My wife misses the old days of when we would go to the one hour photo and pick up our pictures from vacations/family gatherings/fill-in-the-blank. Occasionally we’ll pull out the albums and relive the old times with fondness (sans the bell bottoms) as we look at the family history before us. All of a sudden, the albums stop chronologically when the digital camera came upon the scene. Like the commercial of stored pictures that never leave the camera, our pictures are archiving on the computer. Imagine my terror one evening when the computer showed the blue screen of death, and the pictures were ON THE HARD DRIVE. I didn’t know what I feared the most: loss of the pictures or a slow death from my wife. Luckily, after breathing deeply, I remembered that I backed everything up on discs.
What happens to stuff on the Internet? Since there’s no hard copy, where does everything go when a website disappears? Is there any hope of retrieving information?
M. Yoder of Lesley University discussed a great website that does just this–The Wayback Machine at Internet Archives. Borrowing from their website:
Browse through over 150 billion web pages archived from 1996 to a few months ago. To start surfing the Wayback, type in the web address of a site or page where you would like to start, and press enter. Then select from the archived dates available. The resulting pages point to other archived pages at as close a date as possible. Keyword searching is not currently supported.
Internet Archives has a wealth of other resources, such as moving images, live music archives, audio, and texts. The site is definitely worth tagging on your Delicious account.
And, by the way, after my next paycheck, I’m printing the pictures. I just wonder how many albums I’ll need to buy.
One of my realizations from NECC was that not everyone realizes all the goodies that are out there on the Internet, and one that you’ve might not heard of is Poll Everywhere, a site (free for basic plus up to higher prices for higher services) that permits you to post a question before your audience and get live feedback. Before your presentation, prepare your questions and post to the site, and each response will be given a certain text number. Open polling, your audience “votes”, and you can get live feedback!
“Electronic Constructivism: Enhancing Learning with 10 Promising Technologies” by Maureen Yoder of Lesley University in Massachusetts, presented a wealth of resources (Wikis, Podcasting, etc.), and one resource that caught my attention was TeacherLingo, an online community for teachers of all subjects and expertise from all over the world. Comprised of Lessons, Messages Boards, and the like, one section in particular I liked was the Blogs tab. This allows you to search for blogs that are in the area of your profession (i.e. elementary, college, ESL, substitute teachers, and MANY more). Feel alone? Link with a colleage to share ideas!
If you’ve attended a conference before, you know that awful silence that happens before the presenter begins: nobody looks at anybody, the presenter is madly scurrying about seeing if everything is ready, you grab the chair by the aisle and 50 people walk over you (why do we do this when we know more will be coming and need to find a seat?), and you check your email on your laptop. At the “Literacy Isn’t Enough: 21st-Century Fluency for the Digital Age” by Ian Jukes of the InfoSavvy Group in Canada, had funny slides of headline goofs and weird pictures looping while we waited, and they are funny. With jazz music in the background, the PowerPoint kept the crowd entertained and cognitively engaged so that when the presentation began, we were perked and prepared. Check the resources at The Committed Sardine at http://www.committedsardine.com/funnystuff.cfm
There are three types of workshops:
==>Why am I wasting my time sitting here?
==>This is good stuff
==>With the Halleluiah Chorus in the background, you-forget-to-breathe-because-this-is-GOOD-stuff-and-I-can’t-wait-to-share-this! good.
I was blessed to listen to Helen Crompton, member of the Visiting International Faculty, as she presented a new initiative by the British Government to support educators in teaching various mathematical concepts. Do not fear–these are as useful in the U.S. as they are in Britain! Especially useful for those with interactive white boards, slates, or data projectors, you can download for free (yes, you read right) Flash electronic manipulatives that cover such things as area, line graphs, grouping, place value, number lines, telling time, measuring ruler, and MANY more.
To access the ITPs, just go to this website, type in ITPs in the search bar, and click the hyperlinks that come up. There are many other links that I haven’t explored, but this is well worth investigating. For further information, feel free to email Ms. Crompton at http://www.unc.edu/~hcromp/
Here are some instructions to give you examples:
ratio and proportion
OK–admit it. Everyone understands something in a class and the professor asks, “OK–any questions?” Everyone rolls their eyes, and you think, “I have NO clue!” and are too embarrassed to say anything?
Do you really know how Twitter works? What’s the history of the World Wide Web? Do you need a difficult subject explained in layman’s terms?
Common Craft to your rescue! To quote their website: Our videos may surprise you. They’re short and simple. They use paper cut-outs. They cover subjects “in Plain English.” But lurking under the simple surface are lessons that have been crafted with great care. Despite our fun and lighthearted style, we take explanation seriously. The site is worth a visit!
Oh, and what IS Twitter about?
Steve Dembo of Discovery Streaming gave a presentation “The 10 Best Free Web 2.0 Tools For Teachers” and instead of a monotonous slide-by-slide presentation, gave an action-packed and easy-to-follow (wow, I love hyphens!!!) on Prezi.com. To get an idea, take a look at his presentation!
Attending the International Technology Education Conference in Washington, D.C., I’ve been able to discover new and interesting resources that many educators would find useful, and one that definitely raised my Happy Quotient was in a session on ten Web 2.0 useful free websites: a free online video editing site called JayCut. Similar to software such as iMovie or Movie Maker, you’ll see the same type of transitions, effects, and timelines to construct videos, and the desktop is quite easy to use. The site requires registration and is ready for you to explore today!