Feed on
Posts
Comments

Last summer, I blogged about Wordle.  I have used this tool quite often in the last year and wanted to post about it again due to a recent article I read by Terry Freedman – Five Reasons to Use Wordle in the Classroom at http://techlearning.com/article/Blogs/20322.  Please take time to read the article.

 

What is Wordle?

Wordle is a tool that looks at the text you provide (students can type in words that describe themselves; words that describe their choice for presidential candidate; words that describe what they want to learn about this school year; words that describe a time in history they are learning about; their vocabulary words they are having a difficult time with; words that describe a country they are learning about, and on and on) and generates a “word cloud” summary from those words.  The word cloud gives greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text.  You can change the font, change the layout, and change the color scheme.  Once you have created your “word cloud” the students can take a screenshot to save and paste into an application or save to Paint/Photoshop to then save as a jpg image to use in a project — PowerPoint, Slideshare, PhotoStory, Blog, Wiki, etc.  Or, they can choose to print it out and make a bulletin board in the classroom of the words.  So many uses for this very easy tool.  Caution: The Wordle Gallery — if they browse through the Wordle Gallery, could be inappropriate content; but they don’t have to browse to create.

Summarizing Mr. Freedman’s article on the 5 ways:

  • Summarizing the content of an essay or any piece of work.  Useful way of telling people what the essay is about.
  • Wordle can be used by the teacher as a means of assessment. Student creates a Wordle of their presentation and uses that as the basis for a discussion.
  • Self Reflection.
  • Summarizing survey results from text fields. 
  • Illustrate a student’s writing with a picture.

How Do I Use Wordle?

  • Write your text – article, essay, text fields, or just words.
  • Select the text and then copy it to the clipboard – Edit/Copy or CTRL/C.
  • Wordle Web Site: http://wordle.net.
  • Click on Create your own.
  • Paste the text – Edit/Paste or CTRL/V.
  • You can click on Randomize to generate a different “look” to your Wordle.

You can print out your Wordle.  If you want to save, you can use your computer’s screen capture (Print Screen) to copy into a Word document or PowerPoint.  To save as an image, copy the screen capture to software program such as Paint or Photoshop to save as a graphic.

Another option is to save the Wordle in the public gallery and use the embed code to show in your blog, wiki, or web page.

For frequently asked questions: http://wordle.net/faq

Lastly, Mr. Freedman created a Wordle from his writing; so, copying his idea, I did the same.

PBS Teacher Line Course

Can’t believe I am finally back in and posting to my blog.  It has been a whirlwind since starting school in September.  Participated in an online course through PBS.  This was the first class I ever took with PBS and I loved it.  It was a 3 credit graduate course done in 6 weeks, so needless to say — my house is amess, my bills are piling up, Christmas lists need to be made…

The course was for Online Course Facilitating.  I learned so much from this class and everyone involved in this course was just great.  There was so much collaboration and sharing of ideas. 

Now, I can start thinking about perhaps one day facilitating an online course.  Would love to focus on Differentiation in the Classroom using Multimedia. 

So many tools, so little time…

Doing a project with your students on famous people, social studies, geography?  Want to use some good images in the project?  Check out Google’s new Life Magazine Photos at http://images.google.com/hosted/life.

The site contains millions of photographs from the LIFE magazine’s photo archive, dating all the way back to the 1750s.  Many of the images are available for the first time through the joint work of LIFE and Google.

 

What I like about this site is the fact that you search images only in the LIFE archive, so you don’t have to worry about inappropriate photos.  You can search in people, places, events, sports, culture, decade,

 

You can also have the students search in Google (they don’t have to go to the url above) and just add “source:life” to any Google image search.

 

Note on Wordle

In my prior post, I wrote about Wordle.  This is a great tool; however, as with anything on the Internet, you need to be aware of the inappropriate content.  There is a Gallery with Worlde that, as mentioned before, can contain inappropriate words.  On the Wordle home page, the latest Wordles created are shown.  To bypass the home page for the students, go to http://wordle.net/create.  This will allow you to go directly to the “Create” page.  It really is worth investigating.  Simple but effective!

Discovered this site the other day and thought — wouldn’t this be great for students to use the beginning of the school year?

http://wordle.net

Wordle is a tool that looks at the text you provide (students can type in words that describe themselves; words that describe their choice for presidential candidate; words that describe what they want to learn about this school year; words that describe a time in history they are learning about; their vocabulary words they are having a difficult time with; words that describe a country they are learning about, and on and on) and generates a “word cloud” from those words.  The word cloud gives greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text.  You can change the font, change the layout, and change the color scheme.  Once you have created your “word cloud” the students can take a screenshot to save and paste into an application or save to Paint/Photoshop to then save as a jpg image to use in a project — PowerPoint, Slideshare, PhotoStory, Blog, Wiki, etc.  Or, they can choose to print it out and make a bulletin board in the classroom of the words.  So many uses for this very easy tool.  Caution: The Wordle Gallery — if they browse through the Wordle Gallery, could be inappropriate content; but they don’t have to browse to create.

For frequently asked questions: http://wordle.net/faq

Now that we know a way to download the YouTube videos and play them, here is a listing of Top 100 YouTube Videos for Teachers.  The list is sorted into area such as History, Science, Language, Arts, Inspiration, Classroom Management, How Tos and Guides, Technology and Humor.  Enjoy!

http://www.smartteaching.org/blog/2008/08/100-best-youtube-videos-for-teachers/

 

 

I was just doing some work on embedding video into an Edublog post when I happened to find this wonderful wiki by Miguel Guhlin on downloading videos from YouTube (which is what most of us have to do because YouTube is blocked at our schools).

I was looking into this about a week ago but didn’t have enough time to finish my research. So, thanks to this great wiki page, my work has been done for me. Miguel lists web tools to grab the video, web tools to convert the video, tools for FLV files (when you finally figure out how to download the video and you now want to play it).

Link to the Share More! Wiki:  http://tinyurl.com/5upwv9

As part of the training I am giving to teachers in our district, I am pointing out how easy it is to embed a video hosted on TeacherTube into my blog.  You find the video you are interested in, copy the Edublogs embed code located on the right-hand side of the video. Create a post in your blog, select the HTML tab of your post, click the code button and simply paste the code into your HTML page of your post.

This particular video has been around for a while but continues to get my attention. It was created by Michael Wesch in collaboration with 200 students at Kansas State University. It is — “a short video summarizing some of the most important characteristics of students today – how they learn, what they need to learn, their goals, hopes, dreams, what their lives will be like, and what kinds of changes they will experience in their lifetime.”


Cyberbullying Video

Cyberbullying

Here is an excellent video on Cyberbullying — it is under one minute but gets the point across.  Great to show students.

TPDS – who are they?  They are “tech savvy” teachers who have agreed to help others in their school with technology.  TPDS is an acronymn for Technology Professional Development Specialists.  They are a great bunch of teachers and very helpful in our district.

 

I have been requested to put together a summer training for the TPDS in our district.  What to present took quite a bit of thought.  First, I went back to the Google on-line survey (using Google Docs) they filled out at the end of the year asking them what they would be interested in learning more about.  Almost every one of the responses noted that they would be interested in learning more about Presentations OnLine using tools such as Slideshare, BubbleShare, VoiceThread, Animoto – you get the picture. 

 

It just so happens that I was lucky enough to attend NECC this summer for the first time and had a FABULOUS time.  I attended a session entitled One Hour PowerPoint: A Strategy for Improving Presentations by David Jakes (http://jakes.editme.com/onehourppt) and Dean Shareski (http://ideasandthoughts.org/).  Check out Wesley Fryer’s excellent notes at http://www.speedofcreativity.org/2008/06/30/one-hour-powerpoint-a-strategy-for-improving-presentations-by-david-jakes/.  Yes, I thought the same thing – PowerPoint?  Isn’t that so old news?  Well, it also mentioned Visual Communication and Literacy, so I thought – why not give it a try!  Went with my boss and a colleague of mine.  We all loved the presentation and picked up some great info.  PowerPoint presentations can be quite fascinating if done correctly!

 

Some of the highlights of what we learned –

  • Move away from text
  • Presentations are Performances
  • Dual Processing: Visual and Auditory
  • Teach Students how to find Images
  • Teach them about Intellectual Property
  • Teach them Design
  • Teach them to Sell a Message
  • Color is Important
  • Teach them to incorporate multimedia

 

David Jakes notes that it all starts with a bit of biology of the brain — http://strengthofweakties.org/?p=280 and how the brain works.  This ties together so well with the graduate course I took this summer entitled Brain-Based Learning.  So, my TPDS training started to come together.  I also thought it needs to be beneficial to all – elementary teachers to high school teachers in addition to satisfying those with varying skill levels.  Let us not forget what the ultimate product is – a student or teacher-created product which can reach many types of learners.

 

It is with this that I am focusing on “The Thrill of Presentations” for my training.  This title opens up so many doors – Slideshare, Bubbleshare, Voicethread, Animoto, WebSlides, One True Media, Slide, Flickr, Flickr Storm, Creative Commons.  I will be introducing the tool and giving them time to explore it online.  On my wiki, I put together information for each tool on where to sign up for the tool, where to get help, examples, and more. 

 

One of the two days I have to go over our new e-mail package.  Of course I will do this, but hopefully will quickly move into what I call “extras” to our Presentation training – TeacherTube, SchoolTube, Flip Video, and a couple great new tips on the latest version of SMARTBoard software.

 

 

OK, I know I have way too much here, but there are so many great tools out there, how could I just pick a few?  Hopefully, they can look at one tool a month and by the end of the school year, think of how many new tools they will have tried?

 

My Resources:

Wiki Page Listing Tools for “The Thrill of Presentations”

http://juliazanglcolby.wikispaces.com/Presentations+OnLine

 

Wiki Page Listing Tools on “Photo Management”

http://juliazanglcolby.wikispaces.com/PhotoManagement

 

Wiki Page Listing SMARTBoard Sites

http://juliazanglcolby.wikispaces.com/SMARTBoard

 

 To view the WebSlide I created which shows a screen shot of the Internet sites, visit http://www.diigo.com/list/jzcolby/pps-technology-summer-training

http://slides.diigo.com/list/jzcolby/pps-technology-summer-training

Older Posts »