Sep 29, 2007

Your Own Voki

Create your own Voki. Your very own online character. This really has no educational purpose, just thought you might have fun with it. I guess, if you really wanted to, you could make an online audio essay using your Voki and submit that as a project. See, it does have some educational value.

Get a Voki now!

Sep 22, 2007

Voicethread, Combine Your Words with Pictures

Click 'record'(you need a mic) or type if you would like to make a comment. Please say your first name and which course of mine you are in if you leave a comment.

This would work great for combining oral projects with pictures for an assignment in my course. It also allows you to collaborate with other students so if you are working on a project in an online group then you can all make comments about a picture or screen capture that is part of your research. Combine your comments together, send me the link, and poof, you have a project.

If you like this program, go to and create an account.

Sep 20, 2007

Google Presentation

I made a presentation using the newest Google feature called Google Presentation. It can be found inside Google Docs and has a lot of potential uses for this class.

  • Make online presentations, easily
  • Work with other students on projects
  • Liven up your normal assignment and earn more points
  • Get help on your work by sharing with me prior to submitting for a grade
Check it out

Google Docs Made Simple

I posted a couple weeks ago about the benefit of using Google Docs over Microsoft Word or other word processing programs on your computer. Well, here is a cool video with animation(ish) graphics to highlight what I was talking about. Now, reread my posting and see how it will help you in school.

Sep 19, 2007


How many of you out there already have Skype? Awesome, add me as a contact and call me on my computer anytime you want, if I don't answer than I'm taking a rare break from staring at this screen. mrplough07

If you don't have Skype yet, but would like a free service that allows you to call other people on their computers for free, then click here to get going. Download the service, get yourself a headset with microphone for 10-15 bucks, and call whenever you want.

If a bunch of us from my courses get this, than we can all collaborate online. You get the best of both worlds, or three worlds even, you are on the Internet so can be working on an assignment, but you can talk it out with someone while you are doing the work. The someone being me or another student from our course. You can meet other students by joining the Odyssey of the Mind social network.

Have you ever had a question that you really wanted answered but couldn't explain it very well in an email and it was past school hours? If so, join Skype and call me, mrplough07.

Sep 17, 2007

Blog Rush and Clustr Maps

If you are interested in getting extra readers to come check out your blog, click on the link below.Blog Rush is a little widget that you post in your blog, see the right side of mine, and by having that it allows readers to see your blog on their Blog Rush widgets. If you need any help embedding the widget into your blog, contact me.

A cool tool to track who is reading your blog. Check out mine ClustrMap on the right side of this blog.

Sep 15, 2007


Animoto is awesome! All you have to do is upload about 15 pics and choose a style of music that you like, and you will get a 30 second music video produced for you. Sweet. Now, how do you use this for my class? Since I can't tell a lot about your ideas in only 30 seconds,(which is the free version but you can pay to make a longer film) you will probably only use this as a portion of your project. How about using it as the intro? You wanna know how to captivate your reader, put in a 30 second short that makes them think. You can all do this, it only takes a few minutes of your life!

Wanna see my baby, check him out in video form?

Sep 9, 2007

Using Google Docs Instead of.............

..............any other Word Processing program.

I would highly recommend to all my students that they use Google Docs instead of a traditional program for completing any project or assignment you choose to do in an essay format. It is an online word processing program that allows you to invite others to view, edit, or work on your document with you. Below are some of the key benefits that Google Docs has over Word, Open Office, Works, Adobe and other word processing programs.

  • The most important benefit of using Google Docs is that you can share it with anyone. I would love to see you collaborating with other students on a project using g.d. You could create a document and then invite other group members to continually edit it with you until you got the final product. Remember, you can meet students in your class by joining Odyssey of the Mind.
  • You can also share it with me before you turn it in. This might be the single best benefit of using g.d for our course. The best part about this feature is that I can give you some feedback or answer your questions about your work before I ever have to grade it. When you need a hand, just go to the 'Share' button to invite me to edit it.

Here is how it works:
  1. Log into Google Docs, you may need to create a new Google account first.
  2. Go to 'NEW' on the left side, select 'document' from the dropdown menu
  3. Either upload an existing assignment, cut and paste a doc you have on your computer, or start typing from scratch.
  4. When you need help or feel like you could benefit from suggestions, 'Share' it with me. All you need to know is my school email and select 'Share' from the top right hand side. Invite collaborators, and send me an invitation. Thats it.
  5. When done, 'Publish' the url and send me the link. Or if you want, save it in a traditional format like .rtf or .doc for easy uploading.

Web 2.0 Definition

This slide show explains what Web 2.0 means and some of the reasons why its playing a huge part in our courses this year.

Sep 8, 2007

"SlideShare is the world's largest community for sharing presentations on the web." Thats what it says on their website and I believe it. Its also one of the coolest communities for seeing creativity.
This exciting web 2.0 application allows you to explore ideas of others, research presentation or project material and showcase your own presentation style. Here is how I imagine you can use it in my course.

  1. Create an online slideshow. Upload your powerpoints and copy the link to send me so I can grade your assignment.
  2. Create a Slidecast. You upload your powerpoint, add a link to an mp3 file, and you get a slidecast. This will allow you to add music or your own voice to any powerpoint.
  3. Your friends/acquaintances from this course that you meet in Odyssey of the Mind can form a group in Slideshare and collaborate on assignments.
  4. Complete research by looking up slideshow presentations rather than a typical text search in Google. For example, I searched the term 'civil rights' and this is the slideshow that came up at the top of the list.
Here is my first Slide Cast = Podcast (mp3) + powerpoint

Click this link to watch a A SLIDESHARE TUTORIAL

Sep 4, 2007

U 2, Can Digg It is a social news site. The site is 100% powered by users. Users 'digg' stories and videos that they come across on their favorite sites and upload them to You can find out a ton of information that you would never come across on CNN or Fox News or any traditional news site for that matter.

Here is how it could help you for research and projects in my course.

1. The articles on digg are current, dated, and posted by users. Unlike Google searches which most of you do for research, you will get news that is up to date on Digg and chosen by readers like yourself.

2. You can form groups and have friends in Digg. So if you know some people from our course, which you can meet by joining Odyssey of the Mind, then you can share stories you find. For example, lets say you are working on a unit on Civil Rights and there are 4 parts to the unit. If you worked with a friend using Digg, one person could do the Internet research for one part, shoot it up to Digg and then your friend can read what you posted. Another group member could do the research for Part 2 and shoot up the best info to Digg. Pretty soon you can all see each others stories and your research is done.

3. You can search videos, podcasts and blogs in a basic Digg search. These are three Web 2.0 tools that I want you to get familiar with and use to complete assignments for in this course.

4. Its more fun than traditional research!

Note: As with any research, you must be careful what you quote in your assignments so use opinions and facts cautiously.

Sep 2, 2007

Our Very Own Odyssey Social Network

Lets talk about Social Networking. I would venture to guess that many of you are experts in this category. Most teenagers Ive met over the last few years are a part of Myspace or Facebook. Its a great place to go socialize with others and to share your ideas. You share videos, pics,music, and all types of things about your life for the purpose of interacting with friends. Well, we can take that same approach but add a little twist to make it work for our High School. Lets take a look at a couple of ways it might benefit you to join our Odyssey Students Social Network.

  • You can share ideas and collaborate with your class mates.
  • You can ask for help from others working on the same lessons. (open 24 hours)
  • Share unique ways that you are completing the projects in my classes (remember, there are a lot of ways to complete your work that aren't described in Eclassroom lessons).
  • You can have discussions with friends, share music, videos (in other words, the site isnt just about education)
  • This may be the only chance you have to interact with people at Odyssey. You might make a few friends that will lead you to feel more connected to others.
  • Web 2.0 is about users like yourselves creating the content on websites that you visit, we will be playing with some of those 2.0 ideas in here.
  • This class will be A LOT more interesting if you join our Social Network, promise:)

Click the link to join: 'Odyssey of the Mind', our Odyssey Students Social Network