Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Geo Game & Text Messaging Idea #iteach

OK, it is 3:00 on December 23rd, with 20 minutes before Christmas break. Why do all my most creative ideas happen when I know I won't be able devote energy to them for at least 2-5 days? Grrr!

So, here is my big Eureka!:

Two tools I have know about for a while now but have not given too much thought to are uMapper and JotYou. uMapper allows you to create your own Google Map-like embeddable maps with pushpin markers and other information. JotYou is a free text messaging service that allows you to send text messages that are location based. Basically, JotYou lets you send messages to anyone on your contact list who is within so many feet/meters/yards of a specific GPS coordinate. It also lets you set times on those messages so they are delayed or persistent. These two tools used in conjunction could be used to create highly engaging geo games.

Here are just a few, off the top of my head, applications:
  1. Create an adventure based on a piece of literature (ex. Turn your school grounds into Mordor).
  2. Historical tour.
  3. Scavenger hunts.
It is now 3:15 and I need to go. If you can think of any other creative uses of these two tools please leave a comment.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New Additions to the Digital Backpack #edchat #edtech

I spent some time today updating the Digital Backpack. Here are the new additions (some new tools, other ones have been around a while but I am just now getting around to adding them):
  • - Google Custom Search of Ning Sites
  • - Generates graffiti style text
  • - make your digital photos look like Polaroid™-style images
  • - Make your own beatbox music online
  • - free online utility to grab and validate all the links from a web page
  • - make free calls to telephones from your web browser (no downloads)
  • - video search engine that searches across multiple video hosting sites
  • - experimental tag-based video search engine
  • - test your website on multiple browsers from one site.
  • - make still pictures talk with comical moving mouths.
  • - Free wiki host. Allows you to create web pages that anyone with a password can quickly and easily edit. Great for community knowledge construction and information gathering.
  • - Post Tweets to your Twitter account via a phone call (voice).
    - Capture your Tweets in a PDF ebook.
    - Twitter visualization tool that lets you see how people on Twitter are connected
  • - publish rss feeds to your Twitter account
  • - Twitter search engine.
  • - Twitter Analytics
  • - Flash based image editor that looks and feels like a slimmed down version of Adobe Photoshop.
  • - Great collection of tools that includes an audio editor, video editor, cartoon creator, and mindmapping tool.
  • - Simple web publishing tool: copy and paste content then click publish
  • - Simple web-based animation creation tool.
  • - Simple web-based animation creation tool.
  • - Create an RSS widget for your website, wiki, or profile.
  • - combine multiple RSS feeds into one
  • - Online Spreadsheet Calculator
  • - real-time text collaboration (Etherpad replacement)
  • -Sound Search Engine
  • - Upload photos and add goofy stuff to them.
  • - free audiobook podcasts
  • - Location-based text messaging service (sends texts to your friends only if they are within a certain area)
  • - flash-based mindmapping and flowchart maker
  • - Videos for kids to learn from organized by subject
  • - Search engine that looks where other engines don't including popular research databases.
  • - URL shortening service that also allows you to upload and distribute files
  • - Turn lengthy URLs into short ones
  • - Turn lengthy URLs into short ones
  • - similar image search
  • - Merges multiple versions of the same document and shows you where differences exist.

Add This To Your Blog, Wiki, or School Website:

Embed Code

<a href="" ><img width="115" border="0" src="" /></a>

If you know of any free online tools that should be in the Digital Backpack please let me know by making a comment on this post.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Weekly Tech Tip - Twitter for Teachers

Twitter is quickly becoming a valuable and popular tool for teacher professional development. This week's TIES conference was a testament to that. This week's tech tip is a beginner's introduction to Twitter for Teachers.

Tech Tip:

Presentation by Caitlin Cahill (presented at the TIES conference) on Twitter for Professionals:

Twitter-Related Links:

TIES Conference Roundup: