Thursday, June 28, 2007

Sifting Through NECC info

It's hard to believe that NECC has come and gone. My brain is still on overload from all that I saw. One of the things I've spent time doing since I returned was rummaging through the conference planner to find hand-outs from sessions I missed. For most all of the sessions, one can find links relating to the presentation. Even if you were unable to physically attend the conference there is still much to learn.

Pay close attention to Technorati

for blog updates.

Check out SlideShare
for online presentations. You can either mark them as favorites or download them where possible.

iTunes is hosting the NECC podcasts.

As I'm sifting through all of the info I've gathered, my next step is to determine how to use it with my staff. So much to little time.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Arrived Sunday in Atlanta - finally- after an endless traffic backup on I-20 on the way in. It wasn't exactly endless, but when you're anxious to get somewhere 45 minutes seems like days!

There has been lots to see and do here, the thing that has been most disheartening is that the things I wanted to see and do the most have been closed out. I was most interested in the Web 2.0/ School 2.0 info. Evidently, so is everyone else. I hope folks who did get into those sessions do a good job blogging what they saw so the rest of us can get the info.

I've learned a lot in the vendor area. For my own kids, the maker of POKEMON has created a Pokemon learning league. It's designed to be similar to the cartoon show. I can see my 8 year old going nuts over this.

The other thing I was able to try was the Samsung Ultramobile PC. I had wanted to see this in action. It's just way tooooooooo coooooooollllll! It has a 7 inch screen a 40 or 60 GB hard drive and can run any application that a "normal" pc can run. It has a thumb QWERTY keyboard on either side of the screen and a built in mouse. It also has touch screen capabilities. I'm putting that on my wish list for Santa this year!

Monday, June 18, 2007

NECC - The Countdown Is On!!!

The National Educational Computing Conference is taking place in Atlanta beginning June 24th. There is an awesome group of speakers and presenters!

This year's conference will not only have great things to offer attendees, but tons of "stuff" for folks who could not attend.

NECC, eSchoolNews, and EduBloggers will have attendees blogging about their conference experience. Take a peek at the NECC program for session tags that can be used to search for posts to blogs or Flickr.

There will be podcasts about the conference. I know the folks at will be hosting webcasts on site.

Check the NECC site periodically during or after the conference for updates on podcasts, SlideShare presentations and session handouts.


With all of the sites focused on collaboration and document sharing it is only natural for a site like SlideShare to become a terrific tool.

SlideShare is currently a free site that allows users to house and share presentations. There is a maximum file size of 30 MB. It supports the following formats: Powerpoint, OpenOffice, Keynote and PDF presentations.

SlideShare currently does not allow shows to be private or to be restricted to certain users. Anything posted can be viewed by anyone. Viewers can add the site to favorites, give a slide show a zing and post comments.

Presentations found on SlideShare can be embeded into a blog or website using the code they provide. Creators may choose to allow others to use their slides by including the source code for downloading purposes.

As with most of the tools classified as Web 2.0, SlideShare features online communities and groups.

Best of all, there are some great presentations out there that are fun to view and just might teach you a thing or two.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Pageflakes - Get it Together

Ever been to a website or a blog and seen Pageflakes listed in the subscribe section and wondered what it was?

Pageflakes is my favorite RSS aggregator. It combines feeds from blogs, DEL.ICIO.US, podcasts, and more.

Pageflakes makes the feeds look as if you are reading a newspaper. Users can set up tabs for each topic of interest. You can view headlines or exerts from blogs. So instead of scrolling through a massive list of feeds on some of the other popular aggregators you can flip through "pages" of content organized by topic. Setup is quick and easy.

Their newest feature is "Pagecasts". This allows users to make their pages public for others to view or for viewing by private groups.

If you're looking for one place to house all of your feeds then Pageflakes may be the one for you1

Yugma : Free Web Conferencing, Online Meetings, Web Collaboration Service, Teleconferencing Solutions, Presentation Software: home

Yugma : Free Web Conferencing, Online Meetings, Web Collaboration Service, Teleconferencing Solutions, Presentation Software: home

Yugma is one of my favorite collaboration tools. It is very simple to set up a session that allows you to show your desktop to others, share control and switch to view the desktop of the other participants. A live chat can be used for discussion purposes. Better yet, pair it with Skype for a live phone conference.

Monday, June 11, 2007

ThinkFree Online beta

ThinkFree Online beta

Looking for free software similar to the Office suite. Check out ThinkFree.

ThinkFree is an online word processor, spreadsheet and presentation tool that works similarly to the Office products.

With your free account, you receive 1GB of storage. The tool allows online collaboration as well.

The tool is completely online. I've only tried it with a high speed connection and am curious to see how it performs using a dial-up connection. Once school is back in session, I want to try it with a group in a lab setting to see if things are slower.

Overall, definitely worth a look.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Engrade Online Gradebook

Engrade Online Gradebook

I wish I had known about this at the beginning of this school year! I was surprised to find out that this was a free tool.

Set up is easy. You create your class, add students, set up your grading scale and you're ready to add assignments and grades. It took just a few minutes to have it up and running.

Not only does it calculate grades, it also allows the printing and emailing of progress reports, creates an assignment calendar, reports attendance. There is even a feature that allows parent and student access as well as access for principals and administrators.

If you're in need of a new gradebook, this is definitely worth a try.
After all, what do you have to lose? It's free!

Online Office Tools, Productivity Applications and more

Online Office Tools, Productivity Applications and more

I found this site when a teacher wanted to create an online form. It needed to be online quickly. It only took a few minutes to have a live form on the web complete with a place on Zoho to view the submitted data.

Zoho is an online productivity "suite". Features included:
Writer - word processor
Sheet- spreadsheet
Show - presentation tool
Notebook - (beta) - seems similar to Google Notebook
Projects - project management - free for 1 project
Creator - online form creator - I love this one!
Planner - organizer
Chat - unique way to share info

I've played around a little with some of the other tools, but have really used the Creator tool. If the other tools are even half as easy to use, this is definitely a winner!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Newsletter builder

Newsletter builder

This tool allows your to create your own newsletter without dealing with fussy templates found in various word processing software. Registration is free.

Click on Create to start your newsletter.
Drag and Drop your template. (There are 92)
Upload pictures to use. Drag and Drop them into place.
Add your text.

You can print the newsletter, save it to work on at another time or publish it online either privately or publicly.

The free version only allows 10 newsletters to be published at a time.

This is great for creating a classroom newsletter. It's very simple to use!

Online Spreadsheets - EditGrid

Online Spreadsheets - EditGrid

There are several different types of online spreadsheet sites available, but I like the features I've seen so far in EditGrid. The spreadsheet allows groups to collaborate on a worksheet. There are also several templates available that have been created by various users.

Definitely worth a look!

Monday, June 04, 2007

ReadWriteThink Printing Press

This is a cool tool that helps students create and print brochures, newspapers, flyers, and booklets.

Click on the link for the desired publication. Give the publication a name.
Click roll the presses.
Choose a layout.
A brief tutorial will appear to show students how to create their publication.
Click in the text boxes to add text.
You can add pages if necessary.
Click finish when done.
Select the appropriate printing option.

Two downfalls...
1. Will not allow students to place pictures on the page while online. Pictures have to literally be pasted to the final project.

2. Work would need to be done in one sitting or a page at a time. There doesn't seem to be a way to save the work.