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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

Apr 30 '12 Multimedia, Presentation & Teaching Comments Off

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.

Digital Storytelling Resources

Apr 30 '12 Multimedia, Resources, Software, Uncategorized Comments Off

In the process of attending the recent 2012 Computer Users in Education (CUE) conference, a number of resources were shared that dealt with digital media production as well as digital storytelling. These resources and those that have come forward from my own experience can provide TRIO programs with some powerful video editing, media resources, and utilities that are either free or very inexpensive. Read the rest of this entry »

Avoiding Malware Threats for TRIO Programs

With Summer TRIO Programs about to begin, I thought it might be a good idea to review some simple practices that can help your staff and students to avoid the persistent threats that can create total havoc due to computer malware (i.e. malicious software). The best practice is prevention through both simple practices and decision making by both students and staff. Read the rest of this entry »

Google Voice for Calls and Texts

Google Voice LogoGoogle Voice is a free service that lets you control and manage your calls from the Web or your mobile device. You can get a new phone number or use an existing number to consolidate calls made to multiple numbers and control who can call and when. You can place people into different groups (think staff and students) and handle their calls in different ways. You can also create a program-wide number that can be transferred to whatever staff members you chose without divulging their personal numbers. It makes it easy to record calls and to transfer them from one phone to another.

Google Voice also has powerful features for managing your voice mail and text messages. It allows you to access and manage your voice mail from the web and share voice mails by email. You can compose text messages on your computer and have your text messages sent to your email. It also makes it easy to host conference calls simply by having callers dial your Google Voice number.  Of course there is a mobile app for iPhones, Androids, and Blackberries. Best of all, it’s FREE.
Read the rest of this entry »

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