Monday, September 24, 2007

Links for week of 9.24.07

So I'm taking a tech course and I need to come up with some project to share with the group also taking the class. I've done the data piece that I really wanted to check out (comparing our home grown reading assessment with the OAT as a predictor) and the results are very encouraging.

But I think there are so many other great things happening on the web that I want to share with people. For the past three years I have been reading quite a few blogs. Most of the blogs are edtech related...but some of lifehacks and a few are even music.

When I'm teaching my summer courses, people always ask me how I learned about some fo the different things I teach. Many times the answer is by reading my blogs online. Blogs are the best way to stay up to date with what is current on the web. I would like to try sharing some of these links on a regular basis with a few comments about them. I hope some people will find something valuable for their students or even their own life. So off to the links....

35+ Spectacular and Practical Time Saving Tips
Everyone (especially teachers) feeled pressed for time and need to feel like they are making the best use of their available time. This list of helpful tips gives some useful ideas on time savers. Some of my favorites are their tips for the parents. Getting your children to help out when possible is big. Everyone needs to do their fair share before bed. They also have some great ideas about handling the clutter that toys eventually become.....rotate them out! I wish my wife would take advantage of one of their shopping tips and that is to call ahead. Don't drive all over town to see who has what. If you are looking for something specific and you aren't sure the store will have it....but all means call them and ask. Of course, this is assuming you actually get someone at the other end that knows anything about customer service....but that will have to be a later post.
I'm not sure how they do this but Mango is a new service that tries to teach you foreign languages over the web. I registered and it appears to be idea how long that will last but pretty neat. Among their languages are Spanish, Russian, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Greek. They also have English for Spanish speakers and Polish Speakers. The world is shrinking and we are witnessing it. There was a time when we could get by not speaking multiple languages....but I'm afraid that time is fading fast. Get a leg up by learning with Mango. Lifehacker is one my favorite blogs. They post ways to use technology to enhance or simplify (not usually) your life. I just love the above little video they share. Did you know there is a difference between a battery and a cell? Well, I guess a battery is a set of cells. Check out this video and the hack they share for you to save some money on battery purchases. Turns out some of our batteries are actually just shells that hold smaller batteries. The big 6 volt batteries (you know the heavy ones) actually contain 32 AA batteries. You can save some money by buying the 6 volts batteries and just using the AAs.
I'll call this one the cool tool of the week. A wiki is a shared website....multiple authors can add content. Well, pikiwiki takes the wiki concept in another direction. It allows people to easily add text, videos, photos, and audio to the pikiwiki page they create. How cool is that?! A student can post a visual or perhaps a story they've written (with audio, of course) and ask others to comment on it. What a great way to work the editing process!