Thursday, April 23, 2009

KISS Youtube- Download youtube to avoid slow streaming or filtering.

I was making a presentation today at the OBEA (Ontario Business Educators) conference and the Hotel Internet connection was too slow to wait for streaming. Not a big problem, but this can be frustrating and often happens in our school classrooms. I was also asked about being able to see Youtube or other items when board or district have filtering that is blocking worth while materials in an attempt to keep out the "junk". When you have good educational video but can't view it for any reason, here is a short term option.

Kiss Youtube- this program allows you to enter the url and converts the file for you.
This way you can download and save it. It is free, fast and easy to use. You will also need to download a FLV player - there is a link to a free one on Kiss You tube. This is with the assumption that, as teacher you want to view the video because it is of value to your class or presentation, maybe created by your students, and is not infringement of copy write, but under creative commons licence. When it's just the slow/no Internet connection that is the problem.

Teacher Tube - has download option on site.

I think the bigger issue of filtering still needs to be addressed, between teachers and IT policy makes in the boards that are having those issues, but at least this tool might help teachers "get on with the show"...
If you want to create "how to" videos try out -

Tour web 2.0

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Techy Tools for not so Techy teachers

Here is a great slide show of Tech tools.

Thanks to Thomas post in Open Education, who pointed it out.

April- Financial Literacy Month

Hers are some simple tools about Financial Literacy.
They are basics, for introduction of topics or quick review.

View a sample video:

They have lots of other subject areas too.

Everything is amazing, nobody is happy

Free Office Tools know your options.

There are several free options out that educators, students and really anyone can use. Here are links and my opinion on 3 of them:

Google docs - This is my favourite, it's free easy to use and you don't have to worry about saving your materials or finding them. The more I use Google Docs the more I like it.

Open Office - Is an excellent free tool. You can make all documents, spreadsheet and presentation items that are similar to Microsoft products all for free. You can save work in a variety of format. We started using this at school to save cost and I must admit I was used to working with Microsoft products but didn't like the "lite" or 'student" version so now using Open office and it works great. I'd like more of the taxpayers money for education put into people and hardware than expensive software. test it out.

ZOHO ZOHO is free office tools including traditional items like documents and spreadsheets but also has wiki, chatt, meeting room, and many more. think of it as a Free option to -office, Frist class and Adobe connect. now Zoho does have some versions that are paid, so kind of a combined approach, but still worth testing out. They are looking at having a free version for educators - so I'm kind of waiting on that.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Screen Toaster

Thanks to Jane's E-learning tip of the day, I found out about Screen Toaster- it records you desktop and put it into a variable size video. check it out. will be a good tool for easily creating instructional demos. You can email the link or embed the finished video in blog, wiki or website.

But why would you want to create screen casts?
Well, take a look at the research, and blogs that supports short podcasts for lectures. here is just one to start.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Open source software -Mock Trail for Public education spending.

I came cross this 7 minutes audio clip on why open source software should be considered if not used by School Boards. Students in UTS have Mock trial on responsible spending when it comes to technology and software in public funded schools.
We are using some open source software and I think that they will continue to make sense in some situations.

Corporate Intenet players

A closer look at who the corporate players are for web 2.0 and what that means. The applications are being blended and blurred between the desktop and the Internet, the hardware is multifunctional. We use gadgets, on our blogs, wiki and social networks to help the corporate sites to be distributed in thousands of sites, some for profit, some not? I'm in favour of this distribution and customization but as a user and educator we have to know what is public and confidential and help students to be informed citizens on the Internet and creative, responsible producers knowing that information doesn't go away.

This presentation was based in part on a book I recently read- Web 2.0 heroes -Interview with20 Web 2.0 Influence rs, by Bradley L Jones, Wiley Publishing 2008.