Software for 2010-2011

It’s that time of year again as last week we started working on our student computer image for the 10-11 school year here at ISB. Trying to find the best software for students is always difficult as there are so many things to consider. That’s what makes the Educational Software Wiki a great place to start when looking for what software you should consider for next school year. I encourage you to have a look and if you know of a piece of software that isn’t on the list, help others out by adding it. Simply click the “EasyEdit” button and fill in the...

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Games and Bugs

As our first Certificate of Educational Technology and Information Literacy program (COETAIL) draws to a close here at ISB educators are starting to put the finishing touches on their projects for the 5th and final course. They’ve been working all semester on putting into practice what we’ve been learning about the first 4 courses. They have been paired with a mentor (Kim, Dennis, and I) to help them create a unit or lesson to use in their classroom. We then schedule a time to go in and observer them using this rubric that the three of us created (worth checking out) based on the enduring understanding of all of the courses. Some of these projects have just blown me away. Take this Multi Cultural Games Wiki created by two of our PE teachers who have taken the course Andy and Kerry (check out their blogs to see how they’re using cell phones in PE Class as well). Students are outlining, filming and sharing cultural games from around the world….and Andy and Kerry invite your students to do the same and add to the wiki. They do a fantastic job of outlining for other educators the idea behind the wiki and how to get started in this youtube video. These are two PE teachers to follow and pass on to your own PE Department. Andy next year will be moving into the Athletic Directors role and with me moving to the High School next year, we’re already talking about ways to use technology even more to enhance our physical education program. Next up is a very tech savvy 1st Grade teacher who is finding ways to use the technology in his room to help teach a life cycles unit in science. Vu was one of the first teachers I connected with moving here to ISB a year ago and he continues to find ways to use technology with his 1st graders. Using technology in the early primary grades is where I struggle most in my own understanding. Vu’s been a great resource for me to go to, bounce ideas off of, and someone who is willing to explore crazy ideas on new uses of technology in the classroom. He’s created a blog for their life cycles unit here, and has found ways to take some amazing pictures with the document camera and digital microscope in his class. His students are...

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Looking for EduSoftware? We've got your Wiki

This is what I love about wikis. You start a site, create the structure for collaboration, invite a community and then stand back and watch as the community helps you create a site that you could never have done on your own. As a new school year begins I want to draw your attention once again to the U Tech Tips Wiki. A wiki were educators around the world share different tools they use in education. If you are looking for a free or low cost tool to do a specific function this is a great place to start. We even have different tools based on platforms. So if you are looking for a PC tool or a Mac tool, or even a Linux tool, we’ve got something there for you. Over the summer someone added an iPhone Apps page. SWEET! Another one of my favorite pages is the FireFox Add-on page. Where you can find some great FireFox add-ons that help you do your job or make your job easier (yes…there are even some that are just for fun). And PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE if you use an app that you don’t see on the list and think should be there, add it! Click the EasyEdit button on the page you want to add it on and type...

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Wetpaint.com ends free ad-free wikis for education program

It was fun while it lasted but as of August 11th Wetpaint.com will no longer be offering a free upgrade to ad-free status for educators. The news is as much a shock to me as it is to many of you. I was notified by the Director of Publishing at Wetpaint on August 4th about the change. Since that time I’ve been communicating with Wetpaint about this decision and my future role as Educational Ambassador with them. Below is part of the e-mail I sent to them. I thank you for extending the offer to allow me to stay on as“Educational Ambassador” for educators. It means a lot to me that youvalue my contributions to the Wetpaint team. I have appreciated theopportunity to collaborate and provide educators and students with sucha great wiki platform. However, with the suspension of the ad-freeprogram indefinitely, I feel I can no longer be an advocate for usingWetpaint as the premier educational wiki platform. I know thateducators who have already set up sites will continue to enjoy usingthem with students, a large part of my role was helping those new tothe platform get their feet under them and answer questions as theymove forward. It’s hard for me to “sell” a program that will now cost ateacher $19.95/month for ad-removal (especially for US schools that anyadvertisements at all on a site is a deal breaker) when there are otherfree programs out there for educators to use with students. Althoughthey might not be as good as Wetpaint, they are still free. I’m alsowell known for being a proponent of open source software and forfinding the least expensive (free!) way to utilize technology ineducation. So to that end I will no longer be the Educational Ambassador for Wetpaint at the end of August. When I approached Wetpaint about the idea back in November of 2007, it was commissioned as a trial project. Now nearly two years later, the educational wikis on Wetpaint number around 160,000 sites with some 600,000 users. I can’t image what the financial cost is of running and supporting that many sites, and in these hard financial times. projects that cost money without making money of any sort are the first to go. Wetpaint will still support the some 160,000 educational sites on it’s system and will allow those to run ad-free if they applied before August 11th for the Ad-Free status. As sad...

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A wiki of educational software

After my post about moving to a new school and having a Mac for the first time in 10+ years, I received more suggestions of software that I needed then I ever thought I would. I’m still going through the list and of course installing and uninstalling software as I try things out and find what I really need. I was asked if I would create a wiki to keep track of all the cool software that people were mentioning….so….I did. The wiki is set up and asks for software recommendations for educators and education in Windows, Mac, and Linux. Now all it needs is software. It is open to the public so you can go ahead and start adding software recommendations without signing up for an account. If everyone took the time to add just one piece of software it wouldn’t take us long to have an amazingly useful site. So head on over and add just one…..that’s it! Through one….comes many! Thanks!...

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