Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Free Dictionary by Farlex

This is a nice learning site that could be used for a student's homepage. The Free Dictionary has the following cool educational stuff:

  • Word of the Day with audio
  • Quotation of the Day - build a quick lesson around understand the
    meaning--equivalent in L1?
  • Immediate links to a dozen or so dictionaries/thesauri
  • News items with vocab linked to dictionary
  • Quick Match Up test of 5 words and their meanings
  • This Day in History - talk about historical events (past tense)
  • Today's Birthday (historically famous people)
  • Hangman game
  • Local weather -- talk about the weather (present and future tenses)

Internet4Classrooms: Useful instructional Web pages

This collaborative project has lots of ideas for using not only Word
(Microsoft Word Modules), but a bunch of other common classroom tools.

(Published originally in Learning with Computers.)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Dutch MPs visit Second Life

This was posted to Webheads in Action by Gavin Dudney. I suspect the MPs had considerable tech help from Delft Univ. in setting up their avatars, etc.

The considerable amount of time avatars spend typing in air indicates a real need for a stable audio feature in Second Life.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Second Life and Baldric's Presentation

Spent Sunday morning (5 AM for me) at Second Nation and later EduTech. Naturally, I got a little lost and only arrived at Baldric Commons' presentation after it was over. As other Webheads mentioned, getting lost is one of the disadvantages, but now I've created landmarks of the various places most likely to be used, e.g., the Webhead Hut and the EduNation Seminar Room. (I also keep a cheat sheet with the coordinates at hand on paper.) One of the frustrations of SL is that the names of buildings are not searchable. Even finding someone who was in the correct place was hard, as the teleport only gets you into the vicinity (around 200 m.) I expect familiarity (and landmarking) will resolve these problems.

We also tried to use Skype at EduNation as a means to voice chat simultaneously, but I had the usual difficulties with getting into Skype. At last I seemed to have my computer settings match up with Skype's expectations, and joined the Skype conference. In the meantime, I had missed getting to EduNation to see Baldric's presentation. (Another frustration--learning everyone's SL name and deciding which name to use at any given moment. In voice chat we ask, "Can you hear me now?" while in SL we ask, "Who are you in 1st life?")

Thanks to Candace Pauchnick for the photos of Sunday morning at her Website:
Since I wanted to see people, I failed to notice the sunset! So another tip--it pays to look around.

I got some new duds from Baldric. Dare I ask what he was doing with high-laced, high-heeled boots and a denim mini-skirt in his inventory? (He-he.) I wonder what percentage of time men vs. women spend in shopping for clothes? Though men do seem concerned about getting the right body image, facial hair, etc. Vance was quite pleased with his (muscle) T-shirt. I'm sorry Sus Nyrop wasn't there, as she has one of the more imaginative costumes I've seen--well, except for the woman with black wings...

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Kids Vid

This is a great site from Gladys Baya over in REO:

Kids' Vid ..."an instructional Web site to help teachers and students use video production in class to support project-based learning." The site also has examples from a recent competition.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Second Life Update

I've been exploring a bit in Second Life. I met Sus Nyrop there (avatar=SuNy Foss), and she teleported me to Dove's (128,128,0), where you can get new outfits for free. I couldn't seem to pick up the free iPod, however.

I made the mistake of passing up on the offer of 250 Linden dollars (the local currency), so I am stuck with my present avatar body. I did learn how to change the color and style of my sweater, though I wish it covered up my belly button. For now it's me in jeans.

I got lost after Sus signed out, and thought for awhile I would never get back to EduNation (70,49,23). I felt like my 10-year-old self when I got on the wrong bus and couldn't find my way home one Saturday afternoon. I wound up at the entry to an "Adults Only" site that felt really creepy (in SL, I mean).

So Doug Coleman is right--the virtual has to feel real to make it authentic.

I also seemed to be unable to find EduNation in the SL >search window. Bummer. Finally, while clicking around I found an "educational" region of SL, and by going there I eventually found the link to EduNation. I ran upstairs in the Webheads beach hut (noting how nicely the palm trees swayed out the windows, and how the moon was just rising beautifully low in the sky), sat down on the couch and had that perpetually steaming cup of coffee on the table--or wished I could, anyway. (How do you pick up the cup???)

So here's my avatar--Babette Hanson.

Google Widgets for Your Website

Google has released its Widgets for anyone to glue into their Website.

Google Widgets

Takes forever to browse them, however. Spend an afternoon.

Teachers' TV

Another video-based set of guides to using technology at various levels, even with young children.

Teachers' TV also has videos of several classrooms as examples of how technology is used in them.

Note: The sound seemed to have a streaming problem, so you might want to watch it silently and then click the >Play button again to hear it.

Friday, November 03, 2006

On-Line Practice Modules

Step-by-step video lessons on how to use a variety of applications used in K-12 classrooms. Covers most common applications

On-line Practice Modules