Thursday, July 10, 2008

iPods in Education

Still sifting through the tons of information from NECC. Today, I ran across this resource for Uses of iPods in Education by Tony Vincent. He is passionate about education using portable technology such as iPods and cell phones. His site includes lesson plans that utilize portable technology such as having students create an audio guide for a zoo or museum. It also has information about how to use your iPod for quizzing. One thing that I learned on his site that I didn't know is that you can export a PowerPoint slideshow to save each slide as a jpeg image. These images can be used as flash cards on the iPod.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Presenting with Text

I ran across this presentation on SlideShare. It's called Presenting with Text. It deals with appropriate ways of presenting text in a presentation. It's very visual and has excellent points.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Here's a cool online tool for making word collages. It's Wordle. You just type in a list of words and it puts them in a collage. The more times a word appears, the larger it will be in the collage. It also distinguishes between the way that the word is typed (caps vs. lower case). This could add interest to any document or presentation. Here's one that I created. It expresses my sentiment.

Magic Pen

I discovered this while exploring another site. It's called the Magic Pen. It is similar to the Line Rider game. The object here is to get the red ball to hit the flag(s). You do this by drawing shapes such as circles, triangles, etc. You can even connect objects using pins and hinges. This has a lot of math and physics concepts and it's fun. The game continues for several levels with each level more difficult than the previous.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Virtual Museum

One of my favorite presentations from last year was on using PowerPoint to make a virtual museum. I made this a major assignment for the students in my education technolory course. I looked at this presentation again and got some new ideas. One project featured an elevator that transitioned from one scene to another. I had one student make his museum with a moving floor so that it seemed you were actually moving through the museum. I had another student include an object in a box and make the box transparent so that it could be seen but not "touched".

This year's version of the museum actually contains pictures of real people. They took pictures of themselves in observing poses and were able to paste these images into the museum scene. This could easily be acheived by using a bluescreen background so that the people images don't have to be cleaned up. Otherwise, you will have a lot of editting to do in photo editting software.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

What Impact Can Pen-Based Technology Have in Your Classroom

I attended a session on Workshop on the Impact of Pen-based Technology Education (WIPTE and the DyKnow (Dynamic Knowledge) software. This concept/software is used in classes where students use pentop computers. The teacher uses the software to present information to the students. What the teacher is presenting shows up on each student's computer. The teacher can annotate the slides and control what is viewed on the students' monitors by releasing the pages one at a time. The teacher's annotations appear on the students' screens as they are made.

Students can also make annotations. They can submit their panel for the teacher to review. The teacher can choose to display some of the panels for review by the class without revealing the owner of the panel. The panels can also be submitted for the teacher to make comments at a later time and to return to the students.

The teacher can choose to give control to a student so that the student can make annotations from his/her computer while the class watches. The class can also share a single panel. That is multiple students can make annotations on a single panel while the class watches on the classroom screen and their individual screens.

The DyKnow software allows teachers to ask multiple choice questions and display the distribution of the student answers. It also allows the teacher to lock one student's or all students' screens by displaying on each computer an "attention" screen.

Students can print their notes, save them to USB or access them from the internet.

During the mock health lesson, the instructor had the class highlight important concepts in the narratives, answer questions about the concepts and draw Venn diagrams illustrating the connection between two diseases. It was very engaging for the students and kept their attention. Not only were they presented the information, but they were asked to process it right away. Additionally, students are able to see the notes and responses that they have made and the key responses that the teacher revealed later.

NECC 2008

Hi from San Antonio! I'm here attending the National Education Computing Conference. This conference is almost everything that is education and technology. There are workshops, poster presentations and training sessions from educators. There's also an amazing exhibit hall. You could spend three whole days in just the exhibit hall. I know that I'm going to leave with a ton of ideas and resources. I'll be posting in this blog to keep track of what I'm finding. Here's a couple of shots of the exhibition floor.

This is just a partial shot. From the middle of the floor, it extends for farther than the eye can see. You can stay at one display for hours since they have multiple presentations for you to see. It is truly amazing. This year, I'm missing Google. They don't have a booth. I was hoping to find out some more about their super line up of products like Google Earth, web page creator and of course Blogger. However, there's still plenty to see. I'll be posting some of it here.