Friday, September 30, 2011

Free Technology for Teachers: Speak It - Text to Speech in Google Chrome

Free Technology for Teachers: Speak It - Text to Speech in Google Chrome

Speak It is a Google Chrome extension that enables you to have the text on most webpages read to you. With Speak It installed just highlight the text on a the page you're viewing then right-click to activate Speak It. Then click the play button to have the text read to you. The voice is very digitized, but it is clear. Installing Speak It takes just a few seconds. To install it go to Speak It's page in the Chrome Web Store and click the install button. Restarting your browser is not required in order to activate Speak It. If you decide that you don't want to use Speak It any longer you can uninstall it by right-clicking on the Speak It icon in your browser and selecting uninstall.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Banned Websites Awareness Day

Happy Banned Websites Awareness Day and 7 Myths - Home - Doug Johnson's Blue Skunk Blog

Banned Websites Awareness Day (BWAD), sponsored by AASL, will be celebrated on Wed., Sept. 28. Check out the BWAD landing page with resources gathered by the AASL Intellectual Freedom Committee. Read the numerous AASL Blog entries [listed below-Doug] supporting the effort to spotlight how filtering affects teachers’ instruction and students’ learning, and cruise through the many resources found in the BWAD Essential Links.

Helen Adams AASL Intellectual Freedom Committee chair

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Stephen Downes free eBooks

My eBooks ~ Stephen's Web
These are book-length collections of my talks, publications, presentations and other writings. Most of them have not been formally published, and may never be, because my priority is to make open-access versions available. Over time I'll make them available in more formats.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Embracing Technology: Are iPads the Future of Learning?

Embracing Technology: Are iPads the Future of Learning? | iPad.AppStorm
There has already been considerable debate over the value of embracing emerging technology in education, particularly the use of iPads in schools, but is this debate simply over method or is there something more drastic taking place?

If the use of iPads can significantly improve the engagement of students, and increase their ability to explore subjects and develop in their learning, then are we doing them a disservice by being slow on the uptake?

Thursday, September 08, 2011

How to Use Evernote to Organize Your Homeschool

How to Use Evernote to Organize Your Homeschool |
Evernote is a free downloadable program designed to help you remember and organize everything. Jot quick notes. Capture text and images from the Web. Organize "notes" by subject. Find everything in the same place, always available, synced across all devices (PC, Mac, mobile).

The basics: In simplest terms, Evernote is a desktop note-taking, image capture application that can sync your "notes" across all your devices via the Internet. A "note" is any stored item (text, email, captured or scanned image, etc.). A "notebook" is a container for related notes. A note might contain text, i.e., a note you write yourself, an email you received, a photo or image, or some captured content from a webpage.

Slide Six - Easily Add Narration to Slide Shows

Slide Six is a slide show hosting service that offers you the ability to add your voice narrations without having to create, upload, and sync a separate audio file. Slide Six does this by allowing you to record your narration directly through the Slide Six site. To use the feature just upload your slide show and then record your voice as you go through your slide deck. Slide Six also allows you to upload attachments to complement your presentations. YouTube and Vimeo videos are supported within Slide Six.

TubeChop - Chop YouTube Videos

TubeChop allows you to easily chop a funny or interesting section from any YouTube video and share it.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

In Classroom of Future, Stagnant Scores

Technology in Schools Faces Questions on Value -
In this technology-centric classroom, students are bent over laptops, some blogging or building Facebook pages from the perspective of Shakespeare’s characters. One student compiles a song list from the Internet, picking a tune by the rapper Kanye West to express the emotions of Shakespeare’s lovelorn Silvius.

The class, and the Kyrene School District as a whole, offer what some see as a utopian vision of education’s future. Classrooms are decked out with laptops, big interactive screens and software that drills students on every basic subject. Under a ballot initiative approved in 2005, the district has invested roughly $33 million in such technologies.

The Seven Steps to Becoming a 21st Century School or District

The Seven Steps to Becoming a 21st Century School or District | Edutopia
Last summer, as I was winding down my eight years as president of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, I went around the country and met with 30 superintendents, asking them, "What can I do to support your efforts to implement 21st century education in your district?" Together we came up with the idea of creating a professional learning community (PLC) of education leaders committed to 21st century education. A team of us liked the idea so much that earlier this year we launched EdLeader21, a community of education leaders committed to building critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity into their educational system.

Mom This is How Twitter Works

Mom This is How Twitter Works

Twitter is an online social networking tool in which users post 140 character updates of what is going on in their lives along with links to things they think are interesting, funny, or useful to their followers (“following” being essentially what “friending” is on other sites). People use twitter in many ways, some as a newsfeed by following prominent people or networks, some as a pseudo-chatroom by limiting their followers and whom they follow to close friends and family, and some as a microblog for updating people about the work they are doing and their personal lives.

Free Technology for Teachers: Draw It Live - A Simple, Free, Collaborative Whiteboard

Free Technology for Teachers: Draw It Live - A Simple, Free, Collaborative Whiteboard
Draw It Live is a nice little website that I discovered this morning while exploring the Chrome Web Store. Draw It Live offers a free space for you to instantly create a collaborative whiteboard to use with anyone you like.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Google Sites Adds Page-Level Permissions: First Look

Google Sites Adds Page-Level Permissions: First Look - The BrainYard - InformationWeek
Google has added a much-needed security feature to Google Sites for Apps business customers, giving businesses the ability to enable page-level permissions within the service. The new feature will make it easier for admins to control who can find and edit any given Site page without having to alter site-wide permissions.

Using Gmail, Calendar and Docs without an internet connection

Official Google Enterprise Blog: Using Gmail, Calendar and Docs without an internet connection
The great thing about web apps is that you can access all of your information on the go, and we’ve introduced ways to use Google Apps on a variety of devices like mobile phones and tablets. But it’s inevitable that you’ll occasionally find yourself in situations when you don’t have an internet connection, like planes, trains and carpools. When we announced Chromebooks at Google I/O 2011, we talked about bringing offline access to our web apps, and now we’re taking our first steps in that direction. Gmail offline will be available today, and offline for Google Calendar and Google Docs will be rolling out over the next week, starting today.