Saturday, July 28, 2007

Maps anyone?

Another neat site my friend thought would be good to share would be Google Maps and their ability to share custom maps. Below is an example of a shared google map showing all of the restaurants he's frequented recently.,-77.056732&spn=0.371699,0.63858&z=11&om=1

Individuals can easily find places to eat, sleep, shop, and in the mean while, they can e-mail their friends these maps. Searches of local business can easily be conducted to specific geographic areas and vendors can put links to their establishments web sites, reservation pages, and phone and address info.

More Google Stuff....

Anyone can create a Google account for free, log in, and read and/or edit pages listed in google docs. Check out my document for a lesson plan I'm currently working on for my critical information literacy project:

Another cool thing to do with Google Docs would be having students use the spreadsheets section to upload information they are doing on a telecollborative project. The first thought that comes to mind, is that of comparing science investigation data. How great would it be for the students to enter their classrooms data, then review a different class's information and then do some analysis. The advantage of using this technology is that it would be "live" being saved and edited at the same time but from different locations.

Google Docs & Spreadsheets

I have found yet another Web 2.0 Technology that can be useful in the classroom. Google Docs & Spreadsheets (which I was totally unaware even existed) is a great way to post word documents or spreadsheets so that can anyone can view/edit them on the web. Documents are automatically saved, can be shared, opened, and edited by multiple users at the same time. It is a great tool for collaboration between multiple people (esp. by teachers), or if you are at varying locations throughout the day, but want to continue to work on an item. That was just finding out what they are, here are some sites I used to help further my learning:

Friday, July 27, 2007

My Wiki

So after taking a break from wiki information, I'm back with my own wiki that I created using:

Here's the link to my own wiki page Feel free to add/edit on my page, it's pretty basic right now.

Some other sites for creating free wikis are:

Thursday, July 26, 2007


What exactly is podcasting? I had head of ipods and just figured it has something to do with those lovely new technology devices. But after reading up on it a bit, I've learned a whole bunch more. As defined by Webster's New Millennium Dictionary of English, a podcast (in it's noun form) is a Web-based audio broadcast via an RSS feed, accessed by subscription over the Internet. As a verb it means to distribute (multimedia files) over the internet for playback on a mobile device or a personal computer. Ok, that last definition makes more sense to me as I'm not too familiar with what an RSS feed is. Basically it's like subscribing to a radio station that you can listen to wherever you can download the files and listen (or watch sometimes) for your enjoyment. They are not "live" rather pre-recorded files that the host has uploaded for others. A podcast is distinguished from other digital media formats by its ability to be syndicated, subscribed to, and downloaded automatically, using an aggregator or feed reader capable of reading feed formats such as RSS or Atom (according to Wikipedia).

This is a neat example of a podcast you can have your kids listen to learn more information about words:

Check out these sites (which helped me understand podcasting):
An example of an online podcasting video studio site to help you get started with your own podcast:

Podcasts could offer kids in classrooms the opportunity to listen to each others stories, share personal experiences about a shared topic of interest, or just give then another avenue to listen to information. Allowing kids the ability to hear or participate in a podcast, helps them realize that what goes onto the world wide web, really is indeed all over the world. Since there are 3 different types of podcasts (audio, video, and enhanced) you can offer your students a variety of new medias to learn.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

More on Social Networking

Ever been invited to an event electronically with an Evite? I know I have numerous times! As I continued my research on what social networking is, I discovered Evite was one of the very first examples. Evite started up in the late 1990s and boy has social networking grown since more came into cyberspace around 2003 when Friendster and others were created. Now, according to Wikipedia, there are over 200 different kinds of networks. Most of them are created for social purposes and I haven't found anything yet on how they could be useful in the classroom setting, but I'll get back to that later. Ok update, I did find sites that talk about use of social networks in the school setting (this is also where I found the YouTube video in my previous post)

To read more about social networks (and where I got a lot of my info)

See an example of an evite:

Social Networking

Without even knowing it, I was already using a form of Web 2.0 by having a Friendster page. Social Networking sites (MySpace, Friendster, Facebook, etc). are all ways of connecting to people for social purposes and all began in the late 1990s. See what Wikipedia says about social network services:

I began my journey of social networking by receiving an invitation to "be friends with" a buddy of mine who already had his own page (a few years ago). So i figured I should check it out (after finding out it was free to view/join/post page). Seemed like a neat idea to be able to post pictures of your friends, see how they're all connected, share information about yourself, what interests you have, etc. After checking out the site a bit and exploring my friends page ( I decided to say sure I'd "be a friend" with him on his page. And then I began to develop my own page.

The technical aspects were pretty easy. Fill out some basic personal information (up to your comfort level), add a picture if you want (easy uploading), list you hobbies, who you want to meet through the site, and start to invite your friends to view your site. It was really great to start to see how all my friends are connected and see who their friends are. Quite the purpose as the founder and CEO of Friendster writes on this page:
I also got the chance to find out about other groups my friends are involved with and read others blogs. Then I found the testimonial section, where friends of mine wrote something about me, I had to approve or deny it, and then let it be published on my site. One concern though is security and safety especially when children are involved. The incidents with MySpace and children meeting up with strangers makes me wonder how appropriate the use of social networking is for kids and how parents need to be strongly involved when their children are using the internet. One way I think social networking could be used with students would be that of a classroom sharing a page, each having their own section and sharing details about their class (somewhat like a blog). The teacher could be the moderator and share their class page with others.

Other examples and info about social networking:
Watch the video below about how posting (like on social networking) can be dangerous