Nov 21, 2007

Create a Timeline

XTimeline allows you to upload pictures, insert text, and create a timeline of events. The result is a professional looking product that looks better and allows for more expanded details than a traditional poster board timeline you would of made in you old history course.

You can also research events, people, and ideas to find info on a topic you are working on for your courses. If you want to work in groups and create a timeline together, that option is open for you with this site. When you are done, just tag your timeline with the keywords (ex. Civil Rights, WWII, Beijing) and submit. You will receive a web address (url) that you can post on your own blog or website. Send me the url and you are all done.

You could use this as a project option for virtually any assignment in my courses.

Nov 20, 2007

Cool Flickr Tools for School

Flickr Places is a tool that lets you search by city, state, or country to find photos unique to that area. This could come in real handy for many of the projects you work on in my courses. Whether you are writing an essay about U.S. History that discusses Boston or completing a photo slideshow project on the geography of Ireland, this tool can help you.

Flickr Maps is great for searching ideas at a specific location. Say you want to look up architecture in Beijing. Just type in architecture in the left hand search box and Beijing in the right hand search box.

Select an image from the photo stream:

One Step Further:

Note: Whenever downloading from the Internet, keep in mind who owns the product you are using. If people post under a Creative Commons license then its okay to use for our school projects.

Nov 9, 2007

The Day I Almost Unofficially Met Mark

I almost got to ask Mark Cuban a question today. If I would have, that means we might have almost unofficially met. He looked right at me...... I got nervous, but I was ready...... I thought for sure he was going to call on me....... but at the last second he passed. Off to the next man with his hand up. I don't feel sad, don't worry. I am a little disappointed though. He seems to know a lot about the internet, and I really wanted a quote from him to share with you, my students. Here is how the story goes.

I was attending the Blog World Expo which is the largest gathering of bloggers on the planet. DONT STOP READING NOW, this isnt all geeky. So anyway, I was sitting with 500 or so other bloggers at the closing Keynote address listening to internet guru Mr. Cuban (also owner of the Dallas Mavericks) about authentic blogging and something struck me. I wonder if he has any visions for education? He knows a lot about business, a lot about basketball, tons and tons about the internet, what about education? A lot of our modern pioneers have visions for changing education to bring American students into the forefront of the information revolution and help them escape from the industrial one (see Bill Gates). I wonder if Mr. Cuban does too? So, I thought, phrased, and garnished the nerve for 10 long minutes to ask him this one question:

Considering that the public education system is light years behind the real world and blogging is almost nonexistent in schools, do you see any role for blogging and Web 2.0 in high schools?

My question is still out there to you Mr. Cuban. My students would love to hear your answer.

Nov 7, 2007

VSS 07

A small group of teachers from Odyssey presented at the Virtual Schools Symposium this week. We discussed how we are using Social Networks and Web 2.0 tools in our courses. The presentation went pretty well, check out our wiki if you want to see it. Some of your work was featured in our session.