 2.0.

Waterless Lithography

Last year my students at Fridley ALC and I made this video. It is a step by step tutorial on how to make lithographic prints without a press and without harsh chemicals through a process called waterless lithography. While I do have it posted on my YouTube account I have not posted a link to it anywhere else. In the event an art teacher is reading this blog I felt I ought to post it here. It is also a good example of how teachers in any subject area can engage kids with digital video to improve learning.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Virtual Sistine Chappel - Second Life

I stumbled upon this fantastic environment this week while exploring in Second Life. It is a near perfect replica of the Sistine Chapel. Unfortunately I think it only exists in the adult grid but still impressive none the less. Even though a k-12 teacher couldn't take their students here "in world," they could still project this on a screen and take students on a virtual field trip this way. In some ways this is better than the real thing. At the Vatican you can't fly to the ceiling to take a closer look.