Wednesday, April 23, 2008

More Free Open Source Sites...

Wow... just heard about this wonderful new site for finding and uploading music. Jamendo is open source. Their tagline says: "On Jamendo artists allow anyone to download and share their music. It's free, legal and unlimited." It's nice to have a leagal source for music when creating videos with children. Some of the pictures from the album art on the site are not for elementary school students, so make sure if you are having them use these materials that you download the music for them to use.

Another site that touches a librarian's heart is webcitation. Have you ever had a student cite a website only to have that website not come up or give you an error message when you tried to check the source? Well, webcitation can solve all that. I have just signed up but have not used the site yet. Bacically it works by adding a bookmarklet to your citation page instead of just a URL. The bookmarklet will lead you back to the actual page, as it looked, on the date the student accessed the page. Now there will be no more padding of citations, students will actually have had to use the site... or will at least have to visit the site to have the proper bookmarklet.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Online Graphical Dictionary

Here is one for your visual learners.  It is an online graphical dictionary (check out the word graphical) called Visuwords, and it is pretty cool.  I am not sure it will replace a traditional dictionary or, but I love how it moves!  The neat thing is even though it is graphical, you still have to read!  Again, I found this by following someone's twitter post... more professional development!

My future of Professional Development

It’s been a long time since I blogged. I have been busy working with my students on podcasting. And I have been taking two graduate classes, so very little time to write but, my instructor in my “Distance Communications” class asked me how I would sustain professional development in the next 10 years. It prompted me to wonder what professional development will look like in the future… and it hit me… Actually, it didn’t hit me as much as it twittered me. I follow the father of WebQuest, Bernie Dodge on twitter. He posted a tweet on Friday that he was broadcasting live on USTREAM.TV. Of course, I read his tweet a few hours too late for the live version but the fun thing about USTREAM is that you can watch the video later if you miss it live. The first post Bernie did was about using this new streaming media. He says there are other versions out there like Mogulus and Flashmeeting and the good thing is that they are all free right now (that doesn’t mean they won’t start charging later but for now they are free). But my thinking is that if Bernie Dodge and his college (San Diego State University) are getting into video streaming seminars, professional development events, and classes over the Internet can other educators and other educational institutes be very far behind? This is going beyond podcasting. Check out Bernie’s live seminar link and embedded here:

Bonus, Cali Lewis of Geek Brief TV live streams on USTREAM.TV too.

Oh, and Cali Lewis recommends twitter in this video stream. I have been using twitter (which can be addictive) for about 3 or 4 months. If you can keep up with it, twitter can be a great place for professional development, whether its following CoolCatTeacher’s blogposts via twitter, or finding Bernie Dodge’s USTREAM video… but then we are back to the beginning of this post because Bernie and USTREAM prompted these ponderings.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Where is Wikipedia?

For about a half hour now I have been trying to pull up a Wikipedia article on Michael Arrington for a Web 2.0 class assignment. It won't come up. Thinking the link may just be dead, I tried to pull up Wikipedia itself to search that way- nothing. Then I searched Wikipedia on Google News and found that China has lifted its ban on the English Wikipedia. Are the two connected? Brain ditto... or are you thinking what I'm thinking? Could it be that China has crashed Wikipedia on purpose or is it the pure volume that has Wikipedia out of commission this morning?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Confused About Copyright?

Well, you are not the only one.  In fact, according to an Education Week article, confusion by educators is a real problem for teachers and it filters down and can be harmful to our students.  Renee Hobbs' article is called "Copyright Confusion is Shortchanging Our Students."  It makes me wonder if any teachers and librarians are practicing their right of Fair Use any more.  Why are teachers afraid to use media when their students have no problem doing it and even download things illegally? If we want to be role models, we should not be modeling technology and classrooms of the past!  It is all about Fair Use!