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Tag: smackdown


Noticing what gets your attention

I started several Scoop-its to curate the resources in one place to use later.
Apps for The Student-Centered Classroom
Creativity, Innovation, and Change
Making Learning Personal
Communities of Practice for New Learning Environments
Curate Your Learning

In doing that I’ve been noticing what people like and follow. It seems to be the Apps and Tools. I know we as educators say not to focus on the tools but it doesn’t seem that way. I notice this at technology conferences and, as a reader, the proposals submitted and accepted.

It seems that adults and teachers have technolust just like the kids. What does that mean for the classroom? The other Scoop-its are about change, pedagogy, communities of practice, and all the things that teachers tell me they want to understand for their own professional learning. However, when you go to a conference and the speaker is talking about change, the future, pedagogy, the room is not full.

For years I have done Tips and Tricks about this tool or that app and the room is overcrowded. It’s like a feeding frenzy. I do a session on change and the steps needed for change, and there’s only a few there. But I know those that are there are really interested.

What I’m wondering is how to take this technolust attitude and use it to make change. I am working with teachers to move to student-centered learning environments. In the process, they are learning new tools that engage and motivate students — and them. School is just not engaging — especially if you read out of the workbook. Kids are bored. They are digital whiz kids now.

How about adding a Smackdown at the end of the week and let three kids share a new tool or app they found for 2 minutes each? Then you as the teacher look at slowly changing the classroom and make student experts.

Think we need to shake things up here and look at the bigger picture. It’s not about the technology. Right? Technology is just a great way to make change.


Web 2.0 Smackdown

The Internet has so much to offer and now there are thousands of new Web 2.0 tools and apps that it is difficult for users to sift through them all to find what they need. I am lucky to be on the ISTE (International Society of Technology in Education) SigILT (Special Interest Group Innovative Learning Technologies) who presented a Web 2.0 Smackdown. I co-presented with Elizabeth Hubbell with the support of an amazing board running the backchannel: Katie Christo and Adam Wendt.

Elizabeth and I practiced our Webinar using Adobe Connect that had a limit of 100 spaces. We noticed on Twitter all the interest seemed like that would not be enough spaces so we moved to GoToMeeting. Elizabeth and I were both on Macs and found we couldn’t archive and I had no access to change screen sharing. I worked blind while Elizabeth walked through my presentation. So Peggy George who was in our audience did a screen capture and uploaded the video. How is that for thinking on your feet!

“Web 2.0 Tools We Can’t Live Without” from Peggy George on Vimeo.


Speed Demo: Edubloggercon (ISTE 2010)

Have you ever heard of Smackdowns? These are quick under 2 minute demos of cool Web 2.0 tools. Here is a list of some of the sites people shared.

Wikispaces Sandbox new features

  • can paste in word docs without unformatting
  • new editor – flash-based digital storytelling tool – social tool = can do collaborative projects

  • select a collection
  • can add their own stories
  • grab pictures and add text – combines a Google search and Wolfram search on same page. Try Wolfram as a knowledge search. Compare Snickers vs Baby Ruth bar.

QRCode – make your own barcode reader.

Gmail Labs – go to the green beaker – enables Green Robot to see who else has an Android phone.

Mashpedia – the Real-time multimedial social encyclopedia – fills in with YouTube videos, twitter feed, Picasa and Flicker galleries, news posts, blog posts, eBooks. – helps you create a twitter as a newspaper – create a start page on what you are researching – attractive feed

Search posters – using Glogster to help with links (Joyce Valenza) – share all of your sites and social networking

Add to your tool bar Rd (readability) and IP (

Smart Notebook Express BETA – – lets you use notebook files online – Smart Exchange – find lesson plans for your SMART Board

Yolink education: – see behind links – sweet search ( embedded yolink into the search engine. Helps student find what’s relevant. then search within the search results keywords. then opens summaries of search with links – another URL shorter along with custom urls – get what the shortened URL and points to the long url

If you use Twitter alot, you can read it later. – icon that sits in toolbar that you can click to save to read later. Works on every browser and iPad. Bookmarking service that lets you. Twitbit lets you save your Tweets to readitlaterlist.

Jumpcut – lets you multiclip up to 40 clicks

Edmodo – – share content and realtime . Teachers can set up groups and then can enter into private social network with their students. Grades. Library with folders and interactivity. Co-teaching with multiple teachers managing groups, subgroups. – in case you need to make a bing and google search at the same time.

Share Google Squared again:

Wordle tip – use a tilde as spaces to keep words in a phrase or sentence together

Thanks to Steve Hargadon for hosting Edubloggercon and all the people that shared during this demo. Was not able to get all the names of presenters so don’t feel comfortable listing names unless I can list them all.

Another site I heard about during the conference: - make your own iPhone apps
Free Technology for Teachers: Aviary for Education

I’ll be sharing more that I hear about. Putting together a column for OnCUE about cool tools so if you have any new tools you would like to share, please leave a comment.