Today, I am spending the evening with some exceptional preservice teachers at Union University in Jackson, TN, with Dr. Anna Clifford's classes.  We'll be discussing what characteristics of Web 2.0 make it most approachable for teachers and students.  We'll also consider what to watch out for when using these tools, too. 

Here's a list of links I'll be referencing today:
    • Delicious <http://del.icio.us/>
    • Diigo <http://www.diigo.com>
    • Google Docs <http://www.google.com/apps>
    • Jumptags <http://www.jumptags.com>
    • Trailfire <http://www.trailfire.com>
    • Twitter <http://www.twitter.com>
    • Weebly <http://www.weebly.com>
    • Zoho <http://www.zoho.com>

Here's a list on my sites:
    • Kid eLit+ <http://michaelmgrant.weebly.com>
    • Viral Notebook <http://viralnotebook.weebly.com>
    • My email <mgrant2@memphis.edu>

Download today's presentation in .pdf format (10.5 MB).

Thanks for having me today!  I would like to thank Dean Tom Rosebrough and the number of other faculty and stafffor visiting and sitting in.  All the questions were great!  Good luck to all of you, and email me if you like.

 
 

[Image courtesy of JoF at Flickr.]  Yesterday was National Punctuation Day, and I am sorry to say I missed it.  There's nothing like a good comma, colon, single quote (like above) and paren.  I encourage you to take a look at the Web site <http://www.nationalpunctuationday.com/index.html> if you can get in.  I had trouble, because they had exceeded their bandwidth with just too many folks trying to get in there.  Be sure to take a look at the "Official Meatloaf" of National Punctuation Day!

I believe all of my students would agree this is the kind of holiday that I could celebrate.  Yippee for the all-important-but-rarely-appreciated period.

 
 

I've just started using PBWiki recently...really just playing around.  I've used Wetpaint and Wikipedia before, but I have to say that one feature of PBWiki that has stuck out in my head for classroom teachers is the ability to create classroom accounts without attaching emails to the accounts.

To make any changes in PBWiki, you have to log in.  This is whether your wiki is public or not.  So often when I discuss wikis with teachers, I tell them they have to come up with system for log ins or use a common log in.  With PBWikis new classroom accounts, it will generate logins and passwords for each of your students without emails.  This is huge and awesome.  To find out more details about this, check out PBWiki's post and take a look at the video below.


 
 

This is the second day of fun professional development with the engaging and passionate teachers at Power Center Academy in Memphis, TN. 

:: Clif and Michael's Bookmarks
     1. Clif's Bookmarks in Diigo :: http://www.diigo.com/user/Clifsnotes
     2. Michael's Bookmarks in Jumptags :: http://www.jumptags.com/msquareg

:: Links and Activities
     1. M&Ms Live Spreadsheet

     
2. Embeds—Embedding fun, live and automatically updated widgets.
     
3. Search & Retrieve—Coming to understand the different search engines, search directories and metasearches.  When to what.

 
 

Clif Mims and I will be sharing and discussing with Grades 6–8 teachers at Memphis' newest charter school Power Center Academy.  We'll be spending two days with the teachers and staff discovering how best to leverage their high technology environment and Web 2.0 tools.  Below are some of the tools and resources we'll be exploring.

:: Our Resource Sites
     :: http://www.clifmims.com
     :: http://clifmims.wetpaint.com
     :: http://www.diigo.com/user/Clifsnotes
     :: http://viralnotebook.weebly.com
     :: http://www.jumptags.com/msquareg


:: Viral Videos
     YouTube videos that make a point.


:: Social Bookmarking Sites
     Diigo :: http://www.diigo.com
     Delicious :: http://delicious.com
     Jumptags :: http://www.jumptags.com
     Pillfish :: http://www.pillfish.net
     Trailfire :: http://www.trailfire.com

:: Web Presence Tools
     Weebly :: http://www.weebly.com
     Edublogs :: http://edublogs.org/
     Wikispaces :: http://www.wikispaces.com/


:: Trailfire is for More than Bookmarking
     Here's a post that describes how to use Trailfire to create self-instructional units and Webquests.

:: How to Weebly in 10
     Tutorial

:: Search & Retrieve
     An activity to explore different search engines, metasearches and directories.

 
 

Today, I am spending the evening with some exceptional teachers at Union University in Jackson, TN, with Dr. Anna Clifford's class.  We'll be discussing what characteristics of Web 2.0 make it most approachable for teachers and students.  We'll also consider what to watch out for when using these tools, too. 

Here's a list of links I'll be referencing today:
    • Delicious <http://del.icio.us/>
    • Diigo <http://www.diigo.com>
    • Google Docs <http://www.google.com/apps>
    • Jumptags <http://www.jumptags.com>
    • Trailfire <http://www.trailfire.com>
    • Twitter <http://www.twitter.com>
    • Weebly <http://www.weebly.com>
    • Zoho <http://www.zoho.com>

Here's a list on my sites:
    • Kid eLit+ <http://michaelmgrant.weebly.com>
    • Viral Notebook <http://viralnotebook.weebly.com>
    • My email <mgrant2@memphis.edu>

Download today's presentation in .pdf format (10.5 MB).

9:25 pm
We had an awesome time tonight.  I really enjoyed talking, discussing and answering.  I was so excited to hear the variety and imperativeness of the questions.  I can tell that these teachers are really considering how to implement these technologies meaningfully and efficiently into their classrooms.  Thanks for having me tonight!  Good luck to all of you, and email me if you like.

 
 

FlyInside.com is a virtual tour site specifically geared toward real estate.  About a year ago when I discovered FlyInside, it was obvious to me that this was the type of Web 2.0 tool that was created for one purpose but could be usurped for another.  So, I hijacked it for learning.  I believe this is one of the strong characteristics of Web 2.0 for learning, or as some folks are referring to Pedagogy 2.0 or eLearning 2.0.  The design characteristics that are indicative of Web 2.0 tools, I believe, also make them easy targets for repurposing…and I feel like I was right (see below).

In a nutshell.  At its bones, FlyInside is a slideshow maker, not unlike Bubbleshare or Scrapblog.  It even comes built in with the somewhat “cheesy” background music.  However, FlyInside does offer some easy navigation and some legitimate “less cheesy” looking titling/captions.  The other element that FlyInside does really well is focus on the image.  It doesn’t let you as a creator become distracted by the backgrounds and templates.  (In real estate, you care about what the living room and kitchen look like, not what nice slide background was chosen.)  So, the photo fills the screen.  So, I find this incredibly appealing, specifically where learner might best represent their learning with a digital camera.

Here are a couple of examples of preservice teacher projects of using FlyInside for curricular content.  I’d like to hear if you’ve used FlyInside or if you have hijacked other tools for your purposes.
    • Architecture of Columns by Katie Fineup
    • World War I statue photo essay by David Mars


 
 

By way of one of my favorite sites for getting things done faster, easier, more effectively or more efficiently (I'm talking about Lifehacker.com), comes a pack of free clip art for presentations, Web pages and word processing.  This simple little pack of icons, things and badges comes by "freeway" of iPresentee.com.  iPresentee describes their freebie pack as:

The background of all objects is transparent and can be used on any colored background. Each object can be changed in size, rotated, increased or decreased in opacity, fitted with shadows or even overlapped with one another to create extra effects. Keynote Objects are compatible with Keynote, iWeb, Pages, Microsoft PowerPoint and Word.

This is just my kind of score: cool and free.  These little gems with a sample of the 100+ above would be easy adds to a presentation, flyer, or Web page.  Props to iPresentee.com.  Kudos to the Lifehacker commenters that solved the download glitch.  Instructions to everyone else: Download away!

Download the pack for Mac (.dmg).
Download the pack for Windows (.zip).


 
 

I just heard about BlinkWeb today.  I haven't tried it yet, though.  Ironically, I heard about BlinkWeb from Weebly's blog.  One of the commenters (a former Weebly user - just scroll till you see the inanity) recommended jumping ship from Weebly and taking a cruise on BlinkWeb. 

From the promotional video, it does look very similar to Weebly.  Also, from the homepage, BlinkWeb is positioning itself as an Internet marketing Web site or blog.  It does include components to add e-commerce right onto your pages.  Which if you're looking to sell something, that's a good idea. 

Another site that makes creating Web site and blogs super easy is Webon.  Again, I haven't tried Webon yet.  But I'm going to be giving one or both of these guys a try really soon.  Have you tried either BlinkWeb or Webon?  If so, I'd like to know your thought about it.

 
 

Turned onto Trailfire by Dr. Kevin Oliver at NC State University, I have come to really like Trailfire as more than just bookmarking.  Intended to be used as a social bookmarking site, Trailfire allows you to collect bookmarks into a category, or "trail."  The trail is then linked linearly with navigation buttons.  You can include comments or annotation on each of the Web pages that are part of your trail. 

For me, this was a great opportunity for preservice teachers to create a self-instructional unit for students to follow.  A teacher collect a series of Web sites to be included in her trail.  Then the annotations are instruction and directions to the student.  These annotations may include critical thinking questions, notes to pay particular attention to a diagram or animation or directions to perform a task as a result of visiting the page, such as create a list or summarize a statement.

Another reason I really like Trailfire is its ease.  Students have real success with using Trailfire, and I don't have to spend a lot of time teaching them how to use it.  The support on the site is straightforward and well done. I find "it just works."  I also find because it just works, the emphasis then becomes on locating the best sources of information possible and not on learning the tool.  Another emphasis is placed on creating instruction that is meaningful and age appropriate. 

At my Jumptags, I have bookmarked a number of examples of student products created with Trailfire.  I've also located a great trail about how to use Trailfire that was created by aprilpc as part of her presentation for the K12 Online Conference.  Here's a few for you to peruse:
    • Magnetic Materials by George Richardson
    • Native Americans by Kimberly Boyd
    • World Religions by Lauren Weber

Have you used Trailfire?  If so, how?  What do you like about it?  What would you like to see improved? Here's a short tutorial on how to use Trailfire.