Friday, December 28, 2007

Top 25 Google Earth stories of 2007

From the excellent Google Earth blog by Frank Taylor, here's a post that lists the top 25 GE stories of the year. Cool new features, layers, Easter eggs, the California fires, trying to find Steve Fossett, rising sea levels... and much, much more!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

I LOVE these guys!

The Common Craft Show has some fantastic tutorials on Web 2.0 technologies explained in plain English. Here's the social bookmarking tutorial:

Kwout is too cool!

I use the screenshot tool extensively here on this blog and in many presentations and tutorials I've created. But this new tool kwout is amazing! AND FREE!! You can even put a kwout tool on your browser toolbar. It captures a webpage, then allows you to draw a box around the specific region of the page you wish to use, then generates the code to embed that into your webpage, flickr, or blog. Like this:

Monroe County Intermediate School District's web site (home page) via kwout

But it's even BETTER than that! The links in the image above are live! Go ahead and try it! And how about the way it creates a citation and link to the original webpage?

A great big THANK YOU to Jane Hart's E-learning pick of the day blog for sharing this great website!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Copyright, or Copywrong?

I just read an interesting post by David Pogue on his blog entitled "The Generational Divide in Copyright Morality."

This would be a great article for your students to read, discuss, and debate. Be sure to read the MANY insightful comments as well!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Watch this video!

It was created by Greg Craven, a high school teacher in Oregon. You may have your own opinion about global warming, but you can't argue with this man's logic. "What's the worst that can happen?" Have you ever said that? I'm sure I have in the last week! Well, that's the basis for this 9 minute video.

At the conclusion of the video, Mr. Craven shares what is so powerful about the Web 2.0 world in which we live: "In today's information age, you can change the culture. You CAN help change public policy and remarkably, some times just a few mouse clicks is all it takes to start an avalanche."

Read more about this video in an article on the USA Today website.

Monday, December 17, 2007

JFK video from a Dallas TV station now online

Thanks to the Librarians' Internet Index blog for this link to JFK Video: The Dallas Tapes.
This website has dozens of video clips, some of which are available nowhere else on the Internet!
This is a great resource! A unique collection of historic video. Practically a primary resource.
Browse the collection on the left side of the home page. You'll find video of the president's arrival in Dallas, coverage of his breakfast speech in Fort Worth, interviews with Governor Connally, Marina Oswald, and some more recent Dallas TV news reports from 1992.
Fascinating stuff!

Cool math website

Check out Math Playground. There are a lot of interactive activities, screencast tutorials, manipulatives, games, problems and puzzles. The site was created by Colleen King who also created the SAT Math Pro site I recommended last month! You can even create the dreaded math worksheet!


I was reading Clarence Fisher's blog this morning, in which he talked about his school's blocking of the scribd website. I noticed this site was blocked in our district for about the past month or so. I used to recommend scribd as a site where one could upload a document and then download an mp3 file that could be transferred to an iPod or other audio device for students to listen to.

Then while reading the REMC Ramblings blog I came across a reference for vozMe which allows you to input text and then download an mp3 file. I'm not particularly fond of the computer voice it uses, but it works! You can even input Spanish or Italian!

Google Maps mashups at Google Maps Mania

A "mashup" takes data from one or more sources and displays it visually in Google Maps. Take some time to explore lots of "mashups" at:

In addition to transit and traffic maps you'll find crime statistics, homes for sale, flight data, animal tracking, weather, history... WOW!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Daniel Pink's presentation on Discovery Education

Here's a link to the archived EdTechConnect presentations from Discovery Education:

They've just added the presentation Daniel Pink did on December 13 on his book "A Whole New Mind."

Here's a screenshot of a very important part of Pink's presentation. On the left is the business world, based on novelty, nuance, and customization. On the right is the world of education, based on routines, right answers, and standardization. OUCH!

A very nice intro to his book. I might have to reread it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Nostaligia time: C-64 turns 25!

Wow! I watched a cool video on C-NET about the big celebration for the Commodore 64's 25th birthday and got all nostalgiac. I didn't buy mine until the price dropped to $199. And I spent that much or more on a floppy disk drive because the Target store in Billings, MT didn't have any more cassette tape drives in stock. I hooked mine up to a 150 pound (or so it seemed) 19" color TV (I was way ahead of my time!) that probably gave me the equivalent of a chest X-ray every time I used it.

I learned BASIC back in high school, but I learned even more with the C-64, like programming "sprites." I remember buying RUN magazine, and probably a couple others whose names I can't remember, and TYPING in page after page of code to play a silly game. And heaven forbid you misspelled a word, or skipped a comma or the thing wouldn't work!

I learned how to use a spreadsheet on a C-64 when I convinced a bunch of teachers to start up a fantasy baseball league some time around 1985 or 86. I even did some pretty neat desktop publishing on a couple of different programs I can't remember, and printed out my newsletters on a dot matrix printer that I ordered, coincidentally, on the day of the Challenger disaster. And, amazingly, it all ran on 64K of memory! Not MB, and certainly not GB, it was KB!

I joined several BBS (bulletin board services), and subscribed to a service I think was called QuantumLink. I also tried out the DowJones service, and another one I can't remember any longer. I actually "shopped" online back in the mid 80's, even though you couldn't actually see a picture of what you were buying. ON A 300 BAUD MODEM!!!

You had to load a program from the floppy drive and it seemed like it took 15 minutes. I still remember using a hole punch to punch a hole in the floppy jacket so that you could flip the disk over to double your storage capacity!

To quote Barbra Streisand, "misty watercolored memories, of the way we were... Can it be that it was all so simple then? Or has time re-written every line? If we had the chance to do it all again Tell me, would we? could we?"
Songwriters: Bergman, Alan; Hamlisch, Marvin; Bergman, Marilyn
Label: Columbia

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Virtual Field Trip on the War of 1812

I am happy to share with you a story from the Monroe Evening News about a series of virtual field trips conducted by the Monroe County ISD and the Monroe County Historical Museum over the past 3 weeks on the Battle of Frenchtown. (also see

The amount of work that went into the planning and preparation was incredible. I personally did nothing more than run the teleprompter for several sessions, but in addition to some hard-working folks at the historical museum and ISD there were several re-enactors, and history teachers involved since last summer.

After what seemed like 100 sessions over 3 weeks, close to 2000 students from Monroe County schools participated.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Create a snow globe and fight hunger

Pepsi is donating up to $50,000 to America's Second Harvest, the Nation's Food Bank Network. Make a snow globe on their website, and they'll make a donation. You upload a picture, or use one of theirs, add decorations, and finally make it snow by "shaking" your snow globe. Then you can email it to friends if you like. You'll also receive the URL of your snow globe so you can visit it from time to time.

Go to: to make your own. You can click the link below to see mine.

I think this would make a great way to start a food collection drive in the classroom.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Science videos on

I'll admit that the videos I browsed at were WAY over my head! I didn't create an account, so I couldn't search the collection, but it may be worth checking out further.
Here's a video I could actually understand, "Where does water go when it rains?"