Friday, August 5, 2011

Another interesting use of Video

Tools for the Flipped Classroom

Camtasia Studio
not free, but incredible piece of software!

the free "little brother" of Camtasia

Community Clips
MS no longer allows would place on our web server or in Bb

Blackboard Collaboritive Classroom Tools -- recently purchased Elluminate...not sure if that will be in our version of Bb

Smart Notebook software

free screen recording software

similar to Jing, but no software to install

Camera and MovieMaker
Ken's project for this week!

Hilary and Lindsay's new acquired skills:)

Khan Academy and Flipped Lessons

Latest Internet Crazes...until tomorrow

ATube Catcher and Format Factory

A number of people have been using Atube Catcher software this week.  For those of you that don't know, Atube Catcher, as well as a number of other sites and pieces of software, will allow you download clips from YouTube and a number of other sites.  Some of us (me included) just feel better knowing that we have a local copy of video file.  You never know when a video will go offline or when the network will go down....most likely just as you are getting ready to show a YouTube video.

The same software will allow you download and convert the YouTube to a number of file formats that may make the videos compatible with other pieces of software.  You can convert to avi and then edit the videos in MovieMaker and you can convert the video to an mp3 if you only need the audio.

Atube Catcher ( is free software.  The software usually asks to install an additional "free" tool when you install.  Read carefully as you install because you do not want to install the additional piece of software.

Another nice piece of free software is Format Factory.  This software allows you to easily convert from one audio or video format to another audio video format.  As you know, Windows and Apple don't always play nicely together and having this software allows easy conversion.

Format Factory is free at:

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

One Teacher's Experience with Backchannel (aka Cool Cat Teacher)

  • Initially kids treat it like a playground
  • I noticed that the verbally "quiet" students were quite loquacious in chat.
  • The verbal students did not contribute as much.
  • It is a great, immediate way to take notes and correct thinking.
Read the complete post (linked above) get more information on her experience.

Backchanneling Defined and a Double Edge Sword

A backchannel is a line of communication created by people in an
audience to connect with others inside or outside the room, with or without the
knowledge of the speaker at the front of the room. Usually facilitated by Internet
technologies, it is spontaneous, self-directed, and limited in time to the duration
of a live event. A backchannel can be constructive when it enhances and extends
helpful information and relationships, and it can be destructive when it articulates and amplifies counterproductive emotions and sentiments. 
A double-edged sword
The early adopters discovered things that still hold true about the backchannel; 
specifically, that it can be constructive when it
• Enhances the information coming from the speaker, as people take notes, add 
commentary, and provide additional resources to what is being said at the front 
of the room.
• Connects people within a room, building communities around ideas.
• Connects people with others outside the room, as those not attending use technology to follow the dispatches from the live events, engage in conversations, 
and even directly ask questions of the presenters.
• Gives a speaker a new way to reach a wider audience.
• Provides a valuable archive of information to review after the event.
But they also found that a backchannel can be a double-edged sword, because it can 
be destructive when it
• Creates distraction as audience members pay attention to the backchannel more 
than the front of the room, or when the conversation strays to topics unrelated to 
the presentation at the hand.
• Leaves out of the conversation presenters or other audience members who are 
unaware or unable to join, creating a sense of unfairness because they have no 
way to respond to comments and criticisms.
• Lacks the ability to convey the full context for what is happening in a room 
because of the brevity of posts.
• Allows a rude or snarky tone to take hold of the conversation when people say 
things online that they would not say directly to a presenter.

Atkinson, Cliff. The Backchannel: How Audiences Are Using Twitter and Social Media and Changing Presentations Forever.. Upper Saddle River, NY: New Riders Press, 2009. Print.

Backchanneling Tools

Tools for Backchanneling:

Google Forms FollowUp

I've already seen some great uses of Google Forms and I know people are coming up with great ideas.  Here is a page of Google Form templates (meaning you can use the form for yourself) as well as a great list of more than 70 other ideas how a classroom teacher can use Google Forms in the classroom.

The above post was written by Tom Barrett.  Tom writes a series of wonderful  "interesting ways to use...." based on various tools.  They are great to review to stretch your thinking on how to use many of the new tools you are learning to use or already use.

Check out his complete series at:

OneNote 2010

As discussed earlier in the week we have upgraded to Office 2010 which means a new version of OneNote.  I know just as you were getting used to OneNote we get a new version.

Don't fret I think you will like the new OneNote as it has nice improvements....especially if you are using a new tablet that runs Windows 7.

New features include:
(this isn't the original page actually a highlighted version using page is at:

**For those of you who are brand new to OneNote I would recommend you work your way through the Notebook called OneNote Guide that is placed on your machine when OneNote is installed.  Once you open OneNote you will see this notebook open on the left.

Marshmallow Challenge

Watching the collaboration during the Marshmallow Challenge was fun and informative.  Perhaps you might want to try the same activity with your students.  Here is the link to the project with instructions as well as the TED video.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Collaborative Drawing Tools


More Funny Data Graphs

Betsy shared some funny graphs from  With all the graphing done this week I thought you'd enjoy seeing graphing is for more than test scores.

How to make a Twitter feed or search an RSS feed

I also shared this in class today and the idea really works for me.  Although I do like and sometimes use Tweetdeck for finding interesting information on Twitter I still generally rely on my Google Reader habit of blogs.  Creating an RSS feed of a Twitter topic combines both in one tool.  This librarian has an article on how to do it. Doing so allows you to get both Twitter and other feeds in Google Reader.  As Martha would say...."it's a good thing".

Tuesday after class pt 1

One of the resources I shared today was Alec Couros's wonderful networked teacher graphic in the form of a Voicethread.

The resource may be found at:

Web Smackdown Choices

I have created a Typewithme document that will allow you to select the site you will learn and present.  Simply go to this site:
and put your name in parentheses like this: (mark)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Monday: After class

We poked around in Excel a bit today.  I have a few videos that will help you familiarize your with some of the new features in Excel 2010.

In addition, with thousands of videos added each day, YouTube itself has turned into quite a wealth of tutorial materials as well.  If you can't figure out how to do something don't be afraid to Google it and perhaps even search via YouTube and you might find a video of someone demonstrating the program.