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Word Clouds and Screen Captures

Word Cloud of Topics Presented at CUE

(Click for a full-sized PDF version)

This post shows an easy way to create word cloud graphics and screen capture video tutorials. The graphic above is a word cloud generated from topics presented at the CUE (Computer-Using Educators) Conference in California this March. We created it in a few simple steps: Read the rest of this entry »

YouTube EDU and YouTube for Schools

YouTube offers a wealth of educational videos that can be a great resource for presentations and teaching. Unfortunately, it offers at least as much content that is completely inappropriate for educational use. To protect students from this material and to keep them from getting distracted by extraneous videos, many schools now completely block access to YouTube. But this protection comes at a cost to both teachers and students. To help schools safely deliver high quality educational videos to their students, YouTube has created three new sections of their site:

  • YouTube EDU is a sub-section of YouTube that contains hundreds of thousands of  high-quality educational videos from sources like Staford, PBS, TED, and the Khan Academy.
  • YouTube for Schools is a free service that allows schools to configure their networks so that students can watch only YouTube EDU videos and videos that the school has added to an approved list. Comments and related videos are disabled, and the only search results that will appear are for YouTube EDU videos.
  •  YouTube Teachers is a site that shows you how to use YouTube in the classroom and includes hundreds of playlists created by teachers for teachers. The playlists are organized by subject and grade and are aligned with common educational standards.

See how Chicago and other school districts are changing their policies in this New York Times article. To learn more, click the links above, or watch this quick intro video.

Create Free Web and Text Polls

Poll Everywhere LogoIncreasingly our staff and students now communicate by text messages or via the Web on their smartphones. Poll Everywhere provides a quick and easy way to gather data from anyone with a cell or smart phone or computer. It lets you ask a question and collect responses via the web, text messaging, or even Twitter. You use it the same way you might use “clickers” or responders with an audience. The polls can be shared by downloading and placing poll slides into your PowerPoint presentation, displaying them from a web page with your projector, or even emailing or embedding them into your web site.

With Poll Everywhere you can create free polls for up to 40 people in just a couple of minutes. Premium plans are available with additional features and for polling more users.

Read the rest of this entry »

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